I grew up fishing in Colorado but oddly enough, didn't start fly fishing until 17 years ago after I had moved to New York City. I started tying about 16 years ago when I decided it would be less expensive to tie my own salt water flies for Striped Bass fishing. I soon found out fly tying is not really a money saver, its an obsession!
I progressed to trout flies and became interested in wet flies, which led me to Ray Bergman and I started tying his wet flies with the help of Don Bastion's videos. I was tying happily away until a friend saw me tying floss bodies, hackling bodies, and marrying wings and convinced me I should try my hand at Salmon flies. She introduced me to Paul Rossman, I had a lesson with Paul,and started reading old Salmon fly tying books. Deciding that Kelson was a bit pompous, I started tying from Francis Francis' A Book on Angling and have been learning ever since from Paul, Roger Plourde, Stack Scoville, Paul Little, Jens Pilgaard, and by watching Charlie Chute and Harry Lemire.
I'm now attempting to tie every variation of Salmon fly in every edition of A Book on Angling. I'm having quite an adventure along the way trying to discern the meaning of patterns, find obscure materials (Pinna marina anyone?), and find blind eye hooks small enough to tie as he prescribed.
I'm particularity interested in using the techniques and materials these flies were originally created with, including pig's wool, swan, and hackles dyed with natural dyes, and making them look like the fishing flies they were meant to be. I now tie in hand with a goal of tying all of the Francis flies in hand, as they were originally tied.
As a board member of Juliana's Angler in New York City, I've taught fly fishing, tying, and entomology at Juliana's school for the last 13 years. I recently finished 10 flies for a new book by Mike Radencich, I'm assisting Paul Rossman with layout and editing of his series of artistic Salmon Fly books, and am tying flies for Don Bastian's upcoming book.
I've met many wonderful friends through fly tying and hope to meet many more at this show!