Fly tying is a natural accompaniment to my love of fly fishing; but is is secondary to it. All the flies I tie are meant to get wet, and hopefully, are destined for destruction between the jaws of a bass, trout or bluefish. That being said, I do love a good looking fly, and would much rather catch a fish on a classic streamer than a conehead leech pattern, or with a Royal Coachman rather than a Comparadun. (Though, actually, I do like Comparaduns… They are elegant and effective, so strike that…) I also have a great love for all things antique. I like old houses, old books and old dogs, so naturally, old fly patterns and new patterns in their style, are what I primarily tie. There are some exceptions of course. Some new and really modern patterns, like the late Dick Empie’s Goldie, are just too good to pass up.
In 1991 I opened a fly shop in Portland Maine. I was seriously underfunded, but I was enthusiastic, and though it only lasted three seasons I made some great friends who I will fish with for the rest of my life. My old Delorme map book of Maine is covered with notes marking the “honey holes” of many generous folks who shared their knowledge of some of the more out-of-the way waters that that great state holds, and it is almost as precious to me as my Bible. Those were great times; I got to know some really great fly tyers who shared what they knew with me, and for that I am ever grateful.
My life on Cape Cod for the past 18 years has been a real boon to my salt water tying. The rich tradition of fly fishing here on the Cape is alive and well, and I’m so happy to be taking part in it. There are so many great spots to fish on the Cape it’s staggering; as a fly tyer, you can keep it real simple, or go wild; either way you’ll catch fish. I stick to primarily natural materials when I’m at the vise with my salt water flies, and I have never been disappointed for doing so.
I look forward to sharing the view from my vise with you all so that we can enjoy this wonderful craft of fly tying, and the great blessing of fishing, together.