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04 December 2005
No fishing report report

Fly-tying Expo 2005We were not able and/or willing to fit a fishing trip into our weekend. It's a little bit cold for us, 20-25 oF, and we didn't have a whole day to spend on the river, so instead we got a 'fishing fix' by hanging out with like-minded folks on Saturday at the 6th Annual Fly Tying Expo hosted by the Great Lakes Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers. We had never attended before, and we both agreed that we'll be regulars from here forward. B was there all day, as one of the 100 folks who were set up for actual fly tying at the Expo, while I was just a non-tying admirer. Several famous tyers were demonstrating techniques and designs - Dennis Potter (MI), Ray Schmidt (MI), Royce Dam (WI), 'Bear' Andrews (MI), Chris Helm (OH), Rusty Gates (MI), Dick Walle (OH), and Julie Nielsen (MI). The non-headliner tyer folks were really good too. Julie tied me a Royal Christmas - a parachute-style coachman-modification with a green and red body - designed to attract brook trout, but she says it works well on other trout species too. I believe her, it's beautiful, as are all her flies.

B's tableB was one of 3 women tyers at the Expo (Julie and Jen Nelson were the other 2), and was one of the few tyers I noticed that was focusing on nymphs and wet flies. There were lots of dry fly, streamer and foam-bodied bug tyers. One gentleman from Howell, MI had some really amazing, and large, deer hair 'flies.' I snapped a photo of one of his oversized display boxes (click the picture below). In another box, he had a deer hair bat fly. That's right. A bat. I do not really want to know what fish species he targets with that. OK, yes I do want to know. Must be something big, toothy and predacious.

Very cool hair bugsThe Expo was a fun social opportunity as it draws fly angler-types from around the Midwest. It's an annual fundraiser for the Great Lakes FFF Council. We ran into lots of Fly Girls - Dorothy, Jen, Mandy, Julie, Nancy, Colleen and a few others - and other folks we've come to know around the fly fishing world. I said hi to Dennis Potter briefly. I got to fish with him in a Fly Girls 2-fish contest earlier this summer. He was a lot of fun and a serious fly fishing expert. B ran into a few folks she's come to know from online fishing-related bulletin boards and fishing report sites. I would've appreciated another hour at the expo to check out the vendors more carefully. B found some very good deals on hooks and well-tied flies.

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