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After waiting over 20 years, I finally made it to New Jersey for the International Fly Tying Symposium. I had two goals for attending this show.
1) I wanted to meet some of the fly tyers that have influenced my tying during my 26 year fly tying journey.
2) Like every show I attend, I wanted to teach/share what skills I do possess with interested audiences.
This show was a little different from shows I have attended in the past. The spectators were not provided with chairs. If any of you have watched me tie a hair bug, it is not a quick experience. I can easily take up to one hour to tie a single fly.

A friend I had met at the Albany Show a few years back, Peter Koga, called me and said I needed to tie at this show. Since I had wanted to go to this show for years; I decided to spend the cash to attend the show. Would it be worth the expense? I would find out soon enough.

I met Peter Koga at the airport Friday evening. After a train ride, and a short cab ride, we reached our destination. After we unpacked our bags, we went and registered for the show and banquet. We decided to have dinner at the hotel. That was a very good idea. Two legends of tying were at the bar. Peter introduced me to Bob Popovics and Bob Clouser. I was flying high. I have learned so much about tying flies from these two men. Could it get any better at the show? You bet it could.

The next morning could not come soon enough. Being a deer hair guy, I was hoping to meet one of the best deer hair magicians in the world; Pat Cohen. I was not disappointed. This gut had an amazing display at his tying station. I will try to download a photo or two later showing his work. I purchased a couple pair of scissors from him. They are serrated on both blades. They can cut GSP with ease.

Pat and myself. Check out some of his work. The fish on the bottom right is awesome.

Peter Koga introduced me to Jay "Fishy" Fullum and his beautiful wife. What a fantastic couple. I later stopped by his booth to watch him tie flies. He definitely enjoys what he does.


It was time to start tying some flies. I had planned to tie size 12 poppers the entire show. Plans have a way of changing. Because I was in largemouth bass country, I decided to tie 3/0 worm hook poppers. I could not tie them articulated because TSA decided my snips for cutting hooks was 1/4" too long. I had to leave them in Portland.

Traffic was very slow at the show on Saturday. I later found out that the show was the same weekend as the deer hunting season. It was also a very nice day (mid 60's) for that time of the year. That turned out to be a blessing for me. I got to take many breaks from the vise and visit other tyers.

Project Healing Waters has a nationwide tying contest. The top five were flown to the show. I was fortunate enough to meet three of these amazing people. One of them took an interest in working with deer hair. Before he left the show, I gave him a couple of hundred hooks and all of the deer hair that I knew I had extra at home. He should be set for a while. We promised to keep in touch. I will keep you posted on his progress. I can not say enough good things about the people at PHW. They are true heroes in my book.

At the banquet, the international tyers gave power point presentations on fishing their respective countries. There were tyers from Switzerland, Denmark, South Africa, Belgium, as well as a couple of other European countries. From what I say, we are blessed be fishers in the United States.

I did get to have a one on one session with a gentleman that said he was struggling when working with deer hair. I invited him to tie on my vise while I gave him instructions. He gave me a look like he was not too sure about my offer. I looked him in the eye and said I would not embarrass him. It took us a while, but he tied himself a very good looking popper. Unfortunately for me, I did not get a photo of him with his fly. He was so happy with his results. This may have been the highlight of my trip. One of the reasons I tie at these shows is to educate. I saw this gentleman three other times that day. Each time he saw me, he let all that would listen that I helped him tie the popper in his hand. It did my heart good.

Sunday was a little better attended. I did manage to get away to watch Bob Clouser do a demo showing how to tie his half and half bend back. He designed this fly to be easily cast on a 5wt. It is tied on a Partridge Saltwater Shrimp #4 hook. The dunbell eye is 1/80 ounce. According to Mr Clouser, Partridge will be coming out with a new hook specifically for this fly. It should be coming out in about 60 days.

Was it worth the time and money to attend this show? For me, it definitely was. I was told that the Fly Fishing Show in January is MUCH larger. I may have to attend that show one of these years.

Here are a few more photos from the show. I wish I would have taken more.


Peter Koga was a very popular guy at the show. He seemed to have known everyone. Armand was a pleasure to visit. He has a lot of experience, and likes to share them.


I was introduced to Brad Buzzi by Peter. He was explaining to a youngster how to select and care for bucktail. I was extremely impressed by the amount of knowledge Bill possesses regarding tying materials and fly tying in general.


If you fish saltwater, Bob Popovics needs no introduction.


Bob Clouser holding his Clouser's Half and Half Bend Back


This is the popper I tied for Bob Clouser to complete a fly swap. Folks say Bob got the better deal; I am not so sure.


Me representing the Clark-Skamania Fly Fishers at the show. It was truly an honor to do so.

Regards

Shawn
 

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Sounds like a great time Shawn! Glad you were able to make it over there and meet so many cool people!

I would love the chance to watch Bob Clouser or Popovics tie. That must have been pretty neat. Of course one of these days I hope to make it to a show you yourself are tying at to watch you work up one of your deer hair masterpieces!

PS after a busy summer where I didn't do any fly fishing to speak of I am back home and fishing again and will have a chance to get your flies wet real soon!
 

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After waiting over 20 years, I finally made it to New Jersey for the International Fly Tying Symposium. I had two goals for attending this show.
1) I wanted to meet some of the fly tyers that have influenced my tying during my 26 year fly tying journey.
2) Like every show I attend, I wanted to teach/share what skills I do possess with interested audiences.
This show was a little different from shows I have attended in the past. The spectators were not provided with chairs. If any of you have watched me tie a hair bug, it is not a quick experience. I can easily take up to one hour to tie a single fly.

A friend I had met at the Albany Show a few years back, Peter Koga, called me and said I needed to tie at this show. Since I had wanted to go to this show for years; I decided to spend the cash to attend the show. Would it be worth the expense? I would find out soon enough.

I met Peter Koga at the airport Friday evening. After a train ride, and a short cab ride, we reached our destination. After we unpacked our bags, we went and registered for the show and banquet. We decided to have dinner at the hotel. That was a very good idea. Two legends of tying were at the bar. Peter introduced me to Bob Popovics and Bob Clouser. I was flying high. I have learned so much about tying flies from these two men. Could it get any better at the show? You bet it could.

The next morning could not come soon enough. Being a deer hair guy, I was hoping to meet one of the best deer hair magicians in the world; Pat Cohen. I was not disappointed. This gut had an amazing display at his tying station. I will try to download a photo or two later showing his work. I purchased a couple pair of scissors from him. They are serrated on both blades. They can cut GSP with ease.

Pat and myself. Check out some of his work. The fish on the bottom right is awesome.

Peter Koga introduced me to Jay "Fishy" Fullum and his beautiful wife. What a fantastic couple. I later stopped by his booth to watch him tie flies. He definitely enjoys what he does.


It was time to start tying some flies. I had planned to tie size 12 poppers the entire show. Plans have a way of changing. Because I was in largemouth bass country, I decided to tie 3/0 worm hook poppers. I could not tie them articulated because TSA decided my snips for cutting hooks was 1/4" too long. I had to leave them in Portland.

Traffic was very slow at the show on Saturday. I later found out that the show was the same weekend as the deer hunting season. It was also a very nice day (mid 60's) for that time of the year. That turned out to be a blessing for me. I got to take many breaks from the vise and visit other tyers.

Project Healing Waters has a nationwide tying contest. The top five were flown to the show. I was fortunate enough to meet three of these amazing people. One of them took an interest in working with deer hair. Before he left the show, I gave him a couple of hundred hooks and all of the deer hair that I knew I had extra at home. He should be set for a while. We promised to keep in touch. I will keep you posted on his progress. I can not say enough good things about the people at PHW. They are true heroes in my book.

At the banquet, the international tyers gave power point presentations on fishing their respective countries. There were tyers from Switzerland, Denmark, South Africa, Belgium, as well as a couple of other European countries. From what I say, we are blessed be fishers in the United States.

I did get to have a one on one session with a gentleman that said he was struggling when working with deer hair. I invited him to tie on my vise while I gave him instructions. He gave me a look like he was not too sure about my offer. I looked him in the eye and said I would not embarrass him. It took us a while, but he tied himself a very good looking popper. Unfortunately for me, I did not get a photo of him with his fly. He was so happy with his results. This may have been the highlight of my trip. One of the reasons I tie at these shows is to educate. I saw this gentleman three other times that day. Each time he saw me, he let all that would listen that I helped him tie the popper in his hand. It did my heart good.

Sunday was a little better attended. I did manage to get away to watch Bob Clouser do a demo showing how to tie his half and half bend back. He designed this fly to be easily cast on a 5wt. It is tied on a Partridge Saltwater Shrimp #4 hook. The dunbell eye is 1/80 ounce. According to Mr Clouser, Partridge will be coming out with a new hook specifically for this fly. It should be coming out in about 60 days.

Was it worth the time and money to attend this show? For me, it definitely was. I was told that the Fly Fishing Show in January is MUCH larger. I may have to attend that show one of these years.

Here are a few more photos from the show. I wish I would have taken more.


Peter Koga was a very popular guy at the show. He seemed to have known everyone. Armand was a pleasure to visit. He has a lot of experience, and likes to share them.


I was introduced to Brad Buzzi by Peter. He was explaining to a youngster how to select and care for bucktail. I was extremely impressed by the amount of knowledge Bill possesses regarding tying materials and fly tying in general.


If you fish saltwater, Bob Popovics needs no introduction.


Bob Clouser holding his Clouser's Half and Half Bend Back


This is the popper I tied for Bob Clouser to complete a fly swap. Folks say Bob got the better deal; I am not so sure.


Me representing the Clark-Skamania Fly Fishers at the show. It was truly an honor to do so.

Regards

Shawn
Great post. Looks like a great time and the United States was well represented. Well done Shawn!
 

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Sounds great, and a great report. Now you know how we feel on the other side of the table from you and the other tyers at those shows.
 

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I hate those shows.

Just reminds me of how bad I am. :p

Sounds like a great time. :)
 
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Very cool report Shawn. This seems like a great event. Two questions:

Can you buy the scissors you referenced online? I'd love to get my hands on a pair for exactly what you referenced...cutting gsp thread.

Were there any younger tyers in attendance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Very cool report Shawn. This seems like a great event. Two questions:

Can you buy the scissors you referenced online? I'd love to get my hands on a pair for exactly what you referenced...cutting gsp thread.

Were there any younger tyers in attendance?
There were a few late teens tying some saltwater baitfish patterns. I love seeing younger folks taking an interest in our sport.

You can order the scissors I mentioned from Pat Cohen. His website is:
www.rusuperfly.com
Hope this helps.

Regards

Shawn
 
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