I went to the FFF Great Lakes Council Fly Tying Expo in Holt Michigan today- down and back, which entailed a 3:30 am start, 8 hours of driving and a full day at the event, all to take in the work of some great fly tyers and artists. With about 80 tyers in attendance there was no way to meet or talk to everyone, and with a lot of great friends old and new there it was hard to get very far, but here's some photo highlights from the show.
I traveled with Alex Cerveniak, Brian Kozminski and Ethan Winchester- great guys to share a road trip or a river with. Alex was one of the tyers. Here he is whipping up Intruder patterns.
It was nice getting caught up with Lou Burhart of Brack Hill Tackle. Lou is always a lot of fun to talk to. He invited me to fish with him next week at his cottage on the Au Sable, which I sadly had to decline- work. Lou is a fantastic tyer of traditional salmon flies and maker of bamboo rods.
Here's Mike Schmidt of Angler's Choice Flies, a good friend. His table struck me as funny, as I wasn't sure if I was looking at a tyers desk or had walked into a Jo-Ann Fabrics. I have to bust his chops whenever I get the chance.
This is Facebook friend Matt Svoboda. I'm not sure if he has a fly related business as I forgot to look for a card. He's certainly a good tyer. Matt- thanks for all the encouragement about my writing and blog, I really needed it. I'm glad someone gets my sense of humor.
This is Chris Soule of SouleFly Productions. Chris is always fascinating to talk to as he always gets into the intricate details of why a fly works from both the perspective of the fish and the tyer. It's that kind of information that makes you a better fisherman even if you don't tie.
For some reason this shot of Bear Andrews works in black and white. We had a great conversation, and I hope we get to wet a line some day. Jeff (Bear) shares the same passion for brook trout as I, and he chases them every year in Labrador and Ontario. I hope to join him some day.
Tommy Lynch, The Fish Whisperer, doesn't know this, but I've taken to calling him The Professor behind his back, as he is the walking encyclopedia on big brown trout. Here he is tying flies big enough to catch muskie- for browns.
This is Alex Lafkas of Old Au Sable Fly Shop. We had a lot of fun taking trophy shots of this giant brown trout streamer he tied. He got it on a 3 inch sculpin pattern.
Here is Ethan Winchester talking with Matt Erny of Streamers Fly Fishing. Matt is an excellent tyer, and it was great to finally put a face to the name of someone whose flies and fishing I have admired for a long time.
Tommy Lynch again. What can I say, we had a lot of fun with the grip n grins.
Eli Berant of www.greatlakesfly.com. It was great to finally meet this guy. He doesn't know it, but I've been admiring his flies from afar. He is a muskie specialist and if I'm right, I believe he said he had 39 feet of flies on his table.
This shot says it all- everything I love about flies and tying.
I want to thank everyone I met and talked to today, but especially Charley Vee (I think it's VanHusen, but that's his Facebook handle) Matt Svoboda, Kyle Maki, Justin Keene and a couple of others who didn't give me their names for seeking me out and letting me know how much they enjoy this blog. It was a shot in the arm. If you don't see your name or pic here I'm sorry- I didn't take enough photos, and didn't get to talk to everyone I wanted to, but to all of you I want to say thank you. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing you all in the future.