11-13-2001, 01:37 PM
With all the talk about upcoming projects and attending fly fishing shows, I was wondering if anybody is going to the Fly Tying Symposium in Somerset, NJ this coming weekend. I've never been to this one before, so my wife and I are heading down on Saturday (yes, she ties flies too).
The show is at the Doubletree Hotel, and we have a room reserved there for Saturday night. If anyone is going, give a shout, and maybe we can meet. If anyone wants more info, I can provide.
The big east-of-the-rockies fly FISHING show in Somerset is in Jan... while this weekend is the big TYING event of the year... http://www.flyfishingshow.com/
Sounds really great, and there are a lot of faces to attach to names from past lives on mail lists, namely FLYFISH@. Man, it would be a treat alright.
Unfortunately I'm out for this weekend, but will make it to Somerset in January. Have a great trip and I look forward to the report!
11-20-2001, 10:48 AM
Well, I'm back from the symposium and eager to let you all know about it. Where to start? I'll say this: everyone was very professional, and all of the tyers and vendors were very generous with their time, effort, and advice. I didn't see anything novel in the area of materials, but that's probably just as well. Less stress on the wallet. ;)
There was one theme that was stressed throughout the show. It was touched on by virtually every tyer that I talked to, and it was the area of ergonomics. It's an important subject, so I'll pass it on as a reminder. It's very easy to overlook the stresses that a hobby like tying can take on our back, neck, arms, and eyes. A tying station should be set up to be comfortable, and the chair should be ergonomically correct to provide lumbar support. All tools and materials should be within an arm's length of the tier so that there is no unecessary twisting, leaning, or reaching that will create eventual discomfort. Reduce eye fatigue by using soft light bulbs, backdrops, and magnifiers as needed. And finally, if you begin to feel any discomfort, get up and take a break. No fly is worth pain and suffering.
That being said, my wife and I had the opportunity to meet with some great people. George Harvey was there, tying away at 90 years of age. He says that he'll teach until he's 100, then chase as many fish as possible during his last years on earth. A great guy, and a historical figure in American tying.
We spoke with Theo Bakelaar from the Netherlands. For those of you who don't know him, he goes by the nickname of "Goldbead" because of penchant for incorporating them into all of his nymph patterns. The wingcases on his nymphs are incredible! He shared an interesting tip about the wingcases: instead of using epoxy over antron, he now incorporates a few strands of angel hair along with the antron under the epoxy to create an irredescence that's very realistic. Theo is wonderful, and I could feel his energy for fishing by just standing next to him.
We sat in on a slide show by Dick Talleur, who expanded on his most recent book, "Modern Fly Tying Materials". He talked about tube flies, trolling steamers, and various other components. One pattern was a version of the Grey Ghost that "would probably make Carrie Stevens roll over in her grave". I took a class with Dick last January and confirmed with him that he will be in the area again for the same class this January. I look forward to it. He has a great sense of humor and talent for telling stories.
Perhaps the most fun we had was with Bob Popovics. This guy should have his own stand-up routine. His booth always had a crowd, and he took pattern requests. I saw him tie his Siliclone and Banger, and then I asked him to tie a Surf Candy. He's doing a few things different with this pattern now, and it's quicker and easier to tie. He didn't let any of the pattern requesters leave until he was sure that he or she understood the basic elements of the flies they had asked about. Another wonderful guy at a wonderful show.
The "Tie a Fly For Freedom" program was in full effect, and a door prize with the proceeds going to the Sept. 11th Fund was drawing a lot of attention. It was a large framed collection of red, white, and blue patterns from all of the big name tiers in America, and they all had cool spins on their names (for example, Bob's Banger was Bob's Star Spangled Banger). It even included patterns from tiers who weren't able to attend the show (Dan Blanton and Lefty Kreh, to name a few). Tickets were $10 each, and when we left early Sunday afternoon, there was more than $9000 raised.
My only real disappointments with the symposium were that I didn't have any opportunity to speak with AK Best or Jay "Fishy" Fullum. This was my own fault, and the timing was just bad. Too much to do and see in two days, with no real chance of seeing it all.
If anyone would like further details, please send me an e-mail. I'd be happy to share. Here's to next year! :D
Awesome report Mark, thank you!
Maybe next year I will be free on the weekend it occurs. At least it's not likely that we'll have to change board software again! :D
I will be headed to Somerset for the big upcoming show.