Your like Me
I am also self taught on fly tying. Started in 1980 when I was transferred to South Bend, Indiana which is right on the Michigan state line. I never had the time before that . Had been east coast (NYS Catskills and Northern NJ) trout fisherman since 1960.
In 1980 is when I started the Michigan steelhead pursuit and learning curve from point zero. Where, when, how, and with what to fish. The transformation from trout to salmon and steelhead started. Michigan has some great rivers and fish runs and remember Trout Unlimited started on the Ausable River in Michigan, and the first Brown trout in America were planted in the Pere Marquette in 1884.
Bought a fly tying kit from Kaufmans and the Trey Combs first Steelhead book. Had lots of time to get into it. We had our first child in 1981, the wife was grounded but she let me go fishing a lot. The rivers were a half hour to 3 hour drive from our home. Have some of my first flies boy were they crude, glad no one was around to see them, all of my fishing friends were back east, and were trout fisherman anyway, not salmon and steelhead.
Its great designing a fly and then going out and proving it will take fish. I have found it does not have to be a beautiful fly to be effective. We use a lot of specialized steelhead nymph patterns here in the Midwest. Will send you some for application and field testing out there on PNW waters.
What size do you fish and weighted or unweighted ?
I did not know that the Niagara had an atlantic run ? Do they still have one there of any significance ? I did not know about the PNW atlantic salmon farms until being on this forumn and their escapement into the rivers.