In 1962 I saw then famous fly casting great, Jim Green, fishing for shad below Nimbus Dam on the American River outside of Rancho Cordova, California. I was captures before I owned a fly rod. By the end of the summer I had caught my first trout on a fly I had tied myself. I have been fly fishing and fly tying ever since.
In 1978, a fly fishing and tying mentor, Dr. Stan Inoyue, long time member of a Sacramento fly club, California Fly fisherman Unlimited, encouraged me to improve my fly tying. He was such positive influence, and model of a true sportsman, that from that point on, my interest in fly ting grew like wild fire.
In the 70’s through the 90’s, I was primarily a steelhead junkie These great fish deserve great flies. Over a period of time I began tying low water Atlantic salmon patterns like the Blue Charm, to entice these silver bullets. To this day the Blue Charm is one of my favorite and most effective flies for steelhead. In the mid 80’s my business travels brought me to a Washington D.>C. fly shop in Georgetown. In the shop I saw a plate of 24 or so Atlantic salmon flies dressed on 10/0 hooks. Up to that time it was the greatest fly tying work I had ever seen. Soon after I worked a month in Iceland, where I met many Atlantic Salmon tiers, some of them noted Iceland fly tying craftsman. I also caught my first Atlantic salmon on a General Practitioner. I was enthralled by many of the classic full dressed, low water patterns, and those native to Icelandic waters which I saw in several fly shops in Kevlavik. Soon thereafter I bought a baker’s dozen, full dressed patterns from an Icelandic fly tier, Bjarni Johnsson. I wanted to learn to tie them and used these as samples to compare with my patterns. I grew increasingly frustrated with my belabored and befuddled attempts. In 1989 I found out about the young and growing Northwest Atlantic Salmon Fly Guild. Soon thereafter I joined the Guild. Since then I have yet to me a greater and more talented group of fly fishers and fly tiers.
I am honored to have been a past newsletter editor, and president of the guild. I am so honored and continue to be amazed at the fly tying heritage and expertise that resides in this fine club. There is no fly tying guild or club on this earth that can compete with the provided opportunity to learn and grow not only as an Atlantic salmon fly tier, but as a fly tier in general as well. It is all about giving and sharing! Be a mentor, encourage others, and you will be blessed.