Upcoming Event: “Meet the Bloggers” at the International Fly Tying Symposium in Lancaster, P.A. November 11th 2017 @ 3PM

International Fly Tying Symposium

If you will be attending the International Fly Tying Symposium in Lancaster, PA this weekend, please join us for a Q&A session during “Meet the Bloggers” at the International Fly Tying Symposium in Lancaster, P.A. November 11th 2017 @ 3PM

“The discussion, moderated by Chuck Furimsky, starts at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and includes audience questions.”

I have been invited to join the “Meet the Bloggers” panel along with Tim Cammisa, Tim Flagler, Josh Miller, John Shaner, Son Tao and Walt Young.

The show goes on for two days and the ballroom will be filled with fly tyers and seminars, so bring a notebook, a pen and all of your questions as there is much to learn! Please see the link above for more information on prices, times and directions.

See you at the show!


Upcoming Fly Tying Demonstration: November 4th, 2017 @ 1pm

Arts of the Angler

Saturday, November 4th @ 1 PM, I will be giving a fly tying demonstration during the Arts of the Angler show, which is being held at the Ethan Allen hotel in Danbury Connecticut.

I will be demonstrating different fly patterns using the Flymen Fishing Company Wiggle Shanks.These Shanks give more movement to your nymphs and emergers that can help entice some of those picky trout.

If you’re in the area please stop over and enjoy the show! There Will be two days full of fly tying demonstrations and presentations from many people.

So as I always recommend; grab a notebook, a pen and bring all of your questions; as there is a wealth of knowledge out there that many of us enjoy sharing with you!
The Arts of the Angler is a full feature fly fishing show in an elegant atmosphere. Here one will find the finest contemporary and collectible fly fishing tackle and accessories, fly tying materials and display flies, books, gifts, destinations, instruction, guiding and services for the fly fishing community. Saturday features a silent auction with items sure to be of interest to the discerning collector and aficionado. “

Nicole March of The Quilted Tyer will be giving a fly tying demonstration this Saturday November 4th, 2017 at 1pm during Arts of the Angler

“Adding more movement to your nymphs and Emergers”

Nicole may have a soft spot for tying and fishing soft hackles and streamers, but doesn’t like to to limit herself to becoming an expert on any one subject. For her, it’s more about becoming a well-rounded fly tyer and fly fisher, so as to adapt to different conditions on the water.

A few years ago she wanted to do more to help others who were new to tying and fishing, and signed up with the local Project Healing Waters chapter. Project Healing Waters quickly became something that herself, as well as other participants in her group, look forward to with every new meeting and outing. She tries to come up with fun and informative lessons when teaching, and enjoys seeing the enthusiasm, especially when what was taught in class, is being utilized on the water during a trip.

Whether it’s a fly tying demonstration or TU presentation shes giving, Nicole enjoys the interactions, history and discussions, and always; encourage as many questions as possible. “I love knowing this is a never-ending learning experience, and will continue to share and help others. When someone tells me they are finally comfortable asking questions they had once been afraid to ask, thinking they would be laughed at or considered a ‘newbie’ or ‘beginner’, it reminds me why I enjoy what I do, and why I continue to teach.”

Nicole March is an active member of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild, the Assistant Project Lead for PHWFF New City, New York, creates step-by-step fly tying tutorials for Dette Trout Flies and also works as the Event Specialist for the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum.
She recently created a youth coloring & activity book called “Its all about Fly Fishing”, and is a pro team member with Regal Vise, Lagartun and Flymen Fishing Company.
Nicole maintains a blog at http://www.thequiltedtyer.com

Fly tying tips and tricks: “Keeping mayfly tails separated”

When it comes to dry flies, nothing looks better than the proper proportions. Everything standing at attention to the point that the fly looks like it has a life of its own sitting on your desk top. Balancing, almost hovering, on nothing more than a tail and hackle.

Splayed mayfly tails
Splayed mayfly tails

..but like many things we learn to do, that’s not always the case in the beginning. When not properly supported, tailing material has a tendency to follow the bend of the hook and will continue to point downward once more material is added on.

I read parts of this technique in an old book and then during one of the fly tying shows I stopped over to watch Matt and Tim from Tightline Video tying flies at their booth; and they refreshed my memory as I watched this trick in action.

Aside from the materials needed for your pattern, You will also need:

A 3″ length of thread cut from a thread spool ( You can cut less, I just find its easier to work with a longer piece.)

 Before you start, cut the section of thread from your bobbin, and put it aside. Start your thread and grab those microfibetts!

Microfibetts: They can be great when they cooperate!
Microfibetts: They can be great when they cooperate!

Lets get started!

Select two microfibetts and cut them off of your pack
Select two microfibetts and cut them off of your pack
Securing the tailing
Position your two tails where you want them, measured to the length needed for your pattern and take two wraps to secure them to the shank.

Leave your bobbin hanging at the base of the shank where you tied in the tails. At this point you aren’t worried about separating them, you just want them in position because what you are going to do first, is give them a little “lift”.

Now take your bobbin that’s loaded with thread, bring it under the tailing material then back down under the hook shank. This will lift the material up slightly. You can now take a few wraps forward.

Now its time to splay those tails!

Take the piece of thread had snipped off before beginning, then advance your bobbin of thread forward, stopping across from the hook point.
Take the piece of thread you had snipped off before beginning and advance your bobbin of thread forward, stopping across from the hook point.
Place the thread loop around the hook bend.
Place the thread loop around the hook bend.

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Bring the thread loop forward, up in between the tails and pull to splay the tails slightly. Take a wrap to secure it before adjusting.
Bring the thread loop forward, up in between the tails and pull it to splay the tails slightly. Take a wrap to secure it before adjusting.

Once you have the tails splayed, and a wrap or two has been taken to secure it. You can adjust the splay in the tails simply by pulling on the thread that’s laying over the shank. When the desired look has been archived, take securing wraps to hold everything down.

 Before cutting the excess be sure to keep an eye on how much material you have left on the back end of your fly. Most dry flies require a uniform and tapered under body which means that too much bulk will hinder that final desired outcome. You will be better off wrapping over the excess microfibetts and cutting them closer to 1/3 of the way behind the eye.

 I hope this has helped you acheive the look you desire on your dry fly patters, as I know it has helped me tremendously. Happy Tying!

PHWFF New City, N.Y.- Catskills Trip – September 2017

The Willowemoc -Photo: Frank DeGrazio
The Willowemoc -Photo: Frank DeGrazio

A year ago our group embarked on a fall trip to the Catskills; a trip in which we were greeted with high temperatures and low water . On the other hand.. This year on the other hand, we lucked out! The temperatures were much cooler at night which kept the fish active in the early mornings, and rising fish were there to greet us in the evenings.

Ken back in the casting groove!

Myself and Ken were the first to arrive Friday afternoon. The leaves had just begun their journey into the bright yellow and reds that we are seeing now, and hopes were high for a good weekend. Shortly after that; the rain arrived as well. While it wasn’t going to be enough to help the water conditions, it was nice to have a change in weather from the previous year.

The two of us weren’t to be discouraged and headed straight for the banks after putting on our rain gear. We spent a few minutes scanning the area, discussing different parts of the river system and flipped over a few rocks in search of some roving trout snacks. Flies were tied on, the usual booming laughter was heard around the bend and after a little guidance from me, Ken was back into the groove of casting. A few fish strikes were felt but no serious takers and I stood back for a minute to take a handful of photos and video to show him later, of his major casting improvements. It’s great to see the lessons we do in the park being utilized on the water!

Rod holders on Creekside Cabins: -Photo: Frank DeGrazio
Rod holders on Creekside Cabins: -Photo: Frank DeGrazio

An hour or so later the rest of the group arrived. Everyone unpacked and settled in to their cabins, I myself was already situated at a different location in town, and we went over the game plan for the weekend.  We also acquired a few helping hands on board this trip, which created more of a one-on-one fishing experience for the participants. Aside from Mike McClelland,Tim Daly, Harry Kerrigan and I; we were fortunate enough to have guides Frank Degrazio and Bryan Caldero  of the Anglers Den joining us along with Ed Burgholzer.

Charlie nymphing a stretch of pocket water.
Charlie nymphing a stretch of pocket water. -Photo: Frank DeGrazio

As always, the guys had a few entomology lessons on the bank. One of my favorite things about our outings, is that we can take what is taught in class and apply it to what is experienced on the water. Questions are asked and realizations are found based on our teachings. When we can talk about caddis in group and why we tie them the way that we do, then be able to open a few cases to show first hand what they look like; it will out what is going on it into perspective for all participants.

Uncasing a handful of caddis -N. March

There is no shortage of knowledge to be absorbed, and for myself and the other volunteers to be able to pass on this knowledge, while simultaneously learning from each other; it is a very rewarding experience for everyone.

Mayfly shucks on the Willow.
Mayfly shucks on the Willow. -N. March

Early risers were up and ready to fish, so after a pot or two of hot coffee and breakfast Saturday morning, we split up into small groups and fished different areas around the Catskills. As many of us are all to familiar with, it can be difficult to find a section of public water for the guys to access on a weekend that doesn’t already have 4 cars in the lot at 9am on a Saturday morning. This time though, once again, we lucked out!

Some went to Junction Pool others headed for Hazel Bridge and others, all with the plan to meet back at the cabins for lunch.

Reports were mixed as we returned to Creekside for something to eat, with some of the guys hooking fish, and others seeing no action at all. The weather held up as we ate and dried off in our waders, but as the temperatures began to climb we decided to take a mid afternoon trip to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum where Dette Trout Flies was hosting the Partridge Days fly tying show.

Fly tyers at Partridge Days.
Fly tyers at Partridge Days.

We arrived at the show and the guys quickly dispersed around the room to see different patterns being demonstrated, and then something quite interesting caught their attention.

Watching how to make furled leaders with Rick Bobrick
Watching how to make furled leaders with Rick Bobrick

Furled leaders! If you have never seen this process in action before, you might be missing out! Rick Bobrick of Medusa Leaders demonstrated how it works and the guys were given a first hand look; complete with a quick Q & A session before we headed back out to fish.

Watching how to make furled leaders with Rick Bobrick
Watching how to make furled leaders with Rick Bobrick

We split up shortly after that and hit the water one last time before dinner. Some had luck nymphing, others chased risers but, all no matter the outcome; it was great to see everyone enjoying some quiet time away from their usual hectic lives.

Charlie with a catch!
Charlie with a catch!

As the late afternoon fishing came to a close we were ready to head to dinner at The Rockland House.  The guys ordered a vast array of food from trout to monster steaks and a great time was had by all. We were also in good company as the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild was having their Annual Dinner in the same room. On behalf of P.H.W.F.F. New City, N.Y. I would like to formally thank everyone who helped make this weekend another successful one for all of the participants attending.

See you at the next meeting!

Dinner at The Rockland House
Dinner at The Rockland House

“We all began as beginners”

My Words of advice for those of you who are beginning..

Let me start off by saying, I am no expert. As much as I enjoy tying, and as much as I am immersed in the learning and the teaching aspect of it; I am not afraid to say that I don’t know everything. Even after these 4 years I feel as though I have only begun my journey behind the vise, and to me; that is exactly why this is so exciting.

Just like everything else in life that you enjoy, it’s a never ending learning experience.

I am not afraid to ask questions, or to say that I dont know something, and that right there; is something you shouldn’t be afraid of either.

I am not ashamed to be sitting at my table, tying a at a show, and not have the answer to a question I am asked.  I have been known to look around the room for someone that DOES know the answer; such as Dave Brandt, Catskill John or Mike Romanwski or the many other tyers that I’ve had the pleasure of learning from while attending shows; and then accompanying that person to their table so we can both research the pressing topic.

I don’t see the shame in it, because truthfully; I enjoy it. I have many questions that I sometimes forget to ask in my busy life, but to be able to stand there with a same person and learn side-by-side with them, to me; isn’t a downside. Its an upside. Since now we both know the answer to a question, that five minutes ago neither of us did.

I’m OK with all of this, and you should be as well. But too often I find people would rather sacrifice the knowledge they could have acquired, by holding back a question in fear of sounding like a ‘beginner’ or an ‘idiot’ in front of others.

The bottom line is, “We all began as beginners”.

It’s its something that I say often, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Have you ever asked a question in a group or demonstration, only to see or hear someone turn up their nose and laugh at you? I have. It’s happened to me, and you know what? I don’t care. To some of us life has always been a personal journey, not a popularity contest.

So grab a notebook and pen and attend those shows, seminars and demonstrations! Look in your area for fly tying events and attend them. Then ask those questions.

Ask them, and ask them proudly. Ask them knowing that someone next to you may have the same question but be afraid to ask. And if you find that your questions are treated with disrespect and sneers? Then you simply ask someone else. Don’t let the response of one or two hold you back from learning, because the majority of fly tyers enjoy teaching and passing what knowledge we have, onto others.

Better yet, before you go to a show pack up a couple flies that have a technique you were having trouble with. As you walk around the show and see someone who’s end result is what you wish to have, show them your flies asked them how you can improve and then listen to their advice. Not to say everyone you speak to will be thrilled to help you, but the fact is that if they aren’t? You’re in a room so big that you’re bound to find somebody who will.

I hear people say to me, I can’t wait till I can tie like you, your flies are perfect. Actually they aren’t perfect. We may strive for a photo perfect fly, and while proportions are always important; every fly I tie isn’t perfect. For aesthetic purposes, I enjoy challenging myself to tie my flies the way that I do, but that doesn’t mean that everything I tie looks like the one in the photo every single time. And when it doesn’t, like many of you; I squint my eyes, make a frustrated face, pick the feathers out of my cold coffee and tie another.

The flies Im going to show you are ones that I found after unpacking and settling into  our new home. All of these flies were tied within the first two weeks of me starting. So for those of you that message me and tell me you are just beginning, and “wish to one day tie like that”, just remember where you started, and where you are now. Look at how far you’ve come, don’t dwell on where you wish you were.

This one here, is the absolute first fly that ever came off my vise.
This one here, is the absolute first fly that ever came off my vise.

I remember sitting there tying this one while watching a DVD I had received in a kit, I have no idea what it is. It was more of a “How to make a dubbing loop” fly.

I had never fished it, I just saved it.

I remember being so intrigued in the fact that I just took a bunch of craft fur and made this thing! 😂

Now mind you I started tying flies before I started fly fishing.

This fly here, as you can see, was fish quite a bit. I caught my first bass on this fly. That reddish orange color is rust.
This fly here, as you can see, was fished quite a bit. I caught my first bass on this fly. That reddish orange color is rust.

“Two over easy”Have you ever fished an egg fly? Tiny little thing made with glo yarn or such material?

..well i wasn’t aware they were so small the first time I tied them.

These “eggs” are on a streamer hook and are the size of peanut M&M’s hahhahha

“The Grass Fly”

Grass carp.. ohhhh the elusive thorn in my side. After getting aggravated trying to catch them, I thought to myself “If they like grass so much I’ll tie them a grass fly”

Needless to say, It didn’t work.

The Thing

This ‘thing’ accounted for more bass and trout when I began fishing than any other fly I tied.

Note my 'sweet hackle wraps
Note my ‘sweet hackle wraps” never made it around the shank.

such consistency.. such consistency..

Once upon a time.. I tried to tie a wet fly

Im just gonna leave this one right here..
Im just gonna leave this one right here..

Did I fish it? You bet! Did I fish it? You bet!

This was supposed to be a scud..

Somewhere in that plump body is wire ribbing.. somwhere..
Somewhere in that plump body is wire ribbing.. somewhere..

Way to crowd the hook gap! Way to crowd the hook gap!

The wooly bugger…

I fished it.. it worked like a charm
I fished it.. it worked like a charm

upon closer inspection.. upon closer inspection..[/caption]< /p#>

Practicing my peacock herl..

I must have used 5 strands of peacock herl for the body
I must have used 5 strands of peacock herl for the body

The Hammered Hares Ear”

Forgot the ribbing.. crowded the eye..
Forgot the ribbing.. crowded the eye..

Proportions ? What proportions. Proportions ? What proportions.[/caption]< p style=”text-align: center”>And you know what?

I didn’t give a crap what anyone thought because I was enjoying myself behind the vise and my time on the water. Not to mention, you would be surprised how many of these caught trout.

My final advice to you?

The bottom line is: I tied these with pride, and that’s how I fished them.

Don’t concern yourself with the negativity of others, no one needs that crap.

Always take constructive criticism and ask those questions.

Don’t look at something you create and down talk it, just remind yourself that the next one will be better, and challenge yourself.

Anytime you see a pattern that makes you immediately think to yourself “I’ll never be able to tie that”.. I want you to tie it. Tie them horribly, tie them beautifully, tie them upside down by accident (believe me, I’ve done it at a show when I was nervous!) but no matter how you do it; tie them.

Because at the end of the day, your own personal progress, the fact that you are enjoying yourself; is all that matters.

And remember, we all began as beginners.

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