Jan/Feb 2005 Newsletter:
Inside the World's Largest Fly Fishing Show
by Mike Hogue
The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, Nj is the world's largest fly fishing ( only) show. Sure there are lots of sport shows but nothing is as big as this in fly fishing. I have written some other stories about this and thought I would spend a bit of time talking about the 2005 show held a few weeks ago.
Somerset is held near Newark, NJ which is basically suburban New York City. Due to the size of the show, this show attracts vistors from across the Northeast and from around the world. This year it seems that many of the European fly fishers were back after a taking a break for several years. I suppose mostly this has to due with the current exchange rate which is slanted in favor of the Euor and Pound at the moment.
Some times it seems that many of us in the business become a bit jaded and feel that nothing new is out there and that well, we've seen it all. While I suppose every sort of fly that could be invented has mostly been tied on some fashion so we might as well stay home/ RIGHT! I found many new things and several things that were interesting and fun.
One of my best finds was Warren Duncan flies. I read an article about Warren in the Art of Angling Journal and it mentioned that Ramsey Outdoors stocks his flies. Well I loaded up, I got original flies all tied by Warren for the princely sum of $2.50 each. Such a bargin! I felt like a pirate after I cherry picked the best of the lot and paid so little!
One other absolute hoot was hearing the story from Hans Weilenmann about the tiger nymph. For those that know Hans he is always a very interesting tyer. I had the chance to ask Hans the story about the tiger nymph and he told me the story. I suppose I will botch the story but here goes....
It seems that Hans was on a fishing trip in Washington, he managed to dump his kick boat experienced a near death experience. Anyway one of his friends asked that was along asked him if he would like to meet a friend of their's that trained animals for the movies. Hans said sure. To make a long story short, Hans thought this was his lucky day since he survived his near death thing, so he started petting this fellow's tiger. That went pretty good, so he grabbed a dog comb and combed the tiger. He later made a nymph out of the tiger fur he collected, by chance he had some tiger fur so I got a sample. You can read the whole story on the global fly fisher web site. I have a few links about Hans:
I spent most of the show working with my partner Dean Childs of Wasatch Custom Angling Products. Dean and I sold a bunch of stuff. I mean a bunch. Dean brought along loads of tools that we sold along with a lanyard special Dean came up with. We also had great fun talking about Ames, Iowa and Iowa State University that both of us attended in our younger years. Dean also told me about his most recent accomplishment which was making a set of tools in his special presentation box for Vice President Dick Cheney (see Gary McCoughey I can spell). It seems that Dean got the order from a person that serves on his staff and they ordered this as a gift. He got a nice letter from the VP ( along with his check I might add). Dean and I also had loads of fun taking pictures of tyers with his digital camera . I have a picture of Dean holding up one of my new metal fishing signs that says" Caution Fly Fishing Stories Told Here, Protective Footwear May be Required."
I spent some time with Marc Pettijean and his ultra hot magic head. His booth is so cool. I guess somehow being European makes it more attractive. His booth has black velvet drop cloths, green decorations and large pictures of him catching nice trout. Very slick. I might have to hire this guy to rework my set up, although I can't afford him. His is a new tying product which is going to revolutionize streamers. These are small funnel shaped soft plastic cones that are tied in. When stripped the flies act like the old plastic slugos which wobble and then snake side to side. I was impressed. I got one of those flies which is tied on a small hook. I am thinking it will be a killer for trout, bass and panfish.
I also had some time to spend with Don Barnes the new owner of Regal Engineering. I talked Don into coming to the show and his space was next to mine and we had dinner and a few beers with Don and all the folks from Regal. Regal is going to introduce a new head, a new base and if I can help it several other new products for the fall. We sold a fair number of Regals and answered lots of questions on this vise for tiers.
The folks from March Brown rods were on hand to show the latest. These are all extra sweet rods that are 7 piece. The rods are matt black with holographic logos and have nickel silver inserts and very nice wood reel seats. I will stocking these this spring, they will run about $190 for the whole rod. Go to www.marchbrownrods.com for more info.
I ran into an old buddy, John Shewey. I haven't seen John for several years. Beyond his steelheading and writing John is working as an editor for a new magazine. We had a chance to talk about some of his work, a few of his projects and some books he is looking at.
The biggest let down I had is that my wife Laura couldn't come to the show. This is first year Laura missed and it wasn't quite the same without her. Laura had some academic work to do and had to attend several meetings, so she couldn't come. We missed you!
All in all, great fun, sold lots of stuff and saw loads of old friends and made some new ones.
The Annual HFFA Meeting and Fly Fishing Show: February 18-20, 2005, Altoona, IA. I will be one of the guest speakers at the annual Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association's Annual Meeting. My partner in crime for the show is none other than Jack Gartside. I will be giving talks on Fly Fishing in the Finger Lakes of New York, The Flies, An Iowan Goes Fly Fishing in the Catskills, some tying demos and talks on hooks and hackle. For more info click on : www.hawkeyeflyfishing.com
Attend all you Iowa Folks! I will have some extra special things for the auction! Don't miss this!
Here is a sample of some of the great auction items I am bringing:
The Ultimate Pus Bug Fly Box is a fly box I discovered from the North Country, the box itself is made using aged woods and was handcrafted by Adirondack woodworkers. This exclusive box depicts the true character and personality of the pus bug. This box also features a set of 6 stylized pus bugs designed and tyed by me and the actual box is autographed. This is an exceptionally unique item and is a one of a kind. While I won't accept reasonability for the quality of the item, it is interesting and the all funds raised will go to the Hffa.
I did laugh very hard making this. It is VERY FUNNY.
Maynard Reese signed book w/ original Iowa Fish Prints in it/ from 1960. This is long out of print Better Homes and Gardens Book. The prints are on Maynard's Posters and the Iowa Fish Guides. We sent the book to Maynard's House in Florida for an autograph!!!!!!!!!!! COOL!!!!!!!!!!!
A patch and pin set from the Catskill Fly Tyer's Guild and the Catskill Fly Fishing Center.
A Print of a Catskill Fishing Map (Before they Installed Route 17, this is an antique map which was created a former artist for the state of New York's Fishery Department. Original was made by Clayton Seagur, 1935
Some Custom Designed Badger Creek Fly Tying Tool: Stainless steel hook bowl, needle nose pliers, wire cutters and Bobbin case designed by me and made by Clear Creek of Iowa.
Plus: Wastach Custom Angling's 32 piece tools set. Limited edition set with a lazer etched image of the HFFA logo. Has 32 of the most popular tools. Case is Walnut with a popular insert and black velvet. At FFF National this was a very popular set and pulled in giant bucks!
ALLLLLLLLLLL of this stuff are items just for the HFFA and the auction. DON"T miss it!!!!!
The Fly Fishing Show, Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, NC, Feb 26, 27, 2005. Speakers include: David Boyle, Dave Brandt, Mac Brown, Jim Casada,Jamie Dickinson and Fishy Fullum. This is one of my favorite shows and I will againg get a chance to see my family, with a little luck maybe my Mom and Dad will show up again. For more info click on: www.flyfishingshow.com
Cabin Fever, Penn West Trout Unlimited, Pittsburgh, PA, March 5, 2005. This is a smaller one day show I did last year. When I get more info on the location, times and speakers I will post the info. Last year, this was a great show.
The Fly Fair, Ft. Washington, PA, March 12-13, 2005. This is the second year for this show. Speakers and programs to be announced. Last year this was a great show and the only show in the Philadelphia area. For more info, click on: www.flyfishingshow.com
The Catskill Fly Tyer's Guild Fly Tyer's Rendezvous, April 16, Rockland House, Roscoe, NY, 10-3pm. This is the 4th year for this great event. Tyers from across the NE will gather for a one day event that is free and open to the public. Over 40 tyers expected to come, we will have a mix of the known, unknown and unexpected tyers present at this show. TOTALLY FREE!
Magic Heads: Yeap I had THE first batch in the US!!!!!! These are soft plastic cones. Tie in then make a streamer, fold them back they make a bullet head. 4 sizes: xs( size 8-18), s ( 8-2), med (size 4 to 2./0, large ( 2/0 and up). $5 a pack
Bleached Dyed Elk mane: Looking for stuff to make quill flies with? This is it. No soaking, no dipping, won't crack, extra long /makes flies up to size4 or clip and make 3 size 16's!. Colors/ Bleached, Gray, Yellow. Olive, Black. $3.75
Sili Wrap: This is silicone laid out in a sheet and precut into strips. Same stuff as the sili legs just in strips. Used for scud backs, stoneflies, prawns, shrimp. Clear with gold fleck, Black with gold, red with gold, yellow and gold, olive and gold. $3.50
Really Sweeeetttttt White tip Turkey. I got a new source, white tip tops of brown wild turkey. Used for salmon flies. Ties pretty good sized flies. Clean edges. $5.00
Extra Sweet Peacock Quills. Same source, really nice peacock. Clean edges with good markings, use for bustard sub. $5.00
New Bucktail combo packs: I found some nice mult packs of these. Has black, blue, red, yellow, white pieces. Use for travel or classes. $4.00
New Tungston Beads:
These are super hot. Tungston slotted beads have a slot cut which allows them to slide onto any hook. 2 styles: Facetted and Round. The Facetted has a multi style head which is sort of like a giant disco ball so I guess we ought to call theese the Beegee's beads. Or maybe the stayin alive fly? Okay. Bad enough, in any case these are coool. Gold only so far.
Round sizes: 1/16", 3/32". 1/8", 5/64", 7/64", ( all those are $6.50/ pack of 20)
5/32", 3/16" $7.50/20
Facetted: 1/8", $7.00
5/32", 3/16" , 13/64" $8.50
Tungston Flat End Eyes: These have a new shape of dumbell that prevents the eye from spinning. The end is flat and allows for use of stickers or dome eyes. Silver: Pack of 20.
xs, s, med, $7.00 each large: $8.50
Mike Bobbin Case: Cordura case with polar fleece inside. Made from the guys that make the Orvis rod tubes. Very cool. Holds tools, stackers and such. $12.00
Just in ! More of my hook bowls. Stainless steel with a machined bottom. Use for holding hooks and beads. Machine stainless steel extra bright and very cool. $12.00
The hackle nabber. For the guys that made the bead nabber, new hackle pliers. Locks on bottom. Ring with tweaser type tip. $13.50
Lateral scale Flashabou: Wrinkled flashabou pearlized. Pearl, light olive and light orange/. Use for streamer patterns. $4.50
Marbled chain eyes: Use for beaded chain bonefish flies, carp or leeches. Mixed blue and chartreuse, mixed black and white, all brown $2.50
New Hooks: Mustad has 2 new hooks:=
C068: This is like the old br800250. 2x heavy 2x short, down eye, shrimp hook/scud hook. This is like the 2487 hook. Heavy, use for nymphs, caddis or emergers. Very cool. $3.75 sizes 10-16 so far.
SL53UBL: say that with a mouth full of beer and I sure you will get slapped by hot looking fly tying babes around the world. New chemically sharpened salmon hook. Looped up eye, 2-3xl, Japaned black, similar to 7999. $8.00 sizes: 2,4,6,8
New Whiting Brahama hen marabou patch: Marbled gray/white/cream mix with nice tips. Use for wings, parachutes, as a spinner or for small emergers. Very nice. $6.00
Also yellow and hot orange for para posts you can see. Now tie down to 20 with a natural feather you can see/
Realllllllly Nice Yearling Elk or Coastal Deer Mega Patch. Nope "Going Coastal" is NOT what you do when you have a panic attack and want to hose down public officals! I had Rocky Mountain Dubbing pull these. Oh man, extra nice. I shouldn't sell them or I should sell them as a great sample for Craig Mathews to add to HIS wish list. Very nice hair, long patches/ 2" by 12". The baby elk is extra sweet and short about 1/4" long. Very nice tips. Will tie about 10,000 elk hair caddis from the front half of the patch alone. Elk is $15, coastal: $10 Makes a nice cat toy buy a bunch
Partridge Special: I have a ton of these. I found a flock in my back yard and my dog went nuts. I went out back and picked up the hides she cleaned for me. No actually, these came from a game farm out west. Nice hun pelts, a bit smaller than my nice UK pelts. 2 for $25 or $15 each. I can pull a male or female.
Great golden pheasant bodies are back. No head, no tails, just the bodies, use for salmon, spey, shrimp or prawn patterns. $3.50
Pheasant tails: Full tails like 15" -20" long. Entire clump. Use for pheas tail nymphs. Natural only. $3.50 each or 2 for $6.00
Dean Child's Wasatch Custom Angling Lanyard: American made, using some kind of survivalist cord ( I suspect Dean clipped the ropes off some Hyde Boat anchors on the Green for the ropes, so if you see any loose boats with no anchors or ropes, ask him hehehehe. ). Anyway, really cool, great for kick boaters and float tubers. Holds a mess of tools on snap locks. Tan cord with blue and some gold. Get a free micro fly box with/tub bottom/2 slots and a free nail knot tool. $20.00 Wow! what a deal
No fishing it sucks. Due to floods, a crapload of snow. If you want to fish, go to Mexico. Actually some diehards are going to Salmon River and steelheading. Saw some nice pictures. Milikan Station is open on lake and some lakers are hitting.
For more Info Contact:
Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068