I had anticipated driving down to the Catskills on Friday afternoon to rendezvous with some old friends and drink a few beers before Troutoberfest.As life would have it, I needed to use my Friday night to catch up on some last minute fly tying business.Here is how my Friday into Saturday went.I was up at 5:00am, at the real job by 6:00am, back home to get the kids off the bus by 2:30pm, off on a microbrew quest to Rochester, NY for a friend until 6:00pm, start fly tying at 8:00pm, pack the fly tying gear at 11:30pm, in bed by 12:30am, up at 5:00am to hit the road for the Catskills.Needless to say it was a busy start to the weekend but I was in the right mind set and looking forward to tying and chatting with the folks who were at the Beaverkill Angler in not-so- sunny Roscoe, NY.
I made it to the shop early and got set up to tie and we were off to the races.Not long after I was getting things set up, fellow tier Johnny King arrived to tie next to me.If you have not seen Johnny King’s work I highly recommend that you do.He has a greatlevel of skill in both fresh and salt water realms. His comfort level behind the vise and in front of people is infectious and a pleasure to experience firsthand.The demo from my perspective went well and there was a nice steady flow of people in the morning.Loren Williams of Fly Guy’s Guide Service drew in people to his talks on traveling , fly fishing, and steelheading.I was able to relax and tie an assortment of soft hackles and some steelhead flies.I was surprised at the number of folks who were just learning or fairly new to fly tying and wanting to learn more.One of the neat things was to meet a follower of my blog whom I had not met previously.We talked about tube flies a bit.I’m going to try to incorporate a tubes into a demo in the near future.The free burgers and hot dogs were a perfect way to break away from the tying.By early afternoon the crowds had thinned a bit and I took the opportunity to pack up and make room for Loren Williams to tie a bit.That means time to hit some water.After consulting with shop owner Evan Lavery and shop manager Matt Nelson on where to prospect for line tuggers, my buddies and I set off.As my buddies and I geared up I gave each of them a different fly that I had tied at the demo.The first spot just didn’t have the right vibe for me, but my buddy Matt had come around and said he scored a brown trout on the fly I gave him.
I joked that I needed it back right away and that I had given him the wrong one.We moved to another spot and I felt the presence of fish in the cool afternoon weather.I had it in my mind that I wasn’t leaving this spot until I moved a fish.I tied on an experimental fly that I had whipped up late Friday to see if bright and flashy would move a fish. It did, but I lost the fish as quickly as the strike came.Then I moveddown a bit and connected with a cookie cutter brown, but I was happy to say the least.
Eventually my buddy Eric worked his way down and I told him to go back through and fish the run I had just fished.He did so and about ten minutes later he was into a fish of his own.Come to find out he caught the fish on the other fly I had done at the morning demo.
For me this was a huge reward.Three fish, three friends, and three different flies that I had tied.We headed to the cabin for a night that got real fuzzy in the memory, but lasting in the friendship.There is a lot to be said about good friends, good music, good homebrew, and good microbrew (Naked Dove’s 45 fathoms porter and hopulus localus mixed).I spent Sunday morning licking my wounds and preparing for the drive home.I fished the West Branch of the Delaware with no fish, but the time on the water eased my aching cerebelum.