Monday, June 11, 2012

Catskill Trip June 2012 (Part One: Fly Tying)

I've been trying to do an annual trip to the Catskills in early June for the past few years. The goal of each trip is to do a fly tying demo, some fishing, and connect with friends old and new. This year gave me plenty of options to tie at: The Beaverkill Angler Fly Shop, The Mayfly Club, and the International Brotherhood of the Flymph (IBOF) . I opted for the Mayfly Club since the plans hadn't been finalized for the IBOF at the time. This was really a great time to be in the area with a ton of talented people all around. My Friday ride down was filled with some fishing, a visit to the Beaverkill Angler where I ran into IBOF guru and leader Mark Libertone where we agreed to meet on Saturday when we could. Friday evening lead into libations, great food, tremendous friends, and bass fishing at dark with helicopter sized Green Drakes taking flight. Saturday morning brought a polar plunge into the same bass infested lake to erase the previous nights cerebral pulses. As rain showers filled the sky I was excited for a good fly tying demo crowd. I stopped by the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum to wish the IBOF members a good tying event and was fortunate enough to meet William Anderson and Lance Hidy. I trucked it on up to the Riverside Cafe on the banks of the Beaverkill in Horton, NY to set up with the Mayfly Club members. This was kind of a special treat for me, since the first fly tying demo I ever attended as a spectator was the Mayfly Club a few too many years back. The Riverside is a great little lodge and restaurant that literally overlooks the Beaverkill. This is a quaint location to say the least and I considered it an honor to be able to tie there. I could run through all the names of folks I encountered, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The two tiers I will mention are Val Kropiwnicki and Don Bastain. Val takes fly tying so far outside the box that it his creations are in my opinion are nothing short of masterful. I had a great time chatting and learning a bit more about him. His website is . Don Bastain is to say the least a master wet fly tier and historian. Don is very thorough in his execution at the vise, every step has a reason behind it, and every fly has some historical content wrapped into it. My favorite comment from Don was, "I didn't recognize you without the hackles in your hair". As the afternoon took shape, I slipped out of the demo a bit early and ran back over to meet the IBOF gang one more time where I had the pleasure of seeing Jim Slattery and Ray Tucker. Jim is the other half of the IBOF leadership and Jim's Fly Co. . Ray has been a friend for some time now and he always makes to my demos at the Oak Orchard Fly Shop. Ray has a tremendous amount of talent and a niceness in personality that makes seeing him a delightful experience. I was lucky enough to watch Ray explain how to use Mitch's bobbin whirler first hand. I have to say I'm sold on these. Passion is an understatement for all those I encountered and I'm grateful for every experience I get. The fishing side of this trip will follow soon. Don Bastain Fishy Fullum & Ted Pattlen Joe Fox & Jim Froio Bruce Corwin Bruce Corwin Spider Val Kropiwnicki Fly Ted wishin he was fishin' Myself behind the glass May Fly Signatures My creations Welcome Sign Hidy Art Mark Libertone & Jim Slattery William Anderson & Lance Hidy Ray Tucker A great weekend and a great assortment of tiers....time to bring it all home.

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