With daytime temps finally reaching the 50's, 60's, and even, on occasion, the 70's, it's starting to get hard to remember the bitterly cold winter we just had. But those who attended the BC Flyfishers winter fly tying classes during those cold days are not likely to forget, especially when they use some of the fish-catching patterns they tied in class on Southern Tier waters.
Not even into its second year as a chapter, the BC Flyfishers launched a class in fly tying that began in January. The class was developed by board member and fly tyer, John Trainor, and was designed to be suitable for beginners and experienced tyers wanting to learn and improve techniques with a focus on tying fundamentals and the basics in tying wet flies, nymphs, streamers and dry flies. Besides some of the classic patterns, Trainor added productive patterns used by guides like Tim Barrett, Loren Williams and Ken Tutalo to his course.
This course was a serious "hands on" class and not a show and tell affair. Beginners received dedicated assistance of an experienced tyer sitting with them to accelerate the learning experience. The course also showed attendees where to find and use excellent “how to” and “step by step” fly-tying instruction available on the Internet. A CD was provided at the end of the course, containing all the class lessons, including internet links to many excellent fly tying sites and fly tying tutorials.
The class met over three months for a total of 6 classes. Each class featured complete fly tying materials in organized kits. The instructor for each class was seated front and center with a camera, laptop, and projector, so students could watch as each fly was tied. Instructional videos were also shown before each pattern was started so the instructor could give students an overview of the fly they were about to tie.
A variety of instructors were used for the class and they were all very good tyers. Following is the list of the instruction that was provided:
Lesson 1, Nymphs, (Tim Barrett, instructor). Patterns tied were the Pheasant Tail, Rainbow Warrior, and Ausable Ugly.
Lesson 2, Streamers, (Mike Maye, instructor). Patterns tied were the Wooly Bugger, Bunny Fly, Clouser Minnow, and the Leadwing Coachman.
Lesson 3, Caddis, (John Trainor, instructor). Patterns tied were the Ice Caddis, Barr’s Graphic Caddis, Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis, and LaFontain’s Sparkle/Emergent Pupa.
Lesson 4, Mayfly Dry Flies, (John Trainor, instructor). Patterns tied were the Rabbit Foot Emerger, Red Quill (Male Hendrickson), Comparadun (Hendrickson Female), and Rusty Spinner.
Lesson 5, Other Dry Flies, (Eric Tomosky, instructor). Patterns tied were the Royal Wulff, Stimulator, Madame-X, and Foam Body Ant (flying version).
Lesson 6, Steelhead flies and Advanced Techniques, (John Trainor, instructor). Patterns tied were the Glo Bug, Stonefly, Articulated String Leech, and Woven Stonefly.
Classes were well-attended. This included people who just showed up to watch the tying and listen to the instructors. Some patterns were more challenging than others, but the nice thing about the selection of patterns is that they all featured some aspect of fly tying that could be transferred to other flies. I was a student myself and felt the instruction was a fantastic value for $35. My favorite tie was the woven golden stonefly nymph.
Based on the great feedback received on this course, there's a high probability that fly tying classes will continue in the future. The BC Flyfishers chapter is working hard to expand membership and provide other value-added offerings such as fly fishing instruction, casting clinics, conservation outings, on-the-stream fishing events, and a guest speaker program at monthly chapter meetings.
Fly fishing usually starts with basics. Anglers gradually gain experience and as they do, begin to buy flies. Many eventually venture into fly tying, concluding at some point that they too, "can do this". With time, they experiment and find their flies sometimes work as well or better than those available for sale. It blossoms from there: another addiction, fun, camaraderie, and long evenings at the vise...
Washington Fly Fishing Fair May 1 & 2, 2015 Kittitas Valley
Event Center, Ellensburg, Washington
The Washington State Council
of the International Federation of Fly Fishers would like to invite you to
join us at our 9th Annual Washington Fly Fishing Fair in Ellensburg, WA
on May 1st & 2nd, 2015. Admission is free to IFFF members!
The Washington Fly Fishing Fair
will be held on May 1st and 2nd (Friday and Saturday), at the Kittitas
Valley Event Center and Fairgrounds in Ellensburg, WA. It's going to be a
great event! The Fair runs from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Friday and from
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. IFFF members and kids under the age of 16 get
in free, for everyone else the entry fee is $5.
This year's 2015 Fly Fishing Fair
FLY TYING DEMONSTRATIONS -
On Friday and Saturday, there will be over 75 fly tiers demonstrating their
favorite patterns. You'll not only see some beautiful tying, but you'll
also get a lesson on the habits of the critters they represent. All of our
talented fly tiers are excited to share their love of fly fishing and fly tying
with you. There isn't a bad seat in the house!
CASTING - On Friday and Saturday, There will be casting games
(including a nine-hole casting course), casting competitions, casting
demonstrations, and instructional workshops on casting one and two-handed rods.
On Saturday, there will be
special casting workshops, taught by some of the best casting instructor in the
Northwest, and designed by to be informative, fun, and to achieve some
advancement along the path to becoming a better fly fisherman. The workshops
cost $30 each.
Private 30-minute casting lessons,
taught by some of the best casting instructor in the Northwest, will be
available on Saturday. These private lessons can be reserved online, or
by signing up at the event; the cost is $15.
All instructors are certified by
the IFFF Casting Instructor Certification Program (CICP). Biographies of the
individual instructors are available on the Fly Fishing Fair registration site
and on the WSCIFFF website.
To register for the casting
workshops and the private lessons please go to the 2015 Fly Fishing Fair
electronic registration site (listed below). You can also get to the
registration site by going to the WSCIFFF website (also listed below).
FLY FISHING SEMINARS- Free
seminars will be offered on both Friday and Saturday. Spend some time listening
to the experts talk about how to succeed fishing familiar and exotic fly
YOUTH FLY FISHING WORKSHOP -
For kid’s ages 12 through 16, there will be an Introduction to Fly Fishing
Workshop on Saturday, May 2nd, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The workshop will
cover the basics of fly fishing and will include tying and casting instruction.
The Workshop fee ($40.00) and includes a fly rod and reel outfit and lunch.
Class size is limited to 20 participants.
AUCTIONS & RAFFLES -
There will be some great auctions (both silent and live) and raffles on Friday
and Saturday. Items include: fly selections; bamboo rods; custom built
rods; rod and reel outfits; reels, lines and leaders; fly tying materials; fly
tying tools; specialty baskets; fly fishing books; fishing trips; rare fly
plates; plus our Legends Fly Plate.
DINNER BANQUET & LIVE AUCTION - Friday evening, May 1st. Tickets can be reserved online until
April 26th. The cost is $35.
CAMPING - There is limited
camping (wet and dry) available on site. To reserve a spot go to the 2015
Fly Fishing Fair electronic registration site (listed below).
MOTELS & HOTELS - Many of
the motels and hotels in the Ellensburg area are offering special Fly Fishing
Fair rate packages. For a list of the motels and hotels providing
discounts, and their contact information, please go to the WSCIFFF website
To register, click on the link below to go to the 2015 Fly Fishing Fair
electronic registration site: