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Thread: How did you get your start and who would you like to thank

  1. #1
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default How did you get your start and who would you like to thank

    After sitting way to long again at -45 at my tying desk most of the day creating semi-crappy cold weather flies :-) Things like the scrap nymph! Blend up what was left of my Polar Flash multiple colors and trimming down a couple of old Hares Ear Mask and making modified Princes / fuzzy numphs my mind was wandering around during and between hockey games and dz NUMMMM-Ber 12 for the day I starting thinking of al those people who helped me with this bad idea of saving money.

    After about 30 minutes I remember how blessed I have been concerning the great sport of fly fishing and those who had taught me first to fly fish and then to tie flies.

    I can first blame my father all the way back to 2nd grade when he brought home a super nice Fenwick dual purpose fly rod it had an insert into a large rod and I was like wow! Of course I never got to touch it but Wow! Then when I was about 13 my brother started fly fishing for blue gills an bass nothing like a sibling on sibling battle to learn more. When I turned 17 my father made the fatal mistake of purchasing a bunch of used fly tying equipment and again I was just dumb enough to say heck I want to know more more more. So Thank you Joe and Pat for making me a poor man I hope all those free flies over the years for you and your friends at least cover a down payment for lifes lessons.

    Skip to age 20 and I was in the Aire Force and living in Marquette and as dumb luck would have it I found my-self hanging out with the wrong crowd and they were just slow enough to have the door open and I got my foot in before it closed. I could not have had a better group of mentors for step II concerning my stupidity. Ken Bray, Art Abrahmson, Ronnie Powell, Billy D., Young John Peterson and John Peterson thanks for making me stop bumbing flies and teaching me the correct way! As one of my fishing partners use to say a fly for me is a fly for free!!! Well heck that did not last long with those guys. I can't thank you enough for the lessons in fishing, travel, sportsmanship and camping. Ken I told you I culd stitch you into your sleeeping bad and you would never know till the morning. Thank you for letting me be a moment in your life and I am glad I made you smile, laugh and tell the story to at least 10,000 people while hanging off that tree limb trying to get my Lady Beaverkill back then falling in the river! Thank you for introducing me to Fred and Bill Warra as well as Bill Nault and Mr. Vol.

    Skip to age 29 - Mark Wilfore, John and Ken Smith Tyers of the round table and expensive Beer! What a joy to learn Hair Wing Traditional flies, catching Atlantac Salmon, and learning yes they do rise to a molted wet Hendrickson and yes you can be caught on TV because some darn Weather Idiot from the local TV Station with a Camera wanted to show the world how wonderful the Spring Day was when your suppose to be sick at home. Mark - unreal and thank you for one upping me with the HMS now known as the Orvis Stone Fly Bugger had a great time with the 7 wing cases and 7 sets of legs not to mention the 1/2 oz of lead Grrrr. Seriously What a joy and a learning curve on creation and presentation.

    19 years later I have spent way to many hours not thanking enough people. I have met so many wonerful people and shared so much with so many. Last year I got to sit down with Jim Teeny what a great person and class act and again I learned something new so thank you Jim. Hope to see you this Spring at the show.

    For all of you with this Forum thank you for sharing your art work we are blessed to have this avenue to share patterns and ideas!

    Regards

    Richard "Moose" Mousseau
    BMR.

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    What a great question topic -

    Personally, I have Muzzy, here on the forums, to thank. He introduced me to fly fishing, introduced me to this forum, and convinced me that I would save money by the fistful if I started tying my own flies... He was also patient enough to spend the first few hours at my $30 vice with me walking me through my first fly (an olive Wolly Bugger, of course.)

    Fast forward a few years later, and this is actually something I gave some thought to today - the person who has done the most for my fly tying, as I'm sure he has for others, is George Riddle.. I learn something new every time we tie and watching him tie makes me want to be a better tier... He was also responsible for the sickness in me that was the need to own a nor-vise, and owning that vise has elevated and inspired my tying in ways I couldn't have anticipated.... (Sorry George, I don't mean to call you out! Just giving credit where credit is due )
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Thanks Cube for the kind words, your skills belie you tenure as a tier as the participants of the fly swap you are involved in will attest.

    My introduction to tying was this: As a tween my father got me a cheap (tin) vice kit with poor instructions and I tried to tie one fly and it wasn't so much a representation of anything and glop on a hook. After many years and into young adulthood I was working for Wien Air Alaska in King Salmon when in the belly of the plane I felt a sting on my knee. Looked down and someone's baggage had spilled some hooks on the floor and one found my knee. I gathered up what hooks were there and after the flight I decided to start tying.

    Now growing up in the bush all we had was "Cabela's" and that took too long to put this off so as McGyver (1st season) was my favorite show and this was long before it made it was even aired, I went about fashioning my own vise. This is the story I tell all my intro to fly tying students. I took a 1x2, whittled it to a point then nailed it (because this was before Makita) to the side of the bench at work and split the point down a bit. I would then take the hook and place it in the split and use heavy twine to wrap around the wood to hold the hook somewhat. I would then rob my wife's sewing thread and yarn then pluck feathers from the feather duster and tie up some wooly worms. I still have one of my first creations that worked and if I find it I will post a photo.

    I was sooooo ecstatic about catching trout on my own creations I was hooked for life and Moose is correct, if you think you will save money by tying you are sadly mistaken. It is a great way to spend time and create as well as somewhat support the associated addictions...

    George

  4. #4

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    I can thank my granddad. He started me on fly rods in 1956. It was a cheap bamboo flyrod with an old "automatic" reel, with the target being bluegill. Through his kind attention and very willing fish I was hooked.

    In 1958 he helped me tie my first fly, and I've been doing it ever since. Lotta destinations and fish species have passed under the bridge since, but I still have soft spot for bluegill. It may sound crazy, but I've spent thousands and traveled thousands from the wonders of Alaska fishing, just to have a rematch with those great little fish.

    Now I'm passing it on, teaching my granddaughter to fly fish last year, and starting this summer to tie her own flies.

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    Member 900fusion's Avatar
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    I was introduced to fishing at the ripe ole age of 3 by my grandfather. He use to wake me up at 2 or 3 in the morning to go for walleyes in the dark. as time went by and the more into fishing i got i was seduced by T.V. shows and watching people catch huge meal heads and browns on flies. Being i didnt have a job at that time (8yrs old) i couldnt just go and buy flies whenever i wanted so upon asking my grandfather for some money to go the local mom and pop bait shack i was in awe by the patterns i would soon be trying to duplicate. So i purchaced a cheap vise some eagle claw hooks and yarn. I was in heaven. the first fly that left the vise after many failed attempts was a peach glo bug. i just couldnt figure out how to keep the thread on the hook. I then started to tie buggers and nymphs. The first fish to take my fly was a whopping 11 inch largemouth bass. I was hooked. Then before you know it i was chasing trout. It took me a while before i got the help i needed but its the one day ill never forget. I was down at the local steelhead river trying my hardest to catch a steelhead with the hiddious flies i tied. After watching several fish being landed and released i was getting dicouraged, So i headed up to the park bench and had a seat paying attention to every cast as to try and figure out what they were using (was appehensive to ask). That is when it all changed for me. I use to carry my vise and some material in my backpack so i could tie up more flies when i had lost all the ones already tied. I took out the vise and stated to tie. A older man walked up to me and asked what i was tying i replied with i dunno. He then reached into his vest and pulled out a fly box and gave me a odd-looking fly. I looked at him with a puzzled look and said what is that. He replied with "sucker spawn". After examining the fly and a few words i couldnt figure out how to tie it. It was then he gave me a lession in fly-tying. Paying attention to every step i finally had my first tried and true clinton river fly. I sat there and tied up a dozen and thanked the man. He said no problem and off he went back to fishing. So with a new high i headed back down to the river with huge confidence. I casted and casted to no evail, just as i was about to give up wham my drag went a singing, i had my first metal-head a whopping 18 inches long. I couldnt believe it I ran to where i last seen the man to thank him but he was gone. Sadly i never got his name nor would i see him again.

    As the years went by ive had the pleasure to meet some very nice people willing to help. Most of all, thru my experience its has come by the way of forums. especially this one hence why im on it so much. So to everyone on here that has gave me tips and advise Thank you.
    -Tight Lines & head shakin

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Those are some great stories I hope and trust others will chime in. I would like to thank a couple of other to include Bob E from the original Hook and Hackle and Fran Betters both quality gents who taught life lessons well. Tight Lines.

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    My start was with Project Healing Waters-Alaska. They helped me and my service dog cross the ferry and fish the Russian. It was not only their assistance to me, but the assistance to my son who was also with me. I now go to the weekly Fly tying sessions at VA, casting class this Wednesday to learn how to use my sage flight 9wt. for salmon, and also have ordered a nor-vice to pass some time in between classes. Although I am a serious ugly fly tyer I have taken the hobby up to increase the dexterity in my hand..Always looking for ways to get better though.

    Ohh, got to thank Laura Orr and Mike Henrie.... A big shout out the folks that volunteer for this great cause ..

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    Member 900fusion's Avatar
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    Where are these classes held I would love to give up some of my time to help teach fly tying
    -Tight Lines & head shakin

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    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    va on muldoon wednesdays at 400-6pm

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    ret25yo,
    I am a Nor-Vise user and would love to show tips on this vise should you need it. Let me know if you wish to get together and spin the vise together.

    Nor-Vise, a change in life for the better...

    George

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ret25yo View Post
    My start was with Project Healing Waters-Alaska. They helped me and my service dog cross the ferry and fish the Russian. It was not only their assistance to me, but the assistance to my son who was also with me. I now go to the weekly Fly tying sessions at VA, casting class this Wednesday to learn how to use my sage flight 9wt. for salmon, and also have ordered a nor-vice to pass some time in between classes. Although I am a serious ugly fly tyer I have taken the hobby up to increase the dexterity in my hand..Always looking for ways to get better though.

    Ohh, got to thank Laura Orr and Mike Henrie.... A big shout out the folks that volunteer for this great cause ..
    From one CIB pinned grunt to another, what are the eligibility requirements of that program? I'm sure there are more than a few of us on here that qualify for it.

    PM me if it's not appropriate for the public forum.
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    Project Healing Waters is dedicated to the emotional and physical rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing. PHW was founded in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Phw uses Fly Tying workshops and Fly Fishing outings as therapies to help Wounded Warriors recover from their physical and emotional injuries. To accomplish our mission in Alaska, PHW has partnered with Alaska Fly Fishers (AFF). Together we provide monthly Fly Tying Classes, Fly Casting Instruction, Fly Fishing Seminars, and guided Fly Fishing Trips for participants and their families.

    They have alot of activities in the spring/summer/ and fall.. There are multiple volunteers that help to assist the disabled vet be able to tie.. please feel free to post and volunteer or just find a way to be involved. Ive gone on trips as a disabled vet, as well as an helper.. any help is greatly appreciated..

    George, I'd love to get tips and advise. would love to spin a tie or two ( after 3 weeks, I was able to tie my first "acceptable" fish catching fly..) so I know I have lots to learn and look forward to finding additional ways to adapt my disability into successful fly tying


    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Proje...975528?sk=wall

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Healing-Waters-Alaska/123753750975528?sk=wall


    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    This is a great idea for a thread, Moose. It's really interested to hear how people get into tying flies, and it's honestly been a while since I looked back and reflected on how I became so hooked on it.

    I got my first vise when I was 6 years old. I had started raiding my mom's sewing supplies and fashioning embroidery thread and yarn to whatever hooks I could get my hands on - finally my folks took pity on me and bought me a starter fly tying kit from Cabelas. My father patiently sat with me was we learned the basics of hackle, chenille, peacock herls, and all the basics that would form a 23-year and counting love for the craft. At that time "fly fishing" entailed tying a fly on 3 feet behind a plastic bubble and casting it out with my Zebco 33 combo. (My first fly rod wouldn't come for another two years.) My first flies consisted of some incredibly crude impersonations of renegades, hornbergs, woolly worms, and the like. I do recall them catching fish, though.

    I continued to tie all through my childhood, keeping my dad, brother, and myself in stock. By middle school I was teaching a few friends to tie, and we'd get together in evenings to tie flies and chat about life. By highschool I was selling flies to order for most of my dad's friends. I kept that up for a few years, but found that the more fly tying seemed like a job the less I enjoyed it. By college life was getting pretty busy and I'd completely cut out tying for cash, instead simply giving flies to friends when I had time to sit at a vise to show my appreciation for all the random fur and feathers folks had directed to me over the years.

    Most of my tying skills were self taught based on trial and error, what books I could get my hands on, and a few tips from my friends - thanks go out to Tim, Ian and Josh (though they'll doubtfully ever see this). I spent a few years involved with the University Flycasters at the University of Wyoming and definitely learned a few things there as well.

    As for thanks, they should first go to my dad for fostering a lifelong passion for fishing, hunting, and the outdoors and to my loving mother for putting up with my dragging all manners of dead animals, bird parts, and roadkill through the house over the years.

    Thanks to my girlfriend who puts up with me taking over a room of the house with fly tying materials all winter long, ignores the various hides and skins I've usually got drying in the garage, and in general still acts like I'm a sane, normal human being even if I spend all night playing with feathers.

    Thanks to my buddy Matt out in New York for keeping me in supply with wood duck, mallard, and goose feathers.

    Thanks to my buddy Will for delivering a washing machine box of his dad's old tying supplies.

    And thanks to Joe (joefish00000) who reminds me what it's like to be young.

    23 years at the vise and counting...

    Rich
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Thanks to Bill England...

    who taught a class at Mt View Sports. A half dozen of us including my daughter, 12 at the time, learned in two half-day sessions the techniques needed to tie a few basic flies. And just in time. Deployed a few months later, tying was the perfect hobby in Baghdad. I came home 200 flies later. The skills (using the term loosely here) have served us well... many fish later. We still love fishing together, though at her age she isn't tying much. That satisfaction of landing a fish caught on your own fly adds one more special thing to the time spent on streams.

    Good thread, Moose!

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    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    now, I have to thank Damon, from the Alaska Fly Fisher .. He spent over an hour helping me work on my casting skills. his patience is incredible. even I got pretty frustrated casting or attempting to cast and reel with my disability, but we worked together to overcome the challenges and ended up with a steady 50ft cast on target. I will still need to work on my roll cast. He also enabled me to purchase a nor-vise that will effectively help me overcome tying without two hands.

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    "Outdoor Life"! When I was growing up down south I used to read the stories about fly fishing for trout and salmon in cold northern waters. As soon as I was old enough to earn some money, I went to the local hardware store and got a split bamboo rod and fly reel complete with L8F line, re-read the articles on casting, and started practicing on bass and panfish in small lakes and farm ponds in the area south of Atlanta where I lived at the time. Although I caught a lot of southern fishes on fly through the years, and even a few trout, I would have to say that the folks at the fly shop in Great Falls, MT in the early 80s gave my fly fishing skills a big boost at every level and introduced me to Jack Dennis's Western Trout Flies, which I still have. Wish I could remember the name of the fly shop, but it was the only one in town at the time, nice folks who gave good tips and advice freely.

    Outdoor Life - when I arrived in Montana, I couldn't wait to get out and fish some of those mountain streams. I went to the store, bought a few flies and a map, picked a spot and off I went. I parked the wagon where a bridge crossed the creek and walked to the first pool where I started casting the flies I had bought. The third fly was a Tellico Nymph and I finally got a rainbow. I started wading and catching rainbows on the nymph, missing more than I caught, and actually waded up behind trout holding in the water. A beautiful day, the mountain air, a sparkling stream loaded with trout - I was living the dream.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Jimmy C. Tellico Nymph oh back in the day standard fishing even back in Mich for Brook Trout. You know that works up here as well Spring Time. :-)

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    My pleasure, BlueMoose. I've been here reading for a while and thought it was time I joined in.

    Tellico Nymph - it was the yellow. I fished that stream a lot and that particular stretch of water was a favorite, not just for the trout but also for the remnants of the little community that was once there: a bit of the train station, the old saloon, a section of the smelter where they would turn the gold from upstream into ingots.

    Better than the Tellico was the Montana Nymph. Sofa Pillows, and Joe's Hopper were all productive. There was a big Golden Stonefly hatch every year and lot's of caddis. Elk hair caddis and humpies would work well, especially if they had yellow bodies. Smaller wets and nymphs would catch mountain whitefish as well as rainbows. I put in a lot of time at the tying bench in those days; between trees, shrubbery, and light tippets, the fly mortality rate was pretty high.

    Jim

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    Member 900fusion's Avatar
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    Hey moose when were you stationed at K.I.
    -Tight Lines & head shakin

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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 900fusion View Post
    Hey moose when were you stationed at K.I.
    "...On the road to Gwinn, just cant seem to find the road to Gwinn, happens every time I go drinking with my friends. Just can't seem to find the road to Gwinn..." -Da Yoopers-
    -to the tune of "on the road again" by Willie Nelson

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