2020 finds the Irish Fly Fair being celebrated in a virtual format due to Covid. I will miss this year’s experience - the people I meet, the friends I see, the talent on display at each table, the techniques every one of us pick up … but happy to be with you all, even if by the marvels of modern technology!
Many of you know I've always been a creative person - I am a graphic designer and enjoy working with colors, textures, detail and the selection of materials. I sketch out every fly in detail and to the size of the hook I will be using - it helps me pay attention to proportion and how each piece will be shaped or curved. In my mind, I am able to walk through the steps of tying and think about the process before I sit down at the vise. The sketches are an aspect of tying that greatly helped me to improve. I always had a sketch to compare actual proportions to. As I began to settle into tying, it was the Atlantic Salmon Fly that intrigued me and held my fascination. I tie many Classics and appreciate their beauty, balance and proportion, but also enjoy spreading my wings into the Creative Salmon Fly arena where I can experiment with some of the more exotic feathers, but keep the design within the realm of classic elements.
I was invited to tie and be a presenter at ASFI 2016, which our club hosted in Seattle. I have since joined the Pro Staff for Lagartun, Ltd. I also was an invited tyer at ASFI 2018 in Miramichi, New Brunswick.I have also been a tyer the past 3 years at the BFFI in Stafford. Other noteworthy international shows I have taken part in during past years include the London Fly Fair, the Scottish Fly Fair, the EWF and the SIM Fly Festival. This year will find me tying at the BFFI, the Dutch Fly Fair and again at EWF, as well as other shows.
My classic and artistic fly tying was featured in the Winter 2016 issue of H20 Magazine (Italy) with an article and pictoral. I was also one of the featured tyers in the recently published “Nexxus” book about salmon and the art of the salmon fly.
I have been a guest tyer in Fairbanks, Alaska and exhibited at their gallery show. I also have been a demo tyer at Orvis, Bellevue, WA during the Bellevue Arts Fair. Travel is a highlight of my fly tying, seeing the different corners of the world, forging new friendships and seeing great friends in our common element. I look forward to the virtual format this year and hope to share my fly tying with you in person next year!
Evening Star & CopperScotch Fly Tying Sequences
A classic Traherne fly tying pattern, the Evening Star - and the CopperScotch, an original artistic design of my own. Both are featured in sequenced photos in this video which was produced for the Irish Fly Fair 2020, a virtual show, due to Covid restrictions.