Monday, April 1, 2019

Quite A Party..........

Oh what a great time it was.................😁
The annual East Idaho Fly Tying Expo was another great success for everyone who participated - organizers, volunteers, vendors, and of course, tyers.

Coming home and looking back, now I realize I had had adrenaline surge since we got to the venue - which means I felt exhausted immediately all programs were marked off😓. That was because I took a workshop with one of the most skilled tyers as well as the greatest instructors in the world😲.
These are NOT my flies❗❗
 We worked on this pattern. How did I do? Ahhhhhh😅

On Day 1, Friday, March 29th, I conducted my own workshop - the topic was to tie elegant yet practical fishing flies for Steelhead and Salmon. Unfortunately my wifey was too busy on her own to come over and snap pictures for me. I even forgot to take pictures of flies we completed. Anyways it was very fulfilling and intense class for both instructor and students. Especially for me as an instructor, it was very meaningful in many ways.

Immediately after, my mentor conducted a very educational presentation at Tying Theater😲.

Then it was my cue😎. I traveled with frames I made through winter. And as I did last year, I tied one & only full-dress Atlantic Salmon Fly for the session.
I sincerely appreciate all the audience who stopped by and even spent with me through whole process🙇
Due to the unusual circumstance, compared to my own tying room in my house, I might have rushed a bit. This is the finished Powell's Fancy (G.M. Kelson).  I gave to a person who sat with me from the very beginning.

Day 2, Saturday, March 30th, was even busier😆
Wifey ran her own educational booth and our little one 👶 was with her most of time.
Ours will soon be one of them😊

 My session was again in the afternoon and again quite busy with good audience🙇🙏
I ran and managed time a bit better than Day 1. With some difficulties and mistakes, here's the finished Green Highlander (G.M. Kelson)😏 Also this was given to a young man who sat with me from the very beginning to the end.

Of course, there are some other reasons this Expo is our favorite annual destination.
This time, we tried Stockman's Steakhouse😋
Need I say more😋😋😋😋

 Although we didn't win these premium raffle or auction items,
Wifey had very good luck with her raffles and won something funny😉😊

Seriously I don't think there are so many events that host so many renowned tyers like this Expo.
Expo organizers have great visions and commitment to make this event happen every year. I hope it will go on year after year and I hope to be invited again and meet and interact with great tyers.
Till then👋

Sunday, March 24, 2019

YouTube Video Series

Here's the final upload of my YouTube Tying Series Winter 2018-19.


It started with constant uploads but somewhere in the middle, it slowed down and became choppy😟. So much going on in my personal life - that's a reason as well as excuse. I actually have a list of many flies to shoot, trust me!! But the real reasons are some conflicts and nagging thoughts in my mind.

1) It's about time to replace and invest on a new camera, however I don't see exactly what I want in the market right now.

2) I know and have learnt how to edit videos - up until now, as you've seen, it's been one-time shoot video. I like that way as that keeps me on my toes but maybe about time to edit more and make viewer-appealing videos. These reasons require lots of investments on time (and some money). Do I have that much time? Perhaps I could make but not every week........but in order to gain more viewership, I'd better more frequently.......

3) I've got some ideas of doing new stuffs other than trout flies.
A) Perhaps Atlantic salmon flies step-by-step = shoot and post one videos for a few steps, perhaps several videos to complete one fly.
B) Also the gallery of Atlantic salmon flies and frames.
C) Post some reading stuffs, i.e., articles I've written before. You know I've written many articles for my blog and Fly Anglers OnLine. And I know how to make those videos. Not just having you read on the screen, but also adding some drawings and pictures. Topics would vary: techniques, introduction of waterbodies, flies, gears, books, and so on. So, I don't want you to think - and this is the statement to myself - that I gave up on this video channel of mine. I started from total 0 = zero and now gained over 300 subscribers and some videos have been played over thousands times. These facts have been encouraging and I never mean to let down current subscribers and am ambitious to gain more subscribers. So, please take this season as the stepping-stone season or a period I'm hitting the "wall". I will come back strongly!!

Indeed for the thought 1), I seem to have found out what I want, along with how to rotate and assign gadgets on my life and needs.
If you have read this through, would you let me know what you'd like to see on comments?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

History of Fly-Fishing

WHOA😲What a serious title here❗❗
No..............I don't go that far. This is a post for the HEAVILY recommended book that I'm currently reading.

The picture says all: title, author, and the front cover, so I don't attach a link about the book or where to buy from. It's a widely published book so anyone can find it very easily (& with a very good price like I got👌).

So we all like fly-fishing = catching trout and tying flies. But have we thought about the history?

Where was it originated? - Macedonia? Roman Empire? China? Japan's Tenkara?
And how far back? - 3,000BC? 2,000BC? 200AD?
Who started? - Noble people? Peasants? Professional fishers?
How did it spread to Europe and Britain?
How did it expand in Britain and America?
What kind of fish were they catching? - Trout? Salmon?
Gears? - Rod?, Line?, Reel?
How did flies look like all those years? - Dry-flies? Wet-flies? Materials?
How did the gaudy Atlantic salmon flies evolve? - Apparently my top interest😏

This is a very well-written book that will explain and answer all of those topics by one of the most authoritative fly-fishing historians in the world👏 It's not overstating to say the BEST in this subject.
I can guarantee this book will help you be a better and knowledgeable angler. One may question and complain that this is not a practical fishing technique and how-to book, perhaps but it is. And I can tell you that I'm not reminiscing - the book wouldn't make you feel that way either.

Right now I'm reading chapters for the 19th century - Golden Age of Atlantic salmon flies is coming😁. There are so many things that I have learnt so far but going through all is beyond the scope & space of this blog post. So I'd like to mention only one, for now, that put me in an awe.
"In 17th century, they tied flies so they didn't have to look for and capture naturals (insects) as baits, or in case when they couldn't find or capture. And it's a part of fly-tying evolution" - this is my words, not a direct quote from the book. To me, this is quite a mind-boiling concept. Being told, quite making sense but have we thought about it?


February remain really cold - especially considering relatively easy-going December and January. I would wait for better conditions for fishing till later on - but not so long. So it's a great time to read and learn from books, teachers (such as this author), and our ancestors.
I may not be physically outdoors but seriously I'm fishing in my head😎❗❗

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Salmon Flies 2019

We have had a few snow storms but over all this winter has still been average = just cold and snow accumulation at our headwaters are just around average.

I've been primarily busy with my salmon fly projects. Here's one that has been going on since the end of last year.

I designed this😎 Although I don't mean to totally replace the previous colorful one, I just needed one that's much simpler and totally original.
And that's for a totally original item❗❗❗
My own outfitting logo hat has just been created👏👏👏❗❗❗❗
 As you can definitely tell from this picture, it sports a 4-inch long bill, that should offer me perfect shade while fishing!!

Inside is special too. It's lined with comfortable and cool & stain-minimizing mesh😁
Now my logo is a silhouette of a salmon fly😲
And the belt & buckle will adjust exactly for one's and each head😇

I'm sincerely glad that I did lots of researches and pondering.
I could have asked someone to design a logo but I really wanted to do on my own. Then, once the logo was made, there are so many styles of hats available, including much less expensive ones. But I wanted a hat that can be one of our important and essential gears while fly-fishing. The long bill style here is not just a distinctive appearance but also it does give us some more extra shade than regular hats😎.

Luckily I have a professional model right here😊


Now here are actual salmon flies😲 that I dressed since the last post.
Rocke's Fancy (G.M. Kelson)

Stevenson (G.M. Kelson)

Gitana (Major Traherne)
This is another elaborated Tarherne patterns😫 with so many feathers. But it's very rewarding when it was successfully wrapped up with a neat head😬

I have a few more patterns to dress and frame this season. In other words, I have to see the end of my salmon fly season😥😭

Saturday, December 29, 2018

'Tis The Season

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year🎄🎅🎉🎊
I have sent out a newsletter from my main website. If you have not joined, sign up or you let me know so you don't miss any future news and announcements from me😉

Also this is the season to be deeply engaged with Atlantic salmon flies and arts. Nowadays these tend to be published on social media = Instagram & Facebook = so if you haven't registered or found me yet, please do so and you'll get the latest updates ASAP😉

Also #2, I just conducted some major changes on my website. You know my other blog = fly catalog site. I moved all of my Atlantic Salmon Fly contents to my main website. I made a short update on my catalog site. Then if you go to my main website, you'll see all the improvements❗❗ 

As I have been doing for the past few years, I submitted my works to Livingston Center for Art & Culture. Items for this exhibition have grown to be an opportunity for me to show slightly unconventional, compared to traditional Atlantic salmon flies and framing methods. This time, both flies and framing methods are free-style and I decided to "go country"😲

Queen of Silver Dollar - an inspirational & interpretive dressing of the song by Emmylou Harris.


The Man in Black - an inspirational & interpretive dressing for Johnny Cash.





For both flies, I attached a laminated "artist note" about the concept. Feel free to ask!

Gaudy Fly - tied on a gold broach pin. Pattern itself is a very classic but dressing on a broach pin was the very first attempt😳. I tried to dress as Gaudy as I could, and managed the features of the pin💪👏

Presented in a showcase style box❗



Then I resumed my winter project. I completed George M. Kelson's "The Salmon Fly" Plate 4.
Here's a Bluebell (Traherne's)

Also Traherne's is The Chatterer


 This is one elaborated fly ever😲🙌👏


The Dandy. This is rather a simple whole-feather pattern yet very graceful. This is perhaps the smallest head I ever achieved👏


And here's the frame😬

I'm glad to get one done with a good note just at the year end😁❗
I'll keep working on GMK flies but no rush. I may work on one or two flies of Plate 5 but then I also have several more patterns I want to work on. So let's keep the artist mode running till spring😀

Till next post👋
I hope you all have a good year end and start😉

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Seattle Foodie & Olympic National Park Fishing

We had a super fantastic family trip to West Coast😁.
Although I once lived in Washington for a certain period of my life (you can look back my posts from 2009 and 2010), it was eastern part and I had any businesses or opportunities to visit western counterpart such as Ocean and cities like Seattle.

Although we're very content with our life in Montana or Yellowstone Country, we'd also like to enjoy what we don't have or what we can't do in our area. Our top list is nothing but enjoy seafood🍣🍤🍥🐟😋Our special interest was Poke Bowl. We chose to dine at FOB Poke Bar. With so many options and combinations, what we can order is limitless😲and not to mention very tasty😋
We next headed to Uwajimaya - a well-known Japanese & Asian grocery store. The Seattle one is the largest. We wish we could have tried those but just watching many items was fun enough.
Then we ordered, well, Poke bowls again from the seafood department. Those were again fresh & tasty😋
From our hotel, we could easily walk, with Sage in a stroller👶, to Pike Place Market. This was another place that just watching stores and items was enjoyable enough.
Now we had to try the world famous Pike Place Chowder. As each item looked oh-so-wonderful, we went with the sample plate😋

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
After we enjoyed all kinds of dead fish, we headed to Olympic National Park to see if we could meet live ones😏 We stayed at beautiful Kalaloch Lodge within ONP right along the Pacific Ocean. From there, we explored the area.

Before our trip, like any fishermen would do nowadays, I looked for information online. I had some very fresh surprises. There are not many information out there😲 unlike Montana or Yellowstone, really. There are only some outfitters and a few fly-shops in the area and not many books seem on the market either. That got me really curious. It's been a very while that I became a visiting fisher myself.

We tried from small creeks nearby our lodge.

Sage's first day on the stream with us👶😎
Ocean is just a step away!



I bet salmon and steelhead would swim up even to these small creeks during their peak season.
Next we headed to the main body of ONP into Hoh River surrounded by rain-forest.

This was quite a river and I had quite an experience. The Hoh is, with this flow, just about the size of Yellowstone River at the lower end closer to the Ocean. Upper river where we were was just about the half of Yellowstone River. Water seemed to have some color in it but water was actually clear. I think color is due to water ingredients (glacier fed) and river bottom contents.


Well, I hooked something......ah..........very little............😓
Sunset was beautiful over and down the Pacific😲

Since the lodge was so comfortable and also as we immediately fell in love with the area, we decided to extend our trip one more day. Renee and Sage got retired from fishing and decided to stay cozy at the lodge😊so I was on my own. On this day, I checked the very lower end of the Hoh, near the mouth.
The lower end was larger than the upper section, which made it hard for gears I had. In the afternoon, I decided to head back to the upper section again. On the way, I saw the region's unique Roosevelt Elk.

I again hooked something............ah...........very little. As the sun started to set behind tall rain-forest trees, I walked along the bank and tried to read structures. Then I saw something............ A giant fish swam right by me..............It didn't look like a trout-shape I'm used to. I bet it was more like Chinook........BTW, I do have one Chinook experience - see my old post😏

I kept on, at the last light, I felt something and this time it was hanging onto my line and fly😬
😂

As dada failed to catch proper trout, a trout aquarium in a gas station at St. Regis, MT was Sage's first trout experience👶😊

We quite enjoyed this trip and are already thinking about going back over there. Next time, more & serious fishing😬 and slightly less grocery shopping😅
Our quests for Steelhead and Pacific salmons will continue👍