Show and Tell

It’s no secret that I love the CFFA Show. Saturday reminded me why it’s the best little fly fishing show around.

The Baranowski boys, Tommy and Matt (two very talented tyers and anglers) were seated to my left on tyer’s row. After watching me painstakingly create a dubbing loop of squirrel fur, Matt asked if I’d ever used a rotodubber. No, so I borrowed his. Ka-ching! Never mind that crap about old dogs and new tricks. I now own one. So thanks, dude. I also left with some ringtail, a few beads, and Robert Smith’s book The North Country Fly. Many thanks to the CFFA for inviting me to tie (and thanks, Dick, for the flies and the feathers, and Alton for the cigar).

Most of all, thanks to everyone who took the time to stop by and chat and ask questions. I appreciate your loyalty and your readership.

Matty at the vise. That’s steelheader extraordinaire Stan Otlowski in the background.



So much depends upon a gold and silver rotodubbing tool…



Sunday was my tying class, “Farmington River Favorites,” at UpCountry Sportfishing in New Hartford. A very enthusiastic group came armed with good questions and nimble fingers. We covered a broad range of patterns and techniques, and I want to thank the class for making my job as an instructor easy.

The sign could say, “Men and Women Working.” Thanks to Torrey Collins for the photo.


Coming up this week:

“The West Branch of the Farmington River,” Wednesday, February 8, at East Jersey TU, Rochelle Park, NJ. Have Farmington River enthusiasm, will travel. For more information, visit the EJTU website.

“Farmington River Favorites” Tying Demo, Saturday, February 11, 10am-2pm at The Compleat Angler, Darien, CT.  At this demo, I’ll be tying some of my favorite patterns for the Farmington River. There will be a little bit of everything: wets, dries, nymphs, and streamers, from traditional classics to new designs. These are all high-confidence, proven patterns, and I’ll also discuss how and when I like to fish them. For directions and stuff, visit the CA website.

11 comments on “Show and Tell

  1. Alton Blodgett says:

    You’re more than welcome for the cigar Steve. Thanks for another lesson on taming the squirrel and ginger!

  2. Rowan Lytle says:

    Huh… totally missed you Saturday. Expos are always just sensory overload. I left with a very nice Jungle Cock cape, now I can take my flatwings up a level. I know they aren’t necessary but boy do they look sexy!

    • Steve Culton says:

      They dress a flatwing up nicely. I think they pop more than any ultra-realistic 3D eye.

    • Alton Blodgett says:


      Is that rotodubber you bought the regular one with the y-shaped end, the split wire end or the elite version: ?

      And were you able to use the tool to wind the dubbing rope on the hook or did you have to transfer the loop to a hackle plier?



      • Steve Culton says:

        It’s the middle one, the split wire, just like in the photo in the post. Yup, you just twist and wrap using the tool. I thought it was a marvelous piece of engineering. Of course, you still need to use the right wax and dub the squirrel fur sparse!

      • Alton Blodgett says:

        Thanks Steve. I am trying to determine the benefits/detriments of the split wire version like yours vs. the Y-wire version.

        My Renzetti Traveler isn’t too tall clearance -wise and I wondered if I’d have enough room to use the split wire tool (unless the tool can be held in a horizontal position for wrapping the hook shank). I’m surmising (perhaps incorrectly) that when using the Y-wire tool hackle pliers could be used to transfer the completed dubbing loop to the pliers and then wound around the hook shank. Your thoughts or guidance here would be much appreciated. Thanks again.


      • Steve Culton says:

        I really don’t know what to tell you. (Sorry!) I haven’t used the Y-wire one. I can say that I have 4″ of clearance from the top of the tool to the jaws of my vice. But couldn’t you just hold the tool off to one side (that is, horizontally) when winding the loop? Transferring the thread (loop) to hackle pliers would be a pain as you’ll see when and if you get the one I have. Sorry I can’t help you more.

      • Alton Blodgett says:


        No, that is a help. So it sounds like you can use this split wire tool held in a horizontal position to wind the completed loop around the hook shank? I can see where, being springy, you’d have a hard time transferring the completed loop to the pliers.

        I was thinking that with the stiff Y-wire tool my EZ hackle pliers could clip onto the finished loop in that middle section of the Y for a hopefully easy transfer.


      • Steve Culton says:

        Let us know how you make out.

  3. Price says:


    Your support and enthusiasm are very much appreciated.

    Thanks for your help in making the CFFA Expo and Banquet reach 358 attendees and 155 for the Banquet.

    Dan Price, Publicity Chairperson

    Sent from my iPhone


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s