Billy Mitchell podcast: Steve Culton talks fly fishing

For your listening pleasure, a 50-minute podcast featuring yours truly. I haven’t heard it yet, but I am boldly going forward and posting the link. Here’s what Mr. Mitchell had to say about it: “We talk (the sometimes technical) trout fishing on the Farmington, catching stripers on the fly year-round, and using THE FORCE to find fish.”

You can listen to it here.

He speaks!

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Happy Monday and other items of minor interest

Greetings, fellow reader. Just a note to say hello, give some thanks, and update you on current(seams) events.

I had a blast tying at the CFFA Expo on Saturday. Many thanks to those who gathered ’round my vise, said hello, and asked questions. I escaped the show with a just a patch of opossum fur and a bag o’ tungsten beads. Hopefully you found the treasure you were looking for.

Next up: “Trout Flies for Local Rivers” Tying Demo, Saturday, March 31, 10am-2pm at The Compleat Angler, Darien, CT.  I’ll be tying some of my favorite patterns: wets, dries, nymphs, and streamers, from traditional classics to new designs. These are all high-confidence, proven flies, and I’ll also discuss how and when I like to fish them. For directions and stuff, visit the CA website.

I may also be doing a class at UpCountry. I’ll let you know if that happens.

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Hey, we’re getting close to 600 followers! Once we get there, we’ll do our traditional  fly giveaway. 

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I’m starting to get a lot of inquiries for guiding on the Farmington this spring. As usual, my schedule will be tight with other commitments, and weekends will almost always be out. If you have your mind set on a certain date, that’s fine, but if I were you I’d wait a few weeks to see how the spring shakes out. Remember, the Farmy fishes well year round, so there are plenty of options as we move through April, May, June, July, and beyond. I’ve also had some interest in small stream and striper outings. Those are doable as well. If you want to discuss any of this, please send me an email or call me. You can find my contact info here.

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Finally, the word machine is humming along. I have pieces in the pipeline for American Angler, Field & Stream, Fly Tyer, and more. Stay tuned. And thanks for your loyal support!

Before you know it, you’ll be able to stick your hand in the water without it flash-freezing.

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Impressions from a tying demo

Here are a few things from yesterday’s tying demo at the Compleat Angler that are top of mind with me this snowy afternoon:

Wet flies tied in the North Country style are admired both for their simplicity and bugginess. (And trout like them, too.) By the way, group, I was wrong about the Snipe and Purple: the feather in the hackle is not an under covert, it’s from the top of the wing. Nonetheless, I’ll fish that fly with its horrible botched head and catch a trout.

It’s amazing how you can change the energy of a fly simply by altering the color of the hackle. Two Partridge and Light Cahills, the same but different.

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The more I use the rotodubber, the more I like it for fur hackles. Like the NoCo spiders, people gravitate toward the Squirrel and Ginger, and with good reason. It’s one of my most consistent producers.

No two Usuals I tie seem to come out the same.

Confidence catches fish.

I really enjoy the questions and discussions during a demo, both fishing and tying related. I’m humbled — and grateful — that people take the time to come out and connect with me. Thanks to everyone who showed up, and thanks to the Compleat Angler for being such swell hosts.

By the way, I was impressed by the shop’s selection of hackles — and fly tying materials in general. Lots of wonderful wet fly capes in stock, and I left with a lovely Light Ginger hen neck. Check them out at 541 Post Road in Darien, CT.

Marabou adds a little magic to any fly. All that’s missing on this Deep Threat is the Ice Dub collar. Thanks for the photo, Mina.

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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.

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So much depends upon a gold and silver rotodubbing tool…

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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.

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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.

New event added: “Farmington River Favorites” Tying Demo at The Compleat Angler, 2/11/17.

My friends at The Compleat Angler in Darien, CT, have invited me back for their winter tying series. (I must be doing something right. Or at least not sucking at it.) I added the information to the appearances post I made the other day. You can read all about it here.

Tying up a storm at a previous Compleat Angler event.

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