A Busy April: Speaking Engagements and the Marlborough Fly Fishing Show!

It’s a busy month for me, between fishing and writing and speaking about fly fishing. Here are the details:

Monday, April 11: “The Little Things” with the Miami Valley Fly Fishers. This is a members-only Zoom. I mention it in case you’re the person in charge of finding a a speaker for your fly fishing club. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we can meet up even if we are geographically undesirable. Here’s a link to my current presentation menu. I’m really looking forward to making some new fishing friends in Ohio.

Tuesday, April 12: “The Little Things 2.0” with SEMASS TU, at the Mitchell Memorial Club in Middleboro, MA. This meeting is open to the public, so if you’re in the area, stop in and enjoy the show.

Thursday, April 21, “Tactical Advantage: Angler vs Trout” with FVTU, at the Back Nine Tavern in New Britain, CT. Another meeting that is open to the public, and a presentation that most people have not seen.

Friday-Sunday, April 22-23-24, The Fly Fishing Show, Marlborough, MA. On Friday 4/22 at 2:30pm, I’ll be the Featured Fly Tier. Come watch me tie up Spiders, Winged & Wingless Wets. (I had a blast doing this in Edison!) Don’t go away, because at 4:30pm I’m presenting my new seminar, Modern Wet Fly Strategies. I think this is my best program to date, and I’m counting on you to be there. Both are included with the price of your admission ticket. On Saturday 4/23 I have a class, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. This is a chance to get some basic tying instruction, along with tips on rigging and presentation, geared toward making you a dangerous wet fly machine. This is paid class; you have to pre-register to attend. I’m hoping to see plenty of currentseams readers at the show — please come say hello!

You can see me tie the Magic Fly, aka the Pale Watery Wingless, hear about how to fish it, and learn why it makes such a deadly sulphur imitation at the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough. Plus — need I say it? — tons more information on soft hackles, wet flies, and wet fly fishing.

Currentseams menu and minor content changes

I’ve been doing a little housekeeping on currentseams. The biggest visual change is the menu bar. If you’re on a laptop, you’ll see an expanded menu, shown below, that directly links to pages with essential information. If you’re on a phone, you’ll still have a drop-down menu, albeit a newly expanded one. My hope is that this makes everyone’s life easier.

“About” replaces “About Steve Culton — and Currentseams.” “Guide Trips/Lessons” replaces “Book a guide trip.” I’ve added “Book A Presentation” and “Contact.” “About” retains virtually the same content. Ditto “Guide Trips/Lessons,” which has updated rates; I’m hoping to add a one-page/one-side pdf checklist with basic information that clients can download. The “Book A Presentation” content has been reordered and partially re-written; I’m also hoping to add some more presentations before this fall. As always, I stand ready to help and answer questions.

Edison 2022 Redux: a great show, weather and Covid be damned

With the Edison Fly Fishing Show in the books, I thought it deserved a detailed re-cap. The bad news was that not only did the show have to contend with the still-looming specter of Covid, it lock had a double whammy of an incoming snowstorm Friday night into all day Saturday. The good news is that The Fly Fishing Show continues to be a tremendous experience regardless of what’s going on in the outside world. Where else can you meet and speak to and learn from some of the best tyers and anglers on the planet?

Being a risk-averse kind of guy, I wore my N95 mask both days, even when I was presenting. (I’d say the majority of people attending were masked.) The exhibitor turnout was smaller than usual. (Since I’m not a gear junkie, this didn’t really affect my experience. Give me the Keough booth and Badger Creek, both present this year, and I’m happy.) After a year’s hiatus, it was great to see old friends, and have the opportunity to make new ones. The Friday crowd was lighter than usual due to the impending storm. Saturday’s crowd was small, but surprisingly larger than I’d expected, what with much of the northeast locked down in a blizzard. Sunday was predictably busy, by far the best crowd of the weekend. Looking back, I wish I’d taken more photos. But here are a few to tide you over.

Not a bad lineup! This was Saturday’s schedule in just one of the seminar rooms. Seriously, this has to be the best bargain in all of fly fishing. For the price of admission you get to see and talk to George Daniel, Pat Dorsey, Andy Mill, Ed Engle, Tim Flagler, Joe Cordeiro, and a whole bunch of other great anglers I didn’t mention. I debuted my seminar Modern Wet Fly Strategies on Friday, drew a decent crowd, and we followed it up with some engaging Q&A. Shades of the Sunday ice storm in Marlborough three years ago: I feared that no one would show up for my Finding Small Stream Nirvana gig on Saturday (I had the first slot of the day). Not to worry! Thanks so much to everyone who attended.
The flatwing dudes, Joe and Greg Cordeiro, had a great stash of saddles and longer peacock herl. Since it was a slow day, they helped me rummage through the Keough bins in my never-ending search for a decent red grizzly saddle, which, I’m delighted to say, Joe found for me.
I wish I had a photo of my first ever tying demo at The Fly Fishing Show. Being a Featured Fly Tier was a great experience. You’re mic’d up, you’re on a large screen TV, and the audience sits in front of you. You basically have an hour, and I managed to cover a spider/soft hackle, wingless wet, and winged wet. Since this all happened on Saturday at the height of the storm, I was again concerned that no one would show. Once again, not to worry! I had one of the better crowds, and I believe we all had a good time. Another pleasant surprise was my Saturday class. Since it was a smaller group (thanks again everyone for showing up!) we were able to tailor it to meet everyone’s needs, which was very gratifying. I can’t remember a faster 150 minutes.
The guide booths also represent a tremendous opportunity to learn about a specific fishery. I’m already what you’d call Block Island-savvy, but if you’re not, my buddies Captain Hank (foreground) and Captain Willi from Block Island Fishworks are a fantastic resource for all things Block. We spent a good chunk of time on Friday talking about last year’s fishing, and salivating at the prospects for this year. They do spin fishing, too. A family charter is a most excellent way to spend a day.

And that about wraps it up. Don’t forget that the Marlborough show was postponed to April 22-23-24. I know it’s right when we’d all like to be out fishing, but I encourage everyone to support the show, and take advantage of its opportunities.

Thank you, APTU, for a wonderful wet fly Zoom!

Last night I presented Wet Flies 2.0 to the Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I’m sure we would have all liked to have done it in person, but Zoom being the next best thing, we had at it, and a pleasant time was had by all. (Really good questions, group!) Thanks so much for being so welcoming, and let’s do it again, hopefully in person. Tonight, it’s The Little Things with Philadelphia’s Main Line Fly-Tyers, also via Zoom.

Tip of the week: When you’re matching the hatch with wet flies, pay attention to size and color. These are a bunch of Hendrickson soft hackles (with several variants in the mix). The trout liked all of them, and why not? They generally match the naturals in size and color.

Marlborough Fly Fishing Show postponed — new dates April 22-23-24!

Here’s the official announcement/FAQ: “It wasn’t an easy decision but, after reaching out to our exhibitors, celebrities and staff, we made the conscious decision to postpone the 2022 Marlborough show for a myriad of obvious reasons. The new dates are April 22-24, 2022 We hope you can make it!

Q. What if I already bought an Advanced Show Ticket? A. Your ticket will be good whether you purchased it before or after our date change. Be sure to bring along either a physical or digital copy.

Q. What if I already signed up for a Featured Class? A. If you know you can’t make the show in April, please contact us and we will issue a refund. If you plan to attend you do not need to do anything. You will automatically be transferred unless we have to move a time or instructor. In that case we will reach out once we confirm the class schedule.

Q. How do I purchase advanced tickets for the April show? A. You can purchase advanced tickets by clicking here https://www.eventbrite.com/…/fly-fishing-show….”

I think this was a good decision, and my hope is that those of you who were on the fence about attending will be more comfortable with the new date. I don’t have my revised schedule yet, but I assume that I will still be doing a seminar, class, and tying demo. Note that the Edison Show for Jan 28-29-30 is still on! I’ll be appearing on Friday and Saturday, and I’m hoping for another great showing from my readers.

Fly Fishing Show 2022, Edison: Steve Culton seminars and classes

My schedule is up for the 2022 Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ, January 28-29-30. On Friday, Jan 28, 4:30pm in the Catch Room, I’ll be presenting a brand new seminar, Modern Wet Fly Strategies. This is mostly new material, and folks, I’m really excited about this one! Modern Wet Fly Strategies builds on the basics of Wet Flies 101 and expands on the tactics of Wet Flies 2.0. With new video and content, this is a more detailed program about wet flies and wet fly fishing. Topics include matching hatches, situational use of wet fly types, presentation options, gear, and the tactical use of wet flies under varying conditions and situations. A must for anyone who wants to improve his or her subsurface game! Admission is included in your ticket price.

Trout still don’t know that this soft hackle pattern is hundreds of years old. They just know that it looks like something good to eat.

Saturday, January 29, is another busy day. At 9:45 in the Strike Room, I’ll be debuting another seminar, Finding Small Stream Nirvana. Fly fishing a small stream is possibly the closest an angler can get to touching fly fishing’s soul. Small streams are everywhere, from remote woodlands to hiding in plain sight in urban areas. In addition to gear, flies, tactics and strategies, I’ll also discuss how to discover your own small stream paradise. Finding Small Stream Nirvana will be eastern brook trout-centric, but will also cover non-natives like wild browns. Lots of cool video in this one. As with all seminars, admission is included in your ticket price.

Very small stream nirvana…

At 2pm, you can take my class Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. Learn to tie and fish classic North Country spiders and other wet flies that trout can’t resist. The course also covers basics like leader construction, fly selection, where to fish wet flies, and how to fish them. Intermediate skill level. This is a paid class, and you have to sign up through the Fly Fishing Show. Here’s the sign-up link.

And of course, there’s the Marlborough Show the weekend before, January 21-22-23. I’m hoping to see lots of currentseams folks at both shows — please come say hello!

Steve Culton Fly Fishing Show 2022 Marlborough partial schedule

I’m looking forward to presenting again at the 2022 Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA, January 21-22-23! Here’s what I know so far about classes, demos, and seminars:

Friday, Jan 21, 2:30: Featured Fly Tier, Spiders, Winged, and Wingless Wets. This is a demo on the main show floor, covered by your general show admission.

Friday, Jan 21, 4:30pm, Release Room: Modern Wet Fly Strategies seminar. Again, included with your general show admission. This is a new presentation with plenty of never-seen-before material. If you’re interested in learning to wet fly fish, or want to up your wet fly game, this seminar is a must.

Saturday, Jan 22, 8:30-11am: Tying and Fishing Wet Flies with Steve Culton Learn to tie and fish classic North Country spiders and other wet flies that trout can’t resist. The course also covers basics like leader construction, fly selection, where to fish wet flies, and how to fish them. Intermediate. NOTE: This is a paid class that requires pre-registration, which you can only do on the Fly Fishing Show site.

I don’t have my Destination Theater schedule yet, but I’ll post it when it comes in. (I’ll also be appearing in Edison, NJ. No schedule yet.) As usual, I’m hoping for another strong showing from you, my readers. Your turnout and support is always valued and appreciated, and it’s great to meet and put names to faces.

Leisenring’s Spider. Right now, at a secret location in the Nevada desert, top scientists, using only the most powerful mainframe computers, are attempting to calculate how many trout have been caught over the centuries on simple soft-hackled flies.

Fly Fishing Show 2022 Marlborough & Edison: save the dates

I will once again be appearing at the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA (January 21-22-23) and Edison, NJ (January 28-29-30). I don’t yet have a schedule of my events/classes/etc., but when I do you’ll be the first to know. I’m excited to get back to the shows, and I look forward to seeing you, saying hello, and helping you catch more fish!

Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom 3/16, 8pm: “Almost Anything Goes: Fly Fishing Q&A”

We’re back! This Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom is all about you — specifically, your questions. Trout, small streams, smallmouth, steelhead, stripers — flies, rigging, gear, tactics, presentation, how-to — ask away and I’ll do my best to answer. If you haven’t been getting the Zoom links — I send them out Tuesday late afternoon — please check your spam box. If you’re sending a request to get on the list, please don’t wait until 7:45 p.m. Tuesday night…I won’t be checking my email that late. Thanks!

No Tuesday Zoom tomorrow 2/16 — what do you all want to hear about next time?

I have a private gig with the Ottawa Fly Fishers tomorrow night, so no public Zoom. We’ll go for normal resumption of services (I like the way that sounds) on Tuesday Feb. 23. In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you. What subjects would you like me to talk about? If I see something that looks like it has wide appeal — and it’s something I feel comfortable talking about, I’ll certainly consider it. Last week’s Small Stream talk was well-attended, so I many do another variation on that theme. The ball’s in your court.

I received a question the other day about cinder worms in CT: when/where, etc. They can be impossible to predict, but I find that when the Connecticut state flower is in bloom, and the moon is new or full, that’s generally a good time to look for them in your local estuary.