Space Still Available for Legends Fly Tying Weekends

Sal at Legends on the Farmington is not only a good guy, but also a small engine whisperer. Yesterday my snow blower wouldn’t start, and I happened to be on the phone with Sal as I was driving to get a new spark plug. Sal opined that stale gas was the culprit. Bingo! Some fresh petrol in the chamber and she started right up.

Speaking of Sal, he tells me that Legends on the Farmington has a few openings left for their Fly Tying Weekends with Steve Culton (that’s me) March 22&23 (1 opening and room for a guest) and Bruce Marino February 22&23 (2 openings and room for a guest)  These are all inclusive $295.00 two night stays, breakfast Saturday and Sunday, Saturday Fly Tying and how to fish the Farmington, dinner Saturday night, BYOB.  Bring a participating guest to share your room for $159.00 or a nonparticipating guest for $89. Meals included for all guests. Contact Legends directly at 203-650-8767 or email legendsbnb@hotmail.com.

We’ll be tying buggy soft-hackled goodness like this.

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Steve Culton Fly Tying Weekend at Legends, March 22-23-24: Wet Flies for the Farmington

My friend Sal is hosting a series of fly tying/fishing weekends this winter at his lodge Legends, and I’ll be the featured presenter on March 23.  In Sal’s words, “Escape the craziness of winter and social media and join us for an exciting weekend of tying, fishing (weather permitting), and telling stories over dinner with legends and soon-to-be legends who share your passion for fly fishing.”

All weekends include tying class, lodging Friday and Saturday night, continental breakfast Saturday and Sunday and a delicious family style dinner Saturday evening all for just $295.00 single occupancy.

Please bring your favorite vise and tools, all materials will be supplied. If you are in need of a tying kit, just let us know ahead of time. If Mother Nature makes roads impassible, the weekend will be cancelled with full refund.”

Here are a few more details: On my weekend, I will be there Saturday only. Sal says, “Steve will be teaching his Wet Flies for the Farmington. Steve’s class will be a combination of tying instruction and suggestions on how to improve your fly fishing experience using wet flies. If time permits he will also share a few go-to patterns for stripers.”

My plan is to present parts of my Wet Flies 101 and 2.0 courses, reinforced with tying and classroom fishing instruction. It should be a lot of fun.

Now: you cannot book this event through me. You have to do it through Legends. Reservations can be made by calling 203-650-8767 or emailing  legendsbnb@hotmail.com.

Coming to a vise near you.

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“Targeting Big Stripers From The Shore” in the can and “Wet Flies 101” at CFFA

Just put the finishing touches on a new presentation, Targeting Big Stripers From The Shore — Fly Fishing Tactics and Techniques. It will debut at the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough Saturday, January 19, 10am in Room A of the Destination Theater. 

Want to catch bass like this? See you Saturday!

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I’ve also been asked to present at the CFFA Expo, Saturday, February 2 at Maneely’s in South Windsor. The program will be Wet Flies 101, starting at 9:30. I will also be on tier’s row, but I have a coaching commitment in the afternoon, so I’ll only be there until 12:30pm.

Best of 2018 #8: Guiding

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” goes the old saw. Nice try, but guiding is hard work. Still, it’s a labor of love, and I’m fortunate enough to be a teaching guide on a beautiful river. I get all kinds of clients, from beginner to intermediate to tourists and beyond, but they have one thing in common: they’ve chosen me to improve their fishing experience. I’ve once again been fortunate to have been hired by a long string of pleasant, kind people who were eager to learn and a pleasure to fish with. Thanks to everyone who made my job easier in 2018.

My April UpCountry wet flies class ran into a strong Hendrickson hatch. We like when that happens. 

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Guiding the next generation of fly anglers.

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Big Farmy browns to net always make a guide look good. I’ll take all the help I can get.

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One of my favorite guiding stories from 2018: I was shivering in my boots on a July evening, and I had to run back to the truck for my jacket. I told Mark I wanted to see his rod bent when I returned. As I came through the woods, this was the scene:

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“Wet Flies 2.0” in the works

“Wet Flies 2.0” is the followup to the highly popular “Wet Flies 101” presentation. 2.0 will take a deeper dive into wet fly tactics and techniques — a more advanced course in how-to, where-to, when-to. I began working on it yesterday, and I’m at it again today. “Wet Flies 2.0” will make its debut at the 2019 Fly Fishing Show. I’m excited. I hope you are, too.

The Magic Fly, AKA Pale Watery Wingless wet variant. You betcha I’ll be talking about this one in Wet Flies 2.0.

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Farmington River Report 7/19/18: Generation Next

Yesterday I had the pleasure of guiding the next generation of Farmington River fly anglers. Patrick and his cousin David and I spent the afternoon walking a stretch of water I call “The River Wild.” Wow, a lot of anglers were out enjoying the weather. Seemed more like a Saturday than a Thursday in the middle of the summer. The fishing was slow, but both Patrick and David got into fish. I had Patrick fishing a Stim with a small BHPT dropper, and David fishing a two-fly wet team. The trout liked the Stim and the top dropper on David’s rig, a Squirrel and Ginger. Good job, guys. That was fun, and keep on keepin’ on!

David working the seams of run. We moved into this pool moments after another angler left, and connected with a trout on our second cast.

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This is Patrick’s first ever Farmington River brown. He hit is a snotty riffle in about 18″ of water. 

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Afterwards I went dry fly fishing. Holy crowds, Batman! Nine anglers in Campground Pool at 5pm. So I sought my pleasures elsewhere. I had a tough night of sorts — I fooled well over a dozen fish (they were on larger sulphurs, Dorothea, and tiny BWOs) but only connected with four of them. I completely botched the hookset on one; another broke off at my tippet/leader connection (that’s the end of that old spool, and if you catch a nice brown with a Hendrickson Usual in its mouth, please remove it); the remainder made it in and were released to fight another day. We are now firmly in the summer dry fly fishing pattern. That is, lower water, smaller flies, trout on emergers and spinners, hatches (and therefore action) that seems to randomly wax and wane. I recommend a long tippet/leader setup  (I’ve been going about 13 feet) and be advised that the fish may not be feeding on those bright yellow bugs. The 7:30-to-dark window continues to be productive.

I think it’s about time I headed over to the Hous for some smallies…