Edison 2023, or: The Most Fun You Can Have With A Vise And A Projector

What a fantastic Fly Fishing Show in Edison! I was there for two whirlwind days, stretching the space-time continuum and pushing the fun barrier to its limits. Many, many thanks to everyone who came to a seminar, took a class, watched me tie, or simply stopped to say hello. My apologies if I had to rush off mid-conversation — my schedule was literally back-to-back on both days. If I didn’t get to answer a question or talk fly fishing, you know where to find me.

One of the things I look forward to most is reconnecting with old and new friends. So the first thing I did Friday morning was head straight for the Blue Quill Angler booth to hang out with Chris Steinbeck and Pat Dorsey. I’ve only known Pat for a year, and Chris for even less, but I can tell you these are two people who make the fly fishing world a better place. Chris was my guide in Colorado in August and he taught me a lot. Highly recommended if you’re ever fishing the South Platte.
Walking Tyers’ Row is always a good use of your time. I can’t tell you the number of patterns or techniques that I see every show that I want to try. Like Celebrities, all the tyers are very approachable and ready to discuss tying and fishing. This is Chester Rosocha, my tying tablemate from the International Fly Tying Symposium back in November.
Not a bad lineup! What an honor to be on the same list as these luminaries. Friday was the “easier” of my two days — a seminar, then a Destination Theater talk, then a class. I had a good crowd for the seminar, Finding Small Stream Nirvana, and we had a long follow-up discussion. The DT talk, Wet Flies 101, was also well-attended. I’ve hopefully created some more dangerous wet fly machines. Saturday I was literally running from one place to the next. I got so caught up in the Modern Wet Fly Strategies Q&A session that I forgot I had to be in the DT in five minutes. I was thrilled to have such a large crowd watch me as Featured Fly Tier, and even more thrilled that every hackle I selected for my wet flies and spiders behaved. A shout out and thanks you to everyone who saw me speak, and to those who took my classes. I hope you hit the water this year ready to try some new ideas and new flies.
It’s hard to make out that guy on the left, but yes, it’s me, doing what I love most — helping people become better anglers. This is from Modern Wet Fly Strategies. See you at the CFFA Show this Saturday!

Edison Fly Fishing Show this Weekend

Not for nothin’, but this is the biggest fly fishing show in the world, and I couldn’t be more stoked to be a part of it. There’s still time to register for my tying classes, Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass on Friday, January 27 at 2pm, and Tying and Fishing Wet Flies on Saturday, January 28 at 2pm. You must pre-register for these classes and you can do that here.

I’ve also got a full slate of presentations and tying demos on Friday and Saturday. Come see me as Featured Fly Tier at 12:30pm on Saturday! The topic is Spiders, Winged, and Wingless Wets.

I made a one-page, one side PDF of my 2023 Edison schedule for handy reference. Hope to see you at the show, and if you come, please say hello.

Marlborough Show Happy Recap

Whew! Three days of intensive fly fishing meet-and-greet, instruction, tying, speaking (plus a little buying) and I’m wiped out. But it’s a good kind of spent, like after a monster Block Island All-Nighter. I’ll try to tell the story of my busy weekend through these photos. Don’t forget, the Edison Show is this weekend! It goes without saying that I’m stoked for that, too.

Friday morning I ate my power fishing breakfast, then loaded up the truck and headed for the show. This was my first gig of the weekend, and it was very well-attended. No time to loll about, as I was the featured fly tier on the main show floor at 1pm. And then a seminar at 4:30, Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass. I was appreciative of the good number of people who hung around so late on a Friday to hear the talk, and I think we all had a lot of fun.
This is friend Ed Engle being Featured Fly Tier. Ed is a wonderful tier and his books are swell, too — you can find several of them on my shelves, and I reference them often. Ed was demoing small nymphs. Mine was Presentation Flies For Striped Bass. It was my third time being FFT, and it was the largest crowd I’ve tied for yet. I’d like to give a shout out to all my audiences for being so engaging and asking plenty of excellent questions. I also attended talks by Ed, John Shaner, Jason Randall, and Landon Mayer. If you’re not going to demos and seminars and other talks, you’re really missing out on some wonderful opportunities to learn from some of the industry’s best.
You should be spending a good amount of time walking the floor and chatting with fly tiers like Lisa Weiner. It’s a great opportunity to learn a new technique, get exposed to fly patterns you might not know about, and just meet some genuinely nice, talented people (like Lisa).
No rest for the weary. Here’s a Magic Fly’s (Pale Watery Wingless Variant) -eye view of my Saturday class, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. Later in the day, I did a Destination Theater talk, Modern Wet Fly Strategies, that drew a near-standing room crowd. If you were there, thanks for coming! I did a second class, Presentation Flies for Striped Bass, on Sunday morning, and finished up with the debut of a new smallmouth presentation, Hot Bronze.
And of course, the Fly Fishing Show means vendors. Here’s friend Joe Cordeiro’s Flat-Wing booth. I scored a nice grey saddle from Joe, and a few more high quality bucktails from Brad Buzzi. Everyone I spoke to seemed to agree that this show had a really good energy. After two challenging years, welcome back, Marlborough!

“Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass” Promo Video

Just a short promo for the upcoming Fly Fishing Shows in Marlborough and Edison. You can attend my seminar, watch a tying demo, or take a class with me. Here’s the schedule.

Marlborough Friday, Jan 20: 1:00pm, main show floor, Featured Fly Tier, Presentation Flies for Striped Bass4:30pm, Seminar, Release RoomBeyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass.

Marlborough Sunday, January 22: Classes With The Experts, 8:30am-11:00amPresentation Flies for Striped Bass. You must pre-register for this class

Edison Friday, Jan 27: 2:00pm-4:30pmClasses With The Experts, Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass. You must pre-register for this class. 

The Marlborough Fly Fishing Show is just two weeks away.

And I’m getting all fired up! It’s a busy show schedule for me this year, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here are some details on what I’m doing. Finding Small Stream Nirvana is a new presentation; I’ve only done it once, at Edison last year during a blizzard to a small, dedicated audience. It covers the basics of small stream fishing, and goes into gear, tactics, and even how to find your own little slice of thin blue line heaven. My Featured Fly Tyer appearance, Presentation Flies For Striped Bass, will cover some basic patterns I use that create the illusion of life even when at rest. Sparse, impressionistic, and proven, every one of them. I’ll go into that topic in far great depth, including tactics and gear, at my seminar, Beyond Cast and Strip. I debuted that one last November at the International Fly Tying Symposium, and if you want to start catching more (and bigger) striped bass, this one is not to be missed. All of these are included with your show admission.

In Saturday’s class, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies, we’ll tie three basic patterns and talk about presentation and tactics. You must pre-register for this class, and you can do that HERE. If you want to become a dangerous wet fly machine, this is a great way to start. As is my 2pm talk, Modern Wet Fly Strategies, a deeper dive into the ancient and traditional art of catching dozens of fish.

Sunday’s 8:30am class, Presentation Flies for Striped Bass, also requires pre-registration, and you can do that HERE. We’re going to tie and talk and get you on the path to catching the stripers that everyone else can’t. We’ll wrap things up with Hot Bronze: Wade Fishing for Smallmouth. Pound-for-pound, smallmouth are among the most belligerent, obstreperous things that swim, and I’m beyond addicted to catching them.

When I’m not teaching (or sitting in on other’s talks) I’ll be walking the show floor. Please come say hello!

Fly Fishing Gift Ideas for the 2022 Holiday Season

If you’re looking for a gift for the fly fisher in your life — even if that’s you! — look no further. Whether you’re buying for yourself (or showing this post to your significant other — hint hint) I got you covered.

A Half-Day Guide Trip/Lesson with Steve Culton. If you’re planning on heading out with me next year, this locks you in at the 2022 rate. I highly recommend the four-hour slot. To purchase, please call 860-918-0228 or email me at swculton@yahoo.com.

My client Jake with a lovely wild Farmington River brown from last April.

Classes with the Experts at the January 2023 Marlborough Fly Fishing Show. There are two options. The first is Saturday, January 21 8:30am-11am, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies with Steve Culton. This is mostly a tying class, but we will also cover some fishing aspects. You must pre-register with the Fly Fishing Show. Here’s the link. The second is Sunday, January 22, 8:30am-11am, Presentation Flies For Striped Bass with Steve Culton. This is mostly a tying class, but we will also cover some fishing aspects. You must pre-register with the Fly Fishing Show. Here’s the link. The cost is $90 per session.

Or, for a great stocking stuffer, you can buy Marlborough show tickets in advance direct from the show. Here’s that link. Note that I will also be appearing in Edison, NJ, the last weekend in January on Friday and Saturday, but I do not yet have my schedule.

Happy gift giving, and have a safe and wonderful holiday season.

2022 International Fly Tying Symposium Redux: Too much fun

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending my first International Fly Tying Symposium. I’d always wanted to go, but my annual steelheading trip with Cam got in the way — until this year, when they moved the Symposium to a different weekend. So off to Somerset I went, vise and scissors and other implements of destruction in tow.

Getting there wasn’t without its challenges. That Friday night, we had a major rainstorm in the tri-state area. At one point my nav app said a four hour drive. Not fancying the idea of slogging through Manhattan at rush hour, I delayed. I didn’t get to my hotel room until shortly before midnight.

I’d been invited as a celebrity tier and presenter, so no pressure…no, really, it was all good, and it was wonderful to be wanted. I found my tying space first thing Saturday morning, sharing the table with Chester Rosocha. I’d never met Chester before, but I won the table-mate lottery as he was as nice and matey and friendly a soul as you could hope for. Tim Flagler and and Tim Cammisa were the next table down, but you can’t win them all…of course I’m joking. Tim and Tim are both swell guys, not to mention exceptional tiers, and we shared plenty of laughs over the course of two days.

Every show, I tell myself, “This time I’m going to take more photos and some videos of me and others in action to share on my website.” Then stuff gets in the way. And it doesn’t get done. But here are a few shots from the weekend.

So much to do and see, so little time! And this is just Saturday. Plus classes, plus the show floor (tiers and marketplace) — it all makes for a busy weekend. This was a new wet fly presentation, which drew an excellent crowd for its debut. In the afternoon, I conducted a wet fly tying class which also went very well. Six very enthusiastic students who made their instructor’s job easy. We covered the basics of soft hackles, wingless, and winged wets.
One of the best parts about big shows like this is the possibility that you’ll run across some new materials you didn’t know you needed. I saw these at Tim Flagler’s table and had to have some. Look closely at the packaging and you can see that someone has a potty mind (albeit in good fun). The USP of Tye Sticks is that they have a monofilament core that extends past the material butt end, making them a breeze to attach to a hook. You can find these online using the company name. (I have no affiliation with the brand.)
I also scored some nice bucktails from Brad Buzzi, and some 30-yard spools of Bill’s Bodi Braid. I’ve had enough of buying those cards with a measly 3 or 4 yards of material, so I stocked up on these three staple colors and left happy.
My Sunday seminar, Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass, starting to fill up. This was another great group, and we stayed out past curfew for a long and engaging Q&A session. Another debut presentation. I want to thank everyone who took the time to come hear me speak, attended my class, or just say hello. You made my first IFTS highly enjoyable!
My crowning achievement of the weekend took place Saturday night at the banquet. (Did I mention that if you attended the banquet, you received a gift bag loaded with fly tying materials, tools, hooks, beads…all good quality, highly useful stuff. I’ll try to remember to take a photo of the bounty for a future post.) I sat at the table with the Italian contingent– this was, after all, the International Fly Tying Symposium — who spoke varying degrees of English ranging from a little to virtually none. They had brought along a couple bottles from the old country, and were eager to share. My kind of crowd! Then, a gentleman from the hotel materialized and tried to explain that we could not bring our own booze and open it in the dining room. Seizing the opportunity, I explained the situation, focusing mostly on the fact that this wine came special all the way from Italy, and our colleagues were most eager to share in the spirit of international goodwill, and that if you, Mr. Hotel Man, can figure out how to tell them in Italian — OK, so maybe I exaggerated a wee bit on their total lack of command of the English language — that they can’t have their wine, please do so. Next thing I know, he’s saying never mind, and he’ll be right back with some wine glasses for the table. Salute!

Hot off the press: “Tying and Fishing Wet Flies — A Modern Take on the Ancient and Traditional Methods.” See it this Saturday at the IFTS!

In case you’ve been wondering where currentseams has been, I’ve been working on the presentation railroad, and getting ready for this weekend’s International Fly Tying Symposium in Somerset, NJ. Just finished: Tying and Fishing Wet Flies: A Modern Take On The Ancient And Traditional Methods. This is a brand new look at tying and fishing wet flies, with an emphasis on the tying aspect. You can be one of the first to see it at the International Fly Tying Symposium, this Saturday, Nov 12 at 10:30am. Still need more wet flies stuff? Join me for my tying class at 1pm, Tying Soft Hackles, Winged and Wingless Wets. Sunday, Nov 13 at 11am is another brand new presentation called Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies For Striped Bass. Both seminars are included in the price of admission to the Symposium (the class is extra). Holy smokes, I still gotta pack. See you there!