FVTU Awarded the Legion of the Cheeseburger with DIPA Clusters — and on to Marlborough

Many thanks to the FVTU gang for hosting me last night. This dedicated, passionate group of anglers has been supporting me for a long time, so it’s always a pleasure to return — especially since they embrace the concept of, “A fed presenter is a happy presenter.” (Sounds like something B. Franklin would have written in Poor Richard’s Almanac.) Fortified with a sumptuous burger and a lovely DIPA draft, I presented “Tactical Advantage: Trout vs. Angler,” followed by an engaging Q&A session. Thanks again, FVTU!

And now I’m off to Marlborough for the Fly Fishing Show. Today 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. It’s a 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!

It’s getting to be that time…

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.

Tuesday Zooms on hiatus, 900 followers, and man, do I desperately need to go fishing!

Greetings, fellow fly addicts. I don’t know how many of you are football fans, but I binge-watched the entire slate of wild card weekend games…and there’s still one more game to go. But, I digress. To the subjects at hand.

For the last two winters, I’ve held Tuesday Night Zooms — little fireside fly fishing chats over the internet. If you’ve participated, you know these were fun, informal presentations. It was a fantastic way for us to safely connect in these challenging pandemic times, and I’m grateful for the number of people who chose to spend an hour with me. I’ve made the decision to suspend those Zooms at least until after the Super Bowl. Part of it is trying to build up excitement for the Edison Fly Fishing Show (you’re coming, right?). Part of it is that I’m socked in editing film and building two new presentations, Modern Wet Fly Strategies and Finding Small Stream Nirvana. And part of it is other writing commitments (teaser: it involves flatwings and herring and striped bass). I may try to do a few later this winter. We’ll see how it goes. Don’t forget the Marlborough Show in April!

It’s a midgey time of year, whether small streams or the big water of Church Pool. Smut No. 1 is your friend, fished wet or dry or as the top dropper on your nymph rig.

I see currentseams has reached the 900 followers mark. Hooray! We will be having our usual celebration of a random drawing fly giveaway. As per policy, I’ll wait a bit to make sure that number doesn’t fall below the bar. Stay tuned for the announcement.

Lastly, dagnabbit, I have yet to fish in the New Year. Damn all this work. Methinks I need to throw responsibility to the four winds and play hooky. Hmmmmm….

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!