One month away! International Fly Tying Symposium tying class and seminars

Steve Culton will be making his first appearance at the 2022 International Fly Tying Symposium, November 12-13 in Somerset, NJ. (I know, sounds like a press release, but this kind of is.) In case you haven’t visited, and are looking for more information, the Symposium site is live. There was a glitch yesterday in the class registration link; that has been fixed. So, if you want to attend my class, Tying Soft Hackles, Winged and Wingless Wets, Saturday Nov 12 from 1pm-3:30pm, you can register here.

I’m currently working on two new seminars that will debut at the Symposium. The first, on Saturday at 10:30, is Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. This will cover some basic wet fly construction, theory, and how to present and fish wet flies — and you’ll also get to see some of my favorite patterns. On Sunday at 11am, it’s Beyond Cast and Strip: Presentation Flies for Stripers. I’ll be covering fly design, use of natural materials, sparseness in design, and — drum roll — presentations other than cast and strip. If you want to attend either or both, you just show up, and I’m hoping for a good turnout from currentseams followers. And of course, I’ll be at a tying table when I’m not teaching and presenting.

If you’re just casting and stripping, a spinning rod is a much better tool for that job. Find out why I tie striper flies the way I do, the secret ingredient in all my patterns, and how to present them — at this year’s International Fly Tying Symposium.

Soft-Hackled Flatwing in On The Water’s Guide Flies

My Soft-Hackled Flatwing recently appeared in the “Guide Flies” section of On The Water magazine. I’m sorry that I don’t have a publish date, but it’s out there and of course right here. The Soft Hackled Flatwing draws from fly tying giants Abrames and Bondorew and Gartside. Play around with colors, have fun, and catch fish!

The Soft-Hackled Flatwing from On The Water‘s Guide Flies. There’s a link to a pdf just below.



First stripers of (by the calendar) fall

My calendar is a little different from the rest of the world’s. For me, fall starts in early August, around the time of the Dog Days (another widely misunderstood meteorological phrase, but that’s for another post).

I have been getting my butt kicked on the striper front for the last several weeks, with not even a bump to show for the hours I’ve been putting in. It looked like more of the same last night. Spot  A was the outside of a jetty with the two-hander and an 8″ September Night variant. Bupkiss. I turned to the inside of the jetty, where I performed some greased line swings on the incoming tide that were utterly poetic in execution, if not result.

Got into my truck and drove to Spot B, a bottleneck on the inside. Pods of worried mullet, but nothing I could find that would cause them any kind of neurosis. (See “Spot A/Inside” above for summation of activity and results.)

I was getting a little bummed at this point.

Off to Spot C, a location on a different inside that was perfect for the five-weight. And there I found them. Scads of silversides and a several marauders willing to jump on. Sure, they were all south of 20″, but they hit with fierce conviction — and any striper is unequivocally joyous on the five-weight. I fished a three fly team of a small, sparse PB bucktail on the top dropper, a sparse Eelie on the the middle dropper, and a small September Night on point. I took fish on all three. I savored the romance of wet fly fishing for stripers with a five-weight rod on a lovely fall night with a JR Cuban Alternate Cohiba Esplendido.

Si. Muy bueno.

How sparse is sparse? If you can read a newspaper through the fly, it’s sparse. One of last night’s winning flies.

Sparse PB Bucktail