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!

“Fly Fishing CT’s Small Streams” at the CFFA Expo, this Saturday Feb 4 at 12:45pm

The best little fly fishing show in New England is back! The CFFA Fly Fishing Expo returns this Saturday, February 4 from 9am-3pm. Same town (South Windsor), new venue (Nomads, 100 Bidwell Avenue). I’ll be tying flies on Tyers Row for a few hours, and then I’m doing a seminar, Fly Fishing Connecticut’s Small Streams, at 12:45pm. The seminar is included in your admission price of $3. Please come say hello, and let’s support this very cool little show.

Connecticut’s small streams are a wonderful resource. I’m going to talk about fishing them, and perhaps more importantly, preserving and protecting them.
Another weekend, another show. I just got back from Edison, which was fantastic, and I’ll tell you all about it in a future post.

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!

“Tying and Fishing Wet Flies” Promo for the Fly Fishing Show

There’s still time to sign up for the class in Marlborough and Edison.

Here are all things wet fly that I’m doing at both shows: Marlborough Saturday, January 21: Classes With The Experts, 8:30am-11:00amTying and Fishing Wet Flies. You must pre-register for this class2:00pm, Destination Theater Room AModern Wet Fly Strategies.

Edison, Saturday, January 28, 9:45am, Seminar, Strike Room, Modern Wet Fly Strategies12:30pm, Main Show Floor, Featured Fly Tier,Spiders, Winged, and Wingless Wets. 2:00pm-4:30pmClasses With The Experts, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. You must pre-register for this class

Steve Culton Appearance & Class Schedule for the Edison Fly Fishing Show, Jan 27-28-29

It’s no secret that the Edison Fly Fishing Show is the biggest, bestest fly fishing show going! I’m pleased to announce that I will be appearing once again as a presenter, instructor, and fly tier. The Edison Show runs three days, January 27, 28, and 29; I’ll be there on Friday the 27th and Saturday the 28th. Here’s my schedule:

Friday, January 27: 10:15am, Seminar, Catch Room, Finding Small Stream NirvanaNoon, Destination Theater Room BWet Flies 101. 2:00pm-4:30pmClasses With The Experts, Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass. You must pre-register for this class. Admission to the show is included in the cost of any class registration for that day.

Presentation flies work even when at rest. I caught my largest bass of 2022 on this presentation fly, the R.L.S. Sure Thing.

Saturday, January 28: 9:45am, Seminar, Strike Room, Modern Wet Fly Strategies11:00am, Destination Theater Room DLost Secrets of Legendary Anglers 12:30pm, main show floor, Featured Fly Tier, Spiders, Winged, and Wingless Wets. 2:00pm-4:30pmClasses With The Experts, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies. You must pre-register for this class. Admission to the show is included in the cost of any class registration for that day.

Overlooked and under-utilized, wet flies are a must-have in your fly box if you want to catch more fish. Learn how to tie and fish these lethal patterns in my class, Tying and Fishing Wet Flies.

As always, I’m hoping for a big turnout from my readers and followers. When I’m not doing a class or demo or speaking, you can find me walking the show floor. Please come say hello! I love putting names to faces.

Currentseams Best of 2022: #7-#5

Three down, seven to go. Without further ado…

#7: The Return of the Slot Bass. For me, 2021 was a bad year for bigger bass. Now, to be fair, I didn’t go balls-to-the-wall in my search for larger linesiders. But I did get out enough times to enough big bass marks to warrant at least a few courtesy slot fish. I don’t think I caught a striper over 28″ in 2021. 2022 was a different story. Again, I didn’t put in the time that I did 10 years ago, but I had enough slot fish (28″-35″) throughout the year to keep me happy. I won’t list them all, but here is one report; and here’s another.

#6: Tying, Teaching, and Presenting at my First International Fly Tying Symposium. When Chuck Furimsky called me in late August to ask me if I’d be a featured player at the IFT, I was totally stoked. I’d always wanted to do the show, but my annual father-son steelhead trip with Cam got in the way. This year, it was a different weekend, and I immediately said yes. Being a featured presenter/teacher/tyer is a lot of work, but I had way more fun than I could have imagined. As expected, it was a very well-run show, with lots of talented people, and I made many new friends. If you took my class or saw me present or stopped by to say hello, thank you again! Read more.

One of the two new presentations (the other is Beyond Cast & Strip: Presentation Flies for Striped Bass) that debuted at the 2022 IFTS. You can see both of them next month at the Fly Fishing Shows in Marlborough and Edison.

#5: Spectacular Late April Hendrickson Action. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love when the surface of the water is littered with Hendrickson duns and the trout are so gleefully snapping them up that you can see the whites of their mouths. But for me, the wet fly action is what I treasure about this hatch. There may be nothing visibly going on, yet there I am, pounding up trout after trout with my team of three. Or, the surface may be simmering; the dry fly anglers are presenting on the surface to no avail, and there I am, swinging wets, rod bent, with a “Sorry!” grin on my face. When you hit it just right, the Hendrickson hatch and a team of wet flies is pure magic. Read more.

Currentseams.com Makes “40 Best Fly Tying Blogs and Websites” List!

I’m pleased to say that Currentseams was just named to FeedSpot’s 40 Best Fly Tying Blogs and Websites list. We came in at a cool #11! The company is good, with sites like AvidMax, Fly Tyer, Tactical Fly Fisher, and Orvis in the mix. If you have some free time over the holiday break, I highly recommend you peruse the list. It includes both vendors and information-based sites. Woo-hoo!

Sweetwater, saltwater…we do it all on Currentseams, #11 on the 2022 FeedSpot 40 Best Fly Tying Blogs and Websites list!

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!