"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

KlinkHanson Video Tutorial

After I uploaded my wildly popular video tutorial on tying Highly Adequate Parachute Flies, people started badgering me about doing more videos. (Wildly popular is a subjective term, by the way...) So, here's the second in my series, Tying the KlinkHanson fly. As I mention in the video, I came up with this fly all on my own, then a couple of years later I learned it was very much like a fly that other people already knew about. I admit that my KlinkHanson is somewhat similar to a Klinkhamer, but lots of things are different about it. Different type of hook, different abdomen, different thorax...No matter, it is a very good fly, so tie some up. And if you catch anything with one, let me know. Here is the KlinkHanson video:

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Seminar Jinx

Jinxes are funny things, aren't they? The only way they can work is if you believe there are such things as jinxes, and if you already have a preconceived notion that the jinx is in effect. If you don't believe in jinxes, then they rarely affect you, but if you are a believer, they can put a serious dent in your mojo.

I try not to believe in jinxes, or superstitions, or karma, but even though I don't believe in them, that doesn't mean they can't jump up and bite me every once in a while. Take this past weekend for example. I was at tthe Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo, and I was fortunate enough to be one of the fly tyers in the Fly Tying Demonstration Area. They even agreed to let me put on a special hour-long seminar to showcase some of my techniques. I decided to show off my unique way of tying parachute hackles on dry flies, a technique I devised more than 15 years ago. This technique allows me to tie nice looking parachute hackles almost all the time, so I decided to call my seminar "Tying Perfect Parachutes", because along with tying good parachute hackles, I'm also good at boasting...

To get ready for my seminar, I tied dozens of parachute dries in the days and minutes before I was supposed to take the stage, and all of them looked good. I felt good. I felt confident. I remembered all my materials that I would need. Everything seemed to be in order. I had planned on tying three different parachute flies during my seminar, and the first one turned out quite good, if I do say so myself.

Then the second fly, a parachute Adams, happened. This fly would be the most difficult, but I had tied it hundreds of times before, so what could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah, the seminar jinx is what could go wrong! And it did! No matter what I did, I could not get the hackle to wrap the way it was supposed to. It looked horrible. My technique to tie a "perfect parachute" was turning this fly into a perfect mess, and it was all happening while I was under the lights in front of a room full of fellow fly fisherpeople. It was quite easily the worst parachute fly I had tied in 10 years. I had jinxed myself when I used the word "perfect". If they ever invite me back, I will try to remember not to jinx myself. Good thing I don't believe in jinxes, huh?
This is a good looking Adams Parachute, I think.
This is the one I tied during my seminar, up in front of millions, or at least tens, of adoring fans. It's terrible! And look, it's so bad, it's even blurry! No good...

Monday, March 14, 2016

Expo Time!

The trout fishing is really starting to ramp up around here, at least that's what I've heard, and that means one other thing: it's Fly Fishing Expo time! This is the first year that I can remember that there are two fly fishing-themed expos here in the greater Twin Cities area. This past weekend was the very first River Falls Fly Fishing Expo, held on the lovely campus of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, just a half hour or so from St. Paul. I was fortunate to be able to have a booth at the show, and I even got to put on a fly tying seminar. It was loads of fun, I got to hang out with some cool fly fishers, and I even sold some flies. What could be better?

The Great Waters Expo is this coming weekend, at Century College in White Bear Lake. This well-established show is being run by a new batch of people this year, and is at a new venue. I will also be tying and doing a seminar at that show, if you can believe that they would let me. Hope to see you there!
My booth at the River Falls Expo

My old friend and mentor, Mike Alwin.

A unique crane fly imitation tied by my friend, Ryan Myers.

Clouser Minnows tied by Ryan Myers

Some of the other inhabitants of Fly Tyers' Row