I’ve been fishing since I could walk, and tying flies since I was 10 years old. My first introduction to the idea of classics was from my grandfather. He was an exceptional tier of Rangeley style streamers, and an even more exceptional at telling “whopper” fish stories about giant brook trout and landlocked salmon from the backwoods of Maine. I was captivated by the names of the flies; Grey Ghost, Nine-Three, Golden Witch, etc…the perfect recipe for a 10 year old boys imagination.
The high school and college years were lean in terms of fishing and tying, as I pursued more scholarly and athletic endeavors. After the dust settled from those years, and a few months after my wife and I moved in together after college, I dusted off my vise, and re-ignited my imagination. I tied a lot, and fished even more. Along the way I met a group of fellow fly fisherman and tiers and after many fly swaps and get togethers, they encouraged me to start tying classics again with streamers and MOM patterns. So I jumped right back in…
These days, with a two year old at home, I spend more time tying than fishing, and so recently that’s where my salmon fly journey began, at home, on the couch with my son. One early morning, while flipping through an old McClanes fishing encyclopedia, my son Kellan and I came across a true classic salmon fly, a Silver Doctor. Once I saw it, I had to tie it. It has quickly become a life’s passion. It is an indescribable feeling to interpret a classic dressing and apply it to a hook. It’s beyond cathartic and borders on spiritual. I love collecting hooks, materials, old texts, and then putting it all together in a form that I think melds everything I’ve learned about the craft since the time I heard my grandfather tell me about the 10lber that got away.