IN 2014 AT THE FIRST Atlantic Salmon Fly International (ASFI) show in the Seattle, WA area, I had the good fortune to begin to know many international tyers. One of the tyers who particularly caught my attention was Paul Rossman… his style and creativity motivated me to decide to start tying salmon flies two weeks later. My journey into the wild and wonderful world of fly tying began. I had attended many fly tying shows in the Pacific Northwest prior to ASFI, but seeing so many talented salmon fly tyers from all over the world motivated me to join them.
I jumped into tying salmon flies, choosing patterns that taught me new techniques and challenged my skills, all so I too, could begin to tie those beautiful and complicated flies. Having a husband that had spent over 20 years tying salmon flies with the Northwest Atlantic Salmon Fly Guild (NWASFG) was invaluable. I always had someone to look at my first efforts and guide me to improve. I joined NWASFG here in the Seattle area and it became one of the highlights of each month.
I’ve always been a creative person – I am a graphic designer and enjoy working with colours, textures, detail and the selection of materials. I sketch out every fly in detail and to the size of the hook I will be using – it helps me pay attention to proportion and how each piece will be shaped or curved. In my mind, I am able to walk through the steps of tying and think about the process before I sit down at the vise. The sketches are an aspect of tying that greatly helped me to improve. I always had a sketch to compare actual proportions to. As I began to settle into tying, it was the Atlantic Salmon fly that intrigued me and held my fascination. I tie many classics and appreciate their beauty, balance and proportion, but also enjoy spreading my wings into the creative salmon fly arena where I can experiment with some of the more exotic feathers.
My club members presented me with the 2015 ‘Most Improved Fly Dresser Award’, a beautiful framed plate of Blacker Ghost Fly #2, tied by club members. It was an honour and wonderful highlight of my first year of tying. I envision myself savouring my fly tying, the ongoing treasure hunt for materials and the great friendships that go along with it for many years to come. I can’t wait for the club to start up again in the Fall, for all the flies yet to be tied, and for all the events and shows yet to unfold. It is a very positive group with so many talented and accomplished tyers.
I was invited to tie at ASFI 2016, which our club recently hosted. I also was a presenter, giving a seminar on how I improved so quickly and some of the milestones of my first year or two of tying. 2016 also brought me to the Irish Fly Fair in Galway as a tyer. It was yet another opportunity to connect with many friends and tyers from all over the world. I enjoy travelling to international shows and to the regional shows in the Pacific Northwest area each year. I was also featured in the December 2016 issue of H2O Magazine, Italy.
I am thrilled to be on the Lagartun PRO-Staff team and look forward to all the opportunities to come. I am also currently on the Wasatch PRO-Team. To view more of my fly tying art, please visit my page on Facebook.