Sunday, August 29, 2010

FFF Conclave 2010

I was fortunate enough to find myself attending this years FFF Conclave in West Yellowstone, MT. I was helping to staff the booth of Montana Sporting Journal during the event. I was also able to sell my Montana Native T-shirts as well. Having attended and participated in industry shows in the past, I can honestly say that this show was one of the most educational. Fly tyers from around the nation and world converged on this small Montana town to demonstrate tying many unique patterns. I wish I would have been able to sit down and learn from each one.

I did manage to sit in on a few lessons and meet some fly fishing personalities. One tyer I met was Whiting Pro Staff member "Rusty" Dunn. He was an exceptionally friendly guy, and I learned a great new small streamer pattern that he calls "No Name Minnow." Not a real creative name, but I really like the looks of the pattern and can't wait to try it out. Rusty and his friends had just recently completed the Wyoming Cutt-Slam and were on a mission to locate a native Montana grayling. I couldn't help but to point him in the right direction. Another pattern that caught my attention is a classic fly named the "Tellico Nymph" that has been around for ages, but is not used much anymore. I have to confess that I am intrigued by this fly and the potential of several color variations. Hopefully this old pattern is still effective. I was really impressed with the patterns and tying demonstration given by Nate Brumley of Dry Fly Innovations. He very clearly and effectively showed how to do an extremely difficult skill in tying. This is the single upright quill wing for mayfly patterns. This is a very realistic and dynamic fly, but learning to tye the wing correctly is tough.

Perhaps the highlight of the show for me, however, was being able to sit and watch Montana legend Craig Mathews demonstrate tying some of his effective patterns. Craig is the owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, and the creator of some legendary patterns such as the Iris Caddis, Sparkle Dun, and the Zelon Midge. Today he was tying his Improved Sparkle Dun and watching him really helped simplify the fly. Overall, the show was outstanding and had many outstanding fisherman and tyers in attendance. I know I saw Rene Harrop, Tom Morgan, Craig Mathews, Scott Sanchez, Bob Jacklin, Kelly Galloup, and I also met many others. Just the small amount of time I had to sit and learn from some of these masters was enough to put my brain into overload. A guy would have to bring a large notebook, camera, and the mental preparation to learn the equivalent of a doctorate in fly tying in 3 days. I hope the conclave is nearby next year, and that I am able to be there again.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your help at the show! You're a born salesman. I'll be interested to hear how Rusty and Co. do in their quest for grayling...let me know if you hear from them.