Northwest Fly Tyer

The fly tying pages of Monte Smith

NW Fly Tyers Expo Recap

Posted by nwflytyer on March 21, 2010

Another nice two-day show, as it seems to grow a little more each year.  More vendors, 200 tyers, more classes, and according to the ORCFF Treasurer,  very nice gate.

If there’s one little nagging thought for me, though, it’s that the NW Fly Tyers Expo continues to drift away from a  fly tying show toward fly fishing in general – more casting classes, a casting pool, a host of non-tying vendors, boats, ‘how-to’ fishing classes.  It’s all good, and the fly tyers supposedly remain the heart and soul of the event, but make no mistake – the days of a bunch of hardcore tyers getting together to talk, teach, and tout fly tying all day long are endangered.  Growth has its price.

Yours Truly, hard at work...

I had the opportunity to tie alongside my good friend and fly tying historian, materials procurer, and old-methods student Andrew Marshall.  He tied old patterns of Charles Cotton – in hand – complete with braided horsehair leaders!  I stuck to Rangeley streamers and some hot steelhead hairwings.

Monte and Andrew striking a pose...

Here is the Black Dog Spey Plate that was auctioned Saturday evening.  Twenty four tyers contributed to the plate this year, choosing whichever of the Black Dog recipes they wished.  Click the pic below to enlarge.  Can you guess which two flies the two iconoclasts pictured above contributed?

Black Dog Spey Plate for auction

I had the chance to sit and watch Ronn Lucas, Sr for awhile.  As a hookmaker, he had something I had never seen before and probably never will again – a solid 18k gold hook!  Here’s a shot of one of his masterpieces dressed very nicely.  Sorry this one’s a little blurry, but I wanted to show this exquisite and rare hook:

Got an extra $525 lying around for a hook?

Here’s Ronn at his tying station:

Ronn Lucas, Sr in action

And Ronn’s beautiful General Practitioner on one of his new hook designs:

General Practitioner

Harry Gross tied a wonderful Rangeley style streamer of his own design.  He was kind enough to let me photograph it:

Harry's Original Streamer


Harry Gross

Here is a shot of Jim Ferguson, Tyer Chairman for the Expo, and all-around great tyer.  I’ve had the pleasure of tying with Jim for a long time.  He’s one of the good guys.

Jim Ferguson

Assistant Tyer Chairman, Mike Keithley, ties a sweet Lee Blue.  Mike is a member of the newly formed Central Oregon Fly Tyers Guild, and was representing the group in fine fashion.

Mike Keithley completes his Lee Blue

I got to talk to many old friends and catch up a bit, too many to name here.  I didn’t get photos of everyone, but it was great to see them, tie some flies, and meet some new tying enthusiasts.  This event always inspires me for quite some time, and this year is no different.  I look forward to the next iteration.


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