[by David Klausmeyer]
LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION: What’s in your fly box?
What are your favorite patterns? I suspect some are your own creations, but I’ll also bet you carry flies designed by other tiers. And if you are an experienced tier, I know you occasionally make alterations to well-known patterns to meet the unique fishing conditions on your local waters.
This leads to another interesting question: Who has made the most important contributions to your development as a fly tier? Whose patterns do you tie and use? Whose books occupy the most space in your fly tying library? Do you prefer a brand of tying tools or materials over all others?
Four years ago, we introduced the Fly Tyer magazine Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize those people and companies who have made major contributions to the craft of fly tying. These individuals are designing the flies we all tie. We read their books and articles, watch their instructional videos, and attend their classes. We have their products on our tying benches. They are making fly tying a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for all of us.
For example, Gary Borger received the Fly Tyer Lifetime Achievement Award for his extensive record of books and articles, original patterns, and as an instructor. John Barr received the Lifetime Achievement Award for developing the Copper John series of patterns; they are the best-selling flies in the world. Dr. Tom Whiting, of world-renowned Whiting Farms, received his Lifetime Achievement Award for the development of genetic fly tying hackle. And Al and Gretchen Beatty received this prestigious recognition for their extensive record of publications and fly tying classes, as well as their important contributions to coldwater fisheries conservation.
Bob Popovics received the Fly Tyer Lifetime Achievement Award for developing the Surf Candy series of saltwater imitations; these flies helped usher in the revolution of using synthetic materials and forever changed the way we think about fly tying. Craig Mathews is a leading pattern designer, owns a major fly shop called Blue Ribbon Flies, and helped found One Percent for the Planet, an important conservation effort; he also received our award. And our own Jay “Fishy” Fullum won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his unique patterns, publications, artwork, and classes.
These are just a few of the people who have received the Fly Tyer Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the next issue of this magazine, we will announce the winners of the Fly Tyer Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016, and we need your help. We would like to know who you think is deserving of this special recognition. Please submit your nomination no later than December 30. Submit the name of the person, and tell us how he or she has helped you become a better tier or made other contributions to fly tying. Send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to Fly Tyer magazine, P.O. Box 8, Steuben, ME 04680.
So, what’s in your fly box?