Pike fishing in the English Lake District was and still is a great passion I have. Fly dressing began in those early years with the necessity to dress small Stoats tail tube flies fished in conjunction with an artificial lure to catch pike. Natural progressions followed into fly fishing and hence fly dressing for both trout and salmon. An article by Oliver Edwards titled “The quest for perfection” published in Trout and Salmon after he won the “Fly tier of the year” competition two years running was inspirational.
It was a chance meeting in 1996 at one of those enjoyable Partridge fly tying days with a fly dresser that turned my fly dressing and life on its head once again, Marvin Nolte. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Marvin. The world of classic salmon flies beckoned. My early attempts at this fine art demonstrated that my knowledge of materials and how they behaved in hand was sadly lacking. Books were a great source of advice but they only went so far. I was once again to turn to that same fly dresser whom I met earlier that year. Early examples of my flies (which I still possess) were critiqued in the gentlest manner so as not to discourage, techniques were revealed that were to make vast improvements to my flies. My passion is for dressing salmon flies, the classics. I most enjoy dressing the grubs, Spey flies and those flies that most people have forgotten.
In recent years I have given both salmon and trout fly workshops in the US and the UK and enjoy the experience very much. The important thing to me is mastering the basic techniques and having done so, to disseminate those skills for the benefit of other Flydressers.