2013 Midwest Fly Fishing Expo

To my knowledge, this is the largest fly fishing show in the Midwest. It’s held in Warren, Michigan right outside of Detroit. They have a lot of big name fly tyers on hand and it promises to be a great show! Even better, it looks like I will be able to make it to the show this year! So I will do my best to take plenty of photos and share my experience here on FrankenFly. Todd Schotts of Grizzly Flies by Schottsie provided me with a list of some of the guest tyers and a synopsis of each. You can also visit the website for more information.


Alan “Al” Ritt

grew up here in Michigan where his passion for fishing was born. In the early 80’s while living in Northern California, just after he started tying flies, he started fly fishing. In 1989 he moved to Northern Front Range of Colorado (Longmont) where he and his wife Diana reside.  He is currently on the Pro-staff of Whiting Farms, PEAK Fishing, Flymen Fishing Company, Performance Flies, Tubeology, Diiachi Hooks, and a fly designer for Montana Fly Company. Al is also a guide on Colorado and Sylvan Dale Ranch just outside of Loveland. Alan’s web site is: www.alrittflies.com  Alan will be demonstrating various Western Trout Flies.

Dennis Potter

started tying over 30 years ago before fishing on the Ausable River in Northern Michigan. After landing the first Trout on his Parachute Hendrickson, his passion and addiction for chasing Trout and Tying Flies took off.  In 1987 Dennis and his wife Karen purchased the Riverhouse on the banks of the Holy Waters of the Ausable.  He spent 4 seasons at the Gates Ausable Lodge as a Fly Fishing Instructor and he still enjoys teaching fly tying instruction. His fly designs are fished extensively and with great success throughout the U.S. Dennis does have various Fly Tying Videos on the market and he is the owner of Riverhouse Fly Company.  You will be able to find him tying at the show, with his well known high resolution video tying Demo show. Dennis’s web site is: www.riverhouseflyco.com  Dennis will be demonstrating various well known Trout Patterns and Fly Tying Techniques.

Jerry Regan

a 3rd generation fly tyer; is one of the true keepers of Michigan’s Fly Fishing History; along with being one of the best commercial fly tiers in the business. Just like Trout Unlimited, Jerry was born along the fabled Trout Waters of the Au Sable River near Grayling. As a kid he learned fly tying and fishing from Michigan’s Genuine Legends like Earl Madsen and Ernie Borcher. One thing unique for the patterns Jerry ties, he has never went with synthetics that have flooded the market place, but have stuck with the original materials that were used. Jerry will be demonstrating the flies of the Classic Au Sable fly patterns.

Pat Cohen

lives in upstate New York where enjoys chasing after anything that has gills. He began his fly fishing in 2008 and started tying flies in January of 2009. Being relatively new to the sport, don’t let that make you wonder. He specializes in Deer Hair Flies and he has proven his tying talents with many distinct honors; he also ties everything from streamers to nymphs. The artistic freedoms that fly tying offers is what drew him to fly tying. He is a member of Pro Team for Peak Vises as well as Clear Cure Goo and you can follow him on his blogWarm Water Journalor at his sitewww.rusperfly.comPat will be demonstrating his specialized Deer Hair Flies.

Mike Schmidt

is owner & Fly Tyer for Angler’s Choice Flies, based out of Dublin, Ohio for more than a decade now; which started out from encouragement and influence from his dad. His fly tying consists of Winged Wet, Warmwater, Coldwater, and Saltwater patterns. Some of the accomplishment’s of Mike, would consist of Orvis Fly Designer, Contract and Fly Tying Instructor for Mad River Outfitters, Signature Tyer for JagFly Company/Steelhead Alley, and has articles published in Hatches on line magazine. Mike’s web site is:www.anglerschoiceflies.com  Mike will be demonstrating abundance of patterns along with his famed Winged Wet Flies.

Todd A. Schotts

is a member of the Michigan Fly Fishing Club & has been Fly Tying before he even started fly fishing. He enjoys teaching fly tying at the clubs various schools, along with helping out at various outings and events; and is a past & current board member. His custom fly company “Grizzly Flies by Schottsie” was started 10 years ago, and along with tying the standard fly patterns, he has about 20 + of his own design of flies. His passion is for chasing Smallmouth’s but he also enjoys chasing Trout, and Steelhead His website is: www.grizzlyfliesbyschottsie.com Todd will be demonstrating tying various Warmwater Fly Patterns.

Julie Nielson

is another one of Michigan’s well known commercial fly tyers with Trout patterns that will bring the weariest trout to the fly. Her patterns can be seen in many northern Michigan fly fishing establishments. Her post pattern flies are so durable and so well sought after, and we are glad to have her back for another year. You can contact Julie at: tyerii@aol.com Julie will be demonstrating different parachute fly patterns such as “The Patriot”, and many others.

Steve Wascher

caught his first Trout at the age of 3 ½, on a DRY FLY!! Steve is a third generation tier from Greenhurst, NY; and received basic instructions and guidance from his father; along with his grandmother in regards to tying. Steve is a well rounded tier, and enjoys all aspects of the art of fly tying; from creating a unique nymph, wet flies for steelhead, or his famed deer hair bugs for those warmwater surprises. Besides tying Steve guides during the summer months for a wide range of warmwater species and he enjoys writing articles as well; which have appeared along with his flies in Hatches Magazine, American Angler, and Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. Steve will be tying his famed deer hair bugs and tube flies.

Corey Thelen

is a member of the Michigan Fly Fishing Club and is a very talented tyer at the young age of 17. He got started about 5 years ago tying flies after he took a class at Great Lakes & Natural Resources Camp in Presque Isle, MI. After a few Woolly Buggers he was hooked! That weekend on the way home, he got his first tying vise & materials. And like a few of us tyers, he started tying before he started fly fishing. Even though he does fish for Warmwater fish; fishing for Trout & tying Trout flies are his main choice. Corey’ will be tying various trout flies and demonstrating his unique deer hair flies.

Eli Berant

grew up and lives in Michigan, so he has been surrounded by big water all his life. After getting his first fly tying kit at the age of 15,  fly fishing and fly tying has been a passion of his ever since. Even though he really likes the “traditional” fly fishing experience; he has taken the concepts of the huge saltwater flies and began to apply them to his exploits here back in the big waters in Michigan. If you are interested in “Big Flies” for Lake Trout, Musky, Bass, or whatever will consume them, you can order these flies at Great Lakes Fly www.greatlakesfly.comEli will be tying his monster big flies.

Eric Austin

grew up tying and fishing Catskill dry flies in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York State. Even in his youth Eric loved the old fly fishing books at the library, by the likes of Preston Jennings, Ray Bergman, Al McLane, J.Edson Leonard and George La Branche. Later, this love of history led to his reviving a column on the flyanglersonline.com website called “Just Old Flies”. Each week Eric would tie and photograph a fly and recount the history of it. The Just Old Flies column spurred Eric’s historical flies by American classic tiers and the old masters of the U.K., including salmon flies found in Kelson, Francis Francis, and Pryce Tannatt. Eric has been featured in the series of books published in London, “Fly Tiers of the World”. His Red Quill was recently selected to be on the cover of the re-release of Earnest Schwiebert’s classic “Matching the Hatch”. His influences include the Irish wet flies of Alice Conba, Rene Harrop’s flies for the Henry’s Fork, Carrie Stevens’ streamers, the quill body flies of A.K.Best, and the dry flies of Francis Betters. His website is www.tradtionalflies.com . Eric will be tying Classic Atlantic Salmon and New England Streamer flies.


Filed under Fly fishing show

2 Responses to 2013 Midwest Fly Fishing Expo

  1. I love fly fishing shows. Where else can you go to meet so many knowledgeable fly fishing people. Stop by and visit Al Ritt, he’s a hoot and a great tier.