The 2016 Midwest Fly Fishing Expo is next weekend, March 12th and March 13th, in Warren, Michigan. I will be there as a Featured Guest Tyer. This is always one of the best shows anywhere, so if you have a chance to check it out, you should do it! Below are the Expo Headliners and all of the Guest Fly Tyers. See you there!
Check out the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo website for more details.
Featured Guest Fly Tyers
Richard Strolis grew up in the foothills of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, cutting his teeth catching native brook trout on the many small mountain streams that littered the hills. He moved on to various rivers of Massachusetts where he fine tuned his skills on the water and later at the vise, tying his first fly at the age of 11. He later moved to Northwestern Connecticut, setting up shop within minutes of the Farmington River, a place he calls home and guided on for little over a decade. Many of his fly patterns were built around figuring out several problems he encountered on the water with clients or on his own. In time, he branched out fishing rivers and streams across New England, New York, Pennsylvania, the Midwest and Alaska. Over the past five years Rich has penned several articles detailing his patterns in various publications including Flyfisherman Magazine and Eastern Flyfishing. He enjoys every facet of trout fishing; his true love is chasing trophy trout with larger streamers. When not chasing trout you can find Rich throwing flies the size of small animals for Northern Pike, another species that he has grown increasingly fond of. Rich has just released his new book, “Catching Shadows, Tying Flies For The Toughest Fish And Strategies For Fishing Them”. You can see more of Rich’s work at his website: www.catchingshadows.com
Hunter Hayes is one of the many prodigies of the late deer hair master, Chris Helm. He started tying when he was 7 years old, and started tying with Chris when he was 13. His deer hair creations are more masters of artwork than fishing flies. Besides deer hair Hunter slings bobbins for all types of flies at his vise, from Warmwater, Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, and for his guide service “Maumee River Flies & Guide Service”. Along with all the above he is employed at Bass Pro Shops in Ohio and is the Fishing Team Lead. You can contact Hunter at maumeeriverflies.com or his email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin D. Compton is a commercial tier, author, speaker, tying instructor, and a fly designer for the Solitude Fly Co. He lives in central Pennsylvania near the banks of the Little Juniata River and spends part of each summer in the Colorado Rockies, fishing and tying patterns for competition anglers, guides, and the bins at Vail Valley Anglers. His fly-tying company, Performance Flies, (www.performanceflies.com) distributes select tying materials, tools, and hooks, throughout North America. In 2006, he was the runner-up in the Team USA National Fly Tying Competition sponsored by “Fly Tyer” magazine. In September of 2006, he traveled to Portugal to the World Fly Fishing Championship where he contributed flies to the US competitors. Since then he has tied for members of Team USA at the National Championships and at the America’s Cup. In September of 2010 Kevin was the runner-up (to Charlie Craven) in the first annual Ironman Fly Tying Competition at the Denver Retailer Show. Kevin’s flies have been featured in magazines such as “Fly Fishing and Tying Journal” and in collections such as Rick Takahashi’s “Modern Midges” and George Daniel’s “Dynamic Nymphing”.
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 is on the Pro Staff of Dyna King Vises; plus many others.
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.
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, Clear Goo Glue, Fishing for a Cause, Performance Flies, Pro Sportfisher, Diiachi Hooks, and a fly designer for Montana Fly Company. Al is on the board of IFFF Fly Tying Governors and is also a guide on Colorado and Sylvan Dale Ranch just outside of Loveland. Besides with everything above, along with his articles in various magazines, he also published a book, “25 Best Most Versatile Flies”. Alan’s web site is: www.alrittflies.com
Paul Beel is owner/writer and fly tyer of the website and fly tying business Frankenfly (www.frankenfly.com). His passion of fishing was from watching his grandfather create homemade lures as a kid. He felt he could continue in his grandfather’s footsteps as a fly tyer. Paul’s tying specializes in Modern Streamers and Classic Michigan Dry Flies. And he enjoys fishing for Bass and Trout. He is a Commercial Fly Tyer for Gates Au Sable Lodge and Fly Shop; he is on the Regal Vise Pro Staff, Partridge of Redditch Pro Team, Engrico Puglisi Pro Staff, and Deer Creek Pro Staff. And his Patterns have been picked up by Orvis to be sold nationwide. You can contact Paul at www.frankenfly.com
Dennis Potter started tying over 30 years ago before fishing on the Ausable River in Northern Michigan. He has 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 .
Mike Schmidt is owner & Fly Tyer for Angler’s Choice Flies, based out of New Smyrna Beach, Florida; 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 .
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.com).
Todd A.Schotts is a member of the Michigan Fly Fishing Club, besides volunteering for various club functions he also chairs the clubs Annual Smallmouth Outing,& contributes various articles to the clubs newsletter; including the monthly feature “Fly of the Month”. He owns and operates a production fly tying company “Grizzly Flies by Schottsie” that he started 13 years ago & he is the founder of “Michigan Bobbin Slingers (fly tyers) page on Facebook. In 2015 two of his patterns were featured in articles in “Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine”. His passion is being a Bass Bum, (chasing Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass); but also enjoys chasing Trout, or whatever will take a fly. Some of his patterns can be seen in Painted Trout located in Dexter, MI; Brookhaven Lake Guide Service, and just recently Esnagami Wildness Lodge in northern Ontario. You can contact him at GrizzlyFlies@yahoo.com