My tying started 26 years ago in Northern Idaho. My father was a fly fisherman and tyer. I remember watching him tie flies at the kitchen table before fishing trips. The majority of flies that he used were dry flies, including Adams, Humpys, Renegades, and Royal Coachmans. When I received a fly tying kit I was hooked. I had two brothers who also tied flies growing up. We would compete who could tie the best Humpy. I soon started selling flies to friends and school teachers. This helped fund the hobby.
When I went to college southeast Idaho I did not bring my fly tying materials for the first semester. That changed when I visited a local fly shop and on Saturdays while they had tying demonstrations and that sparked the interest again. One Saturday I watched Joe Ayre demonstrate woven body nymphs. I was amazed at the bodies that could be created with woven bodies. I attempted the technique, but was unable to duplicate the bodies that Joe was creating. I contacted Joe and asked if he could show me the technique and he invited me over to learn. We became very good friends and he introduced me to the Federation of Fly Fishers and the Southeast Fly Tying Show. The show would introduce me to many other tyers where I learned many new techniques.
I moved to Oregon after I received my college degree. Shortly after moving to Oregon I was contact by Al Brunell to help with the NW Fly Tying Expo. I would help co-chair the Expo for the next 3 years. Al tied steelhead flies commercially for a number of shops and fly fisherman. He introduced me to steelhead flies and was a cherished mentor. I started helping him with some of his commercial orders and learned the patterns that he had perfected.
I took what I learned from my father, Joe, Al and other tyers that I have met and wanted to stretch the boundaries with woven body flies – specifically a round weave for steelhead flies. Kumihimo was the technique that I found that could be used to create interesting patterns that are round. Using kumihimo I have tied variation of existing patterns and created some new patterns.
Currently I am tying flies commercially for a few guides, a fly shop and special orders from fisherman. I find tying flies commercially relaxing in limited quantities. I also enjoy creating new patterns and designs. New woven body flies are my favorite to experiment with, including realistic and steelhead flies. I also enjoy collecting other tyer’s flies and seeing what other tyers are coming up with.
Garren has a website called ultimatehook.com
The Deschutes Madness is a Dave McNeese pattern that he developed in 1978. I created several variations using kumihimo braided bodies. This technique uses a combination of 16 strands of floss to create the body patterns.