Featured Guest Fly Tyers – Midwest Fly Fishing Expo 2015

To follow up the last post, here are the guest fly tyers that will be on hand this year at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo. I am honored to be invited this year as one of the guest tyers at the expo. This is a great show and if you have never been, honestly, you need to make plans to go. Check out the guest tyers below.


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”. He’s currently at work on two fly-tying projects with Stackpole Books – “Tying Czech Nymphs” and “Styles of European Fly Patterns”. . Kevin will be demonstrating techniques of European Nymphs.




Paul Beel

is owner/writer and fly tyer of the website and fly tying business, Frankenfly (www.frankenfly.com). His passion for fishing came 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 specialty is Modern Streamers and Classic Michigan Dry Flies. He also enjoys fishing for Bass and Trout. Paul 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. Paul will be demonstrating his Modern Streamers and Classic Michigan Dry Flies.




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. Al 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 is 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. Al has also written articles in various magazines, and has published a book, “25 Best Most Versatile Flies.” You can visit Al’s website at www.alrittflies.com. Alan will be demonstrating various Western Trout Flies.




Jason Haddix

is originally from Illinois, but currently resides in the small Colorado town of Wellington. Jason is an experienced and veteran guide who enjoys taking clients into Colorado’s Front Range and the beautiful, productive waters of southern Wyoming. When he’s not guiding, Jason spends as much personal time on the water as possible and then it’s back to the vise, designing and developing new flies, as well as making modifications to old ones. Jason owns and operates his own tying business, Waters Edge Fly Tying Company. Not only are Jason’s flies extremely productive, but because of the processes he uses, they are also very durable. Jason’s has affiliations and Pro-Staff status with various companies including Rite Bobbins, Peak Vises, Enrico Puglisi Products, Daiichi hooks, Rip Lips Fishing, Flymen Fishing Products and Rivers Wild. You can visit his website at www.watersedgeflyco.com. Jason will be demonstrating his famed Warm water flies plus others.




Jerry Regan

is a 3rd generation fly tyer and is one of the true keepers of Michigan’s Fly Fishing History. Jerry is one of the best commercial fly tyers in the business. As was 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 Earl Madsen and Ernie Borcher. Unique to Jerry’s tying patterns, he has never used the synthetics that have flooded the marketplace, but has continued to use genuine, non-synthetic fly tying materials. Jerry will be demonstrating the flies of the Classic Au Sable fly patterns.




Dennis Potter

started tying over 30 years ago before fishing on the Ausable River in Northern Michigan. He spent four seasons at the Gates Ausable Lodge as a Fly Fishing Instructor and he still enjoys teaching fly tying. His fly designs are fished extensively and with great success throughout the U.S. Dennis has various Fly Tying Videos on the market and is owner of the Riverhouse Fly Company. You will be able to find him tying at the show, with his well known high resolution tying Demo video. You can visit Dennis’s website at www.riverhouseflyco.com. Dennis will be demonstrating various well known Trout Patterns and Fly Tying Techniques.




Eli Berant

grew up and lives in Michigan, and so 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 his passion ever since. Even though he really enjoys the “traditional” fly fishing experience; Eli took the concepts of the huge saltwater flies
and applied 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). Eli will be tying his Monster Musky and Pike Flies.




Jim Reed

is a world class deer hair tyer from Howell, Michigan, and has spun many amazing deer hair bugs. In 2006 in an FFF competition Jim was awarded six world champion medals on all six entries of flies he submitted. Along with being a master at the spinning of Deer Hair, Jim is also a master in other fly tying areas. He is a very versatile tyer. Jim has demonstrated and taught around the Great Lakes Region & Midwest. Along with tying out at the FFF Conclave in Livingston, he has demonstrated out at the Somerset Symposium in New Jersey. Jim will be tying his famous deer hair flies along with other patterns.




Mike Schmidt

has been owner & Fly Tyer for Angler’s Choice Flies, based out of Dublin, Ohio, for more than a decade now mainly because of the encouragement and influence of his dad. His fly tying consists of Winged Wet, Warmwater, Coldwater, and Saltwater patterns. Some of the Mike’s accomplishments consist of Orvis Fly Designer, Contract and Fly Tying Instructor for Mad River Outfitters and Signature Tyer for JagFly Company/Steelhead Alley. He also has published articles in Hatches online magazine. Mike’s website can be viewed at www.anglerschoiceflies.com. Mike will be demonstrating abundance of Big Fly Patterns along with his famed Winged Wet Flies.




Wayne Samson

has been fly fishing and tying for well over ten years. Originally a warm water fisherman, he started experimenting with bass bugs using deer hair. Soon he met Chris Helm of Toledo, Ohio, considered by most to be perhaps the finest deer hair tyer, and a friendship quickly developed. Wayne’s specialty remains deer hair bugs and hair work in general. However, he also ties epoxy flies, saltwater flies, classic Atlantic salmon flies and most all Trout flies as well. Wayne enjoys all styles of fishing from warm water, saltwater & Bass to cold water Steelhead and Trout. Wayne is one part of the duo from Glenn River Fly Co., LTD. Website: www.glennriver.com. Wayne will be demonstrating Saltwater Fly Patterns.




Todd A. Schotts

is a member of the Michigan Fly Fishing Club. Along with volunteering for various club functions, he also chairs the Club’s Annual Smallmouth Outing & contributes articles to the Club’s newsletter. Schotts owns and operates a production fly tying company, “Grizzly Flies by Schottsie,” that he started over 10 years ago and is the founder of “Michigan Bobbin Slingers” (fly tyers) page on Facebook. Some of his patterns in the works are to be featured in articles in “Eastern Fly Fishing” magazine, coming in the very near future. His passions include being a “Bass Bum,” (chasing Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass), but he also enjoys chasing Trout, and whatever will take a fly. Some of Todd’s patterns can be seen in Bailiwicks, located in Dexter, Michigan and through Brookhaven Lake Guide Service. You can contact him at GrizzlyFlies@yahoo.com. Todd will be demonstrating various Warmwater & Thunder Creek Patterns.

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