Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day Scandis

Christmas day was spent tying at the kitchen table, eating at the kitchen table, then tying again until it was time to hit the sack. The flies of the day were some Scandis to complete an order for a great customer Rob. Hopefully these pretty little flies will do the trick for him...would love to see them hanging from some Canadian chrome!

Here is a wider shot of that batch.

I could not help myself...had to tie up a few for myself at the end of the night. They are a lot of fun to tie and not to tough. Actually may tie these at a few shows this year as they are a good example of a few different techniques and not too long at the vise.

The obligatory fish porn shot comes from ACF friend Craig; proudly displaying some Michigan chrome with his ACF deeked out riversled as the backdrop. Cool shot Craig!

-mike schmidt

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas, hats, and a few flies

Christmas time is here...unbelieveable how fast this year went. Looking back at this year it has been amazing how well things have gone here at ACF. This year saw many new fly patterns, ideas kicked around, opportunities everywhere, and the best year yet by far on the sales front. All of this is a direct result of the support I have received from my friends and customers. Thank you all for everything you have done to get ACF to where it is today, and I hope to continue the momentum going forward with exciting plans for the coming year!

Yesterday I posted this picture of the hats on FB and got a great response to them so I will be ordering up a batch in a couple weeks. They are FlexFit six panel hats that are embroidered on the front and back. I will have them in white, sand, black, and loden (olive/brown). If you would like one then please send $27 through Paypal to mike@anglerschoiceflies.com and note what color you would like. As soon as I get them in I will then get them out to those who ordered them. This show season if I see you at a show sporting the ACF cap then there will be a three pack of flies with your name on it!

Here are a few flies I knocked out last night and today. These will be headed to PA and UT first thing this week, then I believe a few will be hucked at browns on the White. Looking forward to a few pictures from there if the fish gods cooperate.

Thank you all again for your interest and support of ACF. Looking forward to seeing many of you at the shows in the next few months!

-mike schmidt

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Redfish flies for Cam

Not the greatest picture, but I am exhausted and heading to bed! These are a few flies I am sending to Cam at http://thefiberglassmanifesto.blogspot.com/ to help with his redfish pursuit. Hope you kick some butt brother!

-mike schmidt

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some flies from the week

This post will be a little light on words...just a few shots of some of the flies that went out the door this week. Was an interesting week of tying streamers, steelhead stuff, mini streamers, and finally got back to tying a few winged wets. Heading up to Michigan this weekend for our family Christmas, then will be back at it on Sunday night when we get back.

-mike schmidt

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chroming with the Orvis guys

I made the drive up to Erie on Friday night to meet up with Greg Senyo and a group of the guys that made the trip out from Orvis corporate to fish the alley again. First thing in the morning we rolled out to see what we could find. Many decided to indy fish since it was so cold, but I went a different direction. Greg, Shawn Brillon, and myself settled on swinging despite knowing it would be tough with the recent drop in temps. As we arrived riverside I took a second to survey the river and get a good stick lit. I was able to hook up with a big fish right off the bat but lost it at the feet of a dude that seriously low holed me...it sucked.

The water was a perfect color for swinging but extremely cold. Here is Greg and Shawn working an ideal run.

Cast, mend, swing, step, repeat...

Greg did hook up with a player...we stuck with the swing game the whole day.

Yeah...not a good idea to keep your fly out of the water for too long. Tends to freeze.

Shawn muscled this monster in to submission!

As it got later in the day the sun pushed through and lit up the trees against the dark stormfront rolling through. It was really cool.

There first thing in the morning we worked the river hard all the way through to the sun dropping behind the trees. It was cold and not overly successful from a catching perspective, but had a great time spending the day on the water with two friends.

Once back at the rooms we had a magnificent dinner provided to us by our hosts at the Liar's Den. Chili, bean soup, perch, fries, salad, and plenty of beverages. Dinner finished up and the guitars came out. It was a great night hanging out with lots of laughs.

By the end of the night Jim and Steve were playing both classic tunes and a few of the 'on the spot' variety. It was great hanging out with old friends and meeting the Orvis crew. Looking forward to the repeat next year!

-mike schmidt

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Columbus showing of CONNECT was AWESOME!

Yesterday was finally the day that the showing of CONNECT was brought to Columbus. After work I headed to to the Gateway Theater ready for a great movie.

I was glad to see that I was in the right place!

The movie was in the private theater on the second floor so we had the area all to our group to mingle. I was able to get my table all set up before the rest of the movie-goers arrived. As everyone came in I was able to spin up a few bugs and talk flies. It was great to see many old friends and meet a few new ones.

It was a sold out packed house! It was so full that there were people we unfortunately had to turn away for this showing. Before the film got going Michael Decoteau, who was the person that got this event together for us, thanked everyone for coming and introduced the film.

The film starts off with fishing in the mountains of Japan and progresses from there. I always enjoy seeing films like this in a packed house as you really can sense and hear the excitement. CONNECT was no different and was a spectacular set of films rolled in to one.

Based on the buzz as people were leaving I thinnk this event was very well received. I know I certainly had a good time and enjoyed catching up with everyone. Based on this showing I would not count out other films being brought to town...

-mike schmidt

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lot of Nutcrackers and some pics fom Holt

Eight dozen Hawkins Nutcrackers headed out the door. That was a lot of deerhair being slung about today!

Spent the beginning of the weekend at the Great Lakes Council FFF Tying Expo in Holt Michigan. I was set up next to Greg Senyo of Steelhead Alley Outfitters, Eli Berant of Great Lakes Fly, Alex Cerveniak of Midcurrent and other projects, and the guys from Schultz Outfitters. Needless to say we had a great time!

Set up in the hallways of Holt High School we had plenty of space to accomodate the attendees. The show started off a little slower than the lst few years, but not long after this picture there was a rush of people to come through that kept us busy for the rest of the show.

One of the highlights of this show is the raffle that the put on each year.

For a second year in a row I picked up a print from Becca Schlaff. At some point soon I intend to commission a piece from her. She is a rising star in the angling art community though, so I better hurry up and get it done while I can!

I also picked up a few SICK musky flies from Eli of Great Lakes Fly. Eli is on the cutting edge of the big fly game and really puts out some fantastic flies.

Off to bed I go now to see if I can sleep after the Lions gakked away yet another game...

-mike schmidt

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Performance Flies

After a long day in the office I came home yesterday to a few packages of materials…almost like an early Christmas! The first was my standard order of bucktail, schlappen, marabou, holo flash and various other goodies from Hareline Dubbin Inc. As I am sure you are aware Hareline is one of the largest wholesale fly tying material distributors in the country, so it is extremely likely that your local shop works with them. Nearly every material that I use on my production flies are Hareline products, and they have been a fantastic company to work with.

This time though it was the second package I was excited to open... full of stuff for my personal and experimental fly boxes. The package containing possum, stripped quills, synthetic quill body, Glo-Brite, dub blends, flash blends, Fly DK products, Hends products, Sybai products, Dohiku barbless hooks, wild Czech CDC, Camou French leader…the package from Kevin Compton of Performance Flies, full of items I can’t get from the larger US distributors.

Kevin is a very accomplished tyer that found a niche for himself supplying standby and innovative new patterns to world competition teams. His pre-competition research, both remote and onsite, for the comp locations around the world opened up different suppliers, materials, and material uses from across the pond that we do not commonly see stateside. He realized that there was a market for these products and started importing certain items that until now have had limited or zero availability in the US market. Now, through Performance Flies, Kevin is able to offer these different products to tyers here in the US that are looking for a little something different to add to their fly arsenal. Kevin is a great guy that is happy to share his knowledge and passion for the sport of fly fishing with his customers. He has built his business around quality product lines at the right price and top level customer service.
Check out Performance Flies and see what you think!

Now I am off to finish up packing for this weekend. I will be tying Saturday along with a ton of other talented tiers from the area, at the Great Lakes Council FFF Expo held at Holt High School in Holt Michigan. I hope to see some of you there!

-mike schmidt

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back at it

If you have seen me tying at shows this last year you have not likely seen me tying winged wets like I used to as I have been tying streamers by the handful. After talking to Don about helping out with his book project I knew I would have to get back to tying them more to get the edge back, and as luck would have it I had an order requesting fishing quality Puffers when I got home. I emailed with the customer to confirm as the original pattern calls for wing tips, rather than slips, and recommended that he try them with slips as I have found they fish better that way in small sizes. He agreed and I got to tying up a half dozen for him. It was nice to break out the floss and mallard quills for a bit!

A few streamers here...

A few streamers there...

and a bunch of swinging flies for some chrome! Working on more streamer orders this week before packing up and heading north to the fly fishing show in Holt Michigan this weekend.

I did get out for a short bit on Friday morning. The water seemed to be in great shape but my buddy Nate and I were left with the short end of the catching stick. While I did have one on and one chase the fish were far less willing to play than I had hoped. With the high water we will have after this rain and the colder weather the fish should be solidly back in to their winter feeding here so later mornings and slower retrieves will be key!

For those in Columbus next week, don't forget that we will have the premiere showing of CONNECT at the Gateway December 7!

-mike schmidt

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 Int'l Symposium and a few customer shots

Made the drive out to Somerset New Jersey for the 2011 International Fly Tying Symposium last weekend. I shipped out of work about lunch time and, after a stop in Cleveland to pick up Kevin Compton of Performance Flies, we rolled in to The Doubletree to unload our gear about 9ish. After catching up with old friends we got a few hours of sleep then came back bright and early on Saturday morning to get our tables set up.

Once I had my table set up I took the opportunity to head over to visit with Pat Cohen of Super Fly. While he is a highly talented tier across the board he is especially known for his world class deer hair bugs, so I was excited to see what he was able to come up for me in Michigan colors. When I saw the Punk he tied up I was blown away...it is AWESOME!

As the show opened up the front hall started to fill

and inside it got very busy! Saturday morning was as busy as I have ever seen the Symposium. It was great to see so many people come out for the show.

By the afternoon the table was not quite as neat and to ensure our throats were kept hydrated we accepted the occasional Yueng that made it's way over to us.

While the show is fun, the evenings with our fellow tiers are more fun! I had a great time meeting Swedish tier and friend Ulf Hagstrom. We have been in touch through emails and FB for quite some time now, but this evening I finally got to meet my friend in person to share some stories and put a dent in the beer reserves at TKs Pub.

Part of the crew; John Kavanaugh, Allen Landheer, Pat Cohen, John Collins, and myself. The rest of the crew was just outside on the lobby patio. Lot of laughs, lies, and fish pictures!

Also got to hang out with another Swede, Nik Dahlin, a bit later in the night. Really enjoyed sharing stories with the guys from the other side of the world.

The end of the night found everything to have the same focus as a nine year old with ADHD...
Ahh the life of a show tier...rough stuff.

ACF customer Rob has been at it again and sent over a few shots from his adventures on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. Great to see he was able to swing up a chromed out hen and a gorgeous Coho. Well done Rob!

Also got shots throughout the day, while I was stuck inside, from my buddy Mariano who was in town through this morning. After a rough day out last weekend it was good to see that he was able to stick a bunch of fish. Here are the best couple shots of a hen and buck he brought to hand. Now to figure out how to get down to Costa Rica to fish with him on his home waters...

-mike schmidt