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 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

New book on classic 19th century fly patterns in the works!!

While I was at the International Fly Tying Symposium over the weekend I got a chance to catch up with fellow wet fly enthusiast Don Bastian. Quite frankly Don was one of the driving forces behind me tying classic winged wet flies, so I was super stoked when he asked that I be a part of a project he was putting together. That excitement grew as he told me who and what was to be involved...this book is going to be a world class reference!

Here is the press release as taken from Don's site:

Don Bastian


The Whitefish Press

Have entered into a contract to publish a book on 19th Century Fly Patterns titled:

The Favorite Flies of
Mary Orvis Marbury

All 291 of the fly patterns from Marbury’s 1892 book will be replicated in a fly tier friendly volume including tying recipes.

Hackles, Salmon Flies, Lake Flies, Trout Flies, and Bass Flies

Dressed by:
Eric Austin, Tom Baltz, Don Bastian, Dave Benoit, Scott Bleiler, John “CJ” Bonasera, Austin Clayton, Matt Crompton, Chris Del Plato, Ronn Lucas, Mike Martinek, Stanley Miller, Ed Muzeroll, Ted Patlen, Bob Petti, Roger Plourde, Paul Rossman, Dave Schmezer, Mike Schmidt, Bill Shuck, Leigh Shuman, Royce Stearns, Kat Rollin, Rick Whorwood, and Sharon Wright.

I would like to personally thank each of these contributing fly tiers. Their individual and diverse fly tying talents will enrich and enhance this project.

This book will present high-resolution photographs of the actual antique flies from all 32 of the original 1892 Orvis Fly Plates used for the painted lithographs in Marbury’s book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories, plus close to 100 additional 19th Century fly pattern recipes. For this privilege, a special acknowledgement and huge thank-you goes out to Catherine Comar, Executive Director, and Yoshi Akiyama, Deputy Director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, for their permission, assistance, and cooperation of The Museum.

This book will include an instructional chapter and notes on pattern origins.

The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury
Don Bastian

The Whitefish Press

The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury will present replications of all 291 of the historic 19th Century fly patterns from Mary Orvis Marbury’s 1892 book, including written and in some instances, updated dressings in a fly tier-friendly format. This combination of photographs and tying recipes will be available to the public for the first time since the publication of Forgotten Flies in 1999.

Exact publication date for The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury is not yet determined. However, to reserve your copy of the Limited Edition, please contact:
The Whitefish Press

or by writing:

The Whitefish Press,
4240 Minmor Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45217

If I am able I will post some shots of the patterns I will be contributing to the project. As more details become available concerning the completion and release dates I will keep you all apprised.

-mike schmidt

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let the show season begin!

All packed up and ready to hit the road in the morning. I will head east to Somerset by, way of Cleveland, to tie at the International Fly Tying Symposium held there each November. It is one of my favorite shows every year thanks to the wide variety of tiers, laid back atmosphere, and time enjoyed having cocktails with the Jersey crew. I am excited to meet the many Swedish tiers that will be there this year, but specifically to talk flies over a Yueng with fellow suds officianado Ulf Hagstrom. Hope to see some of you there!

-mike schmidt

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hell of a fish and the ACF show schedule

I had a buddy fly in to town so I rigged up the Mystics and hit the water with Mariano and Carlos on Saturday. We chose a stretch of water that is like Disneyland when there are fish around, but mysteriously this day they were not...perhaps too far up in the system...

It was a day full of walking, fishing, laughter, Crown, and Fried Dough at the Crow's Nest to top off the evening. Tough to complain about a day like that!

The biggest problem we had was really the leaves. The stretch we fished seemed to consist of one part water and one part leaves. Definitely tough to be efficient on the water when you are hooking leaves on every drift or swing! I look forward to getting back up there soon.

I was very pleased to get an email from ACF customer Don Calhoun. For a second year Don had me tie up a order of custom colored Howell Prom Dresses to take west to Silver Hilton BC. The fish of his trip measured at a 42" length with a 23" girth...coming to an astounding 32.2! Based on his email that was the second largest there since 1999, congratulations on a fantastic fish Don.

Finished up the ACF show schedule this afternoon and got the new list updated to the website. There may be a show or class added, but this should be the bulk of the list.

-International Fly Tying Symposium, Somerset NJ 11.19.2011 and 11.20.2011
-Great Lakes Council Fly Tying Expo, Holt MI 12.03.2011
-Indiana on the Fly, Indianapolis IN 01.07.2012
-The Fly Fishing Show, Somerset 01.27.2012 - 01.29.2012
-Buckeye United Fly Fishers Fly Tying Expo, Cincinnati OH 02.04.2012
-Kentuckiana Fly Expo, Louisville KY 02.11.2012
-Bar Flies with Schultz Outfitters, Ann Arbor MI 02.15.2012
-Celebration of Fly Tying, Grand Rapids MI 2.25.2012
-Midwest Fly Fishing Expo, Warren MI 03.10.2012 and 03.11.2012

Hopefully I will see many of you at the shows this year.
Now back to getting everything in order for the Somerset show this weekend!

-mike schmidt

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Confluence Films 'CONNECT' coming to Columbus Ohio!

I am super excited to be able to announce that 'Connect', a Confluence Films Production, will have a showing in Columbus thanks to the hard work of recent Maine transplant Michael Decoteau! Michael put in the initial capital, worked with the production company, secured a theater location, and lined up local sponsors and talent to make this event a reality in Ohio's capital city.

Here is the offical release:

CONNECT From the makers of "DRIFT" and"RISE"
From Chris Patterson and Jim Klug - the filmmakers who created the highly acclaimed movies DRIFT and RISE comes CONNECT, the most ambitious, large-scale fly fishing film ever made. Continuing in the tradition of the multisegment, multi-story format that Confluence Films has become known for, CONNECT introduces a number of new locations, exoctic species, and compelling characters that epitomize and exemplify the sport of fly fishing. Shot on location in Japan, Yellowstone National Park, the Yukon Drainage of Alaska, the flats of Cuba, the coast of Maine, and in the wilds of Tanzania, Africa, this feature length movie will once again transport viewers around the world in search of new waters and exhilarating travel experiences. CONNECT features well-known anglers Greg Vincent, Jeff Currier, Jimmy Bartschi, Craig Mathews, Masa Katsumata, Brian Porter, and Captain Eric Wallace, and more than a dozen different fish species, both freshwater and saltwater. As with DRIFT and RISE before, the cinematography, sound, and feel of CONNECT come together in a visual masterpiece that promises to re-set the bar for fly fishing films.


One night only. Be sure to get your tickets early as we expect this showingf to sell out fast. Come out and meet local pros and non-profit organizations: Mike Schmidt from Angler's Choice Flies, guide Jerry Darkes from Angling Consulting Services, guide and Patagonia ambassador Jeff Liskay, Madmen Chapter of Trout Unlimited, members of Casting for Recovery, Clintonville Outfitters, Central Ohio Fly Fishers, Mad River Outfitters, and more.

Special thanks to local event sponsors:






I hope to see all the Columbus people there!

-mike schmidt

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A few Florida pics and the second CD release!

Made it back from another great trip down to New Smyrna Beach Florida. For those that are unfamiliar, it is the beach directly south from Daytona Beach and located on the island between the ocean and the Intercoastal/Mosquito Lagoon. The beaches are fantastic, the bars are plentiful and friendly, and the fishing is off the charts...generally. On this trip we drove in on the back of the remnants of a tropical storm so for the first five days my kayak never left my car and the rods remained in their tubes since the wind was at ridiculous constant levels and gusting north of 50mph.

Finally on Thursday I was ablt to get the kayak deployed at dawn to pole around the lagoon for a bit. I drove in to the Canaveral Seashore before light and made a beeline to my favorite parking area as the sun was cresting the waves.

I started out poling farther south to see what I could find. The conditions started out fantastic; sun was rising and wind was hovering around only 5mph. It was calm and gorgeous!

I did run across plenty of Redfish...literally ran across since I could scarcely spot them from the low vantage point until I was just a few feet away. I did find a few that were tailing but just could not seem to get the kayak in to position to let the wind push me in to casting range without spooking them. I switched over to casting a Pole Dancer to try my blind fishing luck as the clouds became more prevalent. I did have a Redfish wake behind it then turn at the last minute and a few good size trout slash at it, but nothing to hand this day. It ended up being my only day out this time, but I will give it a shot again next May!

Now it is time to buckle down and get in the show season mode; The International Fly Tying Symposium is coming up quick!

The day I took off to head south I found a package on my doorstep as I was doing one last walk through the house. The ACF Step by Step volume Two CDs made it! There are a few less patterns this time around but it is extremely streamer heavy with a lot of articulation involved.

On Volume 2 you will find the following patterns:
- Back Winged Scandi
- Hawk Sculpin
- Luscious Leech
- Mike's Fish Candy
- Mike's GHB Sculpin
- Mike's Gorgon Craw
- Mike's Mufasa
- Mike's Neversink Hex
- Mike's Red Rocket
- Mike's Stinky Mayo
- Mike's Voodoo Squatch
- Senyo Sensai Mouse
- Senyo Shaggy Minnow
- Senyo Sick Puppy
- Super Steech (larger version of Schultzy's fly)

I have added this CD to the website for $15 and will have it along with me at the shows as well.

Now back to unpacking and work...

-mike schmidt