I got back from Salmonfest last week with my body wanting desperately to rest and recover, but there was no way the schedule would allow for that! I had orders piling up from being out, a Central Ohio Fly Fishers meeting to attend, and packing to head down to Cincinnati for the Grand Opening Saturday of the newest Orvis store.
One of the orders was for a mess of Tommy Lynch Drunk and Disorderlies. This is a fairly complex tie so I have to make sure I am on my game to not forget anything. As with many production runs I break this one down in to three steps, and got a shot of each to post here.
First off is to tie the tail sections for the flies.
Next up is to attach them to the front hook, using .024” 19 strand Beadalon and some beads, then attach and epoxy in place a large rattle.
Finally you complete the front of the fly, trim to a wedge, and glue on the eyes.
Yeah…I tied up some Wooly Buggers too…
When I got the call about heading to Cincinnati to tie at the Grand Opening of the Orvis store I agreed to head down there, but was unsure of what to expect. Having been to other Orvis corporate stores I knew that it was likely to have a very small fishing section so how would that translate to people interested in what I had to offer? I figured that I would take down a few things for my table to catch people’s eyes, like carousels of flash and large bundles of colorful Amhearst tails. Friday night rolled around I got all my gear together, then Saturday morning picked up my buddy Nate and hit the road headed south. After approximately one fine cigar, in my case an Illusione HL1, we had made our destination.
The store was easy to find and in a prime spot…right across from a large and swanky mall in Kentwood. The store manager, Mike, came out and greeted us in the parking lot and we proceeded to get our gear unpacked. Walking in to the store felt like stepping in to the Orvis magazine. There was an abundance of earthy toned clothes, rich woods (mahogany perhaps), and I am sure there was a collection of many leather-bound books laid somewhere about the store. All kidding aside it was an immaculately laid out space with an impressive amount of Orvis gear ranging from clothing and travel gear to dog training equipment.
Tucked back in a section of the store I found the mini mecca of Orvis fly fishing goods where I was to tie for the next five hours or so. In the shadow of the line of Orvis waders, and flanked by a wall of rods and shiny reels, I got everything set up and was stretching a bit when our table neighbor for the morning showed up; Alex Quick, fly fishing manager from Blackberry Farms. If you are not familiar with Blackberry farms check them out on their site sometime…pretty impressive operation. At the end of the day Alex hooked us up with some of the granola that he had on the table, and it may be the best I have ever had!
We settled in for the morning pretty fast as there was a steady stream of people coming through the door. I was surprised by the number of people and glad to take the opportunity to talk to quite a few people that did not fish but were interested in what we were doing. Perhaps they are candidates for the eight Orvis Fly Fishing schools that will be run through Mad River Outfitters this summer... (yeah, shameless plug). Mixed in with the non-fisher folk were plenty of diehards from Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers and Buckeye United Fly Fishers that were happy to have another shop in the area to support, which may have been code for ‘place to go to get away from chores’. We talked about tying, fishing, local conditions, steelhead coming in to the systems on Erie and getting out with Steelhead Alley Outfitters. With all the people coming through our time at the table was over before we knew it. Three o’clock hit and we jumped back in the car for another fine cigar and the Michigan game on XM for the ride home…not too shabby of a day.
I was happy to get a fish shot from customer and friend Brian Jester. Brian was out seeing about some largemouth when this feisty drum made a meal of an ACF fly he was using. Great fish Brian!
Finally, I have to make mention that this was one of the best sports weekends for me in a long time. Michigan with the convincing shutout win, two Tigers wins in the ALCS, and the Lions pull off the improbable comeback from down 10 with five minutes to the overtime victory. Hope my boys did not use up all their juju in one week…want to see more of that!