Sunday, February 3, 2013

New England Fly Swap

-- Fly Swap --
There are so many great aspects of the sport of fly fishing. Time on the water and landing fish is what we all strive to achieve, but the time spent preparing, gathering information about your destination, deciding what rod and flies to use, how you want to hunt and present your fly to the fish, all are part of bringing a fish to hand.

Fly tying has become an integral part of my preparation. Learning what works from others is not only an educational process, but a great way to share our experiences with fellow anglers. Fly swaps become the channel to both learning and making new, like-minded, friends from which we share our love of the sport.

I've participated in fly swaps remotely, two via connections made on Instagram and a one from a now quiet fly fishing board, and through these remote swaps have met some great people, learned new ties and landed fish with their great flies.

Last November, I saw some local water posted on Instagram and connected with @shakeyfly (Ryan). Ryan invited me to join a New England Fly Fishing board that he started last year. I've joined dozens of fly fishing boards over the last 5 years, and actively participated in a couple, but my interests in these other boards waned as the social platforms became more active in the global fly fishing community. 

Home Brew Swap Beer
Wanting to connect more with local fly anglers, I joined and immediately found a great group of local fly fishing fanatics. One of the first posts I read and responded to was a local fly swap being organized by Ryan. Having only tied and mailed flies for swaps in the past, I jumped on the opportunity to join the swap (as number 10 and the last guy in) so I could meet in person some of the great guys from the board.

The swap was for streamer patterns, fresh or salt, and I picked a couple to tie that I've had success on our local trout streams and bass ponds. Our swap host not only was a great tier, but blessed us with incredible home brewed beer & some excellent pork chili. Others brought food too and as we all got to know one another, the swapping of flies itself became secondary. It really was about sharing our local fishing experiences, gear discussion, favorite spots and starting new friendships. While I drove only 5 minutes to the host's house, some came from western Connecticut, over 2 hours away, to meet others and share in the fun.

Here are all the flies from the swap along with a few extras thrown in by some. Many of the names I made up or may have mixed up. I'll update with any corrections sent to me through the board.
Bluegill "Tiger Slayer"
Conehead Zuddler
Bonus Fly - Simulator
Beadhead Leach
Millers River Special
Black Ghost Variant 
Hairwing Beauty
Whitlock's Near-Nuff
Brown Ghost Variant
Articulated Baitfish Beauty
Flatwing Pikie
Blackhead Streamer
Deadhead Minnow
Big Eyed Minnow
Glass Minnow
Sand Eel 
Bonus Crab Fly
Perch Bomb
Crippled Coachman
Olive Slumpbuster

Needless to say, all these flies are excellent. Looking forward to getting them wet and hope to do so with some of the guys who tied them.

Many thanks to Ryan for organizing and our host for sharing his home, food and excellent beer.

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