The Fly Fishing Show promoter, Chuck Furimsky, has hosted a group of show fly tiers for a weekend at Seven Springs Mountain resort near Pittsburgh ever since the Fly Fisher’s Symposium at the resort was discontinued in 1998. The attending fly tiers used to hang out, tie flies, swap fish stories, partake in the good food at the resort, enjoy libations of beer, Scotch, and bourbon, and fish Lake Gosling, a ten-acre lake on the resort stocked with trout. There are also some hold-over hybrid striped bass that are hardly ever caught, but you can see them from time to time. Resident largemouth bass, crappies, and bluegills round out the fish population in the lake. One year we had a fish fry with bluegills. A friend of Chuck’s brought a gas cooker. He filleted the fish and also made fresh-cut French fries. Talk about good eatin’! Lakeside, fresh-caught fish, and then factor in that inestimable element that makes food taste better when prepared, cooked, and eaten outdoors. It was one of those times that makes you say, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”
For the last three years, the attending fly tiers have put on an evening fly tying show at The Sporting Clays Grille on the resort. It is open to the public, and people come from the surrounding area to attend. Personally, I have attended the past two years. A year ago, during the outing, I had orders from MyFlies.com for a few dozen of my RSP’s, the red squirrel, silver-body Picket Pin. Tying the RSP requires the use of a hair stacker. On the first evening I was there I was tying the flies for my orders. It was an easy gig; one fly pattern to tie in a single size didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the camaraderie of the gathering. Fellow tier Tom Baltz from Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania, was also tying, and perhaps a few others. Gradually, though everyone drifted off to bed except for Tom, Bob Mead, and me. It was near or after midnight by the time I retired for the evening. Next morning, I was the first one up, and started tying again. As the rest of the fly tiers gradually got out of bed, you would not believe the grief, complaints, and hassling I got from “fellow fly tiers,” practically every one of them, who complained about the noise of my hair stacker – tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. I would have thought that of all people, fly tiers would be the most supportive, complicit, and understanding of the use of a hair stacker. A number of guys made comments, but fortunately no one was really serious. I think they were just jerking my chain. In self-defense, I simply jerked back, all good-natured fun.
This past March, a group of fly tiers again attended the resort, revisiting the depths of winter that still gripped the region. On Sunday night, before my Tuesday March 26 arrival, the area received eight inches of snow. Tuesday night, another three inches fell. On Wednesday, yet another two to three inches of new snow fell. It looked like mid-January. The ski lifts were still open. A few diehard individuals fished the lake on Wednesday, and even Thursday, but I decided to get ready for Thursday evening’s tying show and did not fish until Friday. By the way, several comments were made about “someone using the hair stacker last year.”
A highlight of the menu was that spey caster Michael Maury made ribs and homemade bar-b-que sauce for everyone for dinner on Wednesday. They were really good, let me tell you!
The fly tying show on Thursday evening drew a record crowd. There were probably about one-hundred fifty in attendance. The place was packed with people almost as soon as the show started. There were twelve tiers seated at two rows of tables at opposite ends of the room. Folks were two and three deep all evening until closing time. People came from towns in Maryland to attend. It was encouraging to see a good number of young people there who were interested in fly tying.
The attending fly tiers were: Tom Baltz, Don Bastian, Joe Humphreys, Bob Clouser, Bobby Clouser, Eric Stroup, Reggie Regensburg, Michael Maury, Randy Buchanan, Scott Loughner, Chuck Furimsky, and Dave Allbaugh.
Here are some photos, all photos by Reggie Regensburg’s friend, Jim. Sorry, I don’t have Jim’s last name.
Thanks to a comment by my friend, Tom Baltz, I was able to positively identify the last handfuls of flies.
At any rate, this event was a fun-filled evening. The crowd and their interest in our tying made the time pass quickly. Hopefully next year, I’ll have more information ahead of time and I can get the announcement out in a timely fashion before the event. Thanks for your visit and viewing of this post.