Saturday I took Alan with me to the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware’s fly tie Saturday session at Lewes Harbor marina. All of the canals in Pot Nets and surrounding areas were full of ice, it was a cold morning. The shop place was rather full when we arrived, I introduced Alan to some of the boys. He immediately felt at home, Alan is a talented angler, and fly fishing is one of his favorites. He is rather knowledgeable despite his young age, is always learning, and trying to improve his fishing techniques. The boys were excited Saturday because the guys from Outdoors Delmarva were supposed to drop by and check out the club. Something we did not announce ahead of time, so the place would not be a zoo, well, more so than usual. Mac had his usual mountain of fly tying gear on the counter. Rick was up front tying a mullet fly for today’s demonstration. He tied one up for the cameras as Andrew Tawes filmed him for WBOC’s Outdoors Delmarva. Rick showed me how the fly would look in the water once it was wet. He tests a lot of his flies in the sink. Just to see how the fly will “hold up” once wet. Sometimes the material used may look sturdy, but once wet, just collapses on itself, and kills any presentation. These boys never cease to amaze me. At some point during the day Alan joined the club, and I highly recommend any interested fly angler to check out the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware. These Saturday meetings are the perfect time to get a real feel for their club.
The boys were all hands on deck, teaching new techniques. Mac was showing Alan his fly collection, and his mini hand vise for tying. He can use this vise almost anywhere and tie “in the field” or in a car on a trip. It comes in a handy plastic case that holds all of the tools he needs to tie on the fly. The boys in the back had 2 tables covered in gear. Roy Miller was tying a fly for bass and pickerel. Bernie was tying a fly with what looked like a gummy worm or a soft plastic. He likes to get creative with the materials he ties with. He had some material with him that was “dubbed” the Punkin Chunkin flies … because he found the material at the Punkin Chunkin this year. Girls were tying this orange colored tube like netting in their hair, he asked one of the ladies he saw wearing this, and inquired about it. At this point the comments are flying around the tables and reminiscing of the craziest things they have found, purchased, or acquired to tie with, and the astonished reactions of others. All jokes aside Bernie tied up some wild looking flies with this material. He had a few that would work like poppers, he even tied a few that were double jointed, and one had a “spinner” like bling. The double jointed tie was done on a hook shank, that the hook had been removed from, this was then attached with a wire loop to the shank eye of the next hook, to make a double jointed fly. The action should be interesting in the water. Half the materials these guys use look like something found inside a couch. Joe was tying shrimp flies, giving some new members instruction. He uses shag carpet pieces to make these flies, and he just loves the questions at the craft stores from the clerks.
I spoke with Don Avondolio founder of SFAOD, for a bit on Saturday, and that is always a pleasure. He told me he has been impressed with the site and my writing, which coming from an avid angler as himself and an author, I was flattered. I introduced him to Alan, and he was excited to see the younger generation taking an interest in the club. That is something I have noticed in the past decade. There are less and less kids fishing. If you walked into a class room and asked for a show of hands … who owns fishing gear and who owns a smart phone … the gear will lose. We need to keep the knowledge, and interest alive in our sport. There are many people that have a wealth of knowledge fishing these areas, that is passed on less and less, until it is lost. We are working on helping preserve a lot of that knowledge with this website, and will continue t diligently to do just that. Those smart phones these kids have, are actually perfect for them to get information as long as it is out there. They can carry a wealth of information on fishing in their pocket. Fishing is much more fun than updating your status gang. In fact an honest life of “fishing” will do just that, increase your status among your peers. Don was chiding me about getting a set up this year for fly fishing, and I will see if I can work that out. I haven’t cast a fly rod in over 20 years, should be an interesting time to say the least.