Monday, March 31, 2014

Thinking Outside of the Box with Don Andersen

Twenty four fly tyers spent the evening taking in the final presentation of the year from Don Andersen. Don Andersen would be considered by many to be unconventional but his innovative ideas work. Don is known in the fly fishing world for his quality bamboo rod construction but tonight he shared three excellent patterns with the group. Don has also developed many tools for fly tying. Don spent a large part of his presentation showing us some of the tools he has fashioned over the years. I hope to do a blog post showing many of these tools. Don's many years of contract fly tying experience has taught him many techniques that made him an efficient tyer. Don shared many of his ideas tonight. Don's keen observations on the rivers also lead to some of the patterns we tied tonight! Thanks Don for a very educational evening of fly tying! is a note from Don

Take a look at the above video to see the slide show of Don's fly tying tools!


It was a pleasure meeting folks  and getting a chance to show some of the flies & tooling I have used over the years.

During the presentation I referenced a number of companies products and where to find them.

Here is a partial list of some of them.

1] The scissors I use are made by Anvil - see anvilusa.con and look for the Super Sharp STRAIGHT Fine Point - Rust Resistant Stainless Steel -  One Blade Mirco-Serration scissor

2] Scud back material is used for a host of flies - caddis nymphs, chironomids, dragon nymphs. This product is available from Fabric Land in Red Deer. It's located north of the Super Store.

3] The Booby eyes are a Veniard Product and I bought them through Cliff Harvey fly tying see: for the home page and the actual product is: The most useful sizes for me would be Medium and Large.

4] The Macreme Cord used for the BM is available from the Macreme Store. with the product used is There are many colours listed.

5] The mustache comb I used was bought in Rocky @ Shoppers. Combs are availalbe apparently in Walmart. See:

6] Scud back can be dyed or marked up with alcohol based markers. The folks @ the Alberta Art and Drafting Supplies carry Pantone Markers [ which are the best there is]. They allow you to try out the colour before buying. 

If you have any questions about the flies or the tooling, give a shout.

And lastly, there was a whack of questions regarding the hows and why of boobies. Here is about the best write-up I've seen on the subject.

After using them a couple of times, I quit as the hooking was deep. After watch Brian Chan fish them on a lake near Kamloops, I realized the he was retrieving them quite quickly. So, I gave it a shot. The results were no hook ups deep and lots of fish. 

It is hard to be believe that we are bringing down the curtain on another fly tying season! We owe all of this year's presenters a great deal of thanks. It takes time to pull together a presentation. Gathering an idea, pulling together the materials and then doing a presentation takes time. I am so impressed with the creativity of all of our presenters. Our group has a lot of expertise to be shared. The part of the group that I enjoy the most is the friendly atmosphere. Fly Tying Mondays are are great night out and certainly helps us all get through the winter.

The New Fly Fisher this Saturday will air an episode from the Parkland Region of Manitoba hosted by Phil Rowley. The theme is forage fish. It will be on WFN at 8:30 am.

Please drop me an e-mail right away if you are interested in spey casting lessons or single handed casting lessons with Maxwell Robinson. I am trying to line up lessons for around April 19th or 20th. If we get enough interest, I will get everything lined up!

Remember that you need a new Alberta Fishing License starting tomorrow, April 1st. Head over to Alberta Relm. To purchase you 2014 license on line!

I would love to post any pictures of your fly fishing trips. Send me an e-mail and I will get the pics on our blog!


OJ "Orange Juice"

Hook: Standard dry fly size 12
Thread: White 8/0
Body: Orange antron (or any bright colour)
Hackle: Antron palmered from a rough dubbing brush
Colar: Squirrel

Billy's Monster (BM)

Hook: 3 XL streamer hook size 10 or 12
Tail: Brown macrame
Body: Olive dubbing
Thorax: orange dubbing
Wing/Head: Brown Macrame


Hook: Mustad C49s size 8 or TMC 2457 size 8
Tail: Marabou
Body: Cactus Chenille or Fritz
Eyes: Booby foam

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