Attending the International Tyer's Symposium

By Mike Hogue

The International Tyer's Symposium is a small show which takes place in November each year. The show which is promoted by Chuck Ferminsky, owner of Bugskin is a gathering designed to promote Fly Tying and demonstrate the collective skills of tyers from across the globe. The majority of folks that attend are from the Northeast, coming from NY, PA, NJ and the like. The show has become a sort of a kick off for the show season which typically starts in January, A good many things which you see now are more or less items which will be popular as the season goes along.

I had a booth at the show and I thought I would pass along some of the behind the scenes info about the show for those folks which couldn't attend. As was true last year, Fly Tyer Magazine was attending the show doing an article about the tyers and taking pictures of the flies which they collected, for an upcoming issue expect to see some of the designs which the group created.

Another part of the show was the tying contest sponsored by that wonderful web site The Global Fly Fisher. As some of you might know, the Global Fly Fisher is a collective site created by the join efforts of Bob Petti of New York, Martin Jorgensen of Denmark, Steven Schwietzer formerly of Chicago/now Denver and Bob Skehan of Maine. I had a chance to visit with some of the members and talk about how the Global Fly Fisher started and how they came together.

Some time ago...... about 3 years ago which in internet time is about a gazillion years old, Steven Schwietzer and Martin Jorgensen merged their talents and web sites creating the new monolith, the Global Fly Fisher. There goal was to create a free forum for the exchange of fly tying and fly fishing info and to share that with other folks on a free basis. They later merged the new England streamer page and added Bob Petti into the mix to create a monster fly fishing and tying site called the Global Fly Fisher.

I also tried bribing the judges with beer to see if I could increase my standings in any of the fly contests, I suspect that my efforts did nothing but contribute to a few more morning headaches and up the sales of the bar for the evening.

Some of the other tyers present were Dave Brandt, Jack Gartside, Doug Swisher, Bob Jacklin, AK Best, Ed Engle, Bob Popovics and a very long list of some really talented tyers. Theo Bakelaer of Holland gave me a very nice eel skin fly and I got another nice fly from Harry Schoel of Holland. Steve Thorton of England showed me some nice flies and I bought a few from some of the tyers that made flies for The Forgotten Flies book which came out last year.

Early next year, the makers of Forgotten Flies, Schmokeler and Sills will have a new magazine of exceptional quality called the Journal of Angling. This promises to be a really cool, slick new mag with very nice pictures. It will be pricey of about like $35 a year for the mag. Go to their web site at: for more info.

There is a fly tying contest sponsored by Down N Trout of NJ. The contest is called Ye a fly for America. Basically you can make any sort of fly as long as it used red, white and blue. The goal is to donate some money to widows and families of NY PD and FD from the 9/11 WTC incident. There are lots of prizes to win, including a fly plate with flies from Dave Whitlock, Jack Gartside and lefty Kreh. For more info, log on to........., don't even think about a bass fly as that portion if completely occupied by yours truly.

I had some fun with hackle grower Bill Keough. Bill shared a space across from me selling some his necks and saddles. Since we were both at the show by ourselves, Bill watched my goods and I his, when either had to take a break. Bill created some impromptu sales of my Whiting Hackle by marking it down to $5 for a Bronze grade saddle. I returned the favor when Bill had to go to the little boy's room by getting my picture taken for the Global Fly Fisher holding up a select grade neck normally priced at about $85, marked down to $5. The picture should go on to the web site along his 800- number showing me pointing to the price, I am hoping he will receive a large number of calls about his new pricing structure. Those pay backs are hell.

Perhaps the best fun was meeting the "Greatest Fly Fisherman in America". It would seem that one of the tyers participated in an ESPN Outdoors fly fishing competition this year. Apparently, this tyer pretty much sucked but had the good fortune of having his wife make a promo for the event in which she proclaimed that well he was " The Greatest Fly Fisher in America."

At a banquet held Saturday, Dave Brandt and Larry Duckwall, came forward to introduce and give an award to this outstanding fly fisher, author and tyer. They began by telling us that we were surrounded by greatness and it was an honor to be around this truly talented person.........right. When they announced Harrison Steeves' name I was on the floor laughing. He got a red white and blue ribbon with a star from the top of Christmas tree. Attached to the star was a picture of our friend Mr. Rubber lips, the carp.

Theo Baklear gave Jack Gartside an award which I am not sure I can describe. Lets just say that it would be right at home in one the Star Commission reports from the Clinton era. Chuck Ferminsky also honored George Harvey who turned 90. Bob Popovics brought along a video from several of the early Chuck shows, with a highlight of the roasting of Left Kreh. Lefty was tormented by a woman dressed as a bag lady for about 15-20 minutes, parts of this skit would still be illegal today in at least 20-30 states.

We had loads of fun and managed to sell some stuff and make some new friends. Thanks to all that turned out.


If you are sick of the mall, tired of Black Friday and really don't care for nasty clerks that chomp gum, one of the joys of internet shopping is shopping right at home in your own living room. You can look at loads of stuff, compare features and prices and locate unusual or difficult to find things.

So instead of getting yet another new tie or that pair of socks or something you really can't stand, have your loved one contact me. I can pick out something realllllly special and I willing to bet that I have something just for you that you don't have yet. Best part is she/he can do it right from home and deal with someone that really understands you and knows fly tying.

Here's a small selection:

Mieho Fly Boxes: These fold in half and come in several styles and colors. They have interior windows. Several have neck straps and the prices start at $5.50 and go to $15.50. These have been very popular at the fishing shows. Sold as a green box by Smorvis for about double.

New Ergo Kidney shaped box: This has 5 compartments and is shaped like a kidney. They hold lots of flies and will slide in and out of a vest or jacket. $8.00

Okuma Metal Fly Boxes: Okuma is an ISO 9000 manufacturer and these are very nice. Excellent quality! Compare to Bheatly boxes which cost over $95! Aluminum with 16 windows and fly foam on one side. Ideal gift for your fishing buddy or son/daughter. Make some of your own special flies and load this up. Makes a great stocking stuffer. $27.50 for silver, $28.50 for black.

Wasatch Custom Angling Tools: These are wonderful and very well made. Handles are solid wood with brass accents. Tools are whip finisher: $12.00, rotating hackle plier: $13.50, bodkin: $8.25, Dubbing brush; $9.50 , threader: $7.25. Wood colors: rosewood and I still have field and stream which dyed blue/green birch and is awesome! I KNOW you don't have this one!

Wood River Bags: These are ideal for the fly fisher. Lifetime warranty, mine holds at last count like 24 boxes, a raincoat, tool set and loads of other things. Prices start at $55 and go to $125.

JW Outfitter's Tying Bags: This is for the person that has it all ! Great for shows, travel, classes or demo work. The Total Tying Bag: This is the bag I use. I set this bag up and leave most of the stuff in it. This has 6 mesh neck bags, three main compartments with five thread spool tubes, 12 hook boxes, 2 exterior zippered pockets, padded vise pouch and 38 interior storage pockets. Color: Spruce Green. $175.00

Nice Reels that won't break the bank! I have sold lots of the Elite reels. Each reel has disc drags, counter balances, interchangeable spools and a palming rim. Size 3/4: $50, Size; 4/5 : $55. Popular steelhead Andros model on special for $75, for 6-7-8 and light saltwater.

Dr. Mike's Angling Scissors: Very sharp with nice tips. Serrated and excellent for making dries. Price is right. Choose from curved or straight blades. $4.50 each or 2 for $8.00 Great stocking stuffers.


Back in stock: English Red Grouse; Nice full skins beautiful red/brown. Use for soft hackles and nymphs. Very unusual and hard for me to get! $25

Jassid Jungle Cock Patches: The Jassid is one of the best known PA flies. Originally designed by Vince Marinaro, the Jassid is President Carter's favorite fly. Usually you have to buy the whole neck to find these! I located some patches which have all of the size 18-20 nails on them. Each patch will do at least 2 dozen flies. $5.00

I have a few Whiting Cree necks, cree saddles and half saddles on hand. Email for grades and prices. ========================================================================================

For all of my old Iowa/HFFA friends I will be donating this for the Feb auction at the annual meeting. As some of the HFFA members know, I have moved to upstate New York. After some serious thinking I have decided to donate the entire collection of the Lost Midwestern Fishing Maps of Mike Hogue. These maps were compiled over a painstaking 10 year period of extensive on site research. I pursued some the most difficult, bizarre and hard to find leads in search of trophy fish.

These maps will contain the exact SPECIFIC secret locations for catching large gigantic sized monster fish of mythic proportions. Many of the maps are out of print and unavailable at any price or location. This box will have a minimum retail guaranteed retail of at least $100. In other words, if you buy this it will contain LEAST $100 worth of stuff. Enclosed will also be some of my secret fish catching flies which until now have never been disclosed to the public at any time or any place. I fully expect each serious trophy hunter to bid competitively to obtain the entire contents.

This box is to remain completely sealed not to be opened until after it is purchased. I will allow any serious bidders to examine the box before it is put up for sale. It will be 100% free of any known terrorists substances, will contain no adult recreational goods of any kind and be 100% certified family friendly. It will require no batteries or techno toys to operate.

All proceeds of the sale will be donated to the HFFA. For more information tips or clues, contact Mike Hogue via email:


As usual if you want to be deleted from this list for any reason, let me know. How you enjoyed this! Contact: Mike Hogue, Badger Creek Fly Tying, 1408 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, NY 14850. 607-266-0736. Email:, Web Site: