Another Trip to the Midwest

By Mike Hogue


One of the things I try to do when I travel to shows for business is to try and go see new places. I also like to eat some of the local foods and I also like to make the trip as enjoyable as possible. I believe that you need to have some fun if you are doing something that takes you away from home so I always try to find time to do some interesting things, see some friends or family and take in some of the local culture. In some cases I go fishing, sometimes it is just a taste treat for something I can't get at home or other times it is combinations of many things.

The past week or so I was out on the road. I decided to go to Minneapolis for the new fly fishing show called Great Waters 2004. The show was sponsored by Midwest Fly Fishing Magazine and I was able to find the time to go. I thought it would be fun to see folks since at one time I used to do some writing for the MWFF magazine when I lived in the Midwest. The show was held in the Sheraton/Radison South Hotel near the Mall of America. I decided to go to the show as it was a chance to see a few of my friends, renew some old contacts and catch up on the local gossip as I have been out of the loop for some time since moving to the East Coast about 4 years ago.

Before heading out I contacted my old fishing buddy from Des Moines, Larry Young. Larry agreed to meet me to help out at the show and also to spend some time getting caught up on all of the things that have been happening with my old club the Hawkeye Fly Fishing Assocication. Larry and I have been friends for a good many years and fished together from one end of Iowa to the other with a few major points in between. We had lots of fun and also tied a fair number of flies together. Larry and I have had lots of adventures together and it is always good to see him.

The trip across the Midwest was uneventful and long. Some 1200 miles one way. When I got to Chicago, I realized that I was more less about half way. I forgotten the joys of driving on the Illinios expressway and also how wonderful the Illinois state road system is. New York's roads are near perfect compared to some of the craters in the roads I've seen in Chicago. I did find a few lost families that are using some of these holes as condos since the price of Chicago real estate is so high.

I pulled into Minneaplois, got settled into the hotel and unpacked some of the clothes. I had some time so I headed off to the Mall of America. The Mall is not exactlly a fly fishing destination ( in fact it I don't think it even has a fly shop per say inside ). The Mall is the biggest in the world and houses all kinds of things you will never see any other place. It is more or less 3 layers and it has several major department stores as corners. The center is entire amusement park with roller coasters, hot dogs and all the rest. Compared to say a large regional mall it would be say 4-5 major malls in one. The parking alone is strange..... fruit, number, color, state and you better write it down or you won't know where your car is.

There are several ways to check this place out. Some folks have maps, mark the stores and walk to just specific places. I choose to walk up and down and look at just part of mall since I didn't have a specific store I wanted to see. I was more interested in seeing local and regional type stores rather than chains. Being a retailer, you always can learn something by looking around. I learned that one from Sam Walton. He visited every Kmart in America twice. I've read his book on founding Wal Mart at least 3 times. My goal is more modest, just shop in every fly shop, outdoors store and nature shop in America.

My favorite place was the Minnesota Public Radio store. It had books, tapes, t-shirt for all of the Prairie Home Companion radio programs. It also had lots of stuff from the Red Green Show. I loaded up on some caps, t-shirts and a few bumper strips. I also found a bead store and made some earrings for my wife Laura and also found a nice locally made humming bird pin for her at a Minnesoda shop. If you don't know Minnesota is pronounced Minnesoda in Ioweigin. ( The place is settled by Norweigns and Sweedes so the local language is Iowa_weigin. Okay, yes that is more or less where I get my accent, since I am not from New Jersey. I am mostly British not Norweign, and I still can't stand those awful Herring snacks. )

The best thing was the Aquarium. This was the main reason for my Mall trip since I had never seen the aquarim. The Mall's aquarium is a bit different. It has clear tunnels and you walk basically below the water. There is a small moving sidewalk and you stand while it slowly takes you below the various areas. There are 3 major areas: a Minnesota Lake, the Missippippi River and also a saltwater reef. As you walk the fish swim over your head. I saw pike as long as your leg and crappies ( in New York we say crappy) a foot long and bass to die for. I watched to see how the fish reacted, swam and where they like to stay. The saltwater reef had nice permits in them. Really nice. I kept thinking, maybe I could sneak in here and do some casting upstairs or maybe I could bribe someone to let me clean the pool. The sharks looked tough as did the barracudas. At the end they have a petting zoo of mud sharks and rays. I had to touch the rays, it sort of behaved like my cat and loved attention. If you hate the Mall, you would love this. It was very cool. Not the best aquarium I've ever seen but certainly worth the trip.

The Show was pretty good for a first time event. Some 60-80 vendors were on hand to sell rods, fly tying materials, promote lodges and also other types of equipment. Like any show there is bound to be somthing you don't have and I managed to see a few more things I couldn't live without. Larry and I had lots of fun talking with many of my old Midwest pals. I got to see Keith Wunder who had to travel up north to see Norm Norlander and get some more Norvise instruction. As I understand it, Norm feels that a crow bar, vise grips and beating on the Norvise are not exactlly the best ways to adjust a piece of finely machined equipment. He did provide Keith with a new wrench to use.

I happened to run into Ron Sutphin, who according to Ron Smith has a new hobby in making home videos. Appearently someone in the club pulled an "Everbody Loves Raymond" and taped over one of the club tapes and by chance Ron "just happened" to have a copy. Ron Smith filled me in on all the details of copy right infrigement. I also saw several other folks and got caught up what has been happening since I left. Lance Zook had some wonderful flies and showed me several of his newest creations.

For the trip back, I choose an alternate route and stopped by one of my supplier's near Mankato. I had the chance to go through this supplier's warehouse and was amazed at all the stuff. House of the dead stuff. Just stacks of everything you can imagine. A few things I have no idea what I would use them for but they looked interesting. I picked out some very cool stuff which I will be adding down the road. I also discussed several things he will be making/dying for me. I also got to see some of the very nicest quills which he gave samples of to Paul Schmookler. Paul used those in an article in the Art of Angling. I will add those when I get the colors/price/sizes sorted out.

I also managed to drive along the Wisconsin side of the river road. This highway more or less follows the Mississippi and I saw some nesting bald eagles. Those are always amazing. If you get a chance, try the river road instead of the interstate. You can see lots of wild life just from the highway.

All it all it was a great trip AND I got to have some Dairy Queen ice cream!


Last call for Shows:

Catskill Fly Tyer's Guild Renedzvous

Join the Catskill Fly Tyer's Guild for the 3rd Annual FTR. Fly Tyers will come for a FREE one day event from 6 states. Tyers such as Poul Jorgensen, Fishy Fullum, Dave Brandt, Ted Patlin and many, many more will be on hand to demonstrate their favorite flies. Many of these tier's patterns have been in magazines, books and on display at Museums. This is a chance to see many local and region tyers for free! The meeting will be 4/17/04 at the Rockland House in Roscoe, NY from 10-3pm. For more info, contact Mike Hogue @ 607-347-4946.

There will be a cocktail party following the event at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center from 3-6pm. All tyers are asked to bring 1/2 dozen flies as a part of a fund raiser sponosred by Jim Krul for some of Paul Dahlie's CFFCM programs.

Badger Creek Fly Tying Open House

Badger Creek Fly Tying will be having a free open house. Events include: free casting lessons, fly tying demos by Fishy Fullum and Bill Skilton. Bruce Hollowich from Heritage Rods will be giving free casting lessons. Free snacks and free drawings for those that attend. Items to be given away will include a free Heritage Rod, Whiting Hackle, boxes of flies and more. Saturday May 15th, 9-4pm, 6622 W. Dryden Road, Freeville, NY. Must be present to register for any drawings. Come and see the ONLY independently owned fly shop in the greater Ithaca area. For more info, contact Mike Hogue @ 607-347-4946


New Stuff:

Saltwater Yak: Nope this isn't what happens when you drink too much of that cheap stuff and loose your cookies near the beach. This is about 12" long and is the closest I have ever seen to real polar bear. Translucent hair. Very nice stuff, idea for pike, saltwater or streamers. Can be cut to size since ends are blunt. Colors: White, Gray, Chartreuse, Black, Olive: $5.50

Grouse Tails: Ruffed grouse tails. These are full clumps. The fibers can be wrapped for body material like a pheasant tail. You can also spray these with clear krylon paint and use for wings or muddlers. Colors gray or red brown. Unique. $3.50

ARE Vise: This is a copy of the old Price vise. Has a large thumb wheel that spins the hook shank. Jaws have a finger cam that locks and unlocks. Comes with bobbin rest, c-clamp and base. $90.00

Whiting Saltwater Cree Hackle: I have a few saltwater necks in cree. Ideal for matuka's, Whitlock sculpins and makes some mean crawdads. Use for crabs and also some permit flies. $25. Silver grade. A steal at this price.

Red Bourbon/Tennessee Quail Pelts: I found some nice ones of these. Red Brown with a mix of other colors. Ideal for soft hackles and also great for caddis wings. $12

Cortnix Quails: Full Pelts of ginger/white/light brown. Makes perfect sulpher soft hackle material. Smaller feathers with wings/tails/body/head. $12.00

Really Large Brown Tip Turkey: I found some of these when I was cleaning. Nice big quills. Use for muddlers, wing cases or married wings. Big jumbo size $2.50 a pair.

Frog Cutters: This is the newest River Road foam puncher. I will be using this set for the 17th year hatch of the giant ciccada bugs due this year in PA and NY. Punches out a shape that looks like a tad pole. Clip the tail and you have a dandy ciccada. Use on the Green River. Hand made with teak handles. Set of 3. $45.00

Emu: This is bit wider than the normal ostrich. Makes cool legs on hellgrimites. Use for strymph tails or wind as a collar. Colors: Olive, brown, gray, black $3.50

English Hare's Mask: Nice clean high quality masks. Use for hare's ears and guppler special if you are headed out to fish the lakes near Ennis, MT this summer. Black, Olive, Natural, Bleached. Full faces. $3.50

Really Cool White Black Tipped Fox: This are snow white tails and I got them dyed in most excellent colors. Hair is very long and is either snow white or black tipped. Use for steelhead flies, salmon or hair wings. Makes very hot clouser minnows. If you are looking for some hot stuff for carp flies, this is it! Author Brad Beyfus loaded up on this at MN show. This is the good stuff! Long full tails. Colors: White, Golden Brown, Medium Brown, Olive, Purple. $10.00

Bought the Magic Clip and can't Figure it out Yet? Mark Pettijean has a new DVD. Just like watching him at Somerset. He shows all the basic tricks. Very slick. For even the most seasoned tyer, this is good! $25.00

Thread splitting thread. I have 6/0 NON waxed thread. Use for splitting and doing the MP CDC flies. Colors: white, black, peacock, flo orange, red, brown, gray, yellow, tan. $1.50 200 yd spools.

Can't find the feathers for the Magic Clip? I've got them. Genetic CDC. Colors: tan, dark dun, light dun, white, dark brown dun. $3.50 a pack. Double the size of standard CDC.



TICA Flymaster Bar Stock Fly Reels

This is one of the hottest new reels on the market. TICA reels are machined out of solid bar stock using the latest CNC machinery. Each TICA reel features

Unique ported balanced spools, Laser etched lettering

Line out click alarm, Precision disc drag system with

4 precision ball bearings, Quick release spools

Easily converts right-left hand wind, Wooden handle knob. Free neoprene reel cover. Silver only


Model Line Wt Oz Price

S103S 3-4 4 $80.00

S105S 4-5 4.3 $85.00

S107S 6-7 5 $90.00



These are awesome!


Odds and Ends:

One left: Solid Wood Tool Chest. Very nice item. 3 drawers, silver finished brass locks, handles and knobs. Birch with red oak finish. Red velvet inside. Last one, can't get any more. $125.00

Arctic Runner ( AKA Icelandic Horse).Dick Talleur loves this! Very nice hair which is about 1 1/2" Long. Colors: White, Dark Gray, Chestnut, Chartreuse. WAS $4.00, NOW $2.00

Small Muskrats: These are what they call a grade 3-4. Small hides, tanned, no holes. Will still tie a ton Adams and dries. WAS $8.00, NOW $6.00!


Need a new fly rod? Looking for quality at a great price? Search no more:



The finest rod at reasonable prices!


Heritage Rods were quietly introduced in February 1999. By September, Heritage sold almost 2000 rods and had back orders on hand. Everyone without exception, raves about the rods. Simply put, these rods have been a sensation. Well known fly fishers such as AK. Best, Bob Veverka, Ted Patlen, Jack Gartside and a host of other well know pros have bought and use these rods. Heritage doesn't hire consultants or have big advertising bills to add to the cost of a rod. They make and sell one of the best value rods on the market today. When it gets right down to it quality, value and performance are all really you need to catch fish.


Heritage uses IM6 designed blanks, single foot guides and top grade reel seats. In the smaller freshwater rods slip rings with a cork seat are used. Larger freshwater rods have an uplock seat with a graphite insert. Saltwater, salmon and spey rods feature a brilliant silver gray, up locking titanium anodized aluminum seat with a fighting butt. Heritage offers everything from 3 WT to 12 WT rods, available in 2, 3, 4 piece rods. For 2004 Heritage has introduced a 5 PC 8/9 WT ROD 9-0 for saltwater or heavy freshwater fish. The new rod is Extra Fast and will throw a 6 inch fly into a 15 mph wind. Also new for 2004 are a whole series of spey rods. These new spey rods will out-cast and out fish rods at 4 times the price. Heritage's new Windbeater rods are 3 piece rods for 7/8 wt line in 10', 10-6 and 12' lengths and are the pride of many steelhead fisherman on the West Coast and Salmon fishermen in Alaska and Canada. These are also great rods to use for Great Lakes salmon and steelhead. You can cast into a small gale wind with these rods or put a 9 wt line on them with great results. 


Rod Length Weight Piece(s) Seat Type Use/Fish Price:

7-'0" 3 2 Cork w/Slip Rings Trout/Panfish $100

7-'0" 4 2 Cork w/ Slip Rings Trout/Panfish $100


7-'6" 3 2 Cork w/ Slip Rings Trout/Panfish $100

7-'6" 4 2 Cork w/ Slip Rings Trout/Panfish $100

7-'6" 5 2 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $100


8'-0" 3 2 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $100

8'-0" 4 2 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $100

8'-0" 5 2 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $100


8'-6" 3 2 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $110

8'-6" 4 2 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $110

8'-6" 5 2 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $110


9'-0" 3 3 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $110

9'-0" 4 3 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $110

9'-0" 5 3 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $110


9'-0" 6 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Trout/Panfish $140

9'-0" 7 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Bass, Salmon $140

9'-0" 8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Bass, Salmon $150



Rod Length Weight Piece(s) Seat Type Use/Fish Price:

9'-0" 9 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Pike/Salt $150

9'-0" 10/11 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Saltwater $160


9'-6" 6 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Trout/Panfish $160

9'-6" 7 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Bass/Trout $160

9'-6" 8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Salmon $160

9'-6" 9 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Pike/Salt $160

9'-6" 10 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Saltwater $160


The 9'6" rods are ideal for using in a boat, float tubes or even drift / kick boats. The extra length also is easier to mend for nymphing or steelheading.


9'-0" 3 4 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $190

9'-0" 4 4 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $190

9'-0" 5 4 Uplock w/graphite Trout/Panfish $190

9'-0" 6 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Trout/Panfish $190

9'-0" 7 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Bass, Salmon $190


9'-0" 8 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Pike/Bass/Salt $200

9'-0" 9 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Saltwater $200

9'-0" 10/11 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Saltwater $200


Spey Rods:

14'-0" 9/10 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Spey $225

15'-0" 10/11 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Spey $260

14'-0" 8/9 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Spey $280

15'-0" 9/10 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Spey $290



Windbeater Salmon/Steelhead/Saltwater:

10'-6" 7/8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Steelhead $165

10'-6" 7/8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Steelhead $175

12'-0" 7/8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Steelhead $195

Convertible special 1 or 2 handed, 2 butts, special order ( as above: size/line) $275


Many Great Lakes fly fishers have been looking for an extra long rod ( like a noodle rod) which can mend, nymph and allow for deep water drifting. These rods give you that extra length you need to put the fly where the fish lay in the stream. A longer rod will also cast further, with quicker pick up.


Extra Fast Saltwater/Striper Special:

9'-0" 8/9 5 Anodized w/ f.butt Saltwater $225

All Heritage Rods have a lifetime guarantee on the tips and 5 years on the rest of the rod. For $15.00, to cover handling/shipping Heritage will replace broken tips / or bottom sections. Heritage Rods do not come with a rod tube or rod socks. For an additional charge, I will offer Clear Creek tubes in cloth, metal or as a holster/zipper case.


Bummed out that the Community Fly Fisher is gone? Well forget the drive to PA, forget those box stores. I stock tons of stuff they don't have. I have Ithaca's largest collection of fly fishing stuff. Rods, reels, lines and all the rest. Open when I am home. Call me to stop by. 607-347-4946.


Fishing Report: Local waters have cleared up, although most are quite cold still. Not much for spawning rainbows yet. We need some more rain. Most of the local waters have been stocked. Big trouble is deciding where to fish. Try stoneflies, streamers/white, large dry flies. I had good luck with a pearl streamer and also black wooly buggers.



For more Info Contact:

Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068

Phone: 607-347-4946