Going fly fishing this Friday (sorta)

You’d think I could care less about fly tying and flies (that just looks weird, doesn’t it?). Truth is I’m really not that interested. Don’t get me wrong, I like tossing a line in and sitting back, reading a book, talking when I’m not supposed to and yes, I also like catching a fish or four. Especially deep sea but this post has nothing to do with that kind of fishing.

Why I care about the flies

Here’s the deal, my dad, rest in peace and all that stuff, was a master at tying flies. He’d sit for hours upon hours hunched over his set up which took over most of a two car garage, wearing what looked like a jeweler’s loupe and painstakingly winding threads around a fuzzy, feathered hook of death. He got so good, that his flies ended up being auctioned for charity and were featured in many a magazine and calendar and books were written about his technique. No surprise there….I got my obsessive repulsiveness for projects and such from somewhere. Seeing as how I’m his wonder twin image….

Back to Christina’s art

Again, I slightly digress. Imagine that. When I found out the amazonian and most talented Christina Deubel was taking on flies and creating a whole series of pieces (she’s an artist, yo) centered around ‘em, I figured I had to go. It might help me pay homage to the old man and get over the fact that I had to do all the yard chores because he was busy creating flies. Christina’s showing her fly self this First Friday at the Downtown Spokane Grande Ronde tasting room (next to Wild Sage Bistro - where I am totally stopping in to check out the results of their Facebook cocktail…so far we know it’s Vodka with muddled cherry tomatoes. Just waiting on Facebookers to vote on the remaining ingredients. But I digress, shocker!) to check out Christina’s exhibit.

Why should you come? Why should you care about flies. Their really kinda cool and Christina’s literally embracing this whole fly thing. From learning about tying her own, to visiting with some of Spokane’s most talented fly tyers to donating 10% of the sales from the Fly Fishing series of paintings to Soul River, Inc (check their sh!t out. Serious coolness). See you Friday night at the Grand Ronde tasting room.

PS Sticky note, just googled my dear old departed dad and hit on an auction for five of his flies going for $2,000. I’m a little freaked and amazed at this. Christina’s Fly Fishing Series has been a little cathartic for me. 

This set of 5 very rare flies were tied specifically for Rare and Unusual Fly Tying Materials: A Natural History. Volume 2 - Birds & Mammals where they appear on page 293 (silk section). Albert Cohen is best remembered for the spectacularly smooth, silk bodies of his salmon flies. No one short of Paul Rossman has ever produced better.

ALBERT J. COHEN lived in Dallas, Texas … and his heart was as big as that state until complications from cancer took their toll. Yet whenever Albert rolled into town for a business meeting, he always took an extra day or two and made time for his friends. He loved auctions and shows that featured angling collectibles and antiques. Cohen loved to collect fly boxes, particularly those by Hardy. But above all, Al Cohen was a meticulous fly tier and student of fly tying history who paid particular attention to the smallest detail . Through this, he inspired numerous fly tiers and thus left a legacy for the coming generations. His classic Atlantic salmon flies were featured in Judith Dunham’s The Atlantic Salmon Fly. Al was not a commercial tier and he rarely sold any flies. Examples of his work like these are rarely encountered. He was one of the finest full-dressed salmon fly tiers of the twentieth century.

Here are five, very rare and highly collectible full-dressed classic patterns from the man for whom no detail was small enough.

All in size 5/0 and tied on handmade replicas of Harrison Bartlet hooks by Gene Sunday. Patterns include (clockwise from top right): McNichol (Hardy), Parson (Hardy), Ondine (Ephemera), McIntyre (Hale), and Gordon (Hale).

And another dad fly tying reference:

As for attention to details, I think of Albert Cohen as one of the best fly dressers of our era. I had the chance to talk to him a couple of years ago. I was curious to know, amongst other things, how he built his married wings and attached them on the hook. He diligently sent me a letters explaining his technique, supported by drawings and photos of beautiful flies. I?m grateful to him and felt profoundly saddened by his death. To me, Albert Cohen represents the ?summum? [huh??] in scrutiny to detail and precise dexterity. His legacy is undeniable and his influence considerable in the fly tying community

And I thought this was all about Christina’s flies and something to do on a Friday night. Turns out, it was a whole lot more. Weird, huh?