Thanks to Byron Begley, Daniel Drake, and Dan Munger for inviting me to be a demonstration fly tyer in their fly shop on January 17, 2015. Little River Outfitters offers FREE fly tying demonstrations every Saturday beginning this coming weekend and through the end of February. If you are in the Townsend, TN area on any Saturday this Winter, stop by to visit one of the best fly shops in the U.S. and also take advantage of the free fly tying demonstrations.
Extended Woven Body Mayfly with Wallywings. #14 hook. Same extended body method as used in previous blog post except both wings are formed with a single grizzly hackle feather by using the Wallywing technique .
Don't miss Fly Tyer's Weekend this coming weekend in Townsend, TN (November 8 and 9). Many of the best fly tyers in the world will be demonstrating, and admission is FREE. This will be one of the best fly tying events of the year! Click here for more details ---> Fly Tyer's Weekend
A year ago from this past weekend, we headed home after leaving the Pigeon Forge area (see previous blog post). We had an extra coupon from the Sevierville Orvis Store, so on the way back we called the Orvis Store in Asheville, NC and Sav Sankaran answered the phone. We asked Sav if we could use the Sevierville store coupon in the Asheville store. Without hesitation, Sav said it was no problem and to come on by. We arrived at the Orvis Asheville store without a lot of time to spare (only about 20 minutes until closing).
The customer service experience at the Orvis Sevierville store the previous day was outstanding, and the Asheville store personnel took it to an even higher level. Sav patiently answered a barrage of questions from Tradd about fly tying materials. They even held the store open for us after closing, and that is just a small example of the customer service that Orvis is all about. We used the coupon and purchased some materials, and that first experience at the Asheville store has brought us back many times since.
Over the past year, every person in the Asheville Orvis store has been extremely helpful and encouraging to Tradd in this new world of fly fishing and tying. James, Austin, Drew, Jeremy, Marguerite, Sarah Beth, Sav, and Troop have spent many hours talking with Tradd about fly tying materials and fly fishing equipment and have always treated him with kindness and patience.
Tradd has now had the privilege of being a fly tying demonstrator for two separate Orvis Days Events in that store and has enjoyed those expereinces very much. A lot has happened in just one year, and Orvis has been a big part of it. We are grateful for the encouragement and friendship of all of the professionals in the Asheville Orvis Store.
Exactly one year ago today, the US Government shutdown forced a change in our vacation plans. We had originally planned to visit a National Park in another state but since that park was closed due to the shutdown, we ended up in the Pigeon Forge, TN area. An Orvis coupon in a local visitor's guide led us to the Orvis Store in Sevierville. We bought some fly tying materials at Orvis, but they also recommended that we visit Little River Outfitters in Townsend. Earlier that day, we had visited the Bass Pro Shops nearby, and they had also recommended a visit to Little River Outfitters. We were new to fly fishing and wanted to learn as much as possible, so we thought it must be good advice to visit LRO that day. Then came a pivotal act of kindness that was far more than the gift that you will read about below. The encouragement and support from the people at Little River Outfitters (Bryon Begley, Glenn Allgood, Daniel Drake, and Alex Bone) has had a significant positive impact on Tradd's fly tying and fishing. It is easy to see why people in the fly fishing industry all over the country know Little River Outfitters and speak highly of its reputation. We are very grateful for the kindness and friendship of the great people at LRO. The following is an excerpt from the Little River Outfitters Daily Fishing Report on October 18, 2013. (Click HERE for the Full Text):
Our customer Mark from Michigan and I have become friends over the years. He came in here a couple of months ago with a stack of fly tying books and videos. He said “Fly tying is not for me, do something with these books”. One of the books was that huge volume of information written by Ted Leeson and another author. I can’t remember the name of the book. I have a copy and it’s one of the best fly tying books ever written. It retails for $100. I held on to Mark’s books to donate them to our TU Chapter. Yesterday, Tradd from South Carolina came in with his parents. He had never been here. He is eleven years old and is deep into fly tying. I can understand that. I started tying flies at the same age, 51 years ago. Tradd kind of looks like I did at that age. He and his parents had been shopping for materials at Bass Pro Shops in Kodak and at the Orvis Company Store in Sevierville. People at both stores suggested he come to our store too. I appreciate that and also return the favor when I can.
Tradd was full of questions. I answered most of them. We looked at lots of tying materials for a while. I never tell anyone I am the owner of the store but Tradd's dad asked if I was. I said yes. He told me I probably had other things to do than answer all of these questions. I told him I did have other stuff to do but I would rather be doing this.
I have never seen such a young guy that interested in fly tying, not in 19 years in this business.
At some point, I thought about that book Mark gave me. I walked up to my office, got the book and gave it to Tradd. His eyes flew wide open. I told them the story about Mark turning those books in. So, Tradd walked out with about $100 worth of fly tying materials and a $100 book for $100. That’s three “$100” in one sentence. Am I losing my grasp of the English language?
It’s days like yesterday that make this whole job worthwhile. I really enjoy working with our staff. I like them all. I like working with customers, all of them. I enjoy talking to our vendors.
But most of all, I get a kick out of helping young people enjoy our sport more and hopefully I can encourage their interest for life. It will take more than I can do, but I’ll do my part. This fishing report is part of that process. I know this report is read by a lot of kids and young adults. I know teachers who encourage their students to read this report for lots of reasons.
Yesterday was a good day. The church bells are ringing across the street. It is 9:00 am. For all of you English students out there, it took 40 minutes or less to write this. Have a good day yourself and thank you for being here with us.