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    Streamers - Fly Tying with Mike Martinek


    Fly Tying Tier Mike Martinek spent a day at Flymart this past Saturday, conducting a streamer fly tying seminar for a captivated audience. I was one of the "students" who had eagerly awaited this class as Mike is a internationally known fly tier whom has advanced many "New England style" streamer fly designs and has a long history tying "Rangeley style" steamers made famous by Mrs. Carrie G. Stevens (1882 -1970). Here is the FMO update...

    I was running late due to a scheduling conflict I had with sleep, something I never seem to get enough of since I started this web project called Flymart Online. I was awakened with a not to familiar "where are you?" call on my phone. I thought for a moment about all the other things I could be doing this day, like sleeping in. My right brain quickly confirmed the appointment and my anticipation at meeting Mike. I was off and running in the "damn - I'm late" mode.

    Needless to say I grabbed my gear and hauled my butt back over to the shop. Lucky for me it is a short 10 minute drive.  I arrived just in time to watch Mike Martinek put  the finishing touches on a killer looking fly. The class had  started with the the Double Bunny streamer and most were just completing this pattern. For a moment I felt like a school kid who walked into class after the bell. Slightly embarrassed and more concerned that Mike might see this as a sign of disrespect, I slithered into my waiting seat.

     Mike looked up at me silently for a moment, and then broke the tension as he  introduced himself and offered his hand out for me to shake.  I quickly relaxed due to his warm natured character. I knew most other participants in the class and I figured I would end up being the butt of today's jokes. That never happened (really!),  as everyone was all to caught up in the fly tying festivities.

    I struggled threading my bobbin for a moment as the fresh coffee slowly kicked in and got my vise and gear set up for the next fly in the series. Mike has been tying flies for 40 some odd years and his passion for the art and skill soon became obvious to me as we started into "Mike's Matukaboo". This is a great looking fly that uses marabou high stacked on a chenille body  with a marabou tail, 3d eyes, and a throat of hackle tips. As I looked at this pattern my mind wondered off too thinking about the places I would cast it first. I knew that it  would be highly effective in a variety of colors for many different species. We discussed color variations and Mike shared that  purple and black were his favorites. 

     

    As Mike broke the steps down and demonstrated  the patterns on the vise,  I quickly realized why he is such a successful tier. He has a colorful and warm personality and it shows well. His patience and teaching skill made everyone extremely comfortable and his ability to spin tales and share experiences throughout the process kept our attention riveted and focused  to his instruction. Mike not only has mastered the art form, he is also a great teacher.

    I love to tie with synthetics and had been searching for a material that would create a dense, translucent  body I could use for minnow patterns on Lake St. Clair Smallmouth bass and some of the other great waters we fish around these parts. Unbeknownst to me, Mike had this angle completely covered with his "Electric Sashimi" polyester. In fact we tied up some great baitfish patterns using this material and Mike showed us the ins and outs of using it, as it was a featured material on one of the patterns we tied up this day. John Vincent was eyeballing the material wall deciding where he would stock this great synthetic streamer material as well.  

    We went on to tie a total of six creative and fish catching flies that day, including the Stan Wood Special, the Black Ghost and one other fly's name that currently eludes me. My attempts at these classics is not worthy  of public viewing yet so I will get some photos shot of Mike's flies and will post them on this site,  as time permits.

    Before we knew it,  we were finishing up the last fly. Our time together had passed quickly and it was time for Mike to head back out on the road. As the class finished  we huddled over Mike's huge material bag, each  in line to get some of the great hooks and awesome materials we had used this day. Each of us would  return home and crank out our own imitations and variations using the techniques and patterns Mikes so skillfully shared with us.

    I found it very rewarding, having the opportunity to be in a small class with a master tier like Mike. Fly tying is something that is not only a fun pastime alone, but it is really a joy when done in a small group. Especially with someone whom has so much skill leading the instruction.  You see, fly tying is something that was born to be shared. It creates unique opportunities for anglers to learn more about the sport, it's history, localities, personalities, and the species we target. There is such a rich history here that sometimes it is hard to grasp it all. 

    Everyone in this class walked away with precious information that can be used over and over again. Subtle things like the correct manipulation of feather wings, which had been a real issue for me in the past, now became clearer. Techniques that only older hands, that have tied for many years, seem to master, now became closer to my grasp.  In my opinion, classes are certainly one of the faster and more enjoyable ways to learn. I like meeting the people behind the patterns and nuances that you just can't get from a book or video. Local fly shops, fly fishing clubs, and organizations are the backbone and gateway to this truly wonderful hobby, or in some cases,  a lifestyle. There are not many who can sustain there family tying professionally or living on the circuit like Mike does. It is really hard work and if you ask most of them why they do it, they will tell you it is the opportunity to share that makes it all worth while. 

    Sometimes I think of fly tying as akin to the silk in a spiders web. It has caught my attention and links everything together for me as I crawl across it. This web of information  and history is immense and expansive. It can take a lifetime to  journey down all the thousands of strands of information available. However, it is the journey and not the destination, or so someone once said. This is where the half the fun is, at least it is that way for me.

     I would like to say thanks again to Mike Martinek. Thank you for taking the time to come out and share parts of your knowledge with us. Also thanks to John Vincent whom scheduled this informative and rewarding class at Flymart. Flymart  has many more on tap for the interested.  If you have not considered fly tying maybe it's time for you to come take a look and see what you have been missing. If your not careful,  you too can get caught in this fly tying web!

    -- by Jeff Selser  aka.. " src="http://www.flymartonline.com/images/flies/ssminnow.jpg" width=348 border=0 Netdoctor?

    We went on to tie a total of six creative and fish catching flies that day, including the Stan Wood Special, the Black Ghost and one other fly's name that currently eludes me. My attempts at these classics is not worthy  of public viewing yet so I will get some photos shot of Mike's flies and will post them on this site,  as time permits.

    Before we knew it,  we were finishing up the last fly. Our time together had passed quickly and it was time for Mike to head back out on the road. As the class finished  we huddled over Mike's huge material bag, each  in line to get some of the great hooks and awesome materials we had used this day. Each of us would  return home and crank out our own imitations and variations using the techniques and patterns Mikes so skillfully shared with us.

    I found it very rewarding, having the opportunity to be in a small class with a master tier like Mike. Fly tying is something that is not only a fun pastime alone, but it is really a joy when done in a small group. Especially with someone whom has so much skill leading the instruction.  You see, fly tying is something that was born to be shared. It creates unique opportunities for anglers to learn more about the sport, it's history, localities, personalities, and the species we target. There is such a rich history here that sometimes it is hard to grasp it all. 

    Everyone in this class walked away with precious information that can be used over and over again. Subtle things like the correct manipulation of feather wings, which had been a real issue for me in the past, now became clearer. Techniques that only older hands, that have tied for many years, seem to master, now became closer to my grasp.  In my opinion, classes are certainly one of the faster and more enjoyable ways to learn. I like meeting the people behind the patterns and nuances that you just can't get from a book or video. Local fly shops, fly fishing clubs, and organizations are the backbone and gateway to this truly wonderful hobby, or in some cases,  a lifestyle. There are not many who can sustain there family tying professionally or living on the circuit like Mike does. It is really hard work and if you ask most of them why they do it, they will tell you it is the opportunity to share that makes it all worth while. 

    Sometimes I think of fly tying as akin to the silk in a spiders web. It has caught my attention and links everything together for me as I crawl across it. This web of information  and history is immense and expansive. It can take a lifetime to  journey down all the thousands of strands of information available. However, it is the journey and not the destination, or so someone once said. This is where the half the fun is, at least it is that way for me.

     I would like to say thanks again to Mike Martinek. Thank you for taking the time to come out and share parts of your knowledge with us. Also thanks to John Vincent whom scheduled this informative and rewarding class at Flymart. Flymart  has many more on tap for the interested.  If you have not considered fly tying maybe it's time for you to come take a look and see what you have been missing. If your not careful,  you too can get caught in this fly tying web!

    -- by Jeff Selser  aka.. "Netdoctor"

    Related Information

    Mike Martinek

    Mike Martinek is a Maine native and  has been an avid fly tier for over 40 years. His focus is primarily on classic New England style streamers for trout and other game fish and his skills in this area very well known. He also is a saltwater fly fishing enthusiast and has created some wonderful patterns. He has four videos available on fly tying. You can check those out at the Fly Fishing Bookstore here -

     Mike Martinek Fly Tying Videos 

    Classic Maine Streamers - Fly Tying Video 
    New Age Saltwater Baitfish - Fly Tying Video
    Classic Smelt Patterns - Fly Tying Video 
    Smelt and Streamer Patterns - Fly Tying Video 

     Article - Jim Warner a New England Classic by Mike Martinek -
      at the GFF web site.

    Carrie G. Stevens - Classic Rangeley Streamers

    Mrs. Stevens is credited with famous patterns like the Grey Ghost and the Colonel Bates. The story behind her creation the Grey Ghost  is very well known and can be read here. Mrs. Stevens has had two books published about her and featuring her wonderful creations. One called (Carrie G. Stevens Maker of Rangeley Favorite Trout and Salmon Flies, Stackpole Books, Available here at FlyFishingBooks.us) and the other called (Forgotton Flies, published by The Compete Sportsman , currently out of print and very hard to get.)

    The best classic streamer patterns I could find on the web are here at the Complete Sportsman Web Site - Classic Patterns Page

     

    Other Related Articles

    How to dress Salmon Flies An article by Bob Petti - on Rangeley Style Streamers at Fly Anglers Online's web site.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23 @ 14:35:34 UTC by admin


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