Fish & Flies

Fish & flies, flies & fish. This series has lots of both.

What does a fly look like just before it gets eaten? How do you build the fly so it flies, lands and sits correctly?

These featured flies are the real deal. They are carefully hand tied and are mounted free standing on the background scene. The fly is presented in a step by step construction process, from bare hook to finished presentation. Each step of the creation arcs thru the sky, unfurling to land perfectly in front of the target fish.

The sky is a photograph, but the underwater background and fish are my own, meticulously rendered creations. The assemblage is placed in a 2″ deep shadow box frame that has a full acrylic protective cover.

Enlargements of all pieces are available on the Shop page.

Clouser Deep Minnow

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available 30” x 40” vertical or horizontal 

The original Clouser Deep Minnow evolved from traditional bucktail streamers and was created in 1987 by Bob Clouser, a Pennsylvania fly shop owner and guide. The original patterns were intended for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River. Today, the Clouser Deep Minnow is widely used for many species of both fresh and saltwater game fish. Lefty Kreh claims to have caught over 87 species of game fish on Clouser Deep Minnow flies “I believe that this pattern is the most important and effective underwater fly developed in the past 20 years” — Lefty Kreh 1994 in The Professionals’ Favorite Flies

Pink Gotcha

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available  30” x 40” format

The Bonefish Gotcha fly is known worldwide for its ability to produce results in saltwater fly fishing. There are thousands of bonefish flies to choose from, but all bone fishermen agree on one thing: any collection of bonefish flies is incomplete without the proven Gotcha fly. Jim McVay, Jr. found the Craft Fur material for the wing of the single most successful Andros Island fly in the rear window of a Nassau taxi cab. This fly was a very popular and productive option on my last trip to Big Charlie’s Lodge on North Andros last year.

BG Barracuda Streamer

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available in 30” x 40” vertical format

My lifelong friend Bill Gallo showed me this fly on a recent trip to visit and fish the waters around his home in Key Largo. It mimics the shape and size of a ballyhoo or needle fish, both of which are so prevalent in The Keys. The retrieve technique is somewhat unique. You hold the rod between your knees and strip with both hands to create the image of rapidly fleeing prey. This will usually elicit a response strike from the barracuda, which can be a challenge to respond to in this compromised position.

The RK Schminnow

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available 30” x 40” format

The Schminnow was introduced to me by my good friend and fishing partner Richard Kishner on a trip to Islamorada in the Keys. It was created in 1996 by Norm Zeigler due to a desire to catch snook on the beaches of Sanibel Island. Says Zeigler “I began to strategize and recalled Thoreau’s adjuration: Simplify, simplify. If there is a better snook fly, I have not found it.”   —  Norm Zeigler 2014

The PZ Popper

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available 30” x 40” horizontal and 30” x 30” square format

The popper is an effective and proven lure designed to move water using a concave or hollowed nose. Poppers aim to simulate any sort of distressed creature that might be moving or struggling on the surface of the water (baitfish, frogs, and insects are the most typical imitations). This iconic pattern has been used to create topwater commotion for many decades, but has been most notable for its presence in bass fishing throughout America.

Foggy Morning Reds

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available 30” x 40”  format.

My wife Kris and I took a trip to the Suwannee River town of Chiefland recently. We fished out of a wonderful camp called the Florida Outdoor Experience. It is owned and run by Gray Drummond, a 6th generation Floridian who spent summers growing up on the property. We fished the flats where the Suwanee meets the Gulf of Mexico and caught a morning slam of snook, redfish & trout. This image was inspired by the sun coming up through the fog early one morning.

JS Crafty Shrimp

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available 30” x 40”  format.

My good friend Jon Stein introduced me to the redfish population in and around Charleston, SC. The scenery on the salt marshes is beautiful. Combining that with the redfish and sea trout fishing in and around the oyster bars, it’s an experience that I always look forward to. A local guide made this comment about this imitation shrimp fly. “If there was only one fly in my box to use for redfish in every situation it would be the Crafty Shrimp. This fly works year round in every condition of fishing possible. Enough said!”

The PT Professor

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available 30” x 40” format 

The Professor was introduced to me by my fishing buddy Peter Torzilli, an avid trout fisherman living in Connecticut. The fly was named after Professor John Wilson. The story of the fly is that one time when this famous angler was fishing he ran short of flies. To create something of a fly-like appearance, he fastened the petals of buttercups on his hook, adding bits of leaves or grass to imitate the wings of a fly. This arrangement was so successful that it led to the making of the fly with a yellow silk body.

Royal Wulff

Mixed media photo collage with hand tied flies. Available 30” x 40” format

The Wulff flies, especially the Royal Wulff, are a staple in angler’s fly boxes around the world. Angler and writer John Gierach believes the Royal Wulff is one of the most popular dry patterns over the last half century. “The Wulff flies were designed by Lee Wulff and fill a decided need in large sizes. I consider them necessary to the well-balanced fly box.” — Ray Bergman, Trout (1952)