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IFTS 1997| Before | The show | After |

IFTS97


International Fly Tyer's Symposium 1997


By Martin Joergensen

Tying privately
With the show as a sweet memory and enough tying done to satisfy any tyer, there's only one thing to do: tie some more! We had agreed to do a small tying demo in the basement of Larry Clemens' house with a few of the regulars that come there to tie once a week.
After a delicious meal - cooked by Larry, the group's gourmet... and gourmant - we commenced to do some Danish and Scandinavian patterns. Amongst those were found the Frede, the FMJNM, a large tube fly and a few more.
I had a great time, and I hope the other participants felt the same.

Connetquot

Agust Gudmunson
Agust Gudmunson

Bob Perry
Bob Perry

Co Roos
Co Roos

Jeff
Jeff Kurman

The crowd
The crowd downstream...


...and up

 
Winding down
During the show Bob Perry had promised to set up some fishing on the famed Connetquot. For those who don't know: the Connetquot i a Long Island spring fed stream that's (heavily) stocked with rainbow and brown trout. On top of that it has some brookies and a fair run of good size sea run brownies.
The Connetquot is a stocked stream for good and for bad. On one hand you get to see and feel so many fish that it's unbelievable. It's said that anyone can catch a trout here, and the local guys gest about the Connetquot 'being the perfect place to take your wife fishing'.
On the other hand it's almost too much when you as I hook a fish in your first lazy roll cast 15' from the car with less than 15' of fly line off the reel. It's the fishers paradox: on one hand we want to catch fish, but on the other hand we don't - at least not too easily.
Some of the locals call it Disneyland for fly fisher, and true, it's more like an amusement park than a wildlife preserve. I fished it last year, and even a fisher like myself with modest stream competence, will easily catch dozens of fish. Skilled fishers will have one in each cast. We told this to Co and Marijke, who did not believe us... until that first roll cast.
Well, never mind; the day was beautiful, the river was beautiful and the fish were nice.

The Crowd
I never get used to the crowds that Americans accept. After having fished beautiful, small, hidden streams alone I was somewhat struck by how many people there were on the Connetquot. On top of that I was told that it was a quiet day for a closed company. I don't want to try to imagine how it is on a crowded day.
Even so there's fish in the stream wherever you look and cast your fly. You scare the close ones off to reach the ones further away, and when you stand in the same spot for more than ten minutes, fish will find rest behind your legs. And I'm not kidding!
You get through all three phases of fishing: first you try to catch as many as possible, then you try to get the big ones, and at last you spot that one difficult fish that won't move and you go directly for that. But instead of doing it over a lifetime, you do it during a few hours.

I saw so many fish that day. One does stand out though. While fishing for one of my last and difficult fish, I was talking to Bob Perry who kept swinging a beadhead bunny leach by the nose of several visible fish across from us. We were joined by Lindsay Gradisson and Jeff Kurman. Suddenly Bob yelled as a huge fish emerged from the shadows and grabbed the fly.
As soon as Bob had hooked it we realised that he had a double figure rainbow hooked on a 4/5 weight with a 5X tippet. I was close with the camera, and the pictures below tell that story very well.

After the landing and releasing of that fish I had only a few minutes left before I had to head for the airport - in Newark. For those not informed, going from Long Island To Newark, New Jersey between 2 and 5 in the afternoon is more a social experiment than transportation. Thanks to my excellent driver Jeff we cleared both Queens and Manhatten and the river and I made my flight ready to go home after a great week.

Afterthoughts
Having returned from a show like this, I am always filled with impressions from a great experience. But after a while I realize that what I and the other guests tend to take for granted, the arrangement, transportation, commodation and all that getting together, has actually taken a lot of effort from our hosts.

 
  
Bob Perry
fights a
decent size
rainbow


That fact makes me want to express the gratitude on behalf of myself and most of the other foreign tyers to the following persons:
Glenn Peckel - as ever dependable coordinator of pick-ups at airports and arranger of host families.
Larry and Sheryl Clemmens - patient and charming hosts of Totowa, excellent food, driving, shopping... and tying.
Jeff Kurman - first-time and last-minute host for Co & Marijke Roos... and myself for one night. On top of that Jeff acted as an excellent driver and fishing guide.
John Harrington - always referred to as 'Uncle Jack' inevitably showing up at JFK to pick up people.
Ted and Judy Patlen, and Mamma Etta - always having 'open house' for anybody that wants to drop in at Westminster 198, referred to by some as "Toothpick Mansion".
Denny & Noreen Fitzsimmons - who threw that great party, last year, and whom I only met shortly at Ramsey's this year.
Chuck Furimsky - and all the other people behind the show itself. You are the reason we come at all.

We were all overwhelmed by the trememdous hospitality shown to us by our hosts. All these people really bend over backwards to give us such a good time. Thanks, we'll pay back!

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