Today’s a milestone for me. Know why? RiverKeeper Flies turned 10 years old on March 5! That’s right, I’ve been at the keyboard writing these posts for 10 years. It’s hard for me to believe where my journey has taken me.

John with Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

It began with only a one paragraph post and no photograph:

“The NW Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo is this weekend at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany, OR. I’ll be tying each of the three days. Stop by and say “hi”. I’ll be watching many of the 72 concurrent tyers and catching up with friends I only see once a year. I always find something new – technique, material…wonder what it will be this year?”

I know what you’re thinking…kinda lame. I agree. But I had just spent hours and hours learning about websites and publishing my first post was a milestone moment.

The second post offered three Skwala stonefly patterns. I’m sharing a fourth fly pattern, a Clark’s Lady Stone I created for those looking to imitate the Skwala hatch. It’s timely because you might begin seeing these on a river you fish.

This is what the real Skwala looks like. It’s from the Bitterroot River, MT.

Skwala on Rock - Bitterroot | www.johnkreft.com

But I digress…

I had no idea where this journey would take me. Part of the impetus was to create a repository for all my fly pattern sheets which were scattered all over the place. I created categories of Mayflies, Caddisflies, Stoneflies…well, you get the picture.

Over the years, I added many more fly patterns. Today, you’ll find around 320 fly pattern sheets! Some of them were added as I shared older fly patterns in my Throw Back Thursday Flies. There are around 430 of those TBT posts.

I’ve created a lot of content in those 10 years. Most of it is still relevant today. I encourage you to utilize the SEARCH function located at the right side of the top menu bar. Type in a keyword like KNOTS or MARCH BROWN and you’ll be rewarded with several posts about the subject or fly pattern sheets.

YouTube

I began creating fly tying videos in 2020 and have published 43 to date on my RiverKeeper Flies YouTube channel. In case you missed them, here are links to the last two videos from February. I plan to continue making these videos.

Photography

The biggest change in the last couple years have been my photography. I’ve spent a lot of time improving my images of fish, insects and scenery.

Fish

Insects

Scenery

Future

What should you expect going forward? Honestly, I don’t know. I didn’t post for a few weeks in January when we travelled to Argentina and Chile. I’ve put some thought into it and will publish new posts when I have something to say, but it may not be weekly. Just like when I started RiverKeeper Flies, I didn’t know where this journey would take me.

I’ll close with a couple of fly tying comments.

I’m back at the vise filling customer orders that backed up while I was fly fishing in Argentina and Chile. I tied several Green Drake fly patterns, including two of my favorite patterns, my RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple and a Sparkle Dun.

Favorite Green Drake Imitations | www.johnkreft.com

Finally, a quick reminder, I’ll be in Albany, OR at the NW Fly Tying & Fly Fishing Expo beginning Friday, March 8, as well as Saturday (Linn County Fairgrounds).

Here is my schedule for tying on each day:

  • Friday – 9 to 11:30 and 11:45 to 2:15 (Table 57)
  • Saturday – 9 to 11:30 (Table 43)

I hope to see you there!

Enjoy…go fish!

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14 Comments

  1. I’m just a huge fan and look forward to all your posts. I know it’s a lot of work, but I truly appreciate it. You’ve made this Pennsylvania fly guy a better tyier and fisherman.
    Thank you.

  2. John: I join lots of others saying: “THANK YOU!!” I have really learned a ton reading and viewing your Blog! I appreciate your photography so much..they are brilliant pics of insects, fish and places we love as fly fishers. With gratitude!!!
    Dalton

  3. John truly a pleasure reading all your newsletters, you’ve made me a better fisher. Look forward to seeing you and your wife on the Met. Thanks for all you do.

    Dave

  4. Sincere congratulations and thank you for the many excellent things you’ve so generously shared over the years. Not the least of which is “…, this is just the way I do it”. May your tribe increase, live long, and prosper.

    John H

  5. 10 years! Congratulations! I hope you never stop. I always learn something, and I really enjoy the great pictures (especially in the winter when I’m not there for fishing).Thank you so much for sharing.
    Jim

  6. Congrats John!

    You’ve done amazing things with your blog, photography, YouTube etc. it is greatly appreciated by all.
    Hard to believe it’s been 10 years.
    I guess time does fly when your having fun!

    James

  7. Congrats to you! Great job in your continued efforts to help your fellow Flycasters.
    Please keep up the good work, it is very appreciated!

  8. I’m grateful for your expertise, time and site. You got me started tying flies. Thank you and congratulations.

  9. These are important milestones to mark in each life. No small task.
    I am in the throes of the last of cleaning and organizing for sale, leather and tools awaiting as much from my retirement last year (sigh).
    A hat tip to your stick-to-it-ness and skill, John. You are a fine representative in the fly fishing world.
    Robert Cochrane

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