I just returned from the 2018 Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo in Boise, ID. This was my 5th year tying at the Boise Expo.

2018 Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo | www.johnkreft.com

I decided to tie my RiverKeeper Stonefly Nymph and the Callibaetis Hatchmaster on Friday.

RiverKeeper Stonefly Nymph | www.johnkreft.com
Callibaetis Hatchmaster | www.johnkreft.com

On Saturday, I only tyed the second session and demonstrated my RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple.

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple PMD | www.johnkreft.com

One of my RiverKeeper Flies subscribers was in Boise and asked me to demonstrate the Sparkle Dun. I’ve tyed that fly at multiple Expos, but it continues to be a crowd favorite. I’m certainly not the only one to tie the Sparkle Dun, but I put my own twist on the fly and demonstrate a couple different techniques to create a sparse, slim profile which I believe makes this fly very effective.

Sparkle Dun PMD | www.johnkreft.com

My friend Chris Williams was tying as well. He’s a terrific tyer, an innovator of many creative flies, and is on the Whiting Farms pro staff.

Chris Williams in Boise | www.johnkreft.com

I met Chris Williams at my first Boise Expo several years ago. We had a great time catching up and even shared a beer…

John with Chris Williams | www.johnkreft.com

As always, thanks to Gretchen and Al Beatty, owners of BT’s Fly Fishing for hosting Sherry Steele and me again this year. Both are terrific fly tyers, willing to share many fly tying techniques developed over the years. They are the authors of many fly fishing and fly tying books.

Al and Gretchen Beatty in Boise | www.johnkreft.com

If you are like me, you’d recognize their names as icons in the fly fishing world. I’d read about them in the major fly fishing and tying magazines for years. In fact, both were honored with the Fly Tyer magazine 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.

I was able to spend a day with them before the Expo. Al encouraged me a few years ago to post better photos you see on RiverKeeper Flies. I took his advice and ended up purchasing a Nikon camera and lenses for my close-up photography. In addition, I purchased an Olympus TG-4 that I carry on almost every fishing trip (unless I forget it!). I’ve been able to capture some great images with both these cameras.

I had a couple of technical questions in hopes of improving some images. I learned again from Al…thanks!

Later in the day, Gretchen joined us as we talked about my Throw Back Thursday Fly posts. I asked if they had more flies to share on my website and I ended up with a box of LaFontaine flies they tied for their book entitled LaFontaine’s Legacy.

LaFontaine Legacy Flies | www.johnkreft.com

They have decided to continue writing books, but using the e-book format. Here are links to several of their great books, which I highly recommend.

In addition, Al has entered the Youtube world recently. Here is an example of Al in action as he teaches fly tying techniques on his channel.

Gretchen learned to tie flies from her Dad, “Dub” Evans. We pulled out a box full of memories. You’ll be seeing a few images in the future of these treasures. Here is a picture of the treadle fly tying machine he used along with his spools of tying thread and silk floss.

Beatty Treadle Fly Tying Machine | www.johnkreft.com

Here are a couple other pictures of a bouquet of flies, along with hooks with leaders attached.

Bouquet of Flies | www.johnkreft.com
Old Mustad Hooks | www.johnkreft.com

You’ll be seeing more pictures in the near future from my fun- filled day.

Lastly, here are a couple posts from previous years where I rote about the Expo:

Goodbye Boise (2016)

Winter Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Shows (2015)

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. Thanks again! In spite of some great tying, I too am impressed with the treadle tying vice. It must be really something to see – 2 hands and 1 foot co-ordinated to produce a fly.

  2. Hi John,
    As always it was a pleasure to host your and Sherry (and Carl Ronk from California) for the show. We both certainly enjoyed the extra day we spent with you prior to the event. Let us know what “new” lens you decide to get.

    It was fun to see your picture on the BLOG of Gretchen’s father’s (Dad) old treadle sewing machine vise. Several years ago we wrote a book called Rotary Tying Techniques and one of the first chapters in the book was about using that old vise. It took me the better part of a year to get the rough draft on that chapter wrote because I felt I should learn to use the vise before doing so. Darn! It’s hard tying with your feet! Gretchen is really good at it but I’m a disaster. Take care & …

    Tight Lines – (Gretchen &) Al Beatty

  3. John,
    I always look forward to seeing and talking with you in addition to the continuous ribbing and laughter! Can’t wait until next time, and working already to come and teach at your Fly tying night!

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