The judging for the 2023 Branson Expo Fly Tying Contest is complete and I am humbly able to report that I won three more fly tying awards – Best Wet Fly, Best Articulating Streamer, and Best In Show.
Best Wet Fly
The first award winner was my wet fly entry, the Pink Lady. This fly won the Best Wet Fly award. It is a “wet” variation of an old Catskills Style dry fly of the same name.
The body of this fly is wrapped with pink floss and ribbed with gold tinsel. The tail is made from a golden pheasant neck feather. The wings consist of slips from a pair of gray mallard wing feathers. They are delicate and it is not easy to get them tied onto the fly and still look decent. These wings look pretty good and were good enough to win an award, in my humble opinion.
Best Articulating Streamer
The second award winner was my articulating streamer entry, the Big-Eyed Sempermouse. This fly won the Best Articulating Streamer award. An articulating streamer is a streamer pattern with one or more articulating joints in the middle which give a more realistic presentation in the water. This particular fly has one joint in it which was formed by connecting the rear hook to just the shank portion of the front hook with a nylon braid.
The body of this mouse fly pattern is made from several wraps of synthetic fur which was made by the Semperfli company, which contributes to the name of the fly. The tail is made from gray chenille and the head is made from 6mm thick foam. Oh, and it has big eyes.
Best In Show
The third award went to my Dusty Miller. This fly won the Best In Show award. That’s quite an honor to know that I tied the overall best fly in the contest!
This fly pattern is a very complicated salmon fly and it is certainly a very “busy” looking fly. The list of materials for this one is so long that it is hard to fit on one of my fly tying cards. Needless to say it takes a good bit of time at the fly tying bench to complete – a couple of hours at least for each one.
This one also happens to be a repeat winner, so to speak, because it also won the Best In Show award earlier this year at the Sowbug Roundup.
The Upcoming Expo
I will be attending the Branson Fly Fishing Expo on Thursday, July 27th where I will be demonstrating a few fly tying techniques to anyone who would like to see them.