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Sow Bug 2008


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

It was time for my annual trip to Mt Home, Arkansas for the SowBug Round Up. This is a fun meeting and I learn a few new things every year. After going to it for about seven years now it is a family reunion. Only in this family you get to pick the family.

The meeting runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We drove down on Thursday, arriving in the late afternoon. We decided not to go to the meeting, but to get some things we needed for breakfast and head off to our cabin. We stay east of Mt Home in a cabin that is very nice. They run about $55 per night with taxes included. The cabins are up on Highway 101.

We got settled in and lounged around for a while. We then went into Mt Home to get dinner. There is a Chinese restaurant there that we found and like. After that we went back to the cabin and just "vegged" out.

On Friday morning I was stoked to get to the church and tie. Even when I got to the church, there were already folks there set up to tie and a few tying. It was nice to see some of the folks who set this up each year and to be recognized. My wife was even givent a SowBug coffee mug when we went in. She was told it was for bringing me down to tie.

I got set up and was primed to tie. That is when I found out that the beadheads that were supposed to be in had not made it. I did look at the materials one dealer there and they had beadheads. But they would not be there until 9:00 o’clock and this was a few minutes before 8:00. I was getting ready to just tye the mohair leech that I was also going to do as the second fly, when one of the organizers came by and asked if there was a problem. When I told him what I was going to do, he told me to take the beads and he would send the dealers to me as I was tying so I could pay them.

I started tying the Goldie Jr.

I had been tying for about an hour when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and there was a smiling lady asking me how much I owed them? When I started to pull the packages the beads on been in together to show her, she told me to just tell her the amount and that would be fine. They did not worry about any body cheating them at the meeting. I thought it said something pretty good about the folks that gather there.

I had several people come by and watch me tie the Goldie fly. I did it in silver and in gold. I had tied for about an hour and a half when I had two guys show up and tell me they wanted very detailed instructions on how to tie the Goldie Jr. I told them that it had been the "Fly of the Week" on FAOL and the directions were on the site. They were interested in trying it for smallmouth bass on one of the rivers in the area.

They also asked me if I had any other flies I was tying and I showed them one of the mohair yearn leeches I was tying. They were impressed with this fly also.

They left and I tied some more flies as more and more people came by. Some of these folks I remember and some of the others told me that they remembered me. They wanted to know if I had anything new to tie this year. Every year there I have tied at least one new pattern.

Just before lunch I had a couple come by to watch the flies being tied. They told me they fished for stripers and that they wished the fly was bigger. I told them to use something like flash-a-bou to tie it and that it should work that way. Twenty minutes later they were back with larger hooks, beadheads and a package of flash-a-bou. So I tied up a couple of flies on larger hooks using the larger materials. I have not heard how they worked.

I tied for the rest of the afternoon. We stayed for the barbeque that the club puts on for the tyers and their spouses. It is a good meal as are all those that the ladies at the church put on. The food at the church is very reasonably priced.

Here is a picture of some of the folks that were tying that day.

Peggy Brenner is in the pink vest. I have the tan t-shirt on. Tony Spezio is in the brown shirt just behind me. Kevin Slater is in the red shirt. The red head is Nick R from Sweden; Alan Fish is just in front of Kevin.

Denny Conrad was also at the RoundUp, sorry his photo didn't turn out. I think I deleted the wrong one.

Saturday morning I got to go around and see what some other folks were tying.

Mark Romero told me was tying, but I did not see a lot happening. I do know that he did tie up several flies for the fly-fishing team his wife is on. Mark does tie some very pretty Atlantic Salmon flies.

Sister Carol Ann, the Flytying nun was there and showed everyone a neat shrimp pattern.

Elmer M was there and showed me a neat pine squirrel pattern.

I got so busy watching people that I did not get pictures of everyone.

I did see a few new patterns that I will share as soon as I get some tied up to show.

Also found a new (old material) that I will share with you as soon as I can find some of it.

I tied again Saturday afternoon. I got to exchange a couple of flies with Fishy Fullum. He tied there as one of the tyers. He was fun to be around.

I got to tie next to Hans W for one session. None of his tying ability rubbed off on me, and he has a lot of talent in tying flies. But I think I made his tying go downhill. Hans is a very nice person and has a story to tell about FAOL when you see him.

It was great fun to be with the group and see a bunch of friends again. I look forward to the meeting next year.

The club puts on a very nice program and takes care of the folks who tie. I had five of them come by and thank me for coming down to tie. They were going to all the tiers to do this.

Hope you can get out on the water. I have the itch, BAD. ~ Rick

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