Hi, my name is Matt Crompton. Fly fishing and fly tying have been a part of my life for ten years now. I began tying flies when I was in fourth grade, using materials graciously lent to me by Dr. Tom Kleeman, a fly tier and fisherman I met through our church. He had not tied for a while, and lent me his collection to use at my will. I spent countless hours tying my own creations in my basement. With just pictures and a limited knowledge of technique, I tried to imitate the flies I saw in magazines and books.
Showing these early concoctions to George Kesel at Hunter's Angling Supplies convinced them to let this youngster take a class with Dick Talleur. That class was an eye-opener, and for the following few years, I took the next level classes they offered. Each class helped me improve leaps and bounds beyond my previous work. In between classes, George Kesel and later Greg Nault, gave me criticism and advice to improve my tying. The tips from these individuals and the tiers at the area fly fishing shows proved invaluable.
I started fly fishing shortly after tying flies. Most of my early fishing was done in the local ponds for bass, panfish, and pickerel. The success of my flies on these species gave much encouragement. There were also yearly trips to Pittsburg, NH for Memorial Day weekend, until high school sports claimed that weekend. My father, Kent Richeson, our fishing partner, and I continue to make trips to our "home water" every year, although the dates now depend on my leave time from the U.S. Naval Academy.
Saltwater fly fishing was introduced to me about five or six years ago. I enjoy the balance of fishing types that this offers between big, easier to catch (sometimes) stripers, and smaller, harder to catch trout. Saltwater flies offer different and exciting new challenges, with durability and simplicity often being the name of the game. My venture into classic style salmon flies began about seven years ago. I'll be the first to admit this was probably a little bit early in my fly tying experience. However, I have always loved a challenge, and they certainly provided it. I tied Green Highlanders for about 2 years solid. I wanted to perfect them before I moved on. Looking back on some of those flies, I wonder how I thought they were anywhere close to perfection!
I enjoy tying all types of flies, whether it be the Deceiver's I tie five minutes before a trip to the coast, or a Jock Scott that takes many tying sessions throughout the week to complete. I also collect flies of all types. From antique salmon and trout flies to modern saltwater flies, I study them to learn all I can from their construction. I enjoy looking at other's people work to figure out how they performed some great fly tying feat, so that I may be able to do it with some practice.
© "The Classic Salmon Fly"