Michael D. Johnson
I have been dressing fishing flies for over thirty years. I began with streamer flies that were and still are very popular in the Northeast USA where I grew up. I quickly evolved to tying various dry and wet flies as my fly fishing interests grew. I began learning to dress salmon flies in 1985. Maxwell MacPherson Jr. (USA) and Alex Simpson (Scotland) guided me through the learning stages.
I've had the good fortune of fly fishing various waters of North America for various trout and salmon species. After moving to Europe my fishing has been very limited but I did fulfil a dream by fishing two major rivers of Iceland and catching salmon on full dress flies. My free time was then devoted to dressing Full Dress salmon flies. Today, I concentrate on Dee and Spey flies.
I have been constantly asked by friends to enter fly dressing contests and always refused. I have always thought of Ken Sawada as a man that can adapt to the various styles of salmon flies and I respect that. After seeing the contest in one of his magazines I decided to enter. I was curious what would be said of my flies. My first entries ended up in the "Excellent" and "Better" art works, which was a big surprise.
I then entered again for the Grand Prix with a fly of my own design, "The South Sea Sunset, and impatiently waited for the results. When the postman delivered a box and not the normal envelope, I tore it open like a five-year-old kid on his birthday! I was very proud of the results, and the beautiful reel I won.
Salmon fly-fishing has a high value, when the fish are taken on ones own flies. It is the perfect reward to justify ones efforts in a well-dressed fly.
Michael D. Johnson
Editors Note: Michael has a very interesting web site where you can view some of his creations and even pickup a few flies for your next salmon fishing trip. The site is very well done and should be of enterest to all salmon fly tiers and especially to those interested in the "Spey" style of salmon fly. The name of his site is the "Traditional Fly" and can be found at http://www.traditionalfly.de Below you will find some of Michael's work he allowed us to share with everyone here at "The Classics". Thanks Michael.
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