June 20th saw me heading back to New Brunswick for the Atlantic Salmon Fly International gathering in Miramichi, NB, a gathering of about 80 fly tyers from around the world. Countries like Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Italy, the U.S. and of course, Canada were represented. An overnight stop at my old friends Ken and Donna Simard in Arundel, Maine, made the trip much more manageable; they are 4 hours from my house and only 6 hours from Boiestown, NB, which was my first stop. That was hospitality much appreciated!!
Thursday, the 21st, there was an open house for the tyers at the Atlantic Salmon Museum in Doaktown. I never tire of taking photos of my friend Charlie Krom's flies!
I woke up to this kind of day in Boiestown on the 22nd, the first day of ASFI:
Home Pool at Bullock's Lodge looked perfect!
In fact, it was perfect...just a couple days earlier, a fellow I knew from a couple forums and facebook and whom I would finally get to meet in person landed a beauty in that very pool! Nicely done, Paul Slaney!
Renate Bullock and Vin Swazey made the trip down to Miramichi with me for the first day of ASFI. We walked in to a pretty impressive set-up!
One of the aspects of ASFI that was most pleasing to me was that I would finally meet, face to face, a few tyers that I had known for as many as 10 years but never met in person, and I'd also get to renew acquaintances with folks I had met previously, like Bryant Freeman (here with Renate and Vin):
Paul Slaney, whose flies I've admired for some time and had just come from Bullock's Lodge, turned out to be my table mate!
Friday night there was a steak/lobster feast at Debbie and Dale Norton's Upper Oxbow Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi river. A very good time was had by all!
License plates from across the U.S. and Canada:
I hadn't noticed them on Friday, but Saturday morning I looked up and realized that each tyer had a banner with their name, country, flag and a fly hanging from the ceiling! Here's mine, with another fellow I knew only from the internet, Eunan Hendron, flying to the left of me, so to speak. So cool that the committee knew to put my Celtic Beauty on the banner!
Here's a random selection of the kind of flies these tyers produce:
Don't know how an aging hairwing tyer snuck in the door amid all those classic tyers!
Photo of yours truly by this crazy man, Jin Woo Lee, who ties his flies without a vise, thank you very much! (photo is a little blurry because Jin never seems to stop moving!)
I mentioned that Paul Slaney and I were table mates. I cracked up when I realized the difference between all his gear and mine!
Saturday night there was a banquet for attendees and their family and friends. Somehow, the organizing committee decided I should MC the event and do the auction. I'm not sure how I did, but the auction numbers were pretty outstanding. Here's a page from my program (confidential auctioneer type stuff blacked out, sorry):
A great audience raised more than $11,000 on the 20 items; net profits will benefit the Atlantic Salmon Museum and Project Healing Waters. Good on everyone!!
I was very pleased, proud and complimented when these two, Lottie and Stephen Nye, bought the fly framing that Val Kropiwniki and I put together for the auction. I am so happy to call them my friends!
Many, many more photos and videos of the event can be found at the ASFI Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2088132268089985/ and at their website: http://www.asfi-expo.com/canada/index.php
Over the years, I have been part of a great many conventions, fundraisers and banquets. From every angle, the ASFI 2018 committee did an absolutely spectacular job of putting the event on. The committee:
Paul LegerA magnificent job all around. What a wonderful opportunity it was for all concerned, and especially me. What a treat! And speaking of treats, we all got a cool shirt (seen in the photos), but also a cool swag bag!
And here's proof that I really can get serious about things....who knew?