9 hours ago
Monday, May 24, 2010
Joel La Follette's Summerberry
About ten years ago I walked into this small fly shop in Tigard, Oregon and was greeted by non other then Randall Kaufmann. Over the first few years of stopping by this shop I helped to make sure their electric bill was paid and there is no doubt that they had a profound influence on my learning curve in this game called fly fishing. Though I had mixed feelings about this shop now, guys like Joel La Follette, Steve Lent and Randall Kaufmann had a great influence on the fly fishermen that I am today. My first attempt at tying flies were sitting behind one of their tables with Steve and a Renzetti Traveler Vice. There was numerous occasions where I would stick around and talk shop and get valuable help as a beginner from both Steve and Joel.
Over the years the shop has changed, moved and become more of a successful business rather then the local fly shop that I knew and liked. The familiar faces that knew me by first name are gone, but many of those guys are still around. Joel La Follette the former retail manager is one of them and I always looked forward to chatting with him about his annual Fall journey to Skeena Country and his love of the North Umpqua. His artistic talent at the vice encompasses both tradition, simplicity and fishability. One of my favorite ties of his is the Summerberry and I plan on fishing it in the near future. You can see more of his work here courtesy of Royal Treatment Fly Fishing and videos here.