In the early 1970s I started fly fishing for trout. The city library
in Halifax had a great selection of fly fishing & tying books. Helen Shaw’s book, “Fly Tying”, is one
of the very best guides for a beginner and it helped me tremendously.
I really got hooked on fly fishing in
1974 when I caught my first Atlantic salmon on Nova Scotia’s St. Mary’s River. I caught it on a Cosseboom wet
fly that I tied myself, so that event increased my interest in fly tying.
I continued tying all my own flies and
read all I could find on the subject for several years, but tying flies had become a chore. In 1992 the St Mary’s River
Association hosted the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Conclave. Guest fly tiers Eric Baylis, Ron Alcott, and Warren Duncan
showed me that I still knew very little about fly tying. As a fly tier, I was reborn.
Warren Duncan of Saint John,
New Brunswick was a great tier and a very generous & special man. His inspiration and support helped me become a commercial
fly tier and my fly tying improved a whole lot. Dunc is no longer with us, but his influence will always show in my work.
Two years later I took Mike Crosby
and Jim McCoul’s Classic Atlantic Salmon Fly Tying Workshop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Over a weekend we tied a Jock Scott.
That added another dimension to my hobby, requiring much study and lots of practice.
Jim McCoul won first place in
Quebec’s FQSA fly tying world championship 4 years in a row. Jim and I became great friends and he helped me overcome
problems and gain proficiency in tying traditional salmon flies.
Retirement from my computer systems design career happened in
2001. In 2006 I won a fly creation contest sponsored by the Nova Scotia Federation Of Anglers & Hunters.
My entry was chosen to become Nova Scotia’s official fly, proclaimed in the provincial legislature in 2007.
my fly shop “River Magic” on the St. Mary’s River in 2007, making my hobby and my work one. Hope to see
Bill Carpan, River Magic