Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Justin, my new vise, and the experience at Bass Pro

Ok, so I'm super stoked.

Yesterday after work, I went and picked up the munchkins and went to Bass Pro. My sister gave me a $50 gift card for my graduation and said to buy something "big, that you normally wouldn't be able to buy."

I went straight to the fly fishing section, with visions of poppers, rattle frogs, nippers and a whole lot of little stuff I otherwise wouldn't be able to buy dancing through my mind.

Then I stopped.

In the display case was a bunch of fly tying vises. Had my eyes deceived me? $14.97 for a vise? No way!

A little ways up and to the right from that vise was the same vise, but sitting in a box with a bunch of tools I recognized. Ok, seriously, $19.97.

I quickly switched gears and went around the corner, baby on my back and 4 yr. old in tow. I needed help finding materials, and an opinion on the $20 kit.

I found Justin:

Justin with Bass Pro Shops, Fly Fishing Department, Council Bluffs

More on Justin later. What I found, though, was that he looked very familiar.

He began to explain his experience with the kit, which he owns and uses as a travel kit. I must have started foaming at the mouth or something. Not that he said anything, I just... felt like doing so.

I whipped out my smartphone and showed him the pattern for the Dirty Rat . We both kind of mumbled about how we didn't know what 'chickabou' was before deciding to go with good old maribou. He helped me compile the ingredients, with pointers about different adhesive and eyes.

The goods.

As we were discussing thread or something, I realized where I recognized Justin from.

"Did you teach the fly casting classes at some point?"

"Yes I did."

Turns out, Justin was our instructor when my wife and I first took casting lessons about 18 months ago! She was pregnant with our youngest at the time, and needless to say I was impressed then with his helpfulness and courtesy then. He hit another home run last night.

I will be forwarding a link to this post to his manager with top marks for his helpfulness. If anyone needs help in the Omaha/CB area, head to Bass Pro on Tuesdays and ask for Justin. (He mentioned that he ties a LOT of flies, and was using them in Colorado just last week.)

After awkwardly informing him that I had a blog, and asking to snap the above picture to give him credit, I took the babies to see the fish tanks.

Ruth diggin' the fish tank.
 Ruth (eldest) was such a good girl. She listened very well and held my hand and/or stayed close the entire time.

And, ladies and gentlemen, I now own a vise and all ingredients and tools I need to tie the Dirty Rat. Expect fly reviews, pictures and product reviews on the kit in the future.

Hopefully, I can get a picture of my flies in the mouth of something this size.

In Weight Watchers, they would call this the "before" picture.


  1. Awesome! Welcome to the world of Fly Tying! Its expensive! ;o)
    I wonder if your vise will turn into a...VICE? :)

  2. Anthony
    I will be waiting for some awesome patterns soon. I am taking a class in the fall when the fishing slows down. What make fly rod and reel do you fish with? I agree with Dave fly fishing can be expensive, but well worth every penny you spend on it.