I met Joe while attending college at Idaho State University. During the winters the local fly shop would have fly tying demonstrations every Saturday. One Sunday Joe was demonstrating his woven body flies. I was amazed with the technique. I went back to the dorm and tried to replicate the weave. I was unable to get it to look the same as Joe’s flies, so I called Joe and asked if he would show me the technique again. He agreed and I spent several hours over at his house learning the process. After that initial lesson, I would visit with Joe on a weekly basis, sometimes tying and sometimes just visiting.
Joe didn’t learn how to tie flies until he was in his 70’s. he built his own vice and created his own techniques. He created some of his own tools to help him with different techniques. He was inspirational in material selection. He would visit craft and fabric stores to come up with different uses for unique tying materials. He would use drying sheets for wings along with silk flowers and ribbon. It took me to a new dimension in how I viewed fly tying.
Joe also got me started with the Federation of Flyfishers. He introduced me to Bruce Staples who in turn invited me to tie at the Eastern Fly Tying show. This was a great show that introduced me to many great tyers.