Favorite Flies: Trout; Caddis Nymphs and Parachute Dry flies. Plus Sculpins and Streamers that utilize rabbit strips. Steelhead; Bright colored Nymphs and Intruder style Swinging Flies.

As a lifelong resident of New Jersey, John got into trout fishing at about the age of five and fished for them using other methods, before discovering fly fishing. He’s now been lashing materials to hooks for a better part of 35 years, way before the internet was a source, to learn how to tie flies.

John was in his mid-twenties before he got hooked on the long rod and has never looked back. In fact, he got into fly tying before he became a serious fly fisherman. He started out on his own, tying egg patterns for steelhead and soon graduated to imitating stream insects with the help of his mentor and friend George Kolesar. John’s mentor commercially tied for the shops in the Catskill region, during the late seventies into the eighties. George taught him in the “Catskill tradition”, but with all the new materials available now, John has taken creative liberties tying with other methods, in pursuit of trout and salmon, as well as warm water species and salt water species.

John was a member of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild for almost two decades, and that is where he got his start, tying flies on the east coast show circuit. Now you can find him on the show floor at numerous east coast fly fishing shows and tying events.

The rivers he fishes in NJ include the South Branch of the Raritan River, the Pequest, Pohatcong Creek, and The Musconetcong River among others. He also fishes, eastern Pennsylvania freestone streams such as the Broadhead Creek, the Big Bushkill and the Lehigh River. Also Limestone Creeks such as Monocasy Creek, Saucon Creek, the Little Bushkill, etc. John has also been known to frequent the hollowed waters of the Catskill region such as the Beaverkill, the Willowemoc and the East and West Branches of the Delaware River. Next to trout, he also enjoys fly fishing for smallmouth bass and stripers on the lower Delaware River between NJ and PA, which unlike the upper Delaware in NY, is mainly a warm water fishery.

His specialty is tying custom orders, but now, since he’s retired from the union construction field, he ties commercially for Shannon’s Fly and Tackle Shop in Califon, NJ and Dette Fly Shop in Livingston Manor, NY, or anyone else who’s interested in his creations.

He is always researching the stream bottom and stomach samples from fish that he lands. This drives John to come up with patterns that will effectively catch fish on a regular basis. In other words if John’s flies don’t work for him, he won’t introduce them to the public. He is also involved in guiding people Fly Fishing in NJ, for Shannon’s Fly and Tackle, in Califon NJ.

He has done numerous videos (before it was fashionable) teaching the art of fly tying, via the internet for Riseform Studio.tv. Now more recently he’s doing internet instructional tying videos for Tim Flagler and Tightlines Productions. He is also a member of a few fly fishing pro staffs, which include Regal Engineering (Fly Tying Vises), Nature’s Spirt, Solarez UV Resins, Flymen Fishing Company and Anglers Sport Group.

John’s motto is. “Fly’s that Catch Fish, not just Fishermen”. And as it is in fly fishing, it is the same when it comes to fly tying, that you will always be learning something new for the rest of your life.

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