Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Midwest Fly Fishing Show's 2011 Guest Fly Tyer - Al Ritt

(She's So Fly meets fly tyer, Al Ritt)

This year's Midwest Fly Fishing Show in Michigan had a great turn out.  One purpose of attending this year was to meet this years show guest "fly tyer", Mr. Al Ritt in person.  Al is a member of my pro staff fishing team for  You see, Al resides in Colorado and I live in Michigan, so we have not had a chance to meet in person until this past weekend.  

(custom fly tying by Al Ritt)

Al was busy tying many flies during the shows two day event.  Custom flies are what bring many fly anglers to this show.  I personally love to learn what new patterns that the expert vendors come up with, because I simply don't have enough time in my busy work schedule and personal life to learn this special art in an effective manner...soo I really appreciate and respect Al's talents and expertise! 

Al currently operates his own business, Al Ritt Flies. His focus is on fly fishing education through fly tying classes/lessons and guided fly fishing services. More information about Al's guide services and classes are available on his web site,  Al's fly designs are available from Montana Fly Company dealers, his own web site and through

One great advantage to attending the Midwest Fly Fishing Show in Michigan is that you can personally talk to all the vendors and discover what type of fly fishing you may want to experience can create your own experience in advance - for example, I reserved a fishing trip with an expert guide, Brent Borcherdt of to dry fly fish for brown trout on the AuSable river in Michigan this May and then ordered some custom tied flies for this trip from Al.  I simply asked Al to talk to Brent during the show and find out what the hatch was going to be during my trip in May on the AuSable river - and then use his expertise and come up with a pattern that he felt would be effective in landing a monster brown trout.  I am very excited to see what he comes up with! 

I want encourage communication during any trade show.  Don't be shy to approach and ask vendors to communicate with each other and help create a custom experience for you...they will be glad you did and happy to help you out...they are not all in competition with each other...they actually appreciate the fact that you are interested in all aspects of fly fishing - besides it is typical for trade show vendors to make their stay reservations at the same hotel near the event location, so they can all network after show hours etc. 

So all of you fly anglers... if any of you ever see Al at a fly fishing trade show, please go up and talk to him and ask him questions about his product / services and learn more about fly tying patterns etc, he is a great guy and would be happy to assist you and make you a few custom flies!

Al Ritt Bio:

Growing up in Michigan I fished as long as I can remember. While living in northern California in the early 1980's I began fly fishing almost exclusively, just shortly after I began tying flies. In 1989 I moved to the northern front range of Colorado where I currently reside. Most of my fishing is in Colorado and Wyoming for trout, but I also enjoy traveling and have made multiple trips to Ascension Bay in Mexico for bonefish and permit, Alaska for trout and salmon, and several states for various trout and warm water species.

While working in the robotics and industrial automation field most of my career, I have also worked for 2 large outdoor equipment retailers and for a local fly shop. Currently I work for PEAK Fishing handling Sales, Marketing, Service, and Product Development for their fly tying and rod building product lines. I've taught fly tying since 1995 both for area fly shops and independently for individuals and small groups. I've also guided and taught fly fishing since 2004. I am currently a pro team member for PEAK Fishing, Whiting Farms, Fishing For A Cause and Flymen Fishing Company. My fly designs have appeared in several books including Colorado Trout Flies by Todd Hosman Streamside Press), 100 Best Flies for Montana Trout by Thomas R Pero (Wild River Press), Modern Midges by Rick Takahashi and Jerry Hubka (Headwater Books) and 100 Best Flies for Colorado Trout by Thomas R Pero (Wild River Press). I have written articles for Fly Fishing and Tying Journal and Hatches Magazines.

Currently I also operate my own business, Al Ritt Flies. The focus is on fly fishing education through fly tying classes/lessons and guided fly fishing services. More information about my guide services and classes is available on my web site, . My fly designs are available from Montana Fly Company dealers, my own web site and through

(fly tying art by She's So Fly)
Note from She's So Fly:  I would like to personally thank Al for all his efforts in making the sport of fly fishing more successful and interesting!

A She's So Fly featured recommend product:


Al said...

It was a great pleasure meeting you as well Sherri. Brent gave me some very good information to use in putting together a fly selection for your trip and I expect to be able to get started on them shortly. I'll be anxious to find out how your trip goes in May. Thank you for taking the time out to come down to the show and for looking me up. - Al

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