Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Flies Of Michael Decoteau

Last weekend I opened the mailbox to find a little envelope from Michael Decoteau which contained a few excellently tied traditional featherwing Maine streamers that were in trade for some T.F.M. gear that I had sent to him.  Clearly I scored the upper hand yet again with this trade.

I asked Michael to send along a bit of information on his fly tying background to include with a few photographs that I took of his fly patterns for this post.

Michael wrote...  "I grew up on the coast of Maine, bobber fishing for brook trout with my dad as a child in the tiny brooks surrounding our little town. My father was an avid fly tier and fly fisherman, but put his rod down for several years when my brother and I were growing up. He did however continue tying, and in some of my earliest memories of him he is seated behind his cast iron Thompson Model B vise tying Catskill style dry flies.

I tied my first woolly worm at around the age of five. I was fascinated with the brightly colored flosses and the smell of moth balls that emanated from shoe boxes of turkey quills, deer hair, and wood duck flank. I was drawn to the flies.

Many years later, I became much more serious about my fly tying. In my 20's, I focused on the classic featherwing streamer specifically, collecting the necessary materials to tie dozens of different patterns. I studied the flies of Carrie Stevens, Herb Welch, and Bert Quimby, and tested them on the waters that they were first fished. My home waters were located in the Rangeley and Moosehead regions of Maine.

I worked for L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine in their fly shop for a few years as a sales rep, teaching tying classes, and tying all of the custom orders for the store during my time. At the same time, I was employed 20-30 hours a week as a production tier for S.S. Flies tying tarpon, permit and bonefish flies. I continued teaching classes at fly shops such as Chandler Pond Outfitters and Eldredge Brothers as well as exhibiting twice annually with the Penobscot Fly Fishers until leaving Maine this summer."

"I am currently located in Columbus, Ohio. My time is spent fixing up a house that is nearly 100 years old and learning the tributaries of Lake Erie. I am still offering my classic streamers (carded and packaged) for $5 a piece. I also sell framed presentation featherwing streamers, signed for $45. I will entertain other custom orders, but usually work with one dozen minimums per pattern."

Michael can be reached by email or by telephone at 207-322-1144 to discuss possible orders.


Peter Mulbjerg said...

Stunning pieces of art!

Mike Schmidt said...

Great work and he is a good dude. Glad to have him as a new addition in the Columbus area!

Squeeky Oar Lock said...

As always Cameron, you rule. Hope to chat soon, this winter as things settle here on the Mo...til then, keep it up my friend.
Squeeky Oar Lock

Cameron Mortenson said...

Peter...correct. I won't fish these. I just like looking at them.

Mike...I'm expecting that the two of you will join powers at some point.

SOL...thanks for the props. I am looking forward to catching up as well.

Peter said...

Mike has mad tying skills, crazy stuff.

S.S.Flies Inc.