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Don Bastian

Member Since 23 Feb 2006
Offline Last Active Jan 30 2015 07:05 PM

About Me

My dad took my brother and I fishing as far back as I can remember. I have been tying flies since I was 12, starting back in 1964. My first day of fly fishing occurred on a farm pond in Tioga County, Pennsylvania; catching bluegills on a Yellow Sally. This was also the day I was introduced to Trout - 1938, written by Ray Bergman. It was my dad's copy, a 1945, 9th printing copy that had been a Christmas gift to him from my aunt and uncle. I still have it and cherish it. My initial reaction was to look at the pictures - 15 color plates of more than 600 wet and dry flies, streamers, and bucktails. I was enamored! Not long afterward my dad gave my brother and I a single fly tying lesson and then gave us all his fly tying stuff. We took it home because my parents were divorced and we lived with our mother. Another book my father passed on to us at that time was a thin little volume titled, How to Tie Flies (1940), by E. C. Gregg. So my brother, Larry, and I learned to tie flies from the single lesson given by my father and our study of the written and illustrated fly tying instruction and information in Trout and Gregg's book. Otherwise we were both pretty much self-taught as fly tyers. I read Trout five times before I was 18.
I used to take my fly boxes to high school to show the one friend who also tied some flies. This was after I bought a copy of Ernest Schwiebert's Matching the Hatch and tied some of the nymph patterns therein.
In 1974 I tied some flies and mounted them in a frame for my dad's birthday. One of the flies was the Parmacheene Belle, my first-ever married wing wet fly. Right then, I decided that someday, I was going to tie and frame all the flies from Bergman's Trout. I am so lucky to have had that dream come true, first through the replication of all the patterns from Ray Bergman's books for Forgotten Flies, and since then I have tied and sold the entire framed collection three times; one is on permanent display in Rockville, MD, at Clyde's Tower Oaks Restaurant, one is in a private collection in Georgia and the other is privately owned in Massachusetts. I have another customer who has indicated his interest for the full set, so it looks like I'll be doing another set once I get the word to start.

It was not until 1975 that I ever saw someone else tie a fly, and that was at the Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter Annual Limestoner Seminars & Banquet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This person was a guest fly tier, and could have been Poul Jorgenson, Charlie Meck, Jim Bashline, Al Caucci, Bob Nastasi, Charlie Fox, Ed Shenk, Vince Marinaro, Larry Solomon, Eric Leiser, Ed Koch, Sam Slaymaker; I can not recall who because my brother and I went to those events for several years, and the CVTU Chapter always had a panel of fly tying authors and experts, all of these named celebrities had been event guests, and some of these fellows were also chapter members.

My Wordpress blog wet fly site expresses some of my early fishing influences, infused with some experiences I have gained during 49 years of tying flies and fishing. My Canon G9 Powershot digital compact camera affords creative capability and expression, electronically incorporating my continual growth and progress as a fly tyer and amateur photographer into the web.
I love traditional wet flies, though they are not my only fly tying interest. I have a passionate interest in streamer and bucktail patterns, particularly Carrie Stevens patterns, and the history of classic New England streamer and wet fly patterns.
I enjoy opportunities to share my knowledge and participate in helping others learn about various aspects of fly tying.
    I have taught fly tying classes and lessons since 1984.
    3 years commercial fly tying experience, tying drys mostly, Comparaduns, Spent-wing Spinners, Marinaro style and Polywing Thorax Duns, along with some nymphs. I did about 3000 dozen during this period.
    I tie trout flies primarily, though I also tie some salmon hairwings and drys, steelhead flies, some bass flies such as poppers and underwater patterns, saltwater flies like Deceivers, Clouser Minnows, and a few original striper squid-type patterns. I have also tied a few full-dress classic salmon flies, though my work with wet flies though Forgotten Flies has pretty much caused me to focus on tying these historic trout flies.
    Published in Fly Fisherman, Fly Tyer, Art of Angling Journal, Fly Fusion, Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide, Ontario Outdoors, Hatches, Eastern Fly Fishing.
    Featured author of Ray Bergman biography in Forgotten Flies, Complete Sportsman, April 2000. 499 wet flies tied by me are illustrated in the Bergman chapter, in addition, I have approximately 265 streamers and bucktails from a variety of sources in the chapter, "Checklist of Streamers and Bucktails." Through my work in Forgotten Flies, back in 1998 I was fortunate to spend a day with Norma and Buddy Christian, Ray Bergman's nephew and his wife. This experience was a watershed event for me because I had access to Ray Bergman's memorabilia, notes, photographs, and viewed seven of the original Dr. Burke color plate paintings.
    Lecturer, speaker, author, fly tying instructor, fly fishing demonstrations and tactical fly fishing specialist. Most of my stream-side teaching has been focused on nymph fishing. The reason for that is, I hate to reveal this conviction to streamer and wet fly fans, but by and large, nymphing is the most effective angling method to take trout consistently. I love streamer fishing very much, I like the excitement of the "chase" when fish get aggressive. I also love taking trout on drys, especially in challenging situations where unorthodox presentation in the form of a specialized cast to present is often required. And of course, I love fishing wet flies.
    16 seasons experience as Fly Fishing Guide in Pennsylvania.
    Author of three fly tying DVD's: Tying Classic Wet Flies (2004), Advanced Classic Wet Flies, and Traditional Streamers and Bucktails, both released in 2007.

I have two daughters, Kim and Lyneah, four grandsons; Michael Joseph or "MJ," Gabriel Marc, and Benner Thomas, Andrew Bastian; and one granddaughter, Grace Louanne, born October 9th, 2013.

"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."  Quote by: George Washington

Community Stats

  • Group Members
  • Active Posts 1,239
  • Profile Views 7,097
  • Member Title Advanced Member
  • Age 67 years old
  • Birthday April 4, 1952
  • Gender
    Male Male
  • Location
    Cogan Station Pennsylvania
  • Interests
    My family - daughters and grandsons, and my extended family and close friends, fly tying, fly fishing, deer and upland bird hunting, hiking, biking, photography, creative writing, music, singing, playing my drum set, my Cocker Spaniel Abigail, cooking & good food, history, trivia, reading, puttering at various projects large and small.

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