Our next interview features Raymond Collette who goes by theokayfisherman on Instagram.
TH: When did you first begin fly fishing?
RC: I started fly fishing during the Summer of 2016 with PHWFF. I had recently gotten out of the military and was trying to find a hobby other than playing video games. I had always been a fan of outdoor activities and bass fished all my life so fly fishing seemed like a natural transition.
TH: What led to your decision to start tying flies?
RC: I quickly became addicted to fly fishing so when the weather turned cold I took up tying flies to continue the hobby. Once I started fly tying I was completely hooked. I was constantly thinking about fly tying, watching so many videos and I quickly started to deconstruct flies to figure out how they were tied. Fly tying has been my main escape and has been very therapeutic. My favorite thing about fly tying is there is no end to it. You can always push yourself to improve on patterns or try new ones.
TH: What was the first fly pattern that you tied?
RC: The first fly I learned with our local PHWFF group was a Slump Buster. Now I rarely tie streamers but I will always remember my first fly and thinking how cool it was to put the materials together with just some thread.
TH: What is your favorite fly pattern to tie?
RC: I love tying dry flies, more specifically stimulators. I would look at really well tied stimulators and think, that's where I want to get to, that is my goal. I'm working toward that goal, still not perfect but so satisfying to tie. The weird thing is I don't fish dry flies, I am a die hard nymph fisherman and I also do a lot of European nymphing.
TH: Which fly pattern of yours are you most proud of?
RC: Being that stimulators are my favorite fly to tie you would think that they would be, but I am most proud of my Catskill style patterns. I like the challenge of having to manage your proportions to the very last thread wrap and seeing them when you finish, proportioned correctly, is completely satisfying and you just want to show them off to everyone.
TH: What has been your most memorable fly fishing experience?
RC: My most memorable experience fly fishing was last year at the Mossy Creek Invitational, a fund raiser for PHWFF. We fished for 3 days with 1 day being for the tournament. I met so many wonderful people and caught so many fish. Just had a absolute great time and the cherry on top, my team won. It is something I will never forget and was able to make life long friends from that event.
Thanks for taking some time Raymond!