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Meet the Staff
Saltwaterflies.com has been on the World Wide Web since 1997! That's a few years ago now - almost as long as the "Wayback Machine" - the project that began to archive sites on the internet in 1996, and just a couple of years after the net was opened to commercial traffic. In 2013 we are busier than ever serving the needs of saltwater anglers and tiers worldwide!
Everyone here at Saltwaterflies.com would like to take this opportunity to thank You for taking the time to surf our pages.
We take great pride in serving all of our customers with care and thoughtfulness. When you contact us with a question or to place an order, you'll talk to a real person who knows a bit about saltwater fly fishing. We offer convenient, secure online ordering as a service to our customers, but we are always available the old fashioned way too, just by calling us at 413 274-6143.
Here's a little bit of information about the folks who work hard to help bring the pages of Saltwaterflies.com to life:
Chris Windram is the creator of Saltwaterflies.com, and serves as editor and publisher, as well as sometime author of our articles. He also keeps busy designing some of the special saltwater flies seen on Saltwaterflies.com. This goofball has way too much to do at times, but he still manages to be a genuine fishing bum, sometimes wandering off for weeks at a time when the fishing is hot. Photo circa 1978. For a more recent photo, click here.
Jennifer Windram is our spiritual advisor. With a keen eye for detail, she manages to keep us in line whenever we stray over the boudaries of good taste and useful information into the realm of cheap thrills and aimless doggerel.
Morgan Davis is our technical guru, a wizard who helped to launch us on this course, and assisted us in navigating the many black holes and supernovae of cyberspace. Without the assistance of Mr. Davis, we'd be adrift in a vast sea which contains only virtual fish. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Morgan for his invaluable wisdom over the years.
It is with great sadness that we must report that our beloved dog Polly passed away during the long winter of 2004. Polly's undying devotion during her long and happy life remains a solemn reminder to us to be true, be honest, and to remember with gratitude all of those many fine people that have served and aided us along the way.
Who the heck are these Saltwaterflies.com folks and what do they do?
Anglers surfing the web often wonder what really goes on here at Saltwaterflies.com, especially when considering purchasing flies or materials from us the first time. Here's the scoop on what we're all about...
Saltwaterflies.com was founded by Chris Windram in the spring of 1997. Mr. Windram began his career as a professional saltwater fly tier a few years earlier when the demand for quality saltwater flies was growing, and the supply of well-tied and well-designed flies was non-existant in many places. Mr. Windram made the commitment to tying saltwater flies full time by 1994, and was soon selling flies to top-end fly shops in various locations along the East Coast of the United States from Maine to Florida. Flies in hand, Chris would often travel to these shops on sales calls, and this created opportunities to sample the local fishing as well. Time not spent tying flies was spent fishing intensively, which provided chances to learn, improve fly fishing skills and ultimately to the designing and refinement of a series of saltwater fly patterns which remain important, productive patterns for many anglers to this day. A dedication to quality and service helped to round out Mr. Windram's reputation as a full-time professional saltwater fly tyer.
As saltwater fly fishing and tying in the United States grew in popularity during the early nineties, many excellent tiers began developing patterns to match conditions in areas that they fished. A tradition of matching the prevalant baitfish and invertebrates, and paying close attention to details like balance and sink rate began to create the same kind of tradition that trout fly tiers have enjoyed for many years - noticing the subtle patterns in nature, and recreating them as flies that would fool discerning fish. The list of tiers who developed useful patterns during this period are too numerous to mention, but tiers like Bob Popovics, Glen Mikkleson, Capt. Johhny Glenn, Bob Veverka, and more stand out as examples of New England tiers who influenced tying styles throughout the world. Please let it be known that we do not wish to omit any other fine tiers from due credit - dozens of other fine fly tiers working during this period also had a profound effect on the development of saltwater fly styles that continues to this day.
Mr. Windram's flies have been included in such fine books as Deke Meyer's Saltwater Flies - Over 700 of the Best, published in the mid-nineties, and later in Innovative Saltwater Flies by Bob Veverka, one of the finest and most beautiful books ever published on the subject. Saltwater fly tying and fishing articles penned by Chris at this time appeared in a variety of regional and national fishing publications.
With the growing popularity of the internet in the mid to late nineties, Mr. Windram and made the jump from selling his custom-tied saltwater flies at wholesale to fly shops, to creating an online catalog of flies and tying materials available to tiers and anglers worldwide. Together, Chris and his wife Jennifer attended many Fly Fishing shows around the country, travelling as far away as San Mateo, California to get the word out about Saltwaterflies.com. As word began to spread about Saltwaterflies.com, Chris and Jennifer found that it was no longer as important to travel to promote Saltwaterflies.com, as word-of-mouth quickly spread among internet fly tiers about the quality of the products and service offered. Word-of-mouth and customer posts on internet fly fishing forums remain our best advertising, because folks tell it like it is. We are very pleased that so many fly tiers and anglers have provided us with the opportunity to serve them, and we pledge to continue to provide the level of quality and service that we have become known for.
Here at Saltwaterflies.com, we have a few basic precepts when it comes to the flies and materials that we offer. For fly tying materials, our concept is simple: we closely inspect all materials that we receive for quality - if we would not tie with it, we will not send it to you - our customer. We refuse or discard any materials that do not meet these standards. Some of these materials which don't quite meet standards, but still have some degree of usefulness we donate to youth fly tying programs who request such materials so that the younger generations will have a chance to experiment while learning to tie with an instructor.
Flies? Same deal. If we wouldn't fish with it, we won't send it to you. Though we offer many of the same patterns supplied by some of the "big guys", we inspect and sort all of the flies that we receive, and again, we refuse or discard any of those that don't match our standards for one reason or another.
In keeping with our tradition of quality, we go out of our way to try to obtain flies from domestic professional fly tiers whenever possible - flies tied by men and women who fish. Regardless of assertions that flies tied in overseas factories by major fly manufacturers can be as good as any others (and this is certainly possible), the fact remains that there is magic in flies tied by folks who fish. Knowledge and understanding of a gamefish species and how it operates in its environment translate into fly designs that have the correct balance, sink rate, color, and subtlety of movement required to fool discerning fish species like bonefish, striped bass, bonito, false albacore, permit, and more. Those anglers who become professional fly tiers are often among the best anglers in their field - true fishing addicts who live to fish and tie flies. It is always more difficult and more expensive to get flies from these local or domestic tiers, but we plan to continue our tradition of obtaining flies from these tiers. Though the supply of these patterns will always be limited, the quality of these flies will always remain among the best possible.
In closing, we would just like to say thank you, once again, to all of the people that have aided us along the way. To our families, friends, and teachers - thank you for your support and your guidance - without you we would not be who we are today. To our many fine customers - thank you for offering us the chance to serve you...it remains our hope and our pleasure to continue to serve you as best we know how. Best wishes and Tight Lines to all anglers, and health and long life to all.
Chris and Jennifer Windram
Our parent company is Tight Lines of Housatonic, Massachusetts.
P.O. BOX 362, HOUSATONIC, MA 01236
SaltwaterFlies.com - Got Backing?E-mail us! Tight Lines.
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