Chris Del Plato
Featured Fly Tyer
Fishing since childhood, Chris was introduced to fly fishing by a friend in the mid 1980's. The re-release of Joseph Bates's book Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing in 1995 inspired him to begin tying many of the 'long flies' he had used successfully on the river. In that book, several color plates of unique styles of streamers caught his eye. Among them, those of Carrie Stevens, Keith Fulsher and Lew Oatman. Along his tying journey, he began to realize there was more to these patterns than merely the written recipe. He became interested in recreating these streamer and bucktail patterns as the originators intended, learning about and replicating their tying style, proportions and silhouettes. The series of flies presented by Fulsher and Oatman struck a chord with Chris - everyone was 'matching the hatch' with bugs and it seemed logical that one would do the same with baitfish. Keith and Lew had the same idea - each pattern imitating a specific forage fish trout feed on. Chris has made the history and styles of classic streamers and bucktails his singular focus. He considers himself fortunate to count Keith Fulsher, Mike Martinek and Warren Duncan as mentors. Chris has assisted with research for a number of publications, including the late Graydon Hilyard's recent book on Maine legend Herb Welch. His flies have appeared in numerous publications, he has written for the sporting press and The Global Fly Fisher website, has been a featured tyer at numerous events, clubs, museums and the International Fly Tying Symposium.
Chris on the Battenkill: For me, the Battenkill represents a connection to the past - a bucolic ribbon tracing time through Rockwell's Americana, past covered bridges, conjuring memories of wild fish, fly shop roundtables, and legends - Wulff, Atherton, Oatman, Prindle....