Harrison Steeves started fly tying when he was about 12, right after WWII. As a youngster living in Birmingham, Alabama, he fished for anything that would hit a fly and was introduced to trout by his father, a Connecticut Yankee, who was transplanted to Alabama after he married Harrison’s mother. His first trout expedition was with his Dad to the Davidson River in North Carolina, where he took his first trout on a hopper. It was, unfortunately, a live hopper, but that's a good story, and was probably instrumental in his life-long interest in terrestrial insects as trout fodder. He fished his way through college at the University of the South (Sewanee), in Tennessee and through Graduate school at the University of Virginia. After a brief return to Alabama he landed back in Virginia, teaching Biology at VPI. Needless to say it was good to get back to trout land.
A brief two year sojourn from 1980 to 1983 with a company in Utah introduced him to the western waters to which he tries to return every summer. But, as much as he loves the west, the eastern trout streams have much to offer. Harrison has often said, and firmly believes, that a person who learns to fish the eastern waters can be a fly fishing god out west.
Harrison has authored two books, "Terrestrials" (with Ed Koch) and "Tying With Foam Fur and Feathers" (available this fall) and a tying manual for the Kreinik Company of Baltimore,MD. In addition he has written quite a few articles on terrestrials for fly fishing magazines.
Harrison is currently a contract fly designer for Umpqua, and serves on the Scott Rod and Gudebrod Thread pro staffs. He has competed in the Great Outdoor Games, and was a flyfishing guide for about 15 years. Harrison ties at approximately 5 major fly fishing shows a year, and has done so for over 15 years.
Harrison retired from "semi-retirement" in May of 2002 and since then he has had no time to go fishing at all!
Here a some photos from the May dinner meeting May 15th, 2003...approximately 30 members showed up for a great talk by Harrison Steeves that centered on some tips, techniques and misconceptions about fly fishing with terrestrials.
Click on a thumbnail for a larger picture...