Wait, there's a fly in my shop...

Wait, there's a fly in my shop...

by Dena Lenham

You know that an independent needlework shop is a mecca for cross stitch and needlepoint, but do you know it is also a fly fishing Dream Scene? (The stitchers out there whose fishermen husbands periodically raid their thread stash are all nodding yes.) The eyes of fly tyers "bug out" when they see Kreinik metallic threads because of the realistic, naturalistic color range and durability of the material. The thread colors and textures that make Mirabilia angels and Strictly Christmas stockings also make woolly buggers, bass bugs, poppers, eels, wings, streamers, nymphs and midges. Super alluring to striped bass, crappie, trout, salmon, steelhead, pike and muskie, Kreinik Blending Filament catches as much action in the water as it does in cross stitch.

Did you know, for instance, that new Kreinik Blending Filament color 003L Robot Red also makes a fabulous Disco Midge? Pretty Kreinik 1/8" Ribbon in color 009 Emerald could easily be called Japanese Beetle. See your favorite Kreinik Christmas color 015 Chartreuse? It's a beautiful Caddis Larva in the eyes of another beholder. Here is a little story about one needlework shop that accidentally discovered fly fishing as a fun, creative, thread-collecting, loyal customer, just like needleworkers.

Stitch-A-Cross in San Diego is a thread haven to needleworkers in Southern California. Owner Elizabeth Braun carries all brands, including a large selection of Kreinik threads. Now 83 years young, Elizabeth started stitching back in the 1970s and early 80s. "My husband and I had a hardware store," Elizabeth recounts, "and we had the stitching section in the back of the store." When the hardware business closed, Elizabeth moved needlework to its own spot on Mission Gorge Road.

One day fly tyer Richard DeBusk walked into the store, looking for the Kreinik thread he heard about from the San Diego Fly Fishers club president. This club has 300+ members, offers free fly fishing and casting classes to the general public, and publishes a newsletter with "recipes" for tying specific flies. In Stitch-A-Cross, Richard found a source for products to tie flies for bass fishing in San Diego bay and lake fishing out in the mountains. He told some friends about the store, Elizabeth ordered some fly-specific items from Kreinik (like our pattern book, starter kit, and Flash-In-A-Tube), and a local fly tyers paradise was born.

Fly tying is an amazing, creative process for many, whether they actually use the flies or tie them for art's sake. One person in the San Diego Fly Fishers club has over 6000 flies ("He catches a lot of fish."). Tying his own flies was "interesting at first," Richard said. "Once I started catching fish, that made a big difference." Now he sees fly tying as a valuable tool for his hobby. "I've tied up some new ones and we are anxious to try them," he added.

Will Elizabeth pick up fly tying now that she has expanded her store stock to include books, Flash-in-A-Tube, and other Kreinik fly fishing supplies? Maybe it is too soon to tell, but we do know she has the stash ready for fly tyers out there making lures to catch a big one. Visit the store in San Diego or give them a call for more informaiton. The next time you shop your own local needlework store, bring a fly-fishing friend and share the thread love.

Visit Stitch-A-Cross or contact them for mail order:
7435A Mission Gorge Rd.
 San Diego, CA 92120

Phone: 619.287.4788
Web: www.stitchacross.com/

Information about the San Diego Fly Fishers club:
Membership $35/year, Monthly meetings held first Monday of each month in Clairemont Mesa
Free casting lessons on Sundays, 9 a.m. at Lake Murray Casting Shelter

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News direct from thread maker Kreinik Mfg. Co., Inc., located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Visit our factory outlet store when you are in the area; call for hours 1-800-537-2166.

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