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A Chat With Chris Helm

Interview by Joe Cornwall

Audio Editing and Production by Jim Stuard


Christopher Helm is a native of Toledo, OH, where he graduated from DeVilbiss High School.  Chris has two degrees from The University of Toledo, worked in the educational industry as a teacher and administrator and is a professional musician with over forty years of playing drums in combos and big bands in the Toledo area. He's been fly fishing for over 35 years and tying flies for more than 30. His interest in fishing started when he was very young, and he started fly fishing for bass and blue gills in his late 20's. A Christmas gift of a fly tying kit from his wife got him started on a hobby that has turned out to be a real passion.

Although Chris enjoys tying and teaching all types of flies from classic Atlantic salmon flies to blue gill patterns, he has specialized in tying hair bugs and trout flies utilizing deer, elk and other types of hair. His interest in deer hair developed into a small business of gathering and processing whitetail deer hides for both the wholesale and retail market. This intense study of deer hair has lead to doing programs for clubs and fly shops about all the nuances of ungulate (hoofed animals) hair and the fascinating aspects of how mother nature's creation works for and against the fly tier.

Currently Chris has 11 DVDs in circulation on pike flies, pan fish flies, hair trout flies, bonefish and five on deer hair bugs. When time allows he writes articles for various fly fishing magazines including "Fly Tyer", "Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Journal", "American Angler", "Fly Fisherman"," Hatches", the British publication "Fly Fishing and Fly Tying", and the Japanese magazine "Fly Fisher". In 2004 Chris Helm was awarded The Buz Buszak Memorial Award from The Federation of Fly Fisher's for his service and contributions to the art of fly tying. This is the most prestigious award given in the world of fly tying.

Chris operates Whitetail Fly Tieing Supplies. It is one of the most comprehensively well-stocked fly tying shops, perhaps in the world.  If you tie, you need to listen to this interview with Chris and make a visit to his on-line shop (or an appointment to visit in person) a top priority.


Be sure to read our feature story - Chris Helm, Master Fly Tyer for an in-depth view of Chris' accomplishments!


Download MP3 Program   



The Fly Fish Ohio team would like to thank Brian Lovely and his band the Faux Frenchmen for use of their music on the intro and exit of this production. 

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