Before his unexpected death in November 2004, the most recognized fly tyer in the world, Poul Jorgensen, was working on a new award for innovations in fly tying called The Golden Hook Award. It was his wish to recognize a living fly tyer who has made a current contribution to the continuance of the art and craft of fly tying. Poul made it clear that it was not to be a fly tying competition or to recognize historical contributions; “the award was to go to someone in the present who is keeping fly tying alive and growing”. Criteria to be considered are tying innovations, creating fresh techniques that will aid future tyers, developing new materials or tools, publications, and creating instruction and teaching activities.
Poul worked with noted sculptor Bud Wertheim to create a bronze medallion to be awarded to each recipient. As with many artists, there were difficulties on reaching an agreement on design and interpretation. Although commissioned by Jorgensen, Poul died before the medals were approved. Bud Wertheim, determined to keep the project alive, reviewed some sketches he made of Poul and redesigned the medallions to include Poul’s image on the front. This was something Poul clearly did not want and was discussed in initial meetings. The likeness was approved by Jim Krul, executive director of the CFFCM and a close personal friend of Poul’s, who said, “It’s extremely accurate with a sense of his humor and wit”. It was in 2006 that the project was completed and funded by Wertheim as a lasting memorial to Poul and renamed The Poul Jorgensen Golden Hook Award.
David Klausmeyer 2006
Through his work as Editor of Fly Tyer Magazine, David provides the fly tying community with current tying techniques, the latest patterns, and other timely information related to our sport. This year he collaborated with Keith Fulsher (2006 HOF inductee) on the revised edition of The Thunder Creek Flies. The photography by David “brings the flies to life and making them easy to duplicate”. (Phil Monahan, editor American Angler) thus introducing streamer patterns to another generation of anglers. David has been tying with synthetic materials since the 1990’s. With the release of his book, Unnatruals, he opens up a world of materials. Unnaturals gives us step by step instruction and explains how to combine these modern materials with what we already have on our tying benches.
Dick Talleur 2007
Dick is not a new comer to the craft of fly tying as he started over 50 years ago. Dick has continually provided both new and old fly tyers with clear and current instruction to make their flies better and how to use the latest in materials and tools. His 2006 book, Inside Fly Tying, is filled with his tested tips for solving common fly-tying problems and techniques to simplify tying methods. His latest book, TroutFlies for the 21st Century, (Subtitled Over 200 Essential Patterns That Catch Fish Anywhere, Anytime) contains 200+ fly patterns. This new book includes many of the detailed instructions to tie even the most challenging and complex patterns. In between just these two books, Dick continues to write regular columns for magazines, tours the USA and the world providing demonstrations, classes, and lectures, hosts destination fly fishing adventures, and tests his flies at every chance he passes water. He is truly today’s fly tyer for tomorrow.
Ted Patlen 2010
Ted Patlen has provided a tireless effort to share his knowledge and unite fly tyers from all over the world. Now a retiree, Ted spends much of his time and money to participate in fly tying exhibitions and seminars all over the world. He brings new life to everyone interested in fly tying, entertaining all, even non fly tyers. He freely shares his unique techniques and makes it a point to keep fly tying enjoyable, always with a smile on his face. Ted has often said “…some of these guys take it too seriously; fly tying is supposed to be fun”. People who meet him for the first time leave with a memorable experience. His skills are equaled with unique antics that delight everyone.
His personal appearances and demonstrations world wide brings an energy, edginess and often the most unorthodox techniques to the craft of fly tying. In his travels, Ted meets both professional and amateur tyers from every skill level and often hosts them when they visit the USA. Among the fly tying community he is recognized as The American Ambassador of Fly Tying.