My name is Don Ordes, aka DonO, and I reside in Nampa, Idaho, after living 36 years in Wyoming. I am originally from New Orleans, where I grew up loving to hunt, fish, and trap. My day job is owner of a consulting company that specializes in technical consulting for industrial design, focusing on the natural gas recovery and processing energy industry. I also conduct training seminars in hydrocarbon processing for plant and field operators.
At the age of 10, I read an article in a popular outdoor magazine about fly tying. Now New Orleans was not a fly fishing town 50 years ago, so assistance, materials, and tools were impossible to come by for a 10-year-old. The article was about mayflies, and I was so intrigued that I swiped mom’s sewing scissors and some thread, robbed some feathers from my pillow, and without vice or tools, tying with my bare hands, tried as hard as I could to imitate that fly on a small saltwater hook. I was hooked.
I tied flies as well as I could without tutoring of any kind – or the internet – and fished them for bluegills using a bamboo pole and heavy saltwater line. I caught one fish per fly if I was lucky. A few years later, I got my first fly-rod from Sears, with an automatic reel. Then my parents bought me a fly-tying kit and WOW. I had a vice and tools and real materials and an instruction book! I tied non-stop until I used up almost all of the materials. A lifetime hobby was conceived.
When I moved to Wyoming 40 years ago, fly tying had taken a back seat to family, kids and work, but it was brought front-and-center by neighbors and co-workers who wanted fishing flies. Now I was in trout country and flies had names and sizes and specific materials – and there were flyshops! My fly tying was “reborn” in earnest.
I quickly realized that repetitive, commercial fly-tying was not for me. But, I fished in Yellowstone and was intrigued by what a fly-fisherman there told me – if someone could tie a realistic imitation of the local gray stonefly nymph, he would buy them and catch a zillion trout. I went to work on realistics, and found what would become my original niche in the world of “show” fly tying. This chain of events resulted in what eventually became Fantasy Fly Co.
Outside my little realm, there were other tiers taking on the art of realistic tying, and it has been my pleasure to meet many of these masters at shows over the years. I got to meet Bob Mead a few years ago, and was reminded that one of the finer things in our sport is meeting its great personalities.
- Federation of Fly Fishers
- Whiting Farms Pro Team
- Abel Reel Pro Team
- Wyoming Flycasters
- Ross Reel Guide Team
- Winston Rods Guide Team
Shows and events for demonstration fly tying:
- International Sportsman’s Expositions
- Chuck Furimski’s Fly Fishing Show/Denver
- Federation of Fly Fishers
- Idaho Falls FFF/TU
- Green River Fly Swap
- Casper Sports Shows
- The International FlyFair in Holland
- Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo
- East Idaho Fly Tying/Fly Fishing Expo