Shawn Mitchell - Tartan Bodied and Classic Salmon Flies
'the chav' 6/0 - based on the burberry fashion tartan pattern
major traherne's 'the black argus' 6/0
I am very proud to offer here the artwork of Shawn Mitchell. From time to time, I may have one of Shawn's tartan bodied flies and classic salmon flies available for purchase. Click on the Classic Salmon Flies category on the left of the page or go to the bottom of this page to see if any of Shawn's flies are available currently.
If you are interested in commissioning Shawn for a custom fly as a wonderful gift to yourself or a friend, please contact me at vintageflytackle[AT]gmail[DOT]com or 720.443.3359.
A GREETING FROM THE ARTIST:
my name is shawn mitchell and I reside in perth, on the west coast of australia.
I'm very pleased and honoured to offer my traditional atlantic salmon flies and tartan bodied freestyles for your consideration here at vintageflytackle.
after many years of tutoring and tying trout and native freshwater flies I fancied something a bit more challenging. though I knew I'd no chance of ever catching an atlantic salmon in australia one passing glance at the victorian garish flies and I knew in an instant I was smitten.
I marvelled at the work of dick talleur, michael radencich, poul jorgensen et al and took any help and all the inspiration I could from them. after tying the traditional flies of traherne, kelson, francis and the occasional hardy I tried my hand at tying freestyles. what emerged with my knowledge of the classics was what I believe to be the first tartan bodied fly. since it's inception in 2010 (the brave, with the 'scott' family tartan) I have been lucky enough to commission flies for many a celt and their faraway neighbours. I am confident that if you choose a tartan fly whether as a gift or a personal piece of art you will not only be ecstatic with your bespoke fly but will spend endless hours admiring it and answering many questions from your inquisitive guests. tartan fly patterns are retired after purchase. that's right... that fly is yours only.
the traditional flies of yesteryear on the other hand are beautifully timeless as I'm sure you'll agree. all are tied to an inventor's recipe using the available original ingredients... I feel that substitute material doesn't offer the colour and depth the classic fly demands. all feathers are purchased from reputable sellers and no feather is offered of an endangered species as this would not be acceptable to anyone worthy of the craft. if you opt to have a traditional fly commissioned I would suggest ordering the fly by name as well as choosing a hook size suitable to your taste.
all flies are tied on ronn lucas sr. exhibition hooks (sizes 4/0-7/0) and only contain the finest materials... japanese silks, french tinsels and feathers from around the globe. each fly will arrive riker boxed with a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. other framing needs can be discussed and catered for.
tartan bodied bespoke flies will arrive with laminated pattern drawings/sketches as other's have found it quite interesting deciphering the etchings to the finished fly.
thank you and I wish you well in your quest for that objet du désir,
major traherne's 'the evangeline' 6/0
The master tyer of classic Atlantic salmon flies must have a thorough understanding of the exotic materials used in their construction, and a sophisticated range of skills which are grounded in historical knowledge. Classicism, aestheticism, and perfectionism; all of these traits are important, but they alone do not create art.
Art is created at the fly tying bench when these skills and personal attributes are combined with a spark of creativity that is hard to explain, but difficult to dismiss. Shawn Mitchell possesses this spark. His flies are magic and his work is fine art.
– Bob White - artist, author, guide
.... I know Shawn as a perfectionist in every aspect of his work, life and play who is not satisfied with other people’s definitions of a good job and who will only accept the highest standards. Whether for fishing or framing, his flies are tied to the finest standard using the original materials wherever possible and making suitable substitution as required when a particular material is no longer available. This latter being no simple task, involving issues of structure, colour, refraction and reflection of the materials to be used is fundamental to reproduction of the ancient craft...
– Roy Christie, Irish fly-dresser. London 2010
I am fortunate to receive many flies in the mail over the course of a year. Most are from readers, wanting to show me their favorite stonefly pattern or bass bug or collection of "realistic nymphs." But of the dozens I receive, only one hangs framed on the wall above my desk, a beautiful Atlantic salmon fly tied by Shawn Mitchell. The fly is yellow and green and black and blue and beautiful; a classic fly of the highest order... too precious to fish with, too gorgeous to go unseen.
So there it is, from Shawn to me to all my visitors; displayed as true original art should be displayed, for others to see, enjoy and appreciate.
- Tom Bie, Publisher and Editor, The Drake Magazine
major traherne's 'lang syne' 5/0
major traherne's 'nepenthian' 7/0
major traherne's 'jay pt' 6/0