The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Seward freshman helping anglers go for the big catch with handmade lures


Tommy Wells

Seward High School freshman Cody Bryden has turned a desire to learn how to tie fishing flies into a business.

Cody Bryden never intended to become an expert at tying fishing flies. At 11 years old, he was just trying to learn something that "looked pretty cool" as he watched Neil and John Lindquist patiently create their own lures.

Besides, it was a great way for the Moose Pass resident to rest his fingers when he wasn't playing guitar.

"I started making them about three years ago," he said. "Neil and John were doing it and they got me interested in it. I watched them and learned how to do it, and then I kind of took it to the next level."

After the Lindquists had sparked his interest, Bryden said, he attended a fishing convention in Las Vegas that showcased some top fly makers. There he met a Canadian angler who took time to show him how to tie several different designs. That extra exposure had him hooked.

"He was doing some for pike

and walleye when I was there, and he showed me how to tie some different patterns," said Bryden, who recently celebrated his 15th birthday and will enter the freshman class at Seward High School this year.

The tips he got in Las Vegas, plus those he picked up from the Lindquists and other fishermen on the Kenai Peninsula, have helped him improve the quality of his flies dramatically.

"I've probably made several hundred of them since I started," he said, "but really-when I first started they were ... junk. Now I'm doing them where they actually look good and work the way they're supposed to. I've caught a lot of fish on the different designs."

Bryden grew up in Moose Pass and attended Moose Pass Elementary from kindergarten through fifth grade. After fifth grade, though, he asked his parents, Jeff and Wendy Bryden, if he could transfer to Seward where he could have access to different opportunities, including after-school sports and music classes.

"I loved going to school in Moose Pass," he said, "but I had a few different opportunities in Seward that we didn't have here, including music classes."

In 2016, the Seward Music Association decided to create a calendar as a fund-raising effort and held a contest to select artwork for each of the 12 months.

Bryden submitted two pieces of artwork that featured fishing flies as part of a music theme. To his surprise, both did extremely well. One piece, entitled "Without music, my life would be flat," was the grand prize winner. The other piece was selected to appear with one of the months.

Tommy Wells

Cody Bryden (right) and his friend, Jesse Sanchez, sit a table at the recent Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival. A freshman at Seward High School, Bryden spends much of each summer attending events to show off his custom fishing flies.

The move to the Seward school also encouraged him to expand his musical talents. Since joining the Seward Middle School band, he has learned to play the ukulele, mandolin and, most recently, the drums.

"I've kind of had to (learn to play drums). Guitar in a brass band doesn't do that well," he said, laughing.

He began playing the drums as a sixth-grader, when the band needed a percussionist. "They had nothing for guitar ... which totally makes sense. So, I started doing percussion."

Along with music and high school studies, Bryden said, he plans to continue refining his talents in making fishing flies.

"It's kind of fun and I like doing it," he said. In the summer he attends various events, such as the Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival, and offers his ties to the public. The flies can also be purchased at The Fudge Shop and Crazy Moose Studio as well as through the mail, by writing to him at P.O. Box 143, Moose Pass, AK 99631.


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