Joel La Follette learned the art of fly-tying while living with his Grandparents at the age of 9. After the evening meal his Grandfather would retire to the basement to enjoy a glass of wine and tie a few flies in peace. Young Joel was allowed to sit and watch as long as he kept quiet. One day he was asked if he’d like to try his hand at the vise. He’s been tying ever since. From that first Royal Coachman to his signature Royal Treatment, Joel has tied flies that have fooled fish and pleased anglers all over the world. Personally Joel has fished the wilds of Belize, Venezuela, Mexico, the Bahamas and Christmas Island for Bonefish, Snook, Tarpon, Permit, Trevalley and other saltwater fishes. He’s traveled the Northeast for Brookies, Browns and Stripers. In the South he’s tried his luck with Redfish and giant Tarpon. Up north he’s chased monster BC Steelhead, but his home water, the Deschutes River in Oregon, is his testing ground for his unique Steelhead patterns.
“My Steelhead patterns are for fishing, not show, but I like them to show my personality and my traditional, artistic background. Steelhead flies should catch Steelhead first, but look pleasing to the angler. Such a noble fish should not have to fall prey to an ugly fly.”
After an adventurous career that has included commercial fisherman, professional photographer and race car driving instructor, Joel has settled in as the retail manager for Kaufmann’s Streamborn in Tigard, one of the largest fly fishing retailers in the U.S. He occasionally guides on the Deschutes on his days off and hosts trips around the globe for Kaufmann’s. I highly recommend visiting Joel LaFollete's Royal Treatment Fly Fishing for fishing reports, short stories, tips and photos from Oregon and beyond. You will also find detailed tying instructions for the flies dispalyed here.
Joel and his lovely wife Kellie live in West Linn, Oregon in a home they’ve named Woodsprite Lodge. They share their tree top view with a variety of birds, squirrels and other woodsy creatures.
Joel La Follette’s
Joel's Notes: "The five flies currently in this 'Peacock series' are all proven winners. I prefer the use of natural materials for most of my patterns but as you can see I’ve expanded into some more modern materials in the Sinamox Spey and Skate’n Fool."