Michigan native Jeff “Bear” Andrews has been fly fishing and tying flies for 48 years. In 1998 he was the recipient of the “Buz” Buszek Memorial Fly Tying Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a fly tyer by the Federation of Fly Fishers. At the time he was the youngest to have ever received the award and only the third from the Midwest.
Annually Bear travels throughout the United States and Europe sharing his tying skills through demonstrations and classes. He has taught thousands of people to tie flies. Bear’s extensive fly tying background has led to the development of deadliest carp patterns on the planet. From 1977 until 1984 he ran Bear’s Fly Shop in Grand Ledge, Michigan He has tied flies commercially for 34 years, producing as many as 24,000 flies a year.
Bear created the “Tie-a-Thon” for the Federation Of Fly Fishers, and for ten years held a 24 hour tying marathon to raise money the FFF’s conservation projects, raising over $140,000.00 Bear’s flies are sought after by both collectors as well as fly fishers. His flies have appeared in numerous books, and magazines; as well as limited edition artwork.
Bear has set 3 IGFA World Records for Brook trout during his 27 years of fishing Labrador. He is currently the Fly Fishing Editor for Michigan Out-Of Doors magazine and has been for over 20 years. In 1999 he released his first in a series of fly tying instructional videos, currently available in DVD format are “Best Of The Bear Steelhead” “Best Of The Bear Steelhead II “ and “Best Of The Bear Tying Traditions”. Since 2000, Bear’s flies have been available in fly shops through the Umpqua Feather Merchants Fly Tyers Royalty Program. Currently Bear works as a Fly Fishing guide for Fuller’s North Branch Outing Club in Lovells, Michigan guiding for trout, salmon, steelhead, and carp on the fly.
Annually he hosts trips to Labrador and Ontario in pursuit of his favorite trophy brookies, as well as Alaska.