Steven Fernandez, a Venice, Calif. architect who turned his passion for crafting fishing flies into an art form, has been named recipient of the 2012 Buz Buszek Memorial Award by the International Federation of Fly Fishers at the organization’s convention in Spokane, Wash., July 11.
Fernandez, 52, started tying flies professionally at age 13 for Southern California fishing tackle shops; by 16, he was demonstrating and teaching fly tying throughout the area and then nationally. When he was 17, he was featured in the April 1977 edition of Field and Stream magazine.
While pursuing a degree in architecture in the 1980s, he challenged the centuries-old notion of artistic salmon flies by tying flies on straightened out hooks with atypical materials and techniques, raising a few eyebrows in the process. Judith Dunham included him in her book The Atlantic Salmon Fly, The Tyers and Their Art, published in 1991, which helped lead to international demonstrations, classes, and feature articles.