Let's get a few things straight.
In the world of flyfishing, there are a lot of everyday average geeks. Some of these geeks are hardcore Geeks, and of those a few are SuperGeeks. Of the grouping of SuperGeeks, one or two might be MetaGeeks.
In the rarified environment of the Metageek, there is a class of geekery that makes all others look like child's play.
This is the realm of the ÜberGeek.
The Gonger and his trademark goatee, presiding over another of his ÜberGeek creations.
A lot of folks tie their own flies. Some tie for others, and some even design flies to be tied by other folks. Hell, some folks are even really good at tying flies, and get paid for it.
The Gonger makes his own hooks. That in and of itself gets you the geek equivalent of an Eagle Scout Badge. Not only does he make his own hooks, but he ties ridiculously beautiful flies on these hooks, then makes and mats his own shadowboxes, in which he mounts these finished flies. When he is all done with this, he sells them to other geeks for prices approaching the cost of a decent 9ft flyrod.
If you are a regular reader, you already know the Chronicle's stance on Tradition and History...we are temporarily suspending the poo-pooing of tradition to be suitably awed by the culmination of hundreds of years of devotion by many acolytes to a single craft as displayed by the efforts of one superb tyer - the Full Dress Blind-Eye Salmon Fly.
A few of the Gonger's creations.
A few closeups.
Keeping the Art torch burning in the dim light of the fly-tying craft, the Gonger gets our vote as the guy most likely to be voted "2007 ÜberGeek of the Year."