By Joseph Horn
When I arrived 15 minutes before the start of a fly-tying workshop we were leading in collaboration with Downeast Salmon Federation at Fogtown Brewing Company in Ellsworth to begin setting up vises and prepping tying materials, I was surprised by a jovial patron who exclaimed “you better get set up quickly because people are ready to get started!”
Until his comment, I was lost in thought as I contemplated my set-up tasks and was trying to decide what flies to tie given the particular setting and experience level I could expect of workshop participants. Taking in the surroundings, I noticed that the beautiful wood slab bar was lined with people. The two long tables that ran up the center of the room were full. People were mingling by a table and chair in the corner, each wall was lined with folks, and people were still pouring through the door all eager to try their hand at fly-tying or at least catch a glimpse of the time-honored craft being done in-person. Who knew fly-tying was such a spectator’s sport? In all, we estimated that sixty people came out during that workshop to talk fish conservation, the implications of fish passage on the Union River in Ellsworth, and to see what fly-tying was all about.
This was just one of the roughly thirty fly-tying workshops we are in the midst of leading across Washington and Hancock Counties this year. With just under half of the workshops taught so far, we have already tied nearly 300 flies with almost 170 workshop participants.
Want to join in on the fun? Check out our Events page or Facebook Page for a full listing of upcoming free public fly-tying workshops in this series with Downeast Salmon Federation. We hope to see you at one!
This project has been generously supported by the Belvedere Traditional Handcrafts Fund through the Maine Community Foundation.
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