L.L. Bean’s Spring Fishing Weekend on tap

For the past 25 years, the folks at L.L. Bean have celebrated the imminent (although often delayed) change of seasons and warmer weather with their Spring Fishing Weekend.

An angler tries his luck on the West Branch of the Penobscot River near Abol Bridge in 2013. Brian Feulner | BDN

An angler tries his luck on the West Branch of the Penobscot River near Abol Bridge in 2013. Brian Feulner | BDN

If you’re among those anglers who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of open water, do yourself a favor: Ignore the weather reports that call for even more snow this weekend … then head to Freeport to check the event out.

This year’s Spring Fishing Weekend kicks off on Friday with a free fly-tying clinic, and continues on Saturday and Sunday with a variety of seminars, exhibits, and store specials.

Here’s a look at some of the activities on tap this weekend (for a more complete list, check out the official L.L. Bean link):

  • Friday at 7 p.m.: Join L.L. Bean expert John Butler, who will show you how to tie one of his own striped bass patterns, “The Bulldog,” during a special clinic.
  • Saturday at 10 a.m.: Drew Haerer of the Wilderness Systems Kayak Fishing Team will present a seminar, “Kayak Fishing 101.”
  • Saturday at 11 a.m.: L.L. Bean expert Ken Estes tells you all you need to know about surf casting on the Maine coast.
  • Sunday at 11 a.m.: Take a virtual trip to Bristol Bay, Alaska, with L.L. Bean expert Matt Bickford, who will discuss his fishing experiences in that picturesque region.
  • Sunday at noon: A cooking demonstration and sampling by Jimmy Kennedy, a Cabot Creamery Cooperative spokesperson and celebrity chef.
  • Sunday at 1:30 p.m.: Learn some trick fly casting skills from L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools instructor Macauley Lord.
  • Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.: Go to Discovery Park and take part in the fly casting lessons for adults and kids. Also on tap: Kids can participate in a casting game.
  • Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.: The Merrymeeting Bay Chapter of Trout Unlimited will offer fly-tying lessons for children age 6 and older.

A personal note: I’ve attended the L.L. Bean Spring Weekend several times in the past decade, and always walk away having learned something or having made a new friend.

One hint: Make sure you spend some time visiting with the “Fly-Tying Masters” on Saturday. Edward “Muzzy” Muzeroll, Peter Smith and Dave Klausmeyer will be on hand to chat and tie flies, and will surely show even the most avid tier a few skills that will improve their work.


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.