Fly Tying Symposium, tying classes on tap

It’s getting colder outside, and some of our favorite fishing spots are beginning to ice up a bit.

Don Corey of the Penobscot Fly Fishers works at the vise during the 2016 Fly Tying Symposium in Brewer. (Photo courtesy of Bill Kuykendall).

For avid fly fishers, that’s not a big deal. In fact, when it gets frigid and icy, many simply switch to their favorite winter fly fishing activity: They begin tying the flies that they’ll use next year.

If you’re a fly tier, or would like to learn more about becoming one, the Penobscot Fly Fishers are planning an event that you won’t want to miss. Their annual Fly Tying Symposium is set for Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Penobscot County Conservation Association on North Main Street in Brewer. The event will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The symposium is free to attend, and visitors will find plenty of experienced tiers on hand, demonstrating various skills and sharing tips and techniques.

If you’d like more information, go to the PFF Facebook page and poke around a bit. Who knows? You may meet a new fishing buddy.

Fly tying classes set

While we’re talking about the PFF and fly fishing, I’d be remiss if I didn’t advise you to enroll your favorite fly fisher in a class that could be a game changer.

Sam Kenney (left) visits with other tiers at the 2016 Fly Tying Symposium in Brewer. (Photo courtesy of Bill Kuykendall)

Many get into fly fishing because they’re curious about the sport, and have always wanted to give it a try. Others figure that some day, they might even decide to tie flies of their own. But for some, that second step is a bit overwhelming. There’s too much to learn. Fly-tying looks too difficult. It must take years to learn how to tie.


The PFF are again offering their annual beginners fly tying class, and as a proud graduate of the course, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Simply put, it can change the way you think about fishing.

The classes will kick off on Jan. 8, and will be held Mondays from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The course exposes students to tools, techniques and materials, and serves as a solid introduction to tying.

There’s plenty of hands-on instruction, and each student will likely tie several flies per night.

The course fee is $40, which includes all materials and the use of fly tying tools during class. Students who already have their own equipment are welcome to bring it. The class is capped at 30 students, so sign up soon.

All students younger than 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Send questions or register by contacting Rob Dunnett at



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.