Fishing skills

Winter is a great time to hone your fly tying skills


There is no better time to stock up on fly fishing and fly tying gear than during the cold months.

And there’s no better way to expand your fly collection and hone your tying skills than by attending the Maine Fly Tying Symposium.

Penobscot fly fishermen prepare for their annual event Sunday at the Penobscot County Conservation Association’s clubhouse in Brewer. The event, which is free to the public, returns after a COVID-19 hiatus last year. The conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Up to 20 fly tanners from across Maine are expected to be on hand to share their tips and techniques for creating flies that will appeal to even the toughest fish.

Paul Markson can attest firsthand the value of attending the Maine Fly Tying Symposium. His own introduction to fly tying took place around 12 years ago at the event.

“I hadn’t even started to learn yet. I signed up, so I just introduced myself to Brewer, ”said Markson, the public relations coordinator for Penobscot Fly Fishers. “I met [PFF president] Don Corey and I walked through and I was in awe at the time.

The gathering will include fly tyers of all skill levels who will demonstrate and share ideas on how to create effective flies.

“People are welcome to come stop and watch,” Markson said. “You can see three different techniques for tying the same fly. “

Some attendees like to pick fitters brains over techniques, vices, and fly patterns, while others just like to watch.

“There’s a lot of brainstorming going on,” Markson said.

The event is a great opportunity for anglers, fly tyers and those who yearn to go out on the water to rejoice in the fly fishing opportunities ahead.

“The fishing season is drawing to a close, and then it’s grouse and deer season. Except for ice fishermen or hare hunters, it’s fly tying season [now]”said Markson of the opportunity to restock the fly box.

Fly tyers who develop a certain skill are able to tailor their tying to the species they are targeting and also to the patterns that are operating on a given water at any given time.

“The first fish I caught with a fly that I tied up was one of those, ‘eh, that really works!’ kind of moments, ”Markson said.

The PCCA Pavilion is located at 570 North Main Street in Brewer. Coffee and snacks are available for a donation.

For more information, see or the Penobscot Fly Fishers Facebook page at