For 20 years, the North Country Angler has been home to a fly-tying institution. Lyars & Tyers is a group of valley anglers who meet at the shop on Saturday mornings from the middle of November until designated Trout Ponds open at the end of April.
Last year’s season saw in-shop sessions suspended due to the pandemic and the concern of the safety of fellow fly tyers. The tradition continued virtually on Facebook Live and Google Meet. Going virtual allowed Lyars & Tyers to go global. Fly tyers from Canada, Japan and England come to mind. Fly tyers from 25 states participated over the course of the season. Fly tying is a global craft that knows no boundaries.
The exchange of ideas, tips, tricks ans favorite fly patterns is exhilarating. The plus of social media is the ability to share ideas and to learn another fly tyer’s perspective. Google Meet is interactive so the free flow of ideas can take place in real time. It is almost like the fly tyers are together in person — almost.
As cool as the virtual tying is, there really is no comparison to in-person tying. Maybe it’s old fashioned but jokes are funnier, fishing stories more relatable, watching a master tier up close more fulfilling. Not to mention that many of the experienced tyers are not tech savvy.
What is a shop owner to do?
In-person Lyars & Tyers will resume at the shop on Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. Tyers should bring whatever materials they need to tie a pattern of their choice. One could even bring enough materials to share with fellow tyers. There will be no featured pattern. This is time to share information and stories with fellow fly tyers. The group will determine rules for masks, vaccine, etc. Tying space will be set up in the shop’s front room.
Virtual Lyars & Tyers will be held on Facebook Live at the North Country Angler Fly Shop Facebook Page. Tyers will need to like the Facebook Page to be admitted. Questions can be typed in and will be answered as they scroll through the broadcast.
Tyers who wish to interact virtually will join using Google Meet. Type in the meeting code jmc-ronk-sos. You will be admitted by the admin once notification is received that you wish to join the “meeting.”
For the virtual Lyars & Tyers there will be a pattern of the week. The patterns will be posted in advance on the Facebook page under events. This will give virtual participants a chance to procure the needed materials to tie the fly of the week.
Choosing the fly of the week is part of the fun. Looking through the different tying books to find effective fly patterns. Watching patterns on YouTube. Doing Google searches for nymphs, emergers, dry flies, streamers. The number of patterns is endless. But the right resources seem to jump out and say, “Pick Me!”
For this tying season, several resources will be used. For books, there is “The Orvis Fly Pattern Index,” “Surette’s Trout and Salmon Fly Index,” “Stewart’s Trout Flies” and “Noll’s Guide to Trout Flies.” Videos will include YouTube videos by Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions and fly-tying Videos from the Orvis.com Learning Center.
Patterns chosen will be of varying degrees of difficulty, from easy to complex. The patterns chosen are proven fish catchers and tyers will be proud to add the flies to their fly box and prouder when they land a fish on their creation.
Tip of the Week
Having a high quality pair of scissors is worth every dime. Being able to take a clean cut of fly tying materials makes a fly easier to complete.
Steve Angers, a native to the Conway area, is the author of the book “Fly Fishing New Hampshire’s Secret Waters” and operates the North Country Angler.