Lyars and Tyers Fly Tying at the North Country Angler has been a Saturday morning tradition for close to 20 years. Starting in November and ending the Saturday before trout ponds open for fishing in April, Lyars and Tyers brings together fly tyers from all around New England. A Saturday doesn’t go by without a dozen dedicated fly tyers sitting around a table, tying flies, and telling tall tales.
Started by the Thompsons when they purchased North Country Angler, the weekly fly-tying sessions have a Fly of the Week and all supplies are provided. All levels of expertise participate with the more experienced tyers helping the newbies. Camaraderie abounds.
Even on those Saturdays where Mother Nature throws bitter cold or beaucoup snow, tyers arrive at the Shop ready to tie that week’s pattern. Fly tying is addictive and the weekly turnout demonstrates just how addicting fly tying can become. It is a sight to behold!
This fly-tying season has hit a bump in the proverbial road. The pandemic has all of us thinking differently: wearing masks; social distancing; small groups; and contact tracing. Anything to protect one’s self and those around us from catching the virus.
There just is not enough space inside the North Country Angler to meet all measurements to thwart the virus. In person Lyars and Tyers is not in the cards for the 2020 to 2021 tying season.
Schools, towns, government agencies, private businesses, families, and friends have all gone virtual to be able to meet. FaceTime, Zoom, Google Meet and other forms of virtual gathering have filled the void. It is being done successful in a multitude of applications. So why not fly tying?
After conducting a series of tests with the virtual formats, the North Country Angler Lyars and Tyers will take place for the 2020 to 2021 tying season. Lyars and Tyers will be held virtually on Facebook Live and Google Meet. Both formats have advantages and limitations.
Facebook Live is for those that want to mostly watch and learn technique. Facebook Live allows participants to type in questions that can be answered by the lead tyer. Facebook Live has a smoother interface and participants can join in at any time or leave at any time. Each participant can carve out their own amount of joining the group.
A limitation to Facebook Live is that you have a Facebook account and you “Like” North Country Angler Fly Shop on the Facebook app. Some folks aren’t fans of having to “join” Facebook.
The other virtual portal for Lyars and Tyers is Google Meet. Google Meet allows participants to join a “meeting” by downloading the Google Meet app and then joining the meeting room by typing in the meeting room ID. Google Meet allows for discussion among the participants. It is less vulnerable to hackers than Zoom. You can verbally ask the meeting leader questions.
The limitation to Google Meet is that the leader allows admission to the meeting room. This means that if you aren’t “on time” and the meeting leader gets busy, you may not be admitted in a timely fashion.
As with all technology, there will be bumps in the road. That being said, we hope that anyone who loves fly tying, wants to learn about new and different patterns, or is new to the craft and wants to learn will participate.
Visit the Events Page on the North Country Angler Fly Shop to learn each week’s pattern and the link to Google Meet. The more, the merrier.
Tip of the Week
If you ice fish, learning how to tie your own ice fishing jigs is a fun way to prepare for the ice fishing season.
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.