[by David Klausmeyer]
THE INTERNATIONAL FLY TYING SYMPOSIUM will celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary this November. That’s a quarter of a century. It’s hard to believe!
And I am pleased to report that the International Fly Tying Symposium is still going strong, and this year’s event promises to be one of the biggest ever.
On November 21 and 22, the best amateur and professional fly tiers will gather at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, New Jersey, to swap their latest patterns and share new tying techniques. Whatever type of flies you tie—trout, bass, pike, salmon, saltwater, and more—you will learn a lot.
And don’t forget to make your shopping list. Several vendors set up mini fly shops chockfull of hooks, feathers, furs, and much more. The International Fly Tying Symposium is also a great place to find rare and unusual materials fit for dressing your fanciest patterns.
This year, Symposium promotor Chuck Furimsky is introducing a new live fly-tying contest. In this timed event, tiers will create original patterns using materials provided to them. This fun contest will take place in the lobby of the convention center at 4 PM on Saturday, and all tiers are welcome to participate, including you!
“Regal is providing all of the vises used in the competition,” Furimsky said. “Keough Hackle, Wapsi Fly, and Partridge of Redditch are providing all of the materials and hooks. These companies are really enthusiastic about this contest. And all of the participants will get to keep their materials, which are valued at approximately $50. The winner of the competition will receive a Regal vise valued at $250.”
In addition to the contest sponsors, Chuck has lined up a great panel of judges.
“Bob Clouser, Enrico Puglisi, Bob Popovics, and Gary Borger—all well-known tiers—will be the judges,” he said.
But the International Fly Tying Symposium will be more than just a potpourri of hooks and hackle. Steinway’s demonstration pianist, Joe Augustine, from the University of Akron, will return to entertain the crowd during the Saturday night banquet and awards ceremony. This fun evening event is open to everyone attending the Symposium, so you will have more opportunities to chat with your favorite tiers over cocktails and a good dinner.
Furimsky says this will be the largest Symposium since the first gathering in 1990.
“This is twenty-five years,” he reflected. “That’s hard to believe. But tiers still come from across North America and from overseas to tie flies and to learn. And there’s great fellowship among the tiers. Everyone has such a good time.”