With the coronovirus forcing people to spend more time at home that means that some people might be looking for a new hobby. Some are reading more books, doing crossword puzzles or just trying to find ways to keep the body and mind active. For people who like to fly fish this might be a chance to tie some of your own flies. Darrell Philbrook of Crouseville has been tying flies for almost seventy years.
Darrell Philbrook:" I have been tying since 1953. It used to be for fishing and hobby. It has always been for a hobby. I just can't give up a good thing I guess. It is a good clean habit not habit hobby. It could be a habit some people would say that is habit alright."
Philbrook says that he still has a steady hand and very good eyesight and that allows him to continue to create his masterpieces. He spends a lot of time in his man cave especially in the winter just trying to tie different flies. He has a couple of different tying areas set up in case someone stops by to chat
Philbrook:" They come here and set at my other vice and we sit here and talk. If the pot is on in the kitchen I get a cup of coffee. We set here and talk and jaw."
Philbrook used to have a shop in Washburn and recently has supplied Ben's Trading post with his creations.
Philbrook:" A lot of guys used to take my salmon flies that I tie and they would go the Miramichi or the Restigouche and catch 25,30, 40 pound salmon on them."
The veteran fly tyer says that he has only created a couple of different flyies including Phil's Green Drake, but most times sticks with the tried and true
Philbrook:" There's thousand and thousands of patterns that I could use to tie that people keep asking for. If they keep asking what is already there what is the sense of making a new one. It's like if it ain't broke don't fix it."
Philbrook says that there are still quite a few people in the area who tie flies, but it is sort of a lost art
Philbrook:" There's a lot less people teaching. I have been teaching for the last 25 years."
He says that he would love to work with anyone who would like to take up the hobby and said the younger the better.
Philbrook:" 12,13,14 years old that is the time to do it. They got good eyes they got steady hands and most of them are inquisitive enough to do a good job."