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Keystone Classic Fly Tying Championship


A new fly-tying competition will be part of the Central PA Fly Fishing Show in Bellwood, Pa., on March 21, 2020. Former Pennsylvania State Fly Tying Champion Walt Young has organized the event, which is titled the first “Keystone Classic Fly Tying Championship.” The contest is open to all fly tiers and will focus on fundamental fly-tying skills such as winding hackles, setting wings, material selection, and proper proportions.


Young has been tying flies for over 55 years and is no stranger to competitions. He won the Pennsylvania State Fly Tying Championship three times, along with multiple wins in the New Jersey State Fly Tying Championship. “Tying in the competitions was something that I always enjoyed and that helped me to become a better fly tier,” Young said. “I hope the Keystone Classic will give the current generation of talented fly tiers a great venue to showcase their skills.”


The contest will comprise two divisions: A Youth Division open to tiers ages 15 and younger; and an Open Division open to tiers of any age. There is no entry fee. Contestants will be required to tie a designated dry fly, nymph, and streamer pattern at the Central PA Fly Fishing Show. Flies will be judged for neatness, style, proper use of materials, and correct proportions. Contestants will be responsible for supplying their own fly-tying tools and materials.


The Keystone Classic Fly Tying Championship is sponsored by HMH fly-tying vises of Biddeford, Maine, and Holsinger’s Fly Shop of East Freedom, Pa. In addition to a Keystone Classic Champion plaque, both sponsors have offered up great prizes including an HMH Vise to the winner of each division and Holsinger’s gift cards to second and third place finishers.


Because space is limited at the show venue, contestants are asked to submit by mail two sample flies for preliminary evaluation. The qualifying patterns are a Light Cahill dry fly and a Pheasant Tail Nymph, each in size 12. Neatness, correct proportions, and fundamental tying technique are the important factors. Flies must be received by February 21, 2020. The top contestants will be invited to tie in the Keystone Classic Fly Tying Championship and will receive a packet with the required fly patterns, complete contest rules, and a complimentary ticket to the show.


Sample flies should be mailed to:

McFarland Rod Company

C/O Walt Young

1316 N. Tuckahoe St

Bellwood, PA 16617


For more details and updates please see the Keystone Classic Fly Tying Championship page on Facebook.

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