Back in October, longtime fly fisher Don Corey celebrated the opening of his fly shop, Annika Rod & Fly, in a downtown Brewer storefront that had formerly held a barber shop.
At the time, Corey said he had enough inventory in storage to fill the tiny 160-square-foot space twice over, and joked that he had “10 pounds of crap in a 5-pound bucket.”
Except, of course, that “crap” was far more than that: To fly fishers, the assorted fly-tying supplies and vises are the lifeblood of the sport, and spending an hour perusing the racks at a fly shop can provide the same tonic that a row of library shelves offers the avid reader. And the advice and stories that you can hear around a fly shop are as good a reason to visit as any.
As it turns out, the space was too small: Corey and some of the shop’s “pro staff” members — friends who pitch in at the shop — have been moving inventory from that space on North Main Street to a larger one at 12 Acme Road, which is across the street from the Brewer city pool.
“It morphed into 20 pounds of stuff in that same 5-pound bucket,” Corey said on Thursday. “I’m going from 160 to 700 [square feet]. It will be a welcome addition. I’m going to be able to set up for classes and rod-building … I’ll be able to spread my wings and loosen my belt a little bit and say, ‘ahh.’”
With the added space, Corey won’t have to tear down displays in order to stage those popular rod-building classes.
For now, hours will remain the same: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but during the summer hours may change a bit.
The additional space will allow Corey to display Echo rods, Airflo and Rio lines, and custom fly-tying will continue.
The new-and-improved Annika Rod & Fly is directly behind the Big Apple convenience store, in Suite 211 of 12 Acme Road. Visitors are advised to drive around the right side of the building and look for the sign.
A new fishing book
Some 66 years ago, back in 1951, Joe Bertolaccini received his first fly-fishing outfit, and he’s been hooked ever since.
The longtime Brewer and Orrington resident has spent years honing his craft, enjoying fishing outings with family and friends, and sharing that knowledge with others as an instructor at many Penobscot Fly Fishers classes.
Now, he’s an author.
Bertolaccini’s first book, “Fundamentals of Fly Fishing, A Seasoned Angler’s Bag of Tips N’ Tricks,” was recently published by Maine Outdoor Publications.
In it, readers will find some of the standard fare of the how-to genre, including basic instruction in casting, tackle and tying.
Those types of tips are available in many different outlets, of course, and most seasoned fly fishers have already read similar material elsewhere … or muddled through those lessons the old-fashioned way, through trial and error.
What Bertolaccini offers that’s different, however, comes in the second half of the book. That’s where readers will find many of his personal tales about lessons learned on the water, and adventures shared with dear friends and family members.
Bertolaccini plucked those tales from more than 40 years of diary and journal entries, and each is a personal look back at a special time and place in the author’s life.
I love reading about past fishing trips, especially when I know some of the people being mentioned and can vicariously tag along as I turn the pages.
For those personal stories alone, the book is worth a look. And for those new to the fly-fishing game who haven’t been inundated with other how-to manuals of our sport, the instructional sections will also prove helpful.
“Fundamentals of Fly Fishing” is available at Annika Rod & Fly in Brewer. It sells for $10.95.
Celebrate Aislinn’s book!
As you’ve already heard, my colleague Aislinn Sarnacki has written a book that plays off her 1-Minute Hike brand, and we’re eager to celebrate the book’s launch with you.
Aislinn will host a celebration of that book — “Family Friendly Hikes” — next week, and she’d love for you stop by. The event will be held on Thursday, June 1, at Epic Sports in Bangor. The program will run from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m., with a presentation by Aislinn at 5:30 p.m.
Join me in congratulating Aislinn on her first book, and I hope to see you there!
John Holyoke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 990-8214. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnHolyoke