Anthony (Tony) Smith began tying flies with his LL Bean fly tying kit that he received from his parents for Christmas 1988.
“It was the best gift I ever receive and I can not thank them enough, for it created opportunities the likes of which I would likely never have encountered, from meeting wonderful friends world wide to travelling. On the heels of receiving this, my father and I took some free classes from Universal Vise to learn the basics and I never looked back.”
From tying commercially for his high school ‘job’ for the likes of Hunter’s Angling and American Angling Supplies, to having his flies sought for various publications, Tony is proud to have his work be of known quality. He is the winner of multiple national and international prestigious fly tying awards including gold medal in 2005 Irish Open creation category full dress salmon flies and first place in Helsinki Spey Clave’s full dress Atlantic Salmon Fly competition in 2009. Tony has been sought after to demonstrate Atlantic salmon fly dressing for groups such as the Northwest Atlantic Salmon Fly Guild, demonstrated at shows from coast to coast and has recently traveled to Europe as a guest show fly tier. He has authored numerous, global magazine articles including, given his background as psychotherapist, self-help pieces such as how to stop letting perfectionism inhibit your enjoyment of the hobby, and more obscure matters such as the lost art of tying flies in hand. He tends to stray from the mainstream in his fly tying interest and delve into obscure dressings- evident by patterns herein- and skills, if not only to be sure history is not lost. He ironically has little fly fishing experience but someday plans how to really cast a fly rod. When not dressing flies Tony can be found hiking in various wildernesses throughout the United States.