Ye New Olde Flye Shoppe

Terry Walsh’s business model, spelled out on his Facebook page, is very appealing: I intend to be open from 10am-3pm Wed through Saturday, but remember, this is a one man operation and I like to fish too. I like that. I intend to get some work done today, but hey, if the trout are rising…

Terry Walsh’s Shop in Warren

Terry opened his little shop, The Flyfisherman’s Place, in Warren after a half-century in the design world. It’s obvious that a lot of his designing talents were applied to the shop, which is a visual treat, a penny-candy counter for fly anglers. A rainbow of tying threads and flosses, hooks of all sizes, lines and leaders, flyrods both new and field-tested, shelves full of angling books, angling photography by Richard Procopio and art by Dan Daly, president of the Georges River chapter of Trout Unlimited. Note that I did not add flies to that partial inventory: Terry is strictly DIY in that department, and if you want ready-made flies Terry would be happy to give you directions to L.L. Bean or some other fly shop.

Thread, Thread, Thread

Fur and Feathers

But if you’re in need of the finest hackles in the world (Whiting’s), or some Silver Pheasant Cheeks, Pine Squirrel Zonkers, Turkey Flats, Hungarian partridge feathers, starling wings or skunk fur, Terry’s your man. He would also be happy to teach you how to tie your own, as he taught me how to tie on the post of a Klinkhammer.

Terry Walsh at the vise

Each fall he holds classes in the shop and has devised a video system so that his students can watch on a big screen as Terry takes them through the intricacies of winding a fine hackle onto a size 18 hook.

Visual aid for tying classes

Terry is a Dubliner by birth and if you listen closely as he speaks you can still detect in his voice a trace of Ireland, which may or may not become more pronounced in a pub (more research is necessary).


Terry came to the U.S. in 1971 and settled first in Philadelphia before discovering Maine and its varied angling opportunities (when I visited the shop he had just returned from an annual April expedition to Grand Lake Stream, where, he said, the salmon fishing was terrific). He also likes to fish my home water, Upper Dam, and it’s quite possible we have exchanged pleasantries there without exchanging names. Not one to be stuck in a rut, Terry likes to experiment with different styles of flyfishing; I found him knotting up a 28-foot leader (yes, 28 feet) which he will use with an 11-foot rod to fish shallow riffles in the French nymphing manner, and no snarky comments, please, about French nymphs.

I think Terry and I will find an opportunity to fish together one of these days. Meanwhile it’s a pleasure just to talk about fishing in his shop — that is, on one of the days when he intends to be there.

Sterling retaining ring, with mayflies, on the reel seat of a bamboo rod.




Nick Mills

About Nick Mills

Full disclosure: I was not born in Maine, alas! I was born in Massachusetts, but the family moved to Maine when I was eleven, and I grew up in Thomaston. My dad was skipper of one of the draggers that sailed out of Rockland, in the days when it was a rough-tough working fishing port. When he came in from the sea his favorite activity was freshwater fishing with me and my brother, Peter. We learned together to flyfish for trout in the Alder Stream in Eustis. Once hooked on the sport, pun intended, I fished at every opportunity in every place I could -- in the rivers, streams and ponds of Maine; in the mountain ponds of Utah, where I was stationed for a year in the Army; in high Andean lakes in Colombia, where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer; even in a lagoon that surrounded one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in Baghdad. I tried once to go trout fishing in northern Afghanistan, when the U.S.S.R. occupied that country; a landslide blocked my path, but that led to a more interesting adventure, which I will tell you about in a future post.