Fabiola Mauri, from Gambara in Northern Italy, set the fly-tying world on its collective ear by sweeping three of five categories including the Super Fly at the International Fly Tying Symposium.

Mauri won in the Trout, Saltwater and Realistic categories, earning him top honors.  In addition to trophies and fly-tying materials, Mauri walked off with a one year professional tying contract from Rainy’s Flies, Logan, Utah.  Mauri’s winning entry will be replicated by professional tiers and featured in an upcoming catalog, with the creative Italian receiving a commission.

The winning trout fly pattern is an inverted mayfly, tied reversed with the hook pointed up; saltwater winner is a shrimp pattern; while the realistic category went to a grasshopper, “So real looking I thought it was going to jump,” said Fly Tying Symposium director Chuck Furimsky.

Winner in the bass fly category was Hameed Talebian, Herndon, Va., with an articulated deer hair slider; while the steelhead/salmon fly winner was Brad Kern, Philadelphia, with a freestyle classic salmon fly.

Youth winner was teenager Rylie Lake, Napanoch, NY, whose entry was a stonefly pattern.

Fly tying competition judges included Bob Clouser, Fishy Fullum, Dave Klausmeyer, Enrico Puglisi, Tom Baltz, Gary Borger, Ben Furimsky, Theo Bakelaar, Marc Petitjean, John Shaner, Bob Mead and Bob Popovics.

In the traditional bamboo flyrod casting competition, the winner was Bob Greco, Warwick, Rhode Island, casting a 6-foot, 3-inch 4-weight rod hand crafted by John O’Meara, Providence. The flawless handmade rod was modeled after an original Paul Young (1890-1960)-designed midge taper version.

The rod, a bamboo experimental model using cryogenics dubbed Cryoboo, is a method of strengthening the fragile Southeast Asian wood.  Cryogenics is defined as “The science of extremely low temperatures applied to an object and the resultant changes in properties of the object as a result of that application.” Japanese industrially treat bamboo cryogenically to enhance its strength in construction projects.

Casting competition finalists were Ben Turpin, Jay Kapolka, Leonard Tobbler, Silas Lake, and Dave Brant.  Lake, a 10-year old, soon became the audience favorite.

Furimsky, producer of the Fly Fishing Shows as well as the International Fly Tying Symposium, was honored with the Fly Tier Life Time Achievement Award, presented by Klausmeyer, editor of Fly Tyer Magazine.

Image courtesy Bennett J. Mintz

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