UNI PRODUCTS FLY TIERS CORNER
Aiken, South Carolina
Peter Marra on the water.
As a youngster, Peter Marra came to both fly fishing and fly tying via a very familiar pathway. Like many anglers, he started out using spinning tackle, before drifting toward the long rod. “I live and grew up in Aiken, South Carolina,” he explained. “I grew up using conventional gear until I worked in a fly shop in Augusta (Georgia) one summer.
A variation on the Game Changer.
“My dad is the main person who taught me about fly fishing,” Mara added, “and I started by fishing golf course ponds for bass and panfish.”
The other driving forces in pointing Peter to the long-rod sport were the folks he worked with in the fly shop. That experience also prompted an interest in tying. “I developed my interest in fly tying pretty early on, because the idea of catching a fish on something I tied really intrigued me.
“I am mainly self-taught,” Marra continued, “but I draw skills and tips through YouTube videos.” In turn, Peter uses that knowledge to concentrate on a few favorite types of flies. Among them are Virginian Blaine Chocklett’s Game Changers. Others are articulated streamers, popping bugs he paints himself and redfish patterns. “I wouldn’t say I have my own signature flies, but I adapt every pattern I see to fit my needs and tinker with different materials for different actions.”
Marra basically is not a “road-kill” tier. “I mainly use commercially available materials, but I also tie with feathers I find on the golf course, in the woods and from my buddies after their hunting trips.”
Although Peter does not tie commercially or enter competitions, he is available to teach classes or speak to groups on fly tying. “I can tie custom orders based on what people want,” he noted.
“My advice to would-be fly tiers is to have fun, improvise at the vise and reach out to other tiers for tips and tricks” Marra offered. “You don’t have to tie exactly what you see in pictures of patterns. Feel free to use different materials and figure out how they work in the water.
“Flies don’t always have to be pretty to catch fish. Sometimes I think people focus too much on the aesthetics of a fly, instead of how it looks and moves in the water,” he concluded.
To see more of Mara’s flies or make contact with him, visit his Instagram site. His handle is flies_by_gar.