It began in August 2014 when Palmer and Mason Kasprowicz’s grandfather was moving.
He packed up his fly-tying materials and a vise one evening and brought them over to give to his two grandchildren in Reston. He taught them to tie their first flies and they were hooked.
Mason, who was 12 years old at the time, and Palmer, who was 11, began scouring the internet for fly-tying videos and continued to teach themselves new patterns and techniques.
“Whenever we had free time, we found tying flies was something we enjoyed doing,” Palmer said.
The boys hadn’t been introduced to fly fishing when they first started tying. That came next as the two brothers started fishing local ponds with their father and occasionally making a trip to the Shenandoah National Park to fish for native brook trout.
“Ironically we got into fly fishing through fly tying,” Mason said.
The two brothers began showing their flies to friends and teachers at school, and one night, while sitting around the dinner table they had an idea. They would start their own fly-tying company and save the profits to help pay for college.
Flies by Two Brothers was born and based around a simple equation FLIES=MC2 (money for college for two brothers). Both hope to study engineering.
The two quickly hired mom, Marni Kasprowicz, as volunteer, chief marketing officer, and chief financial officer. And she also has to drive them around to Trout Unlimited meetings, where they sell flies, and to fly-fishing shows like the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival, the Rapidan Trout Unlimited Chapter Fishing Show, and the South River Fly Fishing Expo, where the two will have a table later this month.
“Some people have suggested we give her a pay raise. Unfortunately, we are not quite ready to do that,” Mason joked.
Mom has taken it in stride of course. “It’s been so much fun,” Marni said.
Palmer and Mason spend most of their free time tying flies to fill orders placed on their website fliesbytwobrothers.com.
Both brothers attend South Lake High School in Reston. Mason is a sophomore and Palmer a freshman.
Mason likes to tie in the morning.
“It’s a nice way to start the day. It’s relaxing and you can be proud of yourself for what you have accomplished,” he said.
Mason’s favorite fly is the Caddis wulff, a dry fly named after fly fishing icon, Joan Wulff.
Palmer is more of an afternoon tier. His favorite fly is the Rainbow Warrior, a multicolored nymph.
The two continue to promote the sport of fly fishing. They have started a fly fishing club at their school and will be volunteering at the Trout Unlimited fly fishing camp this summer.
Last year, they netted somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 each, so they have a ways to go to pay for the two engineering degrees, but they have a head start on most kids their age, having already learned how to build a website, market their product and deliver on orders.
And for two brothers, they say “We try to get along pretty well.”
Article first appeared in the Richmond Times Dispatch April 2018 by Tee Clarkson
Visit fliesbytwobrothers.com to check out some of Mason and Palmer’s work and come to the Maryland Fly Fishing Show to meet them in person!