Navy Vet, Photographer, Fly Tyer: Meet Juraj Sabol


Location: Pennsylvania
Species: Brown Trout, Striped Bass
Follow Juraj on Instagram @hookedonthefly2


Juraj is a talented fly tyer, photographer, Navy Vet, and father who began tying beautiful flies after becoming introduced to the sport through a Project Healing Waters outing. Juraj now ties and sells his saltwater and streamer patterns through his “Meat Maker” online shop.

Why do you enjoy fly tying?

I like to tie flies for the fact that it’s absolutely amazing to catch fish on something you made. It helps me relax, and I like creating something new - possibly a new pattern altogether. When tying a pattern it really puts me in touch and feel with the water, the fish, and the outdoors.


How did you get into fly tying? Any big inspirations or fly tiers you admire?

I got into fly tying to help me with PTSD. I joined PHWFF for an outing and after casting a fly rod once, I was hooked and I wanted to learn everything. Tying was a huge part of it. Guys I look up to are Bob Popovics, who I live a few minutes from him but haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting, and Bob Clouser who I had the pleasure of meeting while tying at the Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster. The Clouser Minnow is my go! For dry flies I love Matt Grobert’s patterns - they are just so realistic.

What is your favorite species to chase and why?
I would have to say Brown trout. From streamers, to dries, to nymphs - you can fish for them all day.

Any advice for new tyers?
Be versatile, learn to tie saltwater and freshwater patterns from dries, to nymphs to steelhead flies. Try to find a mentor and just don’t give up.

Any advice for parents that are wanting to get their kids started on fly tying?
I have one big piece of advice for parents - don’t force it. If they want to do it they will; be ready to teach and have lots of patience.

Favorite piece of water to fish and why?
My favorite water to fish is Penns Creek. The runs, flats, and holes are stunning and fishing in the park makes you feel like you're on another planet.

What are some of the challenges our fisheries face that are important to you?
We have a lot of challenges facing our fisheries from conservation, stream restoration, on down to poaching. I believe we need to get our younger generation more involved and educate them and ourselves more..