Vienna Historical Society
Preserving the History of Vienna and Mount Vernon, Maine

Carrie Stevens

                                                         Carrie Stevens
                                                           1882 - 1970

Carrie Gertrude Wills, one of the best fly tiers in sporting history, was born on Vienna Mountain in 1882 to Albert and Nellie Wills.  By 1890, the family had relocated to Farmington, where Carrie met and married Wallace Stevens, a fish and game warden. 

Sometime before 1919, the couple relocated to Upper Dam, where Wallace became a fishing guide.  A fishing guest, world-renown carver of decoys Charles E. Wheeler, urged Carrie to try her hand at fly tying.

“With the feathers and hooks and some white hair from an old deer hide (we lived in camp the year round at this time and it was not unusual to have one lying around) I fashioned my first fly—a new type of streamer known today as the Rangeley Favorite.”

In 1924, Carrie won the Field & Stream Magazine Fishing Contest—an event that catapulted her company, Rangeley Favorite Trout & Salmon Flies, to national prominence.  Field & Stream followed up the contest with a September 1925  article narrating Carrie’s taking of the 6 lb. 13 oz. brook trout, 24 3/4” and 15” at girth taken at Upper Dam.  Late in their lives, Carrie and Wallace moved to Madison, Somerset County, where they lived out their lives.  Today, Carrie’s flies would sell for hundred of dollars each.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some of Carrie's Flies       

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