During the peak of the U.S. striped bass recovery in the early1990s, Brock Apfel was the head of the LLBean fly fishing department and school. Brock hired Lefty Kreh to represent Bean’s products, and worked hard to create a national brand for LLBean. Brock was a tremendous caster, fisherman, and innovative fly tier. During the 1990s Maine’s Kennebec River was home to an enormous run of striped bass, many of very large sizes, and people came from all over to fish there. Brock was at the center of this activity and pioneered innovations like using the fast sinking Teeny steelhead lines, and his own special large deceivers that he called The Groceries.
Harvey Wheeler, an instructor in the LLBean fly fishing school, was a friend of Brock’s, and he has donated 20 of Brock’s own hand tied flies from the era. The inventory is 3 large groceries, 8 smaller deceivers tied in the water-pushing grocery style, 6 thin flies to imitate young herring or sand eels, 1 crab fly, 1 black snake fly, and 1 green foam popper. You’ll be torn between fishing with these flies and hanging onto them for posterity.