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Master fly tier donates flies for benefit auction

A dozen fishing flies created by master fly tier John Newbury will be auctioned Friday during a fundraiser for a Spokane man who suffered a brain injury in a December auto accident.

The fundraiser will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. at Press, 909 S. Grand Blvd. The event will also include a raffle and other fundraising efforts.

Newbury, who has received state and national honors for his fly-tying skills, doesn’t sell his flies. But the Chewelah man agreed to donate a dozen of his creations to help pay medical bills not covered by insurance for Riley Higginbotham, a 31-year-old Spokane resident, said Higginbotham’s mother, Kathleen Miles. Miles said she and Newbury have fished together.

Higginbotham has been hospitalized since his Dec. 8 accident, Miles said. Surgeons removed a 4-by-7-inch piece of his skull to allow room for brain swelling. He’s expected to remain until at least the end of March at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute.

Higginbotham, who has a 1-year-old son, “has to re-learn to do everything,” Miles said. “He hasn’t learned to talk yet.”

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