Beginners have chance to learn art of fishing on the fly

Posted Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A
More information

Fly Fish Texas

9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 8

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, 5550 FM 2495, Athens, Texas

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

There’s no question about it; fly fishing has a rhythm of its own.

It is an artistic way of fishing, an almost zen-like method that seems to give all the advantages to the fish.

Most of us admire it from a distance and in our mind’s eye we see ourselves resplendent in waders and a fly-studded vest but in reality we see tangled lines and unattainable targets.

That’s just the way fly fishing goes; you don’t cast a lure, you cast your line. You don’t throw at the fish; you must gauge the flow of the water, the bend in the river, the flora and fauna and place a tiny fly where it might just drift past an alert fish that won’t recognize it as an artificial bug.

I’ve been told that if you’re good enough, you can roll, bend, or somehow will your line to a certain spot. But like an intricate golf shot, you cannot muscle it.

No wonder many of us hang on to our casting reels and weighted lures.

But the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has a program designed to help. Granted, it takes an army of volunteers, but if you’re willing to drive the 80 or so miles from Fort Worth to Athens and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, the department said it will teach you to tie a fly, cast that fly, and catch a fish all in one day during its Fly Fish Texas program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.

It is a bold promise, but this is the 15th year for the event and while there are no statistics to prove the success rate, the longevity itself is enough to make it enticing.

“It is really designed for people who have never done any fly fishing before,” said Jim Booker, the event coordinator, “we get a good amount of kids, but it’s for people of all ages. We supply all the equipment, the instruction and the chance to catch a fish. To tie a fly, use it and catch a fish all in one day is kind of our slogan.”

This will be Booker’s sixth year with the program, but he said there are devoted fly fishermen and fishing clubs from around the state that have been involved from the beginning.

“This event is a collaboration of fly fishing clubs and instructors from all over the state. They come to spend the weekend with us and they run everything from casting practice, a fly-tiers roundtable, a speaker’s forum … some 15 or more stations where visitors can sit, watch and learn,” he said.

Booker said there are an average of 600 participants in the event and about 100 volunteers. It makes, he said, for a good ratio of student to teacher.

Among the volunteers, he added, will be military veterans who have used fly fishing as a therapy to help shake off the stresses of combat.

These fly fishermen turned to several fly fishing organizations designed to help veterans, and now the veterans have an opportunity to return some of that help.

“These vets are an important part of the volunteer group and they really enjoy being here,” Booker said.

The sessions run all day and cover a range of subjects, beginning of course, with “basic fly fishing — care and feeding of your equipment.”

There will be instruction on fly fishing for several species; not only trout, but also redfish, speckled trout and carp. For those looking for a place to ply their newfound skills, there will be speakers representing several areas including the Llano River, the gulf coast and Colorado.

But the heart of the event, the real reason for being, is the opportunity to collect aquatic insects for the center’s streams, tie a fly to look just like it, and learn to cast it upon one of the center’s stocked ponds or streams.

“There is no extra charge for this event,” Booker said. “We’ll still have the regular scuba divers feeding the fish in the auditorium; the tram tours. All of it will be available with regular admission.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Monday, September 01Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «7Final | Box
Atlanta0
NY Mets6Final | Box
Miami «9
Boston3Final(10) | Box
Tampa Bay «4
Minnesota «6Final | Box
Baltimore4
Pittsburgh4Top 9th | Box
St. Louis5@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-PIT, FSN-MW
Milwaukee2Final | Box
Chicago Cubs «4
Detroit5Bottom 3rd | Box
Cleveland1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, STO, ESPN
Seattle0Bottom 4th | Box
Oakland5@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-CA
San Francisco «4Final | Box
Colorado2Ballpark Replay
Arizona0Bottom 4th | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-SD
San Francisco 9/1 5:45 PM ET
Colorado TV: CSN-BA, ROOT-RM
Texas 9/1 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FSN-SW, FSN-KC, MLB Net
Washington 9/1 8:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: MASN, SportsNet LA, MLB N
Full Scoreboard
Monday, September 01Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 1Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
Seattle TV: NBC
Sunday
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: CBS
New England 1:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:25 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Carolina 4:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Indianapolis 8:30 PM ET
Denver TV: NBC
Monday
NY Giants 7:10 PM ET
Detroit TV: ESPN
San Diego 10:20 PM ET
Arizona TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Monday, September 01Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard