So you thought fly-fishing was hard?
It’s actually pretty simple once you have the basics.
Tie a fly. Cast a fly. Catch a fish.
That’s all there is to fly-fishing, and Fly Fish Texas on March 10 is the place to learn it.
The annual event takes place at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All Fly Fish Texas activities are free with regular paid admission to the center.
Fly Fish Texas emphasizes hands-on learning and immediate application of newly acquired skills. Visitors can collect aquatic insects from the center’s streams, tie a fly to imitate one of those insects under the supervision of a skilled tier, learn to cast it from a casting instructor certified by the Federation of Fly Fishers, then use it to catch a rainbow trout, catfish or sunfish from one of TFFC’s stocked ponds or streams.
Throughout the day, experienced fly-tiers will demonstrate and teach fly-tying in the Anglers Pavilion on a one-on-one basis. In addition, group instruction in beginning fly-tying will be offered in the Hart-Morris Conservation Center. Both are offered on a walk-up basis.
Beginning casting instruction will take place all day in the Conservation Center parking lot, again on a walk-up basis. Other, scheduled sessions will teach single-hand and Spey rod casting.
Vendors will be displaying and selling fly-fishing gear, and seminars will brief visitors on where and how to fly-fish in Texas fresh and salt waters for a variety of species. The program will include presentations on fly-fishing locations such as the Llano River, Lakes Fork and Lewisville, the Texas Hill Country and tailwaters below dams. A session will also be offered on fly-fishing New Mexico.
While most activities at Fly Fish Texas are offered on a walk-up basis, others are scheduled. For a complete schedule of activities and seminars plus a video of the event, visithttp://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tffc and click on the Fly Fish Texas link.
Food service will be available onsite, or attendees may bring a picnic.
Several sessions will be aimed at youths or those working with youths. Keith Miller of Waco, who has been catching a fish a day since April 1, 2011, will speak on his quest and also fish with participants. Steve Hall of Austin will speak on the national fly-fishing in schools program. Brad Newman of the Federation of Student Anglers will share insights into how to set up a school-based fishing club.
Dallas Fly Fishers Basic Certification Classes
The Dallas Fly Fishers will teach morning and afternoon classes for beginning fly-fishers; pre-registration is required and is available by calling Craig Brooks at (903) 670-2222. These classes are the only ones for which pre-registration is required, since class size is limited. There is no fee for these classes.
Instruction will lead to basic fly-fisher certification and will focus on fly-tying, learning about fly-fishing equipment, performing the basic four-part cast, sampling aquatic insects to see what fish eat, discussing freshwater ecology, tying useful fishing knots and learning about safety and ethics issues associated with fly-fishing.