Nine eager young fellas joined BRDC for the week to learn all about fly fishing. For several hours each afternoon, we dove full force into the art of fly fishing. First thing was knowing the parts of the fly rod and reel. The students drew pictures and labeled them. We moved on to the three parts of the line and how to build a leader. Using paracord and a ring, they learned essential knots needed to build said leader and how to tie on a fly.
We moved on to aquatic insects and played relay games that enhanced this information. Using velcro cards and a "Castarget" replica of the water column, the guys were able to identify and match the life cycles of the three primary aquatic insects of the fly fishers world; mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly.
A full afternoon was spent perfecting the cast readying for our fishing day but first, they spent an afternoon in the creek. Using seines and nets, they tossed and turned over rocks to reveal what lurked underneath. They found live versions of the insects studied on the cards; mayflies, caddisflies, helgramites and water pennies and did their best to catch the few little minnows they spooked with their splashes!
Fly imitation is a large part of fly fishing, so this was incorporated into a day. All made their own Griffith's gnat dry fly and then set out to catch a lunker trout in Chestnut Creek. For this, the boys used the Japanese style, Tenkara Rod. Its ease and simplicity is a great option for the beginning fly fisher.
On the last day, these guys built their own leaders demonstrating their skills with the knots learned earlier in the week. This day was pond fishing using an Orvis 5 weight fly rod. They all did an excellent job of casting with few flies lost. ONE young man, hooked into a mighty trout that fought hard, jumped high and gave us all a thrill!