A Day at the JEPFEC - Post Awards - NCangler.com
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A Day at the JEPFEC

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Awarded by , 07-08-2009 at 09:58 PM (2107 Views)
I spent Wednesday afternoon in Fayetteville, visiting the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center. The occasion was one of their Wounded Warrior/NC Handicapped Sportsmen/Military Family fishing clinics. I'm no fly-fishing expert, but Al K allowed me to come down and be part of the volunteer staff.

Not a huge turnout of guests on this warm afternoon but a handful of families took advantage of the open gates and got a chance to "Face the Giants" in the hatchery ponds. See Al's report here for the official summary of the event. I got to poke around and take in what the the JEPFEC has to offer - details of my adventure are on the next 2 pages.

see page 2 for the fly-tying

In attendance at the start today were Al K, DeepBlu505, Backlash, BParker, and a young man named Adam whose father is currently deployed. The afternoon started with a fly-tying tutorial. I got a chance to tie the Allieworm under the tutelage of the master.

One of the biggest lessons I learned today was one that I've learned many times before - things are much easier, more fun and more effective with the right tools. My fly-tying experience was limited to some thread flies using parts from my mom's sewing box as a kid. I've never used a vice before, never even knew things like hackle pliers existed. What a difference - my Allieworms didn't turn out half bad at all, and I learned a little more with each one.

Is that a twist in my hackle? Not good...

The finished product!

And they work too!

Unfortunately, I lost my short-shank Allieworm to one of the pond-monsters. Still have the bigger one as a memento.

See Page 3 for some action photos from the ponds.

Not being a regular fly-fisherman, I was a little worried that I might set off alarms with my technique. I had a few casts that wound up like this but nobody tackled me and removed the weapon from my hand, so I count it a pretty successful day:

The catfish and bluegills were pretty cooperative. I used one of the Center's combos - a 5 wt TFO. Its about 30 years better technology than the hardware store rod I have and was much nicer to whip around. It had an olive woolly bugger tied on that I had pretty good success with before switching to the Allieworm.

A "Bull" gill:

A big catfish - had fun "walking the cat" around the pond for a while to tire him out before I could land him.

Here's Adam - he beat us to the water and had a big cat hooked up by the time we got out there.

DeepBlue505 laying out a nice cast on the hybrid (Bodie) pond. I didn't hear that any of us got a bass to bite today.

BParker enjoying a quiet corner of the pond

I count it as a great day to be an NCangler. The Pechmann Center is a beautiful facility and an amazing resource for that part of the state. I enjoyed meeting and reacquainting with a handful of other NCangler members and getting to try fly-fishing "the right way".

We weren't overrun with attendees, so there wasn't much required of the volunteers. I think Al said that a few of the families who came out had one parent deployed overseas, so that was a special thing to watch the kids enjoy fishing AND catching AND learning at the center.

If you get a chance, I highly recommend getting down there. Whether it be as an attendee at one of the cold-water clinics, or a volunteer, its going to be a worthwhile day!
Fly Fishing , ‎ Freshwater Fishing


  1. Jeffonc's Avatar
    I have wondered in the past about the decision to place a facility like the Pechmann Center in Fayetteville, as opposed to a more populous area like the Triangle, Triad or Charlotte area. A little of that was simple jealousy since its too far from me to be able to easily check it out. A little was simple logic - put it where more people are and more people can have a chance to use it. I had a lot of time to think about it on the drive home and the wisdom was obvious in what I had seen:

    • The facility property was the perfect place to host a community education site like this. A former hatchery, across the street from a public fishing lake/park, plenty of flat areas for parking plus the overlooking hill to place the lodge. It is exceptionally well-suited to the purpose.
    • Ease of access for our military and their families. With Ft Bragg being the largest U.S. base by population, the Pechmann center is perfectly situated to serve those who serve us. Even with only a couple of families making it out on this summer afternoon, it was special to know that one or two of them had a deployed parent away from home.

    No doubt John Pechmann being from Fayetteville and advocating for its creation had as much to do with it becoming a reality as anything, and you can clearly see the genious of his vision with a visit.
  2. BParker's Avatar
    Thanks, Jeff, for coming down from Raleigh to visit the Pechmann Center and meet the volunteers and families. Your fly fishing skills by far exceed the modest words you chose to describe it. Most fly fishermen will tell you " if you ain't tangled in something you ain't fishing." I'd still like to get a look at that pond monster that snapped your line.
  3. Scott Hobbs's Avatar
    10-4 Jeff...that is really a great location for the Pechmann Center. It host a lot of the military personnel and the Wounde Warrior
    programs out of Ft Bragg.

    I have been to a couple of the classes myself and always learn something new. It is always a great time and great folks to meet
    and have a great day on the water with. All the instructors/volunteers have always been very professional and more than willing
    to help in any way possible.

    When you quit learning you stop growing.

  4. moseyak's Avatar
    Is there a website to learn more about the center?
  5. Jeffonc's Avatar
  6. boykinsbuddy's Avatar
    Knowing the history of the actual site will explain the location. As mentioned, the site was a previous warm water hatchery run by NCWRC. The hatchery superintendent back then is still employed there as a temp...retired a few years ago.
    The lake feeding the hatchery had some dam issues and Dam Safety closed the place down till repairs were made. At that point, the Commission had 2 other warm water hatcheries running...one at Watha and the other in Hoffman...so the decision was made to abandon the Fayetteville hatchery and turn the property into just a boating maintenance facility. Some of the land actually went to Fayetteville Parks and Rec.
    Over time, the dam repairs were finally made. The old hatchery superintendent that was now working for Boating and ready to retire thought the old facility was being wasted so he proposed creating an education center that would offer fishing to the public...having different species of fish in each pond. The concept was accepted and the idea blossomed.
    Hatcheries cost millions these days...repairs alone on a single pond run into the millions, so it was a no brainer to take advantage of the property that was already in possession.
    What is absolutely incredible to me is how well this facility is being run by just 2 permanent full time employees. The hiring freeze the State has in place has hurt them but they are making due using volunteers. I was recently at the Coralla Education Center and they had something like 10 full time staff and only a few people at a time going through the place. The last time I was at JPEC...the place had about 4 school buses, and the parking lot was full...you could barely find a place on a pond to fish...and the staff was making due. And about every time I have been by there it was close to being the same. There are a ton of kids getting the opportunity to experience fishing at the Fayetteville facility. There is an education center in Raleigh in the NCWRC offices...and others in the mountains and at Coralla...it would be interesting to know which location sees more visitors!
    I think it would be hard to beet the JPEC as far as actually teaching people to fish, getting a rod in their hand, and puttinng a fish on the bank.
  7. Jeffonc's Avatar
    See Backlash's post about the July FAAN meeting for details on Travis Spurlin, an Eagle Scout who is working toward building a picnic area at the Pechmann Center so that the large groups can stay and eat lunch. Sounds like a great project that could use some support from the NC angling community!