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Close to thirty participants braved 90 degree weather on Saturday, June 9 2007 to learn about the sport of fly fishing for the warm water species of fish that inhabit most of North Carolina's waterways. The Warm Water Fly Fishing Clinic was the 7th and final fly fishing event for the 2007 season. Previous events this year have included three basic clinics, an advanced clinic and two events tailored around the Boy Scout fly fishing merit badge requirements. The prior events centered around fishing for trout, a cold water fish, that are brought to the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center each winter especially for that purpose.

These fly fishing clinics are a collaborative effort of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the Fayetteville Parks & Recreation Commission and a dedicated group of fly fishing enthusiasts who volunteer their time and skills to share the sport with others.

Fishing with a flyrod was a new way of fishing for at least a third of Saturdays participants. The program of instruction is structured so that new comers to the sport can quickly learn the basics and those already familiar with basics can refresh and improve their skills. Everyone starts off in the central classroom with an overview.

The participants are then divided into four groups which rotate through building blocks of instruction. The Environment and Fishing Ethics station points out the importance of a healthy habitat, shows replicas of the fresh water fish found in North Carolina and also explains many of the ethics associated with fishing.


One of our excellent volunteer fly tiers demonstrated how to tie foam, hair and yarn bugs designed to fish for warm water fish.


The knot and rod assembly station gave some hands on instruction on a few essential knots and the mechanics of putting your rod, reel and line together.


Everyone got a chance to learn the basics of fly casting under the watchful eye of an experienced volunteer


The graduation exam was fishing several ponds filled with catfish, largemouth bass, bream and hybrid stripers. Unfortunately we forgot to tell the fish that it was their time to shine because, although the fishing was great, the catching left a bit to be desired. Only two of the larger bass where caught (sorry I did not see, so no photo). Even the bream and catfish seemed to be hugging the bottom in an attempt to escape the heat. Here is one catfish that ignored most offering until this lady switched to, (you guessed it), the Allieworm.


Most folks caught fish and everyone had a good time despite the lack of an aggressive bite and the energy draining heat. After most participants had left, one of our volunteers figured things out at the hybrid pond when he tossed a sparsely tied white bead chain clouser into the pond and reported very good success by stripping it back in a rapid manner.

And so ends another very good year of fly fishing clinics at the JEPFEC. This is the fifth or sixth year that the NCWRC has conducted these events and based on the response considers them to be one of the jewels in the Commission's public outreach program. Kris Smith, Director of the JEPFEC is often heard to say, "We couldn't do these programs without the help of our dedicated cadre of volunteers".
 

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Thanks Al. It was another great day with an enthusiastic group of participants. I think the most notable thing was the number of ladies who came out. It's great to see everyone having a good time and how quickly they pick up on casting. I saw a few that really became quite good by the end of the day. Congratulations on another great event.
 

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Sounds like another great event at the JEPFEC. We've got to get one of those here in the triangle...

Would have liked to have seen some of those hybrids, but maybe they'll be bigger and more friendly at the next event, and maybe I'll be able to get there. Thanks for keeping us posted Al!

ps - for those curious about the Allieworm and its near-mythical fish catching ability, I found a pic here: Fishing Pictures - Smith River Allieworm . Also an article here: http://www3.roanoke.com/outdoors/billcochran/1437.html

Maybe Al can tell us more about them sometime in his blog
 
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