Fly fishing lessons

On Saturday there was a fly fishing event at Maine Wildlife Park, sponsored by Sebago Trout Unlimited. The newspaper announcement had said there would be fly casting instruction and fly tying instruction, and by George, there were both and I took advantage of both.

When I was a kid I was really into fly tying, though not much into fly fishing. I used to look through the fly thying material section of the Herters’ catalog and imagine all the things I could get if I had a whole $10 to spend. I used to use the flies I made when we went to Vermont on our summer vacations.

I hadn’t done any fly tying for decades when we got the house in Maine. With the lake so close, I’ve wanted to get back into fishing so I got out the old fly tying stuff and bought some new material, but hadn’t done much with it. I’ve had some books out of the Newton library on fly tying, and it looks as though there are lots of materials and techniques I had never heard of. The instruction at the wildlife park didn’t show me any of those, but it did give me a chance to try working with modern tools, at least, and showed me that I remember enough to have some confidence about getting going again.

I had made myself a fly rod when I was a kid, but never learned fly casting. I worked for ten minutes or so under the watchful eye of a licensed Maine guide, someone who knows enough about fishing to make a living taking people fishing, and he gave me enough pointers that I understand why I’ve never been able to cast flies before. By the time he was finished with me, I was able to get his practice fly (just a bit of yarn tied to the end of the line, really) to go far enough to be useful. Nobody had ever coached me in flycasting before, and I was just moving the rod too steadily, rather than letting the line straighten out behind me and in front of me. Now I need to see if my old fly rod will work for me, and practice.

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