Learn how to fly cast, fish or fence

Still time to sign up for Community Schools spring courses

There’s still time to sign up for activities and classes, such as fly fishing, fly casting, fencing, or bird watching, with the Community Schools this spring.


Classes offered by the Juneau School District Department are open to all local residents and each class or activity is catered toward either youth or adult participants. Registration for the spring courses began on Jan. 25, but there is still time to sign up for classes that meet in the coming weeks.

This year, wildlife activities include Fly Fishing 101, Fly Casting 101 and Beginning Bird Watching.

For the Fly Fishing 101 course, instructor Tony Soltys will be sharing his expert knowledge on how to fish local waters and will offer up frank advice on equipment, techniques and fly selection. Attendees will also learn fishing etiquette and have an opportunity to tie a fly that Soltys said he prefers to fish “in nearly all situations on roadside waters.” The two-day fly fishing course begins on Wednesday, Feb. 27 and runs for two hours, both days meeting from 7-9 p.m. in the Floyd Dryden Middle School library and gym. Cost is $16 to participate, which does not include the $5 supply fee. A second two-day course will happen at the same time and location on Tuesday and Thursday, March 5 and 7.

Soltys will also be teaching a Fly Casting 101 course, which is geared toward beginning and intermediate levels, but also open to anyone wishing to improve existing casting techniques. Participants are encouraged to bring their own gear. There are three options for this course, each meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. in the Riverbend Elementary Gym. The first course begins on Tuesday, March 12, the second on Tuesday, March 26 and the third on Tuesday, April 2. Class fees for this course are the same as for the Fly Fishing 101 course. For more information about the fly fishing and casting courses, email Soltys at tsoltys@aol.com.

The Beginning Bird Watching courses will be taught by Patricia Wheery, a teacher and lifelong birder. The first class session is nearly complete, but the second class session begins on Thursday, March 7. These classes, geared toward the basics of bird identification and observation, cost $8. For more on the bird watching classes offered by the Community Schools, see last week’s Outdoors section: http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2013-02-15/beginning-bird-watching-clas....

Also offered this spring are fencing courses for both beginners and advanced youth and adults. The courses began on Feb. 4 for the beginners and on Feb. 6 for advanced individuals, but Community Schools Supervisor Cheryl Glen said folks can still sign up for the courses. The course covers beginning footwork, attacks and defense. More experienced fencers will be able to improve basic skills, learn compound attacks and work on strategy. Club loaner equipment is available, or students can purchase their own gear with the help of instructors. The first class runs from 6-7:30 p.m. from Feb. 4 to April 15, in the Harborview Elementary School Gym. The second course runs from 6-7:30 p.m. from Feb. 6 to April 17, in the Riverbend Elementary School gym. Course fee for each classes is $60 for beginners, and $45 for advanced students. For more information or details on the fencing course, contact instructor Karl Marx at 209-8143 or by email at thekarlmarx@acs.com.

Some online courses that may be of interest for the outdoor enthusiast include Composting, Digital Camera Basics, Gardening 1: Groundwork, National Parks, Photo Editing — Basics, Stormchasing and Volcanoes.

For for information on all the Community Schools spring courses, go online to http://www.juneauschools.org/district/community-schools, or call 523-1761.


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