It’s not too early to start contemplating this summer’s hobbies.
Yes, lakes and rivers may be partially, or totally, frozen. And finding fish may be as easy as finding a warm — well — anything. But now might just be a great time to learn the finer points of fly fishing through a few upcoming workshops offered by the Community Schools.
Tony Soltys, President of the Raincountry Flyfishers, will hold a two-night fly fishing workshop, titled Fly Fishing 101, on Tuesday, Feb. 22 and Thursday, Feb. 24. Instruction will cover how to tie a key fly for local fish and it will also outline the basics of fly casting. Students will be provided with an opportunity to tie the one fly that he has found works better than any other for the salmon, char and trout found on roadside waters, according to Soltys.
“One of the old timers showed me the fly probably about 20 years ago,” he said. “Little by little, we just made it better. If doesn’t have a name though I suppose we could call it the ubiquitous fly, but I never officially named it.”
The workshops are paced for beginners but will be valuable for anyone seeking local knowledge about fishing local waters or on improving their casting skills, Soltys said.
A second workshop, titled Fly Casting 101, will be held on April 5 and 7. This second installation will consist of two nights of fly casting instruction.
No prior experience is necessary for either course.
“April classes will be just on casting,” Soltys said. “We go through all the double-hauls, how to shoot line, the side arm cast and Belgian cast. Mostly, it’s really designed for those who have no previous casting experience. Generally, my concern is that people learn to cast properly and then learn the double-haul.”
Soltys, who has been teaching the course since 1993, asks that people bring their own rod if they have one. He said it’s better to learn on the rod they’ll be using.
“I’ll evaluate the rods and let them know if it will still work and if not,” he said.
Soltys has fly fished roadside waters in Juneau for over 30 years as well as many other areas of the world. He’s a firm believer is shaking bad habits before they set in and will teach students how to save money on gear.
“ ... instead of buying things they may not need in the future,” he said.
There’s still room and time to sign up for the class that tops out at around 25 students. Cost is $25 per workshop and classes run in the evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. To register or for more information, call Community Schools at 780-2075.
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