Annual fly casting clinic 'switches' it up

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010

This year's annual fly casting event at Twin Lakes will feature both something new and something old.

In its 17th year, the Raincountry Flyfishers, the local chapter of Trout Unlimited and Alaska Flyfishing Goods, will collectively host the event starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 19 at Twin Lakes. As in past years, the event will feature casting lessons, fly rods for demo, free hot dogs and burgers and an opportunity to get advice from the professionals.

"It's a good opportunity to get going in the right direction," Brad Elfers, owner of Alaska Flyfishing Goods, said. "It's a nice early-season way to shake off the cobwebs a little bit and, even if people are experienced, they'll be able to cast a few rods and get some pointers that might help them this year."

Tony Soltys, president of the Raincountry Flyfishers, said members of his group and those associated with TU will also be offering one-on-one casting lessons upon request.

New this year will be a focus on switch rods, which, Elfers said, are relatively new to the Juneau fly fishing scene. Rods like these are a mix between a classic single-handed rod and a two-handed spey rod. Elfers said they are particularly handy when casting long distances.

"The 11-foot rods are just the right size for Southeast rivers," he said. "They're awesome for steelhead fishing and silver fishing. And the lighter rods are great for beach casting. We'll have at least three of them out there."

All ages and experience levels are welcome at this community event, Soltys said.

"This is a great opportunity to try fine fly rods and to be able to draw valid comparisons with present equipment," Soltys said. "Brad is also a wealth of knowledge and can also be consulted about fly fishing equipment, such as reels, lines and nearby fly fishing opportunities off the roadside."

There is no charge for this event. For more information call Tony Soltys at 789-9159.

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