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Fly fishing for everyone! (Posted On: Tuesday, May 19, 2009)

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A slightly wistful look, large red X’s added to the calendar, or flying bits of feathers and fur; you may have noticed something a little off with a few of the people you worked with in late April.  Groups huddled in whispered conversations, quickly disbanded as you draw near.  What was the big event? Breathe easy, there is no grand conspiracy that you are being excluded from; it is just the last weekend in April.  

For some it is just another weekend, yet for the fly fishing fanatic it marks the opening of trout season in the Georgian Triangle.  (Note: If you would like to try fly fishing we added a great resource below).

The number of fly anglers on local waters has increased dramatically in recent years.  A revival of the ancient and honoured form of fishing, popularized by the European aristocracy, is part of the steadily building drive in people to get back outside and connect with the Earth in a more personal fashion.   Fly fishing is a solitary pursuit which appeals to people who are frustrated with the shoulder to shoulder practices of float fisherman.   There is nothing like 30 feet of line whirling around you to keep other fisherman out of your stretch of water.

Anglers living in the Georgian Triangle are blessed with fly fishing opportunities for a wide variety of species in a diverse array of waterways.  The spring run of rainbow trout in the Nottawasaga, Beaver and Big Head Rivers is always productive for those willing to brave the weather.  After the rainbows head back to the lake, the smaller tributaries and head waters of these rivers can be explored with lighter equipment.   The joy of catching a resident speckled or brown trout with a well placed dry fly is not soon forgotten.  

Trout are not the only target for the fly angler in the region during the summer months.  Ample opportunities exist for other species as well.  Local harbours are hot spots for catching carp, or “Golden Salmon” to their devotes.   Be prepared with backing on your line as they that will make your reel scream, running up to 100 feet.  Bass can be taken with wet flies or poppers, in most of the spots where months before you caught spring run rainbows.  Not to mention the occasional pike lurking about, which more than likely will take your fly and leave you shaking your head, unless you are prepared with a steel or braided tippet?

Those interested in joining the ranks of fly anglers are fortunate, in the region there are several instructors who can fill you in on the basics and get you out on the water.  When beginning your explorations of the areas waterways, be respectful of posted land and pick up any litter.   You’re joining an exclusive club and the members are rather protective of their reputation.  Enjoy your time on the water! - Brayden Plummer

How to start your own fly fishing adventure.
My interest piqued by Brayden’s article, I contacted local resident and area expert Dave Hodgett who invited me up to try my hand at fly fishing.  Dave and his wife, Sylvia, share a deep love of the out of doors. They live at Lochanbec, a 30 acre retreat, on the headwaters of the Pretty River near Collingwood.  Dave has 35 years of teaching experience, and has had a passion for fly fishing since boyhood.

So, I put on my rubber boots and prepared for a new adventure.  First order of the day was some really good bug repellent. 

Dave keeps the classes small to provide plenty of time for individual attention. Taking a lesson from Dave will dramatically increase your knowledge and skill and enrich your fly fishing experiences for years to come.

At Lochanbec, the 30 acre site provides an ideal learning environment. The lawn adjacent to the 4 acre pond is an excellent area to practise and learn casting skills. The pond itself is their own biology classroom and allows students to learn about the insects on a trout's menu. Best of all, every student who visits Lochanbec, enjoys the time spent fly fishing the pond for wild brook trout and rainbows.

They provide all of the equipment and this is a great way to try your hand at something new.  It makes a fun day for a family outing, a day with the boys or yes even a day with the girls.  Dave tells me that there are lots of women that enjoy this sport, something that surprised me at first, but now that I have tried my hand at it and achieved success I can understand why.

You can contact Dave and find out more about his program at http://www.lochanbec.com.

Thanks again Dave for a great day!

Julie Card

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