MOUNT VERNON — Opportunities abound during the summer months to learn the specifics of numerous outdoor activities.
Few of them are free, but members of the Fidalgo Fly Fishers are offering a no-cost introductory class to kids ages 12-15 on the basics of fly fishing.
The class will meet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 10, 17, and 24 at the Anacortes Senior Center, 1701 22nd Street and end at the J Avenue (Island View) Field.
Students need to supply their own lunch.
Registration is required. To register, email FlyFishingSkills@gmail.com with the student’s name and contact information. Enrollment will be confirmed by email on a first-come, first-served basis.
Participants will learn fly-tying techniques in the morning, break for lunch, then end the day with casting instructions.
Fidalgo Fly Fishers members Danny Beatty and Christina Anderson will be two of the instructors.
Students will learn to tie the wooly worm in the first session, the grey hackle in the second and a to-be-determined dry fly on the final day. The dry fly will be an easier pattern, Beatty said.
“Wooly worm seems to be the standard for a class’ first fly,” he said.
Hackle are feathers used to make flies that sink (wet) or float (dry), in order to make fish think the fly is an insect.
“In the past, I have only done casting,” Anderson said. “This year, I also get to instruct on the tying, as well. I’m really into the casting.”
The crux of fly fishing begins and ends with the cast. The class will teach a basic casting stroke and go from there.
“We stay with the basic, one-handed casting,” Beatty said.
Anderson said instruction will focus on the roll cast, back cast and mending.
Mending is the the lifting and placing of fly line upstream from the fly.
“We want to try and emphasize the easy casts over the more difficult casts,” she said.
After that, it will be up to the students.
“Everyone eventually develops their own casting style,” Anderson said. “You have to tweak it and build on it and figure out what works for you.”
All supplies and gear are supplied by Fidalgo Fly Fishers. Parents are welcome to watch their children learn new skills.
“It’s just so important to get young people involved in outdoor activities nowadays,” Anderson said. “To get them outside. The students we’ve had before have been really enthused.”
Learn more at fidalgoflyfishers.com.