High Country Fly Fishers clinics can reel in new members
High Country Fly Fishers, the Park City chapter of Trout Unlimited, a national nonprofit that strives to conserve, protect and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, keeps busy with its mission of conservation in the Wasatch Back.
"We do a lot of river cleanups and plant trees with the Division of Natural Resources," HCFF Vice President Dave Allison told The Park Record. "We rebuilt walkovers along the Weber River so people could get over the fences to fish."
High Country Fly Fishers is also the Utah lead for Project Healing Waters, a nonprofit dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active and veteran military service personnel.
"We take the veterans fishing and tie flies with them and we are going to do a rod-building class at the Veterans Administration," Allison said. "We also do Casting for Recovery, which is the breast cancer survivors’ organization."
In addition to these projects, HCFF hosts yearly men’s and women’s fly fishing clinics.
The men’s clinic will be held on April 27, 28 and 30, and the women’s clinic will be held May 31, June 1 and June 3.
The first night of each clinic is held at Red Rock Brewing at Kimball Junction.
"Trout Bum sponsors the men’s clinic and Peter Robinson comes out and talks about gear, flies, entomology and whatever," Allison said. "The next night, we meet at the Deer Valley ponds at 6 p.m. and do casting class for a couple of hours."
High Country Fly Fishers provide casting rods, but the participants are welcome to bring their own rods as well, according to Allison.
The women’s clinic follows the same format, except Jan’s Mountain Recreation Experts sponsors the class.
"Chris ‘Wist’ Wistner from Jan’s give the first-night class at Red Rock on May31, and they lead the casting class at the Deer Valley ponds on June 2," Allison said.
The Fridays following the casting classes are set aside for wader and boot fitting.
"The men go to Trout Bum and the women go to Jan’s and get fitted and are able to use the equipment for free when we take them out fishing the next day," he said. "We fish for most of the day and provide lunch."
Each clinic can facilitate 25 people and participants will each have a professional fishing guide.
"That way there will be some good one-on-one time to answer questions and give tips," Allison said.
Registration for the clinics can be done by visiting http://www.hcff.net . There is no set deadline, but Allison said he would prefer if everyone gets their registration done before April 27.
"They can go to the online calendar and scroll down and register," he said.
The cost for the clinic is $30 for High Country Fly Fishers members and $50 for nonmembers.
"The $50 automatically buys nonmembers a membership," Allison said. "And the clinics will be held rain or shine."
High Country Fly Fishers have hosted the clinics for at least seven or eight years and the club was started in 1985 by Cal Massey.
Allison first got involved with the club in 2011, when he participated in his first clinic.
"I remember the Friday night before we went out to fish, it snowed 10 inches," he said with a laugh. "I woke up to four-degree temperatures and half the people didn’t show up. Of course, I was there."
Allison and his guide, Mark Cooper, fished the whole day.
"I caught 11 fish and I was hooked," he said. "The next day I was out on the Provo River."
In addition to the clinics, High Country Fly Fishers hold club meetings at Red Rock Brewing on the first Wednesday of each month.
"We have speakers from all over the country come in and talk with us and they donate a fishing trip that we put into an opportunity drawing," Allison said.
The next meeting will be held May 4. The speaker will be Andy Willward from Trout Camp in Saskatchewan whose presentation is titled "Fishing for Trophy Pike, Walleye, Grayling and Lake Trout."
"He donated the trip, which will be an excursion to Saskatchewan," Allison said. "That will be really cool."
High Country Fly Fishers will host men’s and women’s clinics in April and May. To register, visit http://www.hcff.net . For more information about the men’s clinic, email Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information about the women’s clinic, email Pat Ronneburg at email@example.com .
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