High Country Fly Fishers facilitates fly-tying classes
Sessions held for beginners and advanced ‘tyers’
Fly-fishing is more than a sport. It’s an art where participants use hand-tied lures, or flies, that look like insects to catch fish.
While many people enjoy the fishing, there are some who take the hobby one step further and tie their own flies.
High Country Fly Fishers — a chapter of Trout Unlimited, a nationwide nonprofit organization that is dedicated to protect and restore North America’s cold-water fisheries and their watersheds — wants to introduce people to fly tying.
It will host a weekly beginning fly-tying class from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday from Jan. 7-28, at Red Rock Brewery, 1640 Redstone Center Drive, said Dave Allison, vice president of High Country Fly Fishers.
“We’ll have the back room at Red Rock all set up and we’ll have guys who will demonstrate the flies that will be tied each day,” Allison told The Park Record.
During the first session, the class will learn how to tie steamers.
“These are flies that have different types of patterns,” Allison said.
The second week the class will learn how to tie a type of fly called a soft hackle, which is a wet fly, meaning it resembles insects that appear to be alive under the water.
“It’s an emerger type of fly,” Allison said.
The third week will cover nymphs, which look like the juvenile stage of aquatic bugs, and the fourth week the class will learn how to tie dry flies, which float on the water.
“We will provide coffee, bagels and all of that stuff,” Allison said.
A video camera will project the demonstrations on all the flat-screen TVs in the room.
“In the past, before we had this technology, all of the people who wanted to learn how to tie would crowd around the guy who was doing the tying,” Allison said. “That got a little crowded and crazy. This way, everyone can sit back and watch the screens.”
Another benefit is Allison can record videos of the demonstrations and give them to students after the class is done.
“I figured why not push record while the video is projecting?” he said. “That way the students can rewatch everything they’ve learned.”
In addition to the person doing the demonstration, High Country Fly Fishers will provide instructors who will personally assist the students throughout the sessions.
“We used to have one guy who tied and taught, but that didn’t work out well because he had to spend time demonstrating and couldn’t spend time with the students,” Allison said. “So, these instructors will sit with one or two of the students and help them out while the demonstration is going on. They’ll teach how to dub and do thread control, all of the things you need to know about tying flies.”
The class is open to 10 students.
“I would love to have more instructors so we could accommodate more students,” Allison said. “I would love to have one teacher per student. But for the moment, we will be Ok with one teacher per two students. If more people sign up, I will bust my [tail] to get more instructors.”
The four-day, three-hour class costs $50 per person.
“When people pay for the class, I want to make sure we have a guy who is really good at tying flies,” Allison said. “So, I’ll recruit people who, in my opinion are good at tying. However, we provide all the material: the vices, the thread, hooks. All the student needs to do is show up.”
Registration for the beginner fly tying class can be done by calling Allison at 561-251-3543 or by emailing email@example.com.
A month later, High Country Fly Fishers will start a four-week advance fly-tying class on from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Red Rock Brewery.
This class will run for four Saturdays: March 4, 11 and 18.
“It’s a fly tying and story telling session that we call ‘Flies and Lies,’” Allison said. “We started this mainly for the guys in the club.
“We have a lot of guys who are tiers and they go on the road and do demos at fly-fishing expos,” he said. “They tie what they like to fish with.”
These sessions are free.
“It’s designed for advanced ‘tyers,’ but anyone can show up,” Allison said. “Although if you haven’t tied flies before, it will be a little tough.”
An array of commercial fly-tying experts will lead these classes.
“We try to get ‘tyers,’ that we really want to learn from,” Allison said.
A couple of experts Allison has his eye on are Clark “Cheech” Pierce and Curtis “Frito” Fry from a company in Salt Lake called Fly, Fish, Food.
“They are imaginative fly ‘tyers,’ who do complicated works,” Allison said. “We’d like to call Cheech and have him come up for one week and then we’ll have Frito come for the next week. Then the week after we’ll have someone from another fly-tying club come and instruct us. They’ll bring all kids of stuff and show us some varied and intricate patterns, and we’ll spend the Saturdays tying flies.”
For more information about the High Country Fly Fishers fly tying classes, call Dave Allison at 561-251-3543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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