Nonprofit catches members through fly-fishing clinics | ParkRecord.com

Nonprofit catches members through fly-fishing clinics

Men and women encouraged to register

High Country Fly Fishers, the Park City chapter of national nonprofit Trout Unlimited, strives to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds along in the Wasatch Back.

It also wants to introduce people to fly fishing, and has been hosting men's and women's fly fishing clinics since the early 2000s.

"We used to take the groups to the Little Provo River, but it has become so busy that it's hard to get a spot for 50 people that include 25 sign-ups and 25 volunteers," said Dave Allison, High Country Fly Fishers vice president. "So, we started taking them to a private lake and everyone started seeing better success and getting excited about it all."

This year's clinics will be held April 26, 27 and 29 for men and May 2, 4 and 6 for women.

The first day is a 6 p.m. class in the the back room of Red Rock Brewery at Kimball Junction.

"This year, we'll have Marty Howard and Trevor Howard teach the men's class," Allison said. "Marty is a steelhead pro and used to be a motorcycle cop here in Park City."

Recommended Stories For You

The women's class is usually taught by Chris "Wist" Wistner, Jans Mountain Outfitters store and fly-shop manager.

"Sometimes if he can't make it, he'll send someone in his place," Allison said.

Participants will learn about technique, gear, knot-tying, and bugs and flies.

"The instructors will bring in rods, reels and lines so people can see what they're getting into," Allison said.

The second night of the clinic — April 27 for men and May 4 for the women — will be spent at the Deer Valley ponds from 6 p.m. until dark.

"We'll meet for a casting session," Allison said. "We'll have a casting instructor who will go over everything. and then we'll all pair up so each student will get some one-on-one time with their own casting instructor."

Although there aren't any official classes on April 28 or May 5, those who signed up for the clinics will get fitted for waders, boots, rods and reels.

"The men will go to Trout Bum and the women will go to Jans," Allison said. "It so happens that Trout Bum sponsors the men's clinic and Jans sponsors the women's."

The following Saturdays, the clinics will meet at 8 a.m. in the Smith's Marketplace parking lot at Newpark.

"We'll take them to the private lake and fish for the day," Allison said. "High Country Fly Fishers will provide lunch for the men and Jans will provide lunch for the women."

Registration for the clinics is $50 per person.

"The cost includes all the sessions, equipment rental, lunch and transportation," Allison said. "It also includes a one-year membership to High Country Fly Fishers."

The nonprofit holds meetings on the first Wednesday of the month, so anyone who has registered for the clinics can attend May's meeting on May 3.

"The meeting will also be held in the back room of Red Rock Brewery," Allison said.

Registration for the High Country Fly Fishers men's and women's clinics can be done by visiting highcounrtyflyfishers.com or hcff.net.

"Registration will be open until the clinics are full," Allison said.

Allison manages the men's clinic and Pat Ronnenburg manages the women's clinic.

"If anyone has questions they can contact either me or Pat," Allison said.

Allison's email is jdogdave@gmail.com, and Ronnenburg's email is patronneburg@msn.com.

"The clinics are a lot of fun," Allison said. "It's a way to get people interested in fly fishing, and who knows, maybe someone who signed up for the clinics will become the next president of High Country Fly Fishers."

For information about High Country Fly Fishers and its clinics, visit http://www.highcountryflyfishers.com or hcff.net.