The Fishing Was Good, the Catching Was Not at 2nd and Last Boy Scout Fly-Fishing Clinic of 2013
3/21/2013 3:07 PM
By Al Kittredge
The fishing was good but the"catching" left a lot to be desired.
That's a good description for the 2nd Boy Scout Fly-Fishing Merit Badge Clinic held on March 16 at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center,located on the west side of Fayetteville.
Not to worry, we had a good group of scouts and scout leaders. Everyone learned something and had a good time. Most of the scouts were familiar with spin cast and cane poles but very few had seen or assembled a fly rod. After classroom demonstrations on rod assembly, it was time to move outside for more discussion about the basics of casting along with demonstrations of what good and poor techniques look like. Everyone nodded in agreement that they could emulate what our volunteer caster so gracefully demonstrated. They soon found at that casting is easier said than done without a firm grasp of the five essentials of fly casting: 1) elimination of slack line; 2)timing; 3) casting arch; 4) power application; and 5) straight line path.
The afternoon was for fishing when everything learned during the morning session came into play. We have two ponds stocked with trout, which serve as our final examination staff. The fish were not in a mood to cooperate. It might have been due to a cool front blowing through, but was more likely because of the number of fishermen beating the water to a froth, which sends the fish to the bottom where they wait for quieter times.
The Scouts did catch a few fish,all of which were placed on stringers.
Because the trout were not hungry, we allowed our participants to fish for catfish and bream at our well stocked ponds. These fish are more forgiving of weather conditions and fishing pressure. They are fairly easy to catch on a fly rod. All are available on a catch-and-release basis.