Fishing

Sign up and bring your grandchild to a fly fishing class at Green Valley Park lakes June 15.

My older grandkids catch a lot of fish with their fly rods.

They have been at it for a few years now, and they were able to catch crappies and bluegills the first time they tried fly fishing at Green Valley Lake. It is their preferred method for catching fish, as it really works and makes every fish feel like a giant.

I think folks avoid learning how to fly fish because they think even though it looks really cool in “A River Runs Through It,” fly fishing must be really hard to do. It is not.

Most of the time when I fish with my grandkids, our casts are less than 30 feet long; often much less. Kids can cast very effectively, which means parents and grandparents can too.

The session on June 15 is a bit different than other fly fishing classes I have offered. It requires a child or grandchild 8 years or older as your fishing partner for the day.

Members of the Payson Flycasters Club/Gila Trout Trout Unlimited Chapter (PFC/GTTU) will be assisting me with this session. We will have equipment to borrow if needed.

Sign up through the Payson Parks and Recreation Department either at their office building in front of the big dock on Green Valley Lake or on the Town of Payson tourism website (www.paysonrimcountry.com). Click on the Outdoor Recreation tab and then click on Fly Fishing101. Space is limited.

This class will be geared toward engaging the kids, so it will include many hands-on activities.

In the morning session participants will learn about: kinds of fish we might catch, bugs that fish eat, flies that fly fishers use to imitate those bugs, how to hold and unhook a fish, where to find fish and why, and some important fishing knots.

After lunch, we will be at Green Valley Lake applying what we worked on in the morning and practicing a cast that is easy and effective for kids and new fly fishing adults. For the bulk of the afternoon we will be working on catching fish with a fly rod.

During the afternoon session, it is important that all participants have a hat, long-sleeved shirt and eye protection. Sunglasses work great and if they are polarized will help you see the fish in the water. It is unlikely that you will get hooked by a fly, but these precautions help prevent injury and is my everyday fly fishing attire. A fishing license is also important to have with you for anyone 10 years and older. Kid licenses are only $5.

If you don’t have a child or grandchild to fish with, don’t worry there is a fly fishing class for adults this summer too. That class will be offered on Saturday, Aug. 10.

In the morning session you will get a chance to see a variety of equipment that fly fishers use, learn their function, what stuff is useful for different situations, and just as important — what stuff you may not need. There will be time to see and discuss flies, knots, aquatic insects, and answer any questions you might have as you get started with fly fishing.

In the afternoon session we will work on two basic casts and spend time catching fish with a fly rod. Fly fishing equipment also will be available to borrow for the Aug. 10 class.

PFC/GTTU members will be helping me with the instruction during this class. Sign up through Payson Parks and Recreation Department for this class too. I hope to see you at one of these summer fly fishing classes.

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