Learning the fine art of fly fishing


I put a lot of value in fishing in general and even more value in learning how to do it right.

Not just to fish, but to develop the knowledge and skills to add a higher level of accomplishment and a deeper appreciation for the art as well as the function of gear and tackle as well as the details and techniques of lure presentation.

If that sounds like a lot of hooey, you’ll never be good at fly fishing, the single method of fishing that allows an angler to fully dive into the sport.

No kidding. To grasp the full depth of fly fishing, one must create the lures, develop, appreciate, and perhaps build the tackle, and of course, learn how to cast a lure that at times weighs less than a house fly.

The flies, or lures if you will, are constructed of feathers, threads, and strands of fur. For the most part, they range in size from small to smaller.

The combination of function and art are what fly tying is all about. Good flies look very much like the insect or bug they are intended to imitate.

That’s why fish eat them. And that’s why fly fishers make them; one at a time and each one a matter of pride.Then there is the line, the rod and a simple hand-spooling real. That’s about it, sans a tweed hat and wicker creel of course.

Go small, four and five weight outfits, matched and light, just right for pan fish and trout. Or go big like seven, eight, or even nine weight for bass, steelhead or other muscle fish.


Want to know more about fly fishing? Learn how to do it and try it out by attending a three-session beginners course offered by the Ohio Department of National Resources Division of Wildlife and members of the Clear Fork Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Attendees can expect an introduction to the sport of fly fishing, a fly tying workshop, and best yet, a day on the Clear Fork of the Mohican River near Loudonville, Ohio.

This unique opportunity is the perfect time to try out new gear and new fishing challenges with expert guidance and hands-on experience.

No need to run out to the store either, because all gear and supplies will be provided. Session one will be April 19 at the Akron Division of Wildlife headquarters from 6-9 p.m.

Session two at the same site and time May 1. Session three will be on the water May 6 from 2-7 p.m.

Contact Joe Ferrara at the Division of Wildlife Akron office at 330-245-3003 to register. The fly fishing program is limit to the first 20 to register.

Hiking update

Appalachian Trail thru-hiker David Defer has reported his north-bound progress and it appears that he is well into the hike and making excellent headway.

Recall that Defer started his 2,000-mile hike just a few weeks ago, walking away from Georgia’s Springer Mountain. Right now, Defer is on one side or the other of the 350 miles mark, straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee state line.

He has joined a small group of like-minded trekkers and said that he is enjoying every step of the journey.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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