Fly tying classes offered
“It is dusk, and bats are observed circling above the pond at Marr Park, along with the swirls caused by feeding fish. Both of these species are eating the mayflies as they float from the bottom of the pond to the surface, only to emerge from their skins as winged adults. A few moments are required for them to dry their wings before they can take flight as adults. If they are successful in accomplishing this, they will mate, lay eggs, and then die. Both the fish and the bats are gorging themselves on the emerging mayflies, mostly feeding on them during the period when they are drying their wings.”
The phenomenon above takes place on nearly every lake and stream in Washington Couånty all through the months of May and June, with the heavier hatches causing piles of spent adults to die around the lights of parking lots. This feeding rampage represents an unparalleled fish catching opportunity for those who observe and are prepared to take advantage of it. Very often, during that half hour or hour period each evening, nonstop action is achieved using a fly rod to cast to the swirls of the feeding fish with a floating mayfly imitation intended to “match the hatch”.
By now, readers are very likely saying the timing of this article is way off since stiff water is plentiful and flying insects are not. However, it is an excellent time to learn fly tying! It is my goal to join the class hosted by the Henry County Conservation Board on Thursday nights starting on Jan. 24, contingent upon finding enough other interested parties to car pool.
These five classes are being taught by one of my best long time personal friends, Dan Peterson. Dan is excellent at fly tying and teaching, and we often combine our talents to torture fish. Each class starts at 6 PM at the Oakland Mills Nature Center, with all materials and tools provided (including the use of one of their vises). There is a $40 nonrefundable fee associated to cover materials, and attendance at the first class is required (that is when you learn the basics built on in subsequent classes).
The deadline for enrollment is January 17th, so please contact me at our office, 319-657-2400 very soon if you are interested. My goal is to arrange for three or four of us to ride down there together.
In other news, the ice on area ponds is variable, but mostly around 5 inches thick. Fishermen are taking full advantage of this opportunity with varying degrees of success. The ice and the water are both very clear, making it essential that commotion on top of the ice is minimized, and that presentations are done properly (small diameter line jigged properly). My personal observations are dusk and dawn feeding rampages and mid-day lulls.