Fly fishing enthusiasts cast rods for weekend celebration - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Fly fishing enthusiasts cast rods for weekend celebration


If you're looking for a new hobby, one local state park has a group of fishing enthusiasts who will help you learn to fish with a fly.

Saturday is Fly Fish Texas, an annual event at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center designed to help people learn the craft of fly fishing -- which is different than your normal rod and reel fishing.

"Fly fishing is just a different technique than using a rod and reel where you're usually applying a sinker and you're sinking your bait down into the water," said James Booker with the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

In fact, when fly fishing, the goal is to float your fly on top of the water and lure the fish to the surface.

"You're going to start with a much longer rod and a much sturdier line. And you're going to be using what we call a fly, hence the name fly fishing, which is actually hand-crafted and mimics a creature in the wild, such as baby dragonfly or a worm," Booker said.

Because of the time and creativity that go into fly fishing, Booker said the sport is like an art.

"They're going to fashion a lure, if you will, that's going to be floated out on the surface of the water, and just as you've probably watched in a pond or a lake of your own, you'll see occasionally an insect hit the water's surface and create attention on the water's surface," he said.

And instructors at Fly Fish Texas are hoping to share more than just fly-tying or casting techniques this weekend.

"All of us have seen a classic photo or painting of the lone fly-fisherman out in some lonely Colorado river or Alaskan stream, and it's that connection, I think, that draws people back for more and more fly fishing," Booker said. "You really feel a close connection with the land, with the environment around you."

The event is from 9 am to 4 pm Saturday at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Admission is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, and $3.50 for children 12 and under.

The event will happen rain or shine, and there are plenty of indoor events as well as outdoor events in case it does rain.

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