Fly-fishing, while once reserved for Grandpa on the weekends, is quickly becoming a popular sport for many people, including college students.
And it’s not just for trout. The sport can be used for bass, pike, bluegill or any other fish.
With all the ties, equipment and the wide variety of flies, fly-fishing can seem complicated to beginners, but Frank Praznik of St. Peter’s Fly Shop in Fort Collins insists that with some assistance, “fly-fishing is very simple-we want to remove any fear or confusion that first time fly-fishers may feel.”
The majority of this confusion is due to the equipment required. According to the Beginner’s Netguide to Flyfishing (www.associatedinternet.com/flyfishing101), the basic equipment necessary for fly-fishing includes flies, flylines, leaders, rods, backing and reels.
The size and type of fly used depends on the type of desired fish. Flies are divided into two types: surface flies that rest on the water and sub-surface flies that sink into the water. Surface flies resemble small adult insects and sub-surface flies resemble insects in their aquatic life stage.
A flyline is the actual fishing line. These vary in density and weight and whether they float on top of the water or sink below it. Flylines are usually about 90 feet long and the different weights are used for different flies. Lighter lines cast small flies well and heavier lines are useful in windier conditions and with larger flies.
A leader is attached between the fly and the flyline and is made of monofilament. The flyrod comes in many different weights and lengths and are usually made of graphite. Quality flyrods start at about $50.
Backing attaches the flyline and the reel to add extra length to the flyline and to help prevent tangles in the line. Finally, the reel is a spool that retrieves the flyline after a cast.
According to Eric Lovegren, a senior majoring in Natural Resource Management and an avid fly-fisher, the best places to fly-fish in the area are the South Platte River and the Poudre Canyon.
Lovegren says that he has loved fly-fishing since his first time.
“I had some friends who were into it and they got me hooked – pun intended,” he said.
For students interested in learning how to fly-fish or those who want to improve their skills, Praznik will be hosting a fly-casting clinic on April 23 through the CSU Lifestyles classes. Many fishing and general sporting goods stores offer additional classes or guided fly-fishing trips around the state.