June 17, 2010 at 9:34 a.m.
When my co-instructors and I were putting together our six-section PowerPoint presentation and working through our lesson plans, I wanted to put fishing for sunfish and crappies very near the beginning of our classroom discussion. My reasoning was - and will forever remain - that panfish are tailor-made for the fly rod.
That being said, there is also an issue of timing. Knowing about spawn cycles and how crappies and sunfish behave at certain times of the year will go a long way to ensuring success. Our intent was to take what students learned in the classroom and casting classes to a lake where we'd actually do some fishing. From a fish catching standpoint, the timing couldn't have been better.
To keep my penchant for grossly inflating numbers as they relate to fishing in check, I asked one of the other instructors how many sunfish he figured we caught during our final two-hour session. He thought 250 was a fair number. I initially thought 200 or so, which only goes to prove that the other instructor is a bigger fibber than I am. (Seriously though, we did catch that many fish.)
I like to tell folks new to the sport that if they give me a half hour of their time to learn the very basics of fly-casting, I guarantee they will be catching fish before an hour is up. So far, over a number of years teaching this sport, I haven't been proven wrong yet.
So keep a close eye on the Chisago Lakes and North Branch Community Ed publications coming up in the future. Our introduction to fly fishing class was a resounding success and we received numerous requests to do it again. Some of the students we taught have kept in touch, so we're hatching plans to get together again to do some more fishing. Maintaining fly-fishing in perpetuity is all about making new friends and providing mentorship to those who wish to learn this lifelong sport. It really is as simple as that. So when you see our course offered again in your community ed catalogue, do yourself a big favor and sign up. It's a lot of fun and we'd love to introduce you to the great sport of fly-fishing.
If you have comments for Dan or story ideas contact him at e-mail [email protected].