Voices from the river

Voices from the River: Enhance your skills at fishing shows

Jason Dyer working on his casting while on a fishing trip in Canada. Agustina Boitano Davidson photo

By Jason Dyer

I grew up on the East Coast and fished a lot of small streams and deep hidden ponds in the White Mountains during my adolescent years. I did do a fair amount of surf casting, but it was with a relatively mellow 6-weight rod my father built for me. I never developed the need to incorporate a double haul into my casting. Most of the time my flies were small; if they were big we were fishing the slack of the tide and it was easy to cast to stripers and or bluefish close to the shore.

Since then I’ve taken a few trips to New York to catch the steelhead run out of Lake Ontario. My arm took several days to recover after a week waving a 10-weight rod with heavy weighted flies. This past summer I met up with the Brighton Anglers group to go to Trout Camp in northeastern Saskatchewan, Canada, for a week. I knew I had to learn to double haul.

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Mickey Anderson will be leading a Intermediate & Advanced Fly Casting Techniques class at the Wasatch Intermountain Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo. Courtesy photo.

With help from my friends, and a little more from YouTube, I finally figured it out. The trip was a success and my arms thanked me for acquiring a new skill. Spring is upon us and it has been a long winter for us in the West. Fly fishing film tours have energized people and all that procrastination about tying boxes of flies over the winter has caught up. I’ve been thinking about ways to improve what little double-haul skills I have and the opportunity fell into my lap.

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Heather Hodson will be leading a Women’s Fly Fishing 101 class at the Wasatch Intermountain Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo. Heidi Lewis photo.

I was asked to help promote the 11th Annual Wasatch Intermountain Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo being held in the Salt Lake Valley April 7-8. Flipping through the wide range of well-known presenters I saw my opportunity.

I have made it a mission to attend Mickey Anderson’s class on Intermediate & Advanced Fly Casting Techniques. I’m hoping time in the session will raise my confidence enough to sign up for the Top Gun casting competition. I’m sure the competition will be tough with more than $7,000 in cash on the line, as well as $6,000 in fly fishing products up for grabs.

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Jack Dennis will lead a session at the Wasatch Intermountain Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo called “Twenty-Five Places to Fly Fish before You Die”. Courtesy photo.

There are plenty of other ways for anglers to hone their skills or develop new ones at the Expo and there is no better way than hands-on instruction from pros that set the standard most anglers try to emulate. Needless to say there is something for everyone at the show from “Women’s Fly Fishing 101” taught by fly fishing pro Heather Hodson to a class on the “Twenty-Five Places to Fly Fish before You Die” with world renowned legend Jack Dennis. Fly tiers have a plethora of experts to get tips and advice from with more than 80 of the best ready to share their skills.

Hopefully, during these two days of clinics, presentations and demonstrations this small river angler from New Hampshire can show that he not only lives out west now he can hold his own casting across the big waters of the United States.

Jason Dyer is a member of the Stonefly Society Trout Unlimited Chapter based in Salt Lake City.

By Brett Prettyman.