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Special Interest Classes

Popular fly-fishing course being offered at Potomac State

Flying Fishing at WVU Potomac State College

The special interest course, Introduction to Fly-Fishing, will once again be offered this spring at West Virginia University Potomac State College. 

Fly Fishing today is as diverse as any style of fishing. Today’s fly-fisher can target a wide range of freshwater and saltwater species, from striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay to Mako sharks off the California coast, and from sunfish to bass to muskie in freshwater rivers and lakes.

The class will be taught by Professor Tom Sydow, a life-long fisherman, and Charlie Laffey, a local guide who has extensive knowledge of the Savage River watershed and regional brook trout streams.  Meeting times are every other Thursday: March 7, 21, April 4, 18, and May 2.  Classes will be held in Science Hall, Room 120 from 5 to 8 p.m. 

This course incorporates both classroom sessions and hands-on instruction in casting and fishing techniques.  Demonstrations in fly-tying and rod building will also be given in classroom sessions.  All necessary equipment will be provided by course instructors. 

“The Mid-Atlantic region is ripe with opportunities to fly-fish for trout, bass, and muskie.  Some of the best rivers and lakes are right in our own back yard: The North and South Branches of the Potomac, the Savage River drainage system, the Casselman, and the Youghigheny, are just a few that are close by,” said Sydow.

Following is a short synopsis of each week’s class: Week 1 –participants will learn the difference between fly fishing, spin fishing and bait fishing. They will be given a brief history and general overview of fly-fishing with an emphasis on fly-fishing for trout. Week 2 – will feature equipment including rods, lines, reels, leaders, and tippets. Auxiliary equipment including wading staff, net, forceps, fly dressings, fly boxes, strike indicators, and basic knots will also be included. Week 3 – will teach the various fly patterns used to imitate what fish eat. Week 4 – will include strategies on good places to fly-fish, planning a fly-fishing trip and presentation techniques for fly-fishing. Week 5 – will bring it all together with a field trip to a fly shop and local river for on-site casting demonstrations.

Course cost is only $99 and tends to fill up quickly. Participants may register for the class online here. For more information, contact Professor Sydow at 304-788-6996 or at Tom.Sydow@mail.wvu.edu.