By Jeff Nations
Drew Patterson says learning to fly fish is as simple as counting to 1-2-3.
Patterson is ready to prove just how easy it can be to learn the basics of casting a fly rod during a free fly-fishing clinic scheduled for Saturday in Frederick County. Hosted by Winchester Trout Unlimited, the clinic is open to all would-be fly fishing anglers ages 8 through adult.
"We still have room for a couple more people," said Patterson, who is coordinating the event for Winchester TU. "We're going to have another clinic in the fall, and we try to keep track of everybody who makes inquiries."
Those who wish to participate in this weekend's event, to be held on private property just outside Winchester, won't need a fly-fishing rod or the ability to tie flies to get started on Saturday.
"All the gear is provided," Patterson said. "People just need to show up."
Patterson said the Winchester chapter of Trout Unlimited has held free fly fishing clinics for a number of years, both to spark interest in the pastime as well as to spread the national organization's message of protection and preservation of fish habitat.
The clinic is limited to 10 participants, and will include an introduction to fly-casting. Participants will also do some fly-tying and fly-fishing in a pond stocked with bass and bluegill.
"They can literally learn enough to go out and cast within minutes," Patterson said. "We can teach just about anybody how to do it. It's a lot of fun and very different than fishing with bait or other types of tackle."
Patterson said participants do not have to be affiliated with Trout Unlimited. The clinic is scheduled from 10 a.m.-noon, and could go somewhat later if necessary or if the fishing is good.
To sign up for Saturday's clinic, email Patterson at email@example.com or call him at 703-408-5119. Directions to the clinic will be provided via email to participants.
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org>