Gerald Almy: Fishing show and schools on tap

Gerald Almy

With hunting seasons winding down, there are still plenty of entertaining and educational events for outdoors men and women to enjoy. Two of the most popular activities for this “off season” are visiting fishing and hunting shows and taking short courses on how to become a better angler.

If you want to learn more about fly fishing, you won’t have to travel far. Harry Murray, a world-famous fishing author and fly tier, will be giving lessons at his Edinburg Fly Shop for the next few months. Then in the spring he’ll start doing more “on the water” training sessions for both smallmouth bass in the Shenandoah River and trout on the Rapidan River.

Some of the indoor winter courses that will be offered include Nymph Fishing for Trout on Jan. 9, 2016; Trout Fishing in Shenandoah National Park, Jan. 16; Learn to Fly Fish for Smallmouth Bass, Jan. 30; Smallmouth Fishing on the Shenandoah River, Feb. 20; Mastering Trout Fishing, March 5; and Catching Large Bass on Streamers, March 12.

Murray is a great teacher and author of many fly fishing books and articles in magazines. For more information or to book one of these courses, contact him at 984-4212, or email info@murraysflyshop.com.

If you’re more interested in attending outdoor shows, the biggest of those devoted strictly to fishing will take place at the Farm Bureau Center at Meadow Event Park, 15 miles north of Richmond. This is located at the Doswell, King’s Dominion Exit (98) off Interstate 95. The show is called the 2016 Richmond Fishing Expo.

This year’s show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 15; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 16, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan 17. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and military. Those 6-12 years of age get in for $5, while children under 5 are admitted for free. The admission price is good for all three days if you get a return pass.

A huge selection of boats will be on display at this event, which is put on by North Carolina Boat Shows. Everything from kayaks to pontoons, johnboats to offshore cruisers will be available to look at and step aboard. Most of these boats will also be for sale at special show prices.

Fishing tackle will be a highlight of the show. Hundreds of displays will showcase the latest rods, reels, lines, tackle boxes and lures. Just having the chance to look at and handle all this gear is enough to draw many people to the show. But there are plenty of other attractions as well.

A Reel Kids Casting Competition will be held for various age groups of youngsters. Those who can cast their lure on target with the most consistency will win awards and go on to higher levels of national competition.

A Mountain Trout Pond will be filled with hundreds of healthy trout. You can either keep them to take home for dinner or release the fish you catch. A number of feisty channel catfish will also be finning in the indoor pond, adding to the chance for a varied catch.

Fishing experts and Mid-Atlantic area guides will give presentations on a wide variety of topics, from catfish to largemouths, flounder to red drum.

Bass Pro Larry Nixon will be at the event talking to visitors and giving seminars about the tactics he uses on largemouths.

Chris McCotter, an expert striper, crappie and bass angler, who I’ve had the pleasure to fish with several times, will also speak at the show. Chris is one of the best guides in Virginia. He’s patient with his clients and a good instructor. He’ll talk about tricks for Lake Anna’s bass, crappies and stripers – his three favorite gamefish.

Outdoor writer Bruce Ingram will also give a talk. He’s well known in the state for his deer hunting articles and smallmouth fishing expertise.

Captain Rick Bennett will give a talk on inshore light tackle fishing. He’ll cover red drum, black drum, flounder and trout, as well as Bonita, king mackerel and cobia.

Captain Jimmy Price will reveal his secrets on how to catch giant flounder along the East Coast. Other fishing experts include John Crews, Dave Tilley, Max King, Buster Seabolt, Chase Devereaux and Monk Wilson.

This is by no means a full run-down on the speakers, but it’s clear there will be something for just about every type of angler at the Richmond Fishing Show this year.

Visit ncboatshows.com for more details or special lodging offerings. There are numerous motels very close to the show site. It’s about a 2 ½ hour drive from the Shenandoah Valley, a short ways north of Richmond.

Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident.