Gerald Almy: Fishing schools, shows on tap

Gerald Almy

Yes, hunting seasons are winding down. But there’s still plenty of activity available for sportsmen and women, including fishing and hunting shows and hands-on fly fishing lessons.

If you have the urge to learn more about the sport of fly fishing, you don’t have far to go. Harry Murray, a nationally famous fishing author and fly tier, will be giving lessons at his Edinburg Fly Shop for the next few months.

After that, he’ll begin his “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, Trout Fishing in Shenandoah National Park, Smallmouth Fishing on the Shenandoah River, Mastering Spring Creek Trout Fishing, and Basic Fly Tying.

Murray is an excellent teacher and has written many fly fishing books and articles in magazines. For more information about times and dates or to book one of these courses, contact him at 984-4212, or email info@murraysflyshop.com.

For those who would rather attend outdoor shows, the biggest of those aimed strictly for fishermen will take place at the Farm Bureau Center at Meadow Event Park, 15 miles north of Richmond. The event, 2017 Richmond Fishing Expo, is located at the Doswell, King’s Dominion Exit (98) off Interstate 95.

This year’s show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

If you like looking at boats, this is the place to go. A huge selection 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. If you’re ready to buy, 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. All told some 60 retail and specialty tackle shops will have displays.

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

For anglers young and old alike, a Mountain Trout Pond will be filled with hundreds of healthy trout up to three pounds that you can try to catch. 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.

Angling experts and area guides will give presentations on a wide variety of topics, from crappies to largemouths, flounder to red drum.

Bass Pros Ott Defoe, Jocob Powroznik and Thomas Harris will be at the event talking to visitors and giving seminars about the tactics they use on largemouths.

Chris McCotter, an expert angler who focuses on Lake Anna, will give several presentations at the show. He’ll talk about tricks for this nearby lake’s bass, crappies and stripers.

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

Capt. 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.

Capt. 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, Dr. Julie Ball, and Monk Wilson.

Tournament fishing pros will give live tactic demonstrations using the Oklahoma Bass Tub with large bass swimming in it.

This is by no means a full run-down on the speakers or events, but clearly there will be something for just about every type of angler at the Richmond Fishing Show, which covers 110,000 square feet and encompasses four separate buildings.

Visit richmondfishingexpo.com for more details or special lodging offerings. There are numerous motels very close to the show site. It’s about a 2½ hour drive from the Shenandoah Valley, just a short ways north of Richmond.

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