Special Interest Courses

Introduction to Fly Fishing to be Offered This Spring

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

The class will be taught by local guide Charlie Laffey, who has extensive knowledge of the Savage River watershed and regional Brook Trout streams; and Tom Sydow, who serves as a professor at the College and is a life-long fisherman. 

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Students receive hands-on instruction in casting and fishing techniques.

Meeting times for the class is every other Thursday: March 8, 22, April 5, 19, and May 3 in Science Hall, Room 120 from 5 to 8 p.m. 

This introductory course incorporates both classroom sessions and hands-on instruction in casting and fishing techniques. Students will learn about equipment, knot tying, entomology (the bugs fish eat), reading the water, and on-stream tactics. Demonstrations in fly tying and rod building will also be given in classroom sessions. All necessary equipment will be provided by course instructors. 

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 like 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 by clicking here. For more information, contact Professor Sydow at 304-788-6996 or at Tom.Sydow@mail.wvu.edu.