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Learn to fly fish at Helen event
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Flies and Fly Water

When: 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday

Where: Smithgall Woods Conservation Park, 61 Tsalaki Trail, Helen

How much: Preregistration required; $5 for workshop, $5 parking

More info: 706-878-3087



The art of fly fishing is a complicated one, but to clear up some of the mystery, Smithgall Woods in Helen will have a workshop, "Flies and Fly Water," this Saturday, with information on the sport.

"It's more for sportsmanship than anything else," said Sheila Humphrey, who will lead a presentation about stream entomology during the workshop.

"Just the challenge of seeing if you can outsmart a fish, and knowing how to present the fly on the water, knowing where the fish are in the water, and being able to land it."

Humphrey, whose husband has been an avid fly fisherman for 60 years, said fly fishing is all about imitation.

"Most often what the fishermen are going to be simulating are going to be various forms of bugs or worms," she said.

To demonstrate what kind of lure to use, Humphrey will explain what the bugs look like at each stage in their life cycles.

"Some of the fishermen say, if the fish are eating hot dogs, don't feed them hamburgers," she said.

"In spring and summer is when a lot of them are going through their final metamorphosis so that they become adults, and maybe hatching and flying away or emerging and flying away. The fish may be ready for those."

The workshop will also focus on fly-tying, allowing fishermen to see ways of tying flies at their various stages of development.

You can also learn how to cast, so fish believe your lure is real. Dukes Creek, located in Smithgall Woods, only allows fishermen to use artificial lures.

Stream reading - how to look at ripples or pools in a stream and know where the fish are - is another topic that will be covered in the seminar.

Humphrey said anyone is welcome at the workshop, whether they are beginners or experienced fishermen.

She said fly fishing is more about the experience than taking home a bucket of fish.

"It's just a way of going out, you know, enjoying nature. Most of these fly fishermen catch and release," she said.



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