Fly Fishing Workshop
PHOTO CAP: Fly fisherman, Bob Stouffer shown here with a brown trout, will be leading a beginners' fly casting workshop at Renfrew Institute on Saturday, May 10.
Fly Fishing Workshop
Waynesboro- Renfrew Institute is sponsoring a fly fishing workshop on Saturday, May 10 from 9 a.m. to noon in the visitors center at Renfrew Park.
The workshop, presented through a partnership between Renfrew Institute and Antietam Fly Anglers, is geared for beginners age 15 and up, although all skill levels are welcome. Pre-registration is required by Thursday, May 8 and space is limited to 20. Cost is $15 for members of Renfrew Institute and $20 for non-members.
Led by Bob Stouffer of Antietam Fly Anglers, the session will focus on fly-casting, and is an opportunity to learn about the equipment, techniques of casting, and the "secrets" of fly-fishing. Participants may bring their own equipment or borrow practice rods and equipment during the workshop.
Fly-casting is a critical skill when it comes to practicing the sport, Stouffer said. "You can buy rods, flies and other fly-fishing equipment, but if you can't cast, you're not going to be successful." However, Stouffer emphasizes that basic fly-casting skills are not difficult to master. "Basic skills can be taught in a few hours, and learned with just a couple weeks of practice, so that anyone can be successful," he said. "Improvement rather than perfection is the goal."
The beauty of the sport is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages, Stouffer said. A Certified Casting Instructor (by the Federation of Fly Fishers), Stouffer teaches fly-casting at Shepherd University in West Virginia and at the Bob Abraham Casting Club in Hagerstown. He encourages women to try fly-fishing. "My female students learn quickly and really enjoy the sport," he said.
A fly-fisherman since age 8, Stouffer's enthusiasm for the sport has lasted a lifetime. His mentor is FFF Master Casting Instructor Frank LoPresti, and Stouffer said he enjoys continuing to learn about his sport.
"We often get asked why we do this," he said. "Everyone has daily worries and stress, but if you can pick up a rod and go to a stream, you concentrate on the casting, on what's in the stream...you see birds and all of the things in nature you might not normally notice, and it washes away all the worries and stress-a kind of natural therapy."
The tri-state area is a great place for the sport. "Almost everyone living in the area is within 15 minutes of a place to go fly fishing," Stouffer said.
Most of the casting instruction will be on dry land. "It's best to learn casting techniques on the grass," Stouffer said, "although we may venture into the stream during the workshop." Fellow Antietam Fly Anglers, Sterling (Buzz) Buzzell, Bob Davis of Hagerstown and Tom Scally of West Virginia will assist with instruction. (See www.antietamflyanglers.org for area fly fishing information.)
Parking for the workshop is available behind the visitors' center. For more information and to pre-register for the workshop, please call the institute at 717-762-0373.
Underwriting support for this program provided by Beauchat & Beauchat LLC of Gettysburg, and by Renfrew Institute's Today's Horizon Fund contributors: JLG Industries, Inc., Emma W. Hutton Trust, PenMar Development Corp., and Anonymous Donor. Facility support is provided courtesy of Renfrew Museum and Park.