CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Winter might not be the best time of year to fish, but some Charleston-area angling enthusiasts believe it's a great time to learn how to fish.
Members of the Ernie Nester Chapter of Trout Unlimited will conduct a series of "angling arts" classes beginning Jan. 23 at the Elk Elementary Learning Center. The classes, a long-standing tradition with the organization, are held in conjunction with Kanawha County Schools' Continuing Education Program.
This year's classes are divided into two sessions, one in winter and the other in spring. Three classes will be held during the winter portion:
Beginning Fly Tying - Instructor Jason Butcher will preside over this six-week course, in which students will receive hands-on instruction in the basics of fly tying. The class covers the techniques required to tie several effective fly patterns. The basic class costs $30, and there will be a $10 materials fee. All the necessary tools are provided.
Beginning Rod Building - Instructor Marge McCutcheon's seven-week course walks students through the basics of assembling the necessary components to create high-quality fishing rods. Students will be able to choose the kind of rod they want to build. The class costs $30, plus materials and supplies. For most rods, materials run $75 and up depending on the rod type and its components.
Intermediate Fly Fishing - Veteran angler Ed Crum will serve as instructor for a four-week course that teaches skills that stretch beyond the mere basics. Students will have their fly casting techniques videoed and analyzed. Everyone who takes the $30 class will be expected to have some fly fishing experience, or to have taken a beginning fly fishing class.
Students may register for any of the classes, or may request additional information, by sending an e-mail to ENCTUClasses@gmail.com.
The second session of classes, scheduled to begin on March 13, includes four offerings:
Advanced Fly Tying - Students for this six-week class, taught by Jason Butcher, must have fly tying experience or must have completed the beginner's class. As was the case with the beginner's class, the cost is $30 plus a $10 materials fee.
Intermediate Fly Rod Building - Students for the seven-week class do not build a rod, but they do get to practice the techniques that get covered. A $15 fee covers the necessary materials, and is assessed in addition to the course's $30 cost. Students must have built a fishing rod before attempting the class.
Fishing the Seasons in West Virginia - Instructor Ed Hayne, a veteran of more than 45 years of trout fishing in the Mountain State, will explain where to fly fish for trout, which flies are most effective, and how to use them to best advantage. The four-week course, which costs $30, will cover a trout angler's best bets for each month of the year.
Introduction to Fly Fishing - Instructor Charlie Krepps has switched the beginners' class format to two separate classes, each held for two weeks with sessions each week on Monday and Thursday evenings. Both classes will start later than usual so that novice anglers can immediately take their new-found skills and try their hand at fishing when the weather is more accommodating. The first two-week offering will begin April 7, the second on April 21. Cost for each class is $30.
Reach John McCoy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1231.