WV Wildlife: Fly Tying Class

Students practice their technique at Trout Unlimited's beginner fly tying class at Elk Elementary Center. (WCHS/WVAH)

It’s an experience that never gets old.

Some view fishing as pure fun. You catch a fish, and you have had a good day.

Part of their satisfaction besides catching some of our beautiful fish in the Mountain State comes from knowing that they created their own lure, or fly, to reel a fish into the shore.

J.C. Linkinoggor, a Trout Unlimited instructor and fly tier, is one of those anglers.

"It's something different, maybe a little more of a challenge, and then it just kept growing and growing and growing. I started tying my own flies," Linkinoggor said.

Recently, Linkinogger, along with others, shared their knowledge to eager anglers at Elk Elementary Center.

"It takes a little bit of patience. You know -- teaching someone something that's basic for you, like tying your shoes, so you have to be able to put it on a level that they can understand" he said.

Like many things in life, repetition, or practice, is the best way to improve your skills. Winter is a great time to learn more.

"So many books and the internet, you can search YouTube," he said.

Once you feel ready, it's time to go out and execute. You can fly fish for bass, musky or even saltwater fish. Trout tend to be the most popular, though, when using a fly-rod. Most flies resemble insects (their natural food source), but snazzy looking flies also can get the fish's attention.

"They don't really imitate anything, more of a creature type fly, and you get a reactionary bite on them," Linkinoggor said.

As for the more conventional ones, such as dry flies, he also has some suggestions.

"Dry flies, it stays dry. It's fished on the surface of the water and it imitates an insect that has emerged. A traditional wet, in the water column, it imitates an insect that's broken free from its nymph shuck. Lowest in the water column would be a nymph, which is at the earliest stage, it's tumbling around on the rocks. If you want to catch a lot of fish, that's where you need to be fishing," he said.

The sport keeps you involved all year.

"When you're tying flies, you may not be out fishing, but you're still connected to it," he said.

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