Festival of Fly Fishing worth every penny | SierraSun.com

Festival of Fly Fishing worth every penny

Bruce Ajari

The annual Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers will gather at the Redding Convention Center on Oct. 19-20 for the 2007 Festival of Fly Fishing.

Fly fishermen from all over the region make the annual trek to Redding to participate in one of the premier fly fishing events of the season, where on-the-water workshops will also be available on Oct. 21 for a fee.

This year’s keynote speaker is Bob Clouser, a well known author, photographer, fisherman and fly tier. He is probably best known for the fly that bears his name, the Clouser minnow.

The Clouser minnow is one of those flies that has achieved legendary status among fly fishermen. The minnow is such a good pattern that Lefty Kreh has caught 86 different species of fish with it.

The minnow is tied with dumbbell eyes that allow the fly to be pretty much snag-free because the hook rides upside down. It provides constant movement and mimics an escaping baitfish extremely well. It also works equally well in both fresh and saltwater.

The conclave will offer many general admission programs, including exhibitor booths and fly tying demonstrations. The event will also have a learning center for beginners of all ages.

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Other continuous activities include The Basics of Fly Tying, casting, knots, Reading the Water, Insect Life and more. Casting Ponds will also be available for rod evaluation and open casting.

Some great programs include one offered by Northern California, Truckee and New Zealand guide Dax Messett on Fly Fishing in New Zealand. Others leading programs include Mike Mercer on Fishing Northern California Waters, Scott Cook on Lakes and River of Bend, Ore., and many others.

In the Fly Tying Theatre, you will get a chance to watch Mike Mercer tying his newest patterns, as well as Bob Clouser tying his famous Clouser Minnow.

The Sunday programs allow the angler to apply some of the lessons learned during the Friday and Saturday event on the water under the eyes of an instructor. These programs require a fee to participate, and have limited space.

Examples of these sessions are Pontoon Boat Basics with Dave Scadden, which includes a float down the Lower Sacramento River, and Steelhead Fishing on the Trinity with Randy Doughty.

The Festival of Fly Fishing is an extremely educational event. Whether you are looking to learn more about entomology, fly tying or casting, you will find it here at this event.

I remember the first one I attended. I had just gotten back into fly tying and was struggling a bit on tying a particular pattern.

At the event, I got a demonstration from one of the fly tiers on how he tied the particular fly, and I was able to go home and tie them with ease.

No matter what level of angler you are, you will learn something at these events. I recommend this show as a great one!

Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.

Hours for general admission events are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. Cost is $10 for one day or $15 for both. Children under 18 are free. Pre-register at http://nccfff.org.