Friday, Feb. 6, 2009 | midnight
The basic method for fly casting is three simple arm motions — backward, forward and then relax.
The pattern is easy enough to learn, but one slight mistake and it could mean the difference of a good day and a bad day casting on the lake.
These were some of the points Nevada Department of Wildlife fishing coordinator Ivy Santee discussed during the department's introduction to fly fishing class at Floyd Lamb State Park on Jan. 31.
"This is an entry-level course to give them basic information on how to diagnose when they're doing something wrong," said Santee, a fly fishing veteran of 15 years. "We cram into four hour what some classes do in a full day."
The free class began with a two-hour session at the department's Las Vegas office on Vegas Drive, where Santee demonstrated the motions of a proper cast and introduced the equipment and strategy for making the perfect catch in Nevada's waters.
"There's a mystique to fly fishing that it's a super-relaxing, meditative type of sport," Santee said. "It gets you more in touch with nature."
Summerlin resident Eleesa Aimaq was inspired to join the Jan. 31 class after watching a few late-night fly fishing programs.
"What I like about these classes is that anyone can join," she said. "Fly fishing is much more of a finesse fishing. It's a real game."
After the classroom session, the students drove to the state park to practice on the urban fishing pond.
Veteran fly fisher Steve White joined the students to share his expertise. White, of Northwest Las Vegas, only fishes with his fly rod and frequents the closest fly fishing hot spots in Central Nevada and Southern Utah.
"I don't like to just sit and hold a rod," he said. "I'm a fly fisherman. You're reading the water, you're studying where you're at and you're busy."
Henderson resident Jim Roombos, a first-time fly fisher, found the casting motion an awkward change from traditional bait fishing.
"First of all, it's not as easy as it looks," Roombos said. "Fly casting is a completely different motion, and, like all fishing, it requires patience."
The instructors finished the day discussing the various kinds of threaded flies, which are used as bait, and different ways to lure fish. But as the instructors were quick to point out, the first rule to fishing is their are no hard and fast rules.
The department will hold its next course, a family fly fishing class, at City View Park in North Las Vegas on March 8. For more information call the department at 486-5127.
Sean Ammerman can be reached at 990-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.