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Learn the art of fly fishing at Hopewell Fish & Game Association

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

A local fly fisherman who has enjoyed the sport for decades is sharing his love by helping new anglers learn the basics with a series of classes at Hopewell Fish & Game Association.

Jay Davis, from Glen Rock, has been fly fishing and tying flies to fish with since the 1960s. 

"Jay is a natural," said Hopewell Fish & Game Association director Jim Coyle. "He loves teaching and is really patient, especially with kids."

About a dozen budding fly fishermen recently gathered in the association's clubhouse, where Coyle introduced them to the dynamics of casting a fly rod.

He described how, when fly fishing, the angler casts the line, not a weighted lure like traditional spin fishing, and offered helpful hints such as, "Always look to make sure your back cast is clear. My flies decorate trees and bushes from Georgia to Montana."

After learning the technical aspect of fly casting, attendees made their way outside, where they received hands-on casting instruction.

Gary Stephenson of Stewartstown helps his son Keegan, 12, with his casting stroke during a fly fishing class offered at Hopewell Fish & Game Association, Monday, July 20, 2020
John A. Pavoncello photo

The group was a mix of people, some completely new to fly fishing and others who have tried it with little luck. Davis, Coyle and other volunteers made their way down the line, helping the budding anglers perfect their casting technique. 

Davis said his goal is is to bring more people to fly fishing.

"The more people I get interested in the sport, the better it is for fly fishing," he said. "Fly fishermen are more in tune with stream health and pollution, mostly catch and release. They are not takers."

The introduction to fly fishing class continues for the next several Monday evenings, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the association. Upcoming classes include fly selection, essential equipment and fishing knots.

The classes are free and open to members and nonmembers alike.

For more information, visit Hopewell Fish & Game Association on Facebook.