News: Patrons latch onto fly-fishing classes
Story by Pfc. Nikki Phongsisattanak
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - He spots his target in the shallows. With his sights locked, he retracts his rod, elegantly guiding the shining line as it glides above his head like a ribbon and casts his lure. Bull’s-eye. The dark figure rises like a submarine, breaking the water’s surface and engulfs the lure, but finds itself fighting a losing battle against a skilled angler. The final score solidifies the winner. Fisherman 1, fish 0.
Service members and patrons who want to experience a similar moment had the opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade during the fly-fishing class, hosted at Marine Corps Community Services’ Outdoor Adventures Offices, located at the Gottschalk Marina aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, April 19.
“Fly-fishing is taking fishing to the next level,” said Lee Parsons, the class instructor for the fly-fishing workshop. “It’s being able to create something with your own two hands and getting a fish to bite it. And it’s harder than fishing with conventional spinning gear or live tackle. This class is basic fly-fishing, how to get started and what you need to do it.”
Parsons taught participants about the different types of lines, rods and lures used, and when and how to use them. Fly fishermen use floating fly lines that float on the water, intermediate lines that stay below the surface or lead lines that sink. The capabilities and techniques used in fly-fishing are slightly different from conventional fishing.
“In fly-fishing, the line carries the fly,” said Parsons. “And in conventional fishing, the lure carries the line. It’s a matter of learning how to cast and knowing what size rod you need. One of the most challenging things about fly-fishing is being able to get close enough to the fish to be able to present a fly to it without spooking the fish. An accurate cast can help.”
During the class a participant said he was unsure of how well he’d be able to fly fish because he wasn’t good at “regular” fishing.
“You don’t have to be good at regular fishing to be good at fly-fishing,” replied Parsons. “Just have fun with it.”
After the classroom session, participants gathered outside to practice their casting. Some seemed confident and others looked unsure.
“I’m too much of a city boy,” said 1st Lt. Victor M. Colon, a logistics officer with Company H, 8th Communications Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group. “I don’t have much experience with anything outdoors. I told myself that when I get back from my deployment I’d get into stuff that I haven’t done.”
Parsons volunteers to help teach the class and he holds a great appreciation for the service members and their families.
“I’m out here giving back to the service members because of what they do for us,” said Parsons. “This is my way of saying ‘thanks.’”
The class is one of many fishing workshops that MCCS offers. This year they’ll be offering new classes and recreational activities for the patrons, said Marybeth LeMaire, a recreational specialist with Outdoor Adventures, MCCS.
“It’s great that [MCCS] has these classes and events for the Marines and families,” said Colon. “You don’t have to go out into town. It’s convenient because everything is here and they have everything prepared for you.”
Upcoming fishing classes include inshore fishing, scheduled for today and shark fishing, scheduled for May 3.
For more information on fishing classes or other events, call 451-1440 or visit www.mccslejeune.com/outdooradventures.