Fly-fishing clinic

A fly-fishing clinic will be held Feb. 8 at Engler Park. Pre-registration is needed.

Want to learn how to be an angler? You can learn the art of fly fishing and practice your casting skills. You don’t even have to bring the rod and reel. But you’ll need to hurry. There are only a few spots remaining for this free fly-fishing clinic hosted by the Farmington Parks and Recreation Department.

The event is set for Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Engler Park. Although the event is free, participants must be pre-register in order to attend. They can do this by calling the Farmington Community Civic Center at 573-756-0900 or online at Farmington-mo.gov

The Missouri Department of Conservation will be teaching the basics of fly fishing, including the history of the sport, specialized tackle and how to cast. Participants will get the chance to practice what they learn at the clinic by fishing in the stocked trout pond.

MDC will provide the fly rods to use for this event.

Lunch will consist of chili and hot dogs is included at this event.

Dustin Unger, program manager for the parks and recreation department, said the fishing clinic is open to participants of all ages.

“Anyone can sign up and give fly fishing a shot,” he said. “They can try their hand at fishing once they learn the basics of how to do it.”

“There will be a variety of things to do from stuff for kids all the way to activities for adults,” said Unger.

The event will be held rain or shine. Fire pits will be available to help participants to stay warm.

Unger said participants are encouraged to dress for the weather.

“Be prepared because all the events are outside and definitely dress warm.”

If much snow is in the forecast, Unger said the event may be rescheduled if a date was available. This may or may not be possible because the trout in the lake are only there for a certain time. The fish were deposited into the lake in November for catch and release through Jan. 31.

“The trout have to be in a certain temperature of water [cold],” said Unger, “and they won’t survive if it warms up too much.”

Jake LaHay is coordinator of the fly-fishing clinic. He has worked with MDC to coordinate this event.

Although a successful community fishing clinic was held in the past, LaHay said he has been looking for a way to bring this event at no cost to the community.

“The Missouri Department of Conservation was the answer,” said LaHay. “They provide fishing clinics all over the state.”

Unger said the MDC are experts who will offer terrific fishing tips to participants during the clinic.

“We’re definitely glad to have them coming in to teach this and we’re excited for this to happen,” he said.

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