The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering anglers in the eastern part of the state an opportunity to catch trout in the winter at clinics being held at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville.
The annual winter fly-fishing clinics for novice and intermediate anglers start on Jan. 6. Additionally, two fly-fishing merit badge workshops for Boy Scouts will be held in March and April. The commission will stock more than 1,000 catchable-sized brook, brown and rainbow trout into the center’s ponds on Dec. 13. Loaner rods, reels and tackle will be provided for all fly-fishing clinic participants.
Basic Fly-Fishing Clinics
These clinics, designed for anglers with limited or no fly-fishing experience, will be offered on Jan. 6, Jan. 20 and Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Trained volunteers will provide instruction in the Joan Wulff method of fly-casting, as well as instruction in fly-fishing equipment and knot tying. During the afternoon on-the-water portion of the course, participants will learn how to land a fish using a fly-rod.
Basic clinics are suitable for participants 13 years and older; however, participants 15 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Each clinic is limited to 25 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to space limitations, participants are asked to register for one clinic only.
Intermediate Fly-Fishing Clinic
An Intermediate Fly-Fishing Clinic will be held on Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This clinic will take participants beyond the basics and introduce them to using the line-hand, false casting, casting on all planes and the shooting line. Participants will also learn how to develop power application and cast accurately.
Because this course is based on the Wulff method used in the basic classes, participants must have completed a Basic Fly-Fishing Clinic or Discovery Course offered in 2015 or 2016, or the Basic Fly-Fishing Clinic in 2017. The clinic is suitable for participants 13 and older; however, participants 15 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. This clinic is limited to the first 25 registrants.
Boy Scout Fly-Fishing Merit Badge Clinics
For active Boy Scouts ages 11 and older, the Pechmann Center is offering 2-day Fly-Fishing Merit Badge Clinics on March 24-25 and April 21-22. Topics will include fly tying, knots, fly-casting, fish identification, first aid, fishing regulations, cleaning and cooking. Overnight camping is available for scouts, but campers should plan to arrive at the Pechmann Center no later than 8:30 p.m. the night before the clinic. Interested Scoutmasters should contact Tom Carpenter at 910-868-5003 to register their scouts. The clinic is limited to 30 scouts with a maximum of 10 scouts from each troop.
Pre-registration is required for all clinics. Registration is now open for the two basic fly-fishing clinics in January, and registration for the Feb. 3 clinic will open on Dec. 21. Registration for the Intermediate Fly-Fishing Clinic will open on Jan. 2.1 Registration for the 2-Day Fly-Fishing Merit Badge Clinics for active Boy Scouts will open on Feb. 7 for the March clinic and on March 6 for the April clinic. To register, visit the calendar view on the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center’s webpage and select the clinic you’re interested in to begin the registration process.
The John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center is located at 7489 Raeford Road in Fayetteville, across from Lake Rim. Commission staff at the Pechmann Center conducts fishing workshops, events and clinics throughout the year. Most programs are free and open to the public. For more information on the Commission’s four wildlife education centers and other activities and events, visit www.ncwildlife.org/learning.