Fly Fishing Always a Popular Sport in Montana - News, Sports and Weather

Fly Fishing Always a Popular Sport in Montana

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In Montana, the fishing possibilities are almost endless. But if you're like me and want to learn how to fly fish, you can always take a class, like the fly fishing 101 school at Cross Currents Fly Shop in Helena.

"The school breaks it down," said Jim Stein. "I've been doing this for many years, and I want it to not be complicated. Let me break it down to the very basics."

Those basics start in the classroom. Before anyone gets near water, Jim spends two nights at the shop teaching students what they need to know to get started.

"You'll catch way more fish if you think like a hunter than somebody who thinks this is a dumb fish," said Jim "Because this is not a dumb fish."

And after two nights in class, it was time for all of us to get into the water, but not quite time to fish.

"Really kick those rocks around," said Jim.

They're kicking rocks so that Jim could teach us another important part of fly fishing, entomology, or the study of insects.

"It's just endless," said Jim. "The reason we have such good fly fishing is right here. It's the insect life."

"I never really realized that most of the insects come from the bottom of a river," said fly fishing student Stephen Stanton.

So after getting a good look at the insects the fish were eating, and now knowing what kind of flies to use, it was time for Jim to show us how and where to fly fish.

"Once it's down river, you line control with your finger. You're just going to bring it back."

"Watch me, don't watch the fly. I'm going to pull back, that's the parachute."

And after a few demonstrations, it was time for the students to learn first hand.

And early on, no one was having any luck. In fact, only one of the students got even so much as a bite!

"The surprise and the excitement kind of caught me off guard," said fly fishing student Patrick Navarro. "I almost more pointed at the fish than worried about trying to reel it in."

So with all this newly learned information, I decided to try fly fishing myself. First thing first, casting is hard. But another lesson Jim taught me is to always look for new fishing spots. So I did. I found lots of spots, but unfortunately no fish.

After about six hours on the river I didn't catch any fish, but I did get plenty of experience. If you want to learn more about the fly fishing program just go to Cross Currents in Helena for more information.>

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