The Black Canyon Fly Fishing Show was Saturday in Montrose. Did you go?
Last summer when we started kayaking, we also started dropping a line here and there off the back of the boat. Our youngest is far more interested in catching a fish than she is paddling, and that is just fine by the second paddler in her boat. Give her a paddle and she will accidentally hit you with it or leave it behind, but give her a fishing pole, and she will catch a fish or two. She seems to have a knack for it.
Towards the end of last summer, I accidentally managed to break her fishing pole in half thanks to a rooky paddling maneuver. We set out to purchase a new fishing pole for her that was a grade above the scooby doo fishing pole she’d been using. What we found was a great sale at Cabelas, where we picked up two fly fishing rods. I have to admit that my knowledge about fly fishing doesn’t extend much beyond what you see in A River Runs Through It and our fish count on a fly rod stands at a big fat 0. Needless to say, we were pretty excited to go to the Black Canyon Fly Fishing Show and get some advice and help from the professionals. We came away with so much more information than we had anticipated!
When we first walked in, we saw rows and rows of fly tiers – 32 to be exact. The first fly tier we visited expertly tied what is pictured below, while giving our kids the lowdown on everything from the materials he was using to the history of fishing with a line, which dates back 4000 to the Egyptians.
Next, we moved onto the youth fly tying station.
There was information, raffles to enter, and lots of people ready and willing to show you how to tie knots and flies! This kind and patient man showed us how to create the best knot to tie the fly to the eye. Love the hat!
After that, we moved on to get some hands on lessons from a couple of expert fly tiers. These awesome kids volunteered their Saturday to come out and show other kids how it’s done. There is nothing better than kids learning from kids – great formula! Our kids created a Wooly Booger and a Suan Juan Worm.
Here are some of the other flies these fly tiers were working on in between demonstrations.
Next, the kids got some great advice on how to cast. There were lots of kids out there trying it.
Kids of all ages!
There was a casting contest held twice during the day with prizes as awesome as a brand new, top notch rod.
Black Canyon Fly Fishing Show is put on each year by the Gunnison Gorge Anglers. The members of GGA volunteer their time and do all sorts of outreach for adults & youth. They teach fly tying, hold casting clinics, and they assist the local DOPW in fish plant operations for whirling disease infected waters. Funds raised go towards projects like the Riverbottom Park restoration on the Uncompahgre in Montrose & Pa Co Chu Puk restoration below Ridgway Reservoir.
Our family had a fun morning at the show, and it was great to learn more about what GGA does. Armed with our new flies (thanks to the youth fly tiers), we are excited for a long summer ahead filled with fishing adventures.
SJPmama is the schemer, founder, and the editor at San Juan Parent. She created San Juan Parent because she wanted to find fun activities for families in the San Juan Mountain Region that would tire her kids out and make them go to bed at a decent hour. She has been banging away on computers for longer than she can remember and freelances at various tech jobs. She considers herself extremely lucky to have such awesome friends and family who are willing to let SJP feature their stories on the interwebs.