Monday, September 08, 2008

A Fun Weekend...

Every year the Boy Scout troop at my church goes on a campout called "Aqua Bumming". We stay for two days in cabins down at the Lake of the Ozarks, and run 50-60 boys through a variety of waterfront skills, including canoeing, sailing, rowing, swimming, fishing, and fly fishing.

A fellow scout leader and I taught seven boys who learned knots, how to tie flies, casting, and a variety of other skills that go into fishing with artificial flies. Then we went down to the lake shore and turned the boys loose with rods and reels graciously supplied by the Mid-Missouri Chapter of Trout Unlimited (both of us are also members of these organizations).

Starting off with the flies they tied themselves, the boys cast off the shore and some of them waded up to their waists. It was a good day for novice casters -- no wind to speak of and no one got into major difficulties with snags or knotted leaders. The major problems were the wakes from the powerboats that went by on regular intervals as well as the fact that we really weren't fishing in good habitat.

In spite of all that, four of the boys caught bluegill on the flies they tied themselves. Most of the boys had caught fish before on bait and spincast rods, but catching a fish with a fly rod was definitely a thrill for them, and doubly so because it was on a fly they tied themselves.

We'll be taking the boys to a farm pond near Columbia to finish the merit badge. The fish there don't get a lot of angling pressure, so they should get a chance to catch both bluegill and bass on a fly rod.

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