Casting wide

Richard Dickerson

Photo By David Robert

This local fisherman’s classes have likely saved some relationships. He teaches fly fishing for women. And guess what? He says they often turn out to be better “fishermen” than the men. The class is held June 3-4 through the Sparks Parks and Recreation Department. Call 353-2376 for more information.

You are doing a fly fishing class for women. Why’s that?

I think ladies want to learn, but they want to learn in a group they feel comfortable in. Sometimes they’re not comfortable learning from their spouses.

Are they just interested in fly fishing, or are they tired of sitting on the bank while their husbands fish?

Many have been anglers with their families before. Some haven’t fished in a long time. Some had spouses that fish, and now they’re at a time of their lives to do it. Others never tried it before.

Have you held similar classes with men or co-ed?

I’ve done a couple co-ed classes for the Reno Fly Shop [where he guides], and I teach fly tying at TMCC and the Reno Fly Shop.

How do the classes for women differ from the co-ed classes?

They can ask questions and feel comfortable about it. A lot of it is the terminology that’s new. I try to break that down in a way they can relate to it.

What will you do in the class? The first half of Saturday is spent going over the equipment, learning what’s different about fly fishing …We’ll talk about tackle differences, the subtle differences, go through the terminology. We’ll also spend time tying knots. They need to have those fundamental skills. I usually try to show them slides of insects that fish normally eat and how the flies relate to those. In the afternoon, we go out on the grass and cast. They’ll just put a piece of yarn on and get used to the motion of how to cast. Then Sunday we go fishing for the day.

Where will you go?

Well, I don’t want to give that away. It’s a local urban kind of pond thing that gets some fishing pressure but is open enough to give casters room to cast and a chance to catch a few fish.

Are there special considerations for women and men in fly fishing?

Physically, some people think it’s a strength thing, but it’s not. Many males use too much strength and force it. … But you’re using the advantage of a 9-foot lever, so it really doesn’t take much strength at all. … Really, it’s about timing. The ladies tend to be more patient and will spend more time trying. They don’t seem to get as frustrated as quickly.

You are also an author.

Yes, I wrote the Nevada Anglers Guide: Fish Tails in the Sagebrush. Trust me, right now I’m looking at a lot of sagebrush. [He’s driving south of Beatty during this phone interview.]

You’ve fished all over Nevada. What are some of your favorite spots?

The Truckee River is where I grew up. I also like Pyramid Lake in the winter. There are some other little lakes in the Sierras; I won’t tell you the names of them. I don’t want to expose them all. I fish anywhere from 60-100 days a year.

How many fish do you catch in that time?

I wouldn’t even venture a guess. It’s about 98 percent catch and release.