Kids "Knot" Afraid of Wooly Buggers

Some of the kids attending a recent fly-tying seminar hosted by Young Outdoorsmen United in McDonald County may have had some doubts about holding a woolly bugger, scuds, or even a bunny leach. But their apprehensions were rapidly dismissed when they were shown the colorful components to design some fishing flies they would be making, taking home, and hopefully catch a fish. An assemblage of hooks, threads, feathers, and chenille lying on the table waiting for transformation into beautiful fishing lures were not as intimidating as the insect names they represented. The youth were instantly attracted to the process of using a fly tying vice, thread bobbins, scissors, and hackle pliers to make their replicas of mysteriously named river inhabitants. After a brief time working on his fishing fly, DJ Ryan (age 10) quipped “I think I’m doing pretty good, it’s starting to like something.” Indeed it was, and soon with a little assistance from a volunteer instructor, the imitation insect was completed. “I got it done, wrapping the thread around the feathers was not as hard as thought it would be” said a humble Ryan Integrated with the fly tying lesson, the kids also received instructional coaching on the fundamental techniques and methods of fly rod casting inside the Pineville Christian Church Life Center. In small groups of three, each youngster started with a practice rod spooled with soft yarn as their fishing line. After making practice casts they advanced to a genuine working fly rod. The building’s high 25 foot ceiling was ideal for the activity. While some kids required slightly more instructions than others, it was quickly apparent Anna Clarkson (age 10) found her nitch. Her concentration on grip, wrist flicks, and anchor point, resulted in a smooth back and forward overhand cast. The effect produced a true aim as the line shooting out from the reel hit the center of 10 inch pie plate at 20 yards every time! When asked if she liked casting the fly rod, Clarkson simply stated “Yes”, and without stopping or interrupting her casting motion, “I like it a lot”. The very next day Anna was wading in Big Sugar Creek with a new fly rod her dad purchased for her to actively pursue her newly discovered passion. The event was held with cooperation from MAKO Fly Fishers of Joplin, and sponsored by Cornerstone Bank, McDonald County Telephone Company, and O’Brien Farms. To monitor the organization’s monthly upcoming events, visit their website at www.youngoutdoorsmenunited.com or “LIKE” them on Facebook.