If the average angler is not into fly fishing, chances are that he or she would like to learn the techniques that have spawned books, movies, stories and much lore down through the years.
The first Conway Fly Fishing Film Festival is coming up Saturday at The Village at Hendrix, and it will have an array of activities, contests and demonstrations to appeal to both the beginning fly fisherman and the experienced one.
The Conway Downtown Partnership is also a sponsor of the festival.
Tim Bull, who operates The Toad Fly in Conway, said activities are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Village, then a touring film on fly fishing will be shown at the Silver Moon Cinema.
The festival is free. There will be a $10 charge for preferred seating at the movie, but others can bring their own chairs for it. There will be music all through the day.
The festival will start with a fly fishing clinic at 10 a.m. this will help introduce novices to fly fishing. At noon there will be contests, and a $5 entry fee will be charged for competition on distance and accuracy with fly tackle.
From 2 to 4 p.m., fly tying demonstrations will be conducted by Arkansas Fly Fishers, the Caddis Club and by expert fly tier Paul Hoescher. This will be at the Village Bookstore.
From 4 to 5 p.m. fly casting demonstrations will take place.
At 5 p.m., Joy DeClerk of Arkansas nature conservancy will give a presentation, followed by a presentation on trout fishing by Jeff Williams, trout management supervisor with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The movie will begin at 6:45 p.m. It has 10 segments on fly fishing subjects all over the world. The movie is assembled each year from footages submitted by film makers across the nation and in other countries. Bull said.
Proceeds from the festival will go to Project Healing Waters, which offers fishing experiences to veterans, many of them who have lost limbs in service or suffered other problems. These veterans are offered fishing outings in Arkansas and in other states, with fly fishermen often hosting them.
Bull said vendor spaces are available for the festival. He can be contacted by phone at 501-499-6914 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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Stories of the early days of Lake Conway turn up in this space form time to time and for good reason. The lake was unique, a legend virtually from the first closing of the gates at the dam on July 4, 1951.
The technique of using popping bugs with fly rods accounted for many of the notable catches of large bluegills. It took some dexterity to work fly rods in the dense timber of the early lake.
Some anglers use the gear in a fashion similar to “flippin;” which came along about three decades later in largemouth bass fishing. With limber fly rods and a delicate touch, fishermen could drop those extremely lightweight popping buds into small openings in the thick brush, and this was where the big bream hung out.
Here was just one illustration that fly fishing is not exclusively for the pursuit of trout. Many other species can be enticed by fly techniques.