Dreaming of summer

Calvin Hazelwood, council coordinator for Wyoming Trout Unlimited, ties a fly in November at Roxie’s on Grand. Laramie Valley Trout Unlimited is hosting another fly-tying event next week. 

When winter sets in along the Laramie valley, fly-fishing enthusiasts might find themselves dreaming of summer waters. To keep their hands busy as they wait for break-up, many turn to fly-tying.

“It gives me something to do in the winter when I can’t fly fish,” said Peter Laegreid, Laramie Valley Trout Unlimited chapter president. Following a chapter meeting Thursday, club members are planning to meet at O’Dwyers Public House, 1622 Grand Ave., for a fly-tying session called Bar Flies that’s open to the public. The event is slated to begin at 7 p.m.

“We basically hang around, drink beer and tie flies,” Laegreid said.

Fly-tying is the process of building an artificial fly to be used for fly-fishing. Anglers use natural materials such as fur and feathers, along with synthetic materials such as beads, thread and wire, to create their best imitation of the insects they think will entice a hungry trout to rise and feed. In the Laramie area, common flies include the stonefly nymph and wooly bugger.

Fly-tying also a fine way to pass the time when one can’t actually be fishing.

“It’s a good winter event, since all the fishing is locked up under ice right now,” Laegreid said.

For veteran anglers, the excitement of catching a fish is even greater when it’s caught using a hand-tied fly.

“There’s just something special about catching a fish on something you’ve made, start to finish,” he said. “It’s really cool having that experience.”

Laegreid said participants should bring their own materials and equipment if they have any. Meanwhile, club members will be happy to help newcomers get started.

“If they don’t have anything, they shouldn’t be afraid to stop on by,” he said. “It should be a good opportunity for people to learn how to tie a fly.”

The club hosted a previous Bar Flies event in November, and Laegreid said members are hoping to have more at locations around town this winter. The group is also planning to host a screening of the Fly Fishing Film Festival in March.

Trout Unlimited is a nationwide organization that works to protect and restore cold-water fisheries.

RSVPs on the club’s Facebook page are encouraged.

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