ATHENS, Texas—With hundreds of fly-fish enthusiasts filling the air with lines and lures March 5 as they cast for rainbow trout, one had to walk carefully around the grounds of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. While fishing occupied many people, hands-on learning and informal education about subjects as varied as the importance of water quality and tying knots caught the attention of others. Would-be fly fishers learning how to “match the hatch” by scooping tiny insect larvae from streams and identifying them buzzed about. Experts from Arkansas, Colorado and Texas whetted appetites for fishing with seminars about where and how to fool fish with flies. Fly tyers guided novices through the intricacies of creating insect look-alikes from feathers, foam and thread. And for those who’d rather eat than fish, food vendors and demonstrators turned out hundreds of tacos, catfish dinners and Dutch oven fruit cobblers. An estimated 1,250 people attended the event held under the auspices of Fly Fish Texas, an organization dedicated to increasing participation in fly fishing.

– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide