Free fly-fishing classes return to Sipapu

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Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort will again host a summerlong series of free fly-fishing clinics for the public. 

Every Saturday through Sept. 2 (with the exception of July 22), certified instructors with the Solitary Angler, a local outfitter, will offer free 90-minute “quick start” fly-casting classes at Sipapu.

Classes start at 10:30 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment, though fly rods and reels are available for use during the clinics at no charge if reservations are made in advance by calling (575) 758-5653.  Fishing licenses are required and may be purchased at Sipapu’s general store. 

Participants receive one-on-one, hands-on instruction during the clinics. Instructors give a quick demonstration on the three elements that form a good cast: how the fly rod, reel and line work together; how to cast overhand and backhand even in the wind; and how to shoot line out and strip line in. 

Solitary Angler’s owner, Van Beacham, developed a unique teaching technique with an emphasis on fly-fishing in small streams. 

Solitary Angler offers half-day personalized classes on fly-fishing in small streams for $125. The afternoon clinics are held on the Río Pueblo at Sipapu and are tailored to groups of up to four people. Students learn how to read water, make fly selections, use the right casting techniques for each situation and position themselves to cast a specific target. They will also learn the difference between dry fly and how to identify the major aquatic insects, match the hatch and properly land and release a trout.   

“New Mexico Free Fishing Day,” when anyone can fish without a license in public fishing waters throughout the state of New Mexico, is Sept. 23.

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