|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-02-23                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [LH]
Feb. 23, 2011
Fly Fish Texas: You're One Day Away from a Lifetime of Fun
ATHENS--Tie a fly. Cast a fly. Catch a fish.
That's all there is to fly-fishing, and Fly Fish Texas is the place to learn it. The annual event takes place March 12 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
Show hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All Fly Fish Texas activities are free with regular paid admission to the center.
"Fly Fish Texas is a great show and the only event of its kind," said Walter McLendon of Lufkin, who has organized the show since its beginning. "Other shows cater to people who are already fly-fishers, but we try to introduce people to fly-fishing."
Fly Fish Texas emphasizes hands-on learning and immediate application of newly acquired skills. Visitors can collect aquatic insects from the center's streams, tie a fly to imitate one of those insects under the supervision of a skilled tier, learn to cast it from a certified fly-casting instructor, then use it to catch a rainbow trout from one of TFFC's stocked ponds or streams.
Vendors will be displaying and selling fly-fishing gear, and seminars will brief visitors on where and how to fly-fish in Texas fresh and salt waters for a variety of species. The program will include presentations on fly-fishing locations such as the Devils River, the Texas Hill Country, tailwaters below dams and urban waters.
Speakers will also detail where fish are and how to fish for them in both salt and fresh water. In addition, instruction will be available on rigging a kayak for fly-fishing, leader making and Spey rod casting. For a complete schedule of activities and seminars plus a video of the event, visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/ and click on the Fly Fish Texas link.
The Dallas Fly Fishers will teach classes for beginning fly-fishers; pre-registration is required and is available by calling Craig Brooks at (903) 670-2222. Instruction will lead to basic fly-fisher certification by TPWD and will focus onlearning about fly-fishing equipment, performing the basic four-part cast, sampling aquatic insects to see what fish eat, discussing freshwater ecology, how to tie useful fishing knots, learning about safety and ethics issues associated with fly-fishing and fly-tying.
Food service will be available including Cajun crawfish boils, Texas barbecue and fair-type food.
Event sponsors include Sabine River Authority, Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites - Athens, Dallas Fly Fishers, Temple Fork Outfitters, Red Hat Rentals, Best Western Royal Mountain Inn - Athens, Friends of TFFC and Cripple Creek BBQ.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [LH]
Feb. 23, 2011
First Signs of Spring Arrive at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
ATHENS--The first signs of spring have arrived at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, and they are not what you might expect.
The redbuds are not blooming.
The purple martin scouts are not circling the birdhouses around the casting pond.
The bass are not spawning.
But a harbinger of the changing seasons just as reliable landed in Zoe Ann Stinchcomb's mailbox this week: the first batch of entries in the Texas division of the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest.
The carefully wrapped envelope came from Del Rio Middle School in Del Rio, and its contents were as precious and welcome as any traditional sign of spring: 18 original pieces of art drawn by eighth-grade students of teacher Allyn Germany.
Any student in grades 4--12 in public, private or home schools may enter by drawing a picture of an officially recognized state fish and writing an essay about it.
The artwork will be judged with hundreds of other entries from Texas in April, and the first-place drawing in each of three grade-level divisions will be sent to Wildlife Forever headquarters in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, to compete against other state winners for national recognition. First-, second- and third-place winners from Texas will also receive cash prizes made possible by the Toyota Texas Bass Classic Foundation.
In June the winning students and their families from all over the nation will gather at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center to compete for national prizes including the Art of Conservation Stamp Award, People's Choice Award and Seth Thomas Spradlin Best of Show Award against the backdrop of an art fair put on by professional and amateur artists from around the state.
Texas has had the highest number of entries in the nation for the past four years, and Texas division contest coordinator Zoe Ann Stinchcomb expects a similar display of Texas pride this year. "All entries must be postmarked by midnight March 31, 2011, so there is no time to lose," she said.
Information on the contest, including all rules and an entry form, can be found at http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishart.