On Saturday, Aug. 18, you’ll have a chance to sample the waters of fly tying (and meet yours truly, too) when Alpharetta Outfitters hosts “Tie a Fly” Day. This free event, which runs from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m., gives you the opportunity to sit down and tie your very own fly for trout or panfish fishing in northern Georgia.

And the fun thing is that you get to keep the fly that you tie!

Do you need to be experienced to drop by and make a fly on Tie A Fly Day?

“Not at all,” said Jeff Wright, manager of the shop. “This drop-in clinic is designed to give anyone, young or old, a chance to see just how much fun it is to tie your own fishing flies.

No experience is required, and we provide all the materials and tools you’ll need.”

Tie A Fly Day will be fun for adults and youth alike.

“Kids are welcome, too,” Wright said. “Though a parent will need to stay with (and maybe assist) kids as they tie.”

Here’s how it works. Starting at 11, a special fly tying table will be set up at the shop. I’ll be there (yes, your faithful scribe here gets to be the teacher!) to show you how fly tying is done. There will be a suite of fly tying tools all set up and waiting for you.

We’ll chat for a moment to see what kind of fishing you like to do, and then you can look at the sample flies and pick the pattern you want to tie.

Then the fun begins. You’ll create the fly yourself, wrapping thread onto the hook and then adding other materials to fashion the fly.

What sort of flies can you choose from? The list will include some classic and proven trout patterns such as the San Juan Worm and the Green Caterpillar, as well as the Foam Spider to use for panfish fishing down at the local pond.

“We have put together a menu of fly patterns that’s sure to have something for everyone,” Wright said. “And Steve is a knowledgeable and experienced fly tying teacher who will make the whole thing a great deal of fun.”

So I’m “knowledgeable” and “experienced,” eh? That makes me sound like I know what I’m doing!

The fact is that I’ve been tying flies for as long as I can remember. I still recall how much fun it was to catch that first fish on a fly of my own creation, and in the years since I’ve tied lots and lots and lots of flies. Some I use. Many I give away. But one thing that they all have in common is that they are fun to tie.

Fly tying really does add a whole new dimension to enjoying the outdoors. There’s a tremendous amount of satisfaction in catching a fish on a fly that you have created with your own hands, but there’s more to it than that. Fly tying is relaxing. It’s restful. And it’s a perfect antidote to the frustrations of living in the modern world.

Here’s a case in point. The other day while driving home, traffic was terrible. It was hot and rainy, and everybody was impatient. Maddening is one word that comes to mind.

But once I got home and sat down at the fly tying desk, I found that an interesting thing happened as I began to wrap thread around the hook.

With every turn of thread, some of the previous hour’s frustration went away. Five turns, ten turns – and pretty soon the aggravation had vanished completely.

And not long after that, I had a newly-crafted trout fly too. Yes, fly tying is a win-win all around.

I hope you’ll be able to drop by Alpharetta Outfitters on the 18th. Say hello to Nova the dog. Have a cup of coffee. And then take a few minutes to learn how to tie a fly with me.

It’ll be good to see you – and you may leave with a new hobby that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Tie A Fly Day runs from 11-3. It’s a drop-in event and is first-come, first served. There is no charge. Alpharetta Outfitters is located at 79 South Main Street. For more information, contact the shop at (678) 762-0027.

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