Learn how to fly fish on Cold Creek

Lots of fellow anglers use flyrods, but many of them just use them mostly as glorified cane poles or as slings for weighted “chuck-and-duck” terminal baits.

Indeed, fly fishing using actual artificial flies is a learned art. But it is not a deep dark secret rite kept by elitists. It is readily grasped, relaxing, and fun but you need experienced hands for the tutoring and a dose of your own patience to get the hang of it.

Which is why it may make sense to enter a lottery to attend one of a series of beginning fly fishing clinics on offer in late summer by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The clinics are to be held at the state’s Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, near Castalia off State Rt. 269.  The grounds include a half-mile section of the famed Cold Creek.

The program has 125 slots available, with sessions to be held on Fridays from Sept. 4 through Oct. 9, with the exception of Sept. 25. Deadline for submitting a lottery entry is Aug. 20.

In addition to fly-fishing instruction by Division of Wildlife staff and volunteers, attendees will be able to test their newly acquired skills by fishing for the abundant rainbow trout found in Cold Creek. Anglers may also encounter an occasional brown trout.

Instruction will be from 8 a.m. until noon or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 4, Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9.

To apply, applicants must submit a postcard listing name, address, and phone number. A selected applicant may bring a guest, but the guest’s name must be listed on the postcard at the time of submission. Only one postcard per applicant and guest is allowed and no duplicates may be submitted. Postcards should be sent to: ODNR Division of Wildlife District Two, 952 Lima Avenue, Findlay, Ohio 45840 Attention: Linda Ringer. Questions, call District 2 at 419-424-5000.

Successful applicants will receive an assigned session date and time. Permits are non-transferable. All anglers age 16 and older are required to have a valid Ohio fishing license.  

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