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Fishermen learn on the fly

Federation holds annual convention in Hagerstown

Federation holds annual convention in Hagerstown

November 07, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Members of the Mid-Atlantic Council of Federation of Fly Fishers attended the organization's annual convention Saturday at the Plaza Hotel in Hagerstown.

One of 14 such councils nationwide, the Mid-Atlantic region consists of Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington, D.C., and has about 900 members. Council President Doug Hutzell of Hagerstown said the conference offered fishing education workshops and is a fund-raiser to support the council's youth fishing programs and community preservation projects. The nonprofit organization currently is working to rehabilitate Beaver Creek in Washington County.

"We've entered a partnership with several area groups," Hutzell said. "We're very excited about the Beaver Creek project."

John Mullican, a fish biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, conducted an hourlong presentation on the fishing population in Western Maryland's streams and lakes.

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"We have a lot of high quality water and lots of wild trout and abundant fish," he said.

Mullican provided updated information on fly fishing in such areas as Beaver and Antietam creeks, Greenbrier Lake and other area fishing spots. Fly fishing is a method of fishing in which artificial insects such as flies are used as bait, Mullican said.

Mullican also told the group that bass reproduction is adequate, if not excessive, in Western Maryland. He also pointed out the area's most populated fishing spots.

Mike Saylor of Hagerstown, president of the Beaver Creek Watershed Association, said he was surprised to learn the size and growth rate of fish in Antietam Creek.

Mark Sturtevant of Chambersburg, Pa., has been a serious fly fisherman for about 15 years. But he said he was forced to close his fly fishing business several years ago due to poor business. Despite that, he's still dedicated to supporting the sport.

"We still want to encourage the youth to learn to fly fish, and maybe one day they'll grow up to be activists like us and enjoy the outdoors," he said.

For more information on fly fishing lessons and other events, go to the council's Web site at www.macfff.org.

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