Indianhead Fly Fishers ready to share the joy of fishing


Weiser’s Indianhead Fly Fishers hosted fly tying and casting demonstrations at City Park during Fiddle Festival. Pictured above are Tony Buthman, Jim Gulu and Royce Stearns. Below, Mike Thomas is demonstrating the art of fly casting. Photo by Nancy Grindstaff
By: 
Nancy Grindstaff
Sparking out of an idea to put together a fishermans club between a couple of local fishermen 24 years ago, the Indianhead Fly Fishers have steadily made a welcoming place for like minded enthusiasts.
 It hasn’t just been about the pleasure they each get out of casting a line, but what kind of community impact they might bring. One of those wider-net legacies is the Weiser Community Pond, first proposed by the IFF during a 2008 City Council meeting, and through the collaboration, developed into a favorite and convenient outdoor spot for fishing, dog walking, and picnicking. The pond was most recently restocked by Idaho Fish and Game with 471 rainbow, hayspur, and triploid catchable-size fish.
 So, it was no surprise to find several IFF members set up to share what they know about fly tying and line casting during Fiddle Week at the Festival in City Park. They know a lot. 
 With as many as 30 members currently, the club’s president Bruce Parsons said, “We always welcome more. Among all of those 30 members, we’ve got a couple of centuries of experience there.that we’re happy to share.”
 A retired RN, and an avid fisherman, Parsons described some of the things the club is currently doing to promote the sport and continue serving the community.
 “We’ve got a scholarship going to send a young person off to the Idaho Conservation Officers Association camp that’s held up by Cascade,” he said. “We’ve had several fishing trips to Malheur Reservoir (at Unity, Oregon), although one of them turned out to be a “watch the wind” trip. 
 “Several members have been fishing at Mann Creek Reservoir and catching fish, and I just waded the Weiser River this morning and didn’t catch anything, but that’s fishing,” Parsons added. “Through the fall and winter months we have monthly meetings where we try to set up informational programs, with fly tying classes on most months, except during the summer, because we’re all fishing.” 
 Parsons speaks highly of the club members and fishing friends.
 “One of our members, Royce Stearns, has become our webmaster and has set up our web page that has all of our plans and information on it,” he said. “He’s a very excellent fly tyer, as is Roy Perkins, a retired fisheries biologist.”
 Parsons then referred to Mike Stanton who was nearby getting a rod ready for people at the park to try casting, “Mike’s done a little bit of everything and he keeps us supplied in feathers.”
 Stanton’s understanding of the best feathers for fishing flies likely relates back to many years he and his wife, Becky, raised and marketed all kinds of interesting birds, selling the last of the birds in 2018.
 Stanton told the story of having sold one of his birds for $250.
 “I was later in a fly shop in Washington, and they had the skin of that bird and were selling it for $465,” Stanton said. “It was worth more dead than alive.”
 During the demonstrations at the Festival in City Park on Wednesday, they took turns trying out an early 1950s bamboo fly rod that had just been donated to the club. Stearns pulled out a spool of line that had come with the rod, all silk, and threaded it through the loops. 
 The bamboo rod takes a much slower casting action than graphite rods that are common now.  As I was trying to catch some photos of the line moving through the air while Mike Thomas was making the rod dance, he sent a cast my way, laying the line right in the center of my glasses that were propped on top of my head while I was looking through my camera’s viewfinder. Evidence of his years of perfecting his cast. 
 Not that I didn’t spend some time going fishing in Sturgill Creek when I was a kid, but most of my own experience involved tangled line, and hooks snagged up in branches and on rocks, or even in a finger. Everything else I know about fly casting I learned from the early 1960s movie “Man’s Favorite Sport,” something about moving the rod between 10 and 2 o’clock positions. 
 That 10 and 2 might be an okay mental place to start, but under Parsons’ guidance at the park it was quickly apparent that fly casting is pure physics, and one might need to go fishing a lot to build the necessary muscle memory.
 IHFF’s schedule includes regular monthly board and membership meetings on the second Mondays of each month, beginner and club fly tying meetings, and weekly breakfasts on Thursday mornings. Information can be found at the website indianheadflyfishers.org.
 

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Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718
 

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