The Club conducted its annual free Fly Fishing Clinic at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley on Saturday, April 17 and it was a huge success. This was our first use of the Park, which worked out very well; there are wide lawns for instructing groups and a lake for roll-casting. The shelter and BBQ grill were put to good use. The Clinic was far and away our most successful effort with a capacity class of 38 attendees and a waiting list of 42. Our Board will consider how to provide instruction for those on the waiting list. Doug Jones (FFCOC Second Vice President) organized the event. Doug attributes the overflow attendance to an article in the Orange County Register, which was mentioned by many of the attendees as well as referrals by many club members.
FFCOC provided casting outfits for those who lacked their own gear. The casting instruction was overseen by our own Joe Libeu, who is a Fly Fishing Federation Certified Master Fly Casting Instructor and a most effective mentor. Joe was assisted by Kathy Kim who is also a FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor and the following FFCOC volunteers: Cheryl Moore, Lyman Kennedy, Van Lloyd, Marvin Crocker, Gerry Gruhn, Carl Thompson, and Mike Boris (see instructor photo above).
A couple of weeks prior to the Clinic, Joe mentored the Instructors on the correct method of training; thus each Instructor followed the same script at the Clinic. Each instructor taught five or six attendees with Joe and Kathy Kim roving from group to group. We taught how to assemble the equipment, the correct grip, pick-up, lay-down, and false-casting. The method was successful, as we could see the steady improvement of the attendees, who were an interesting and diverse group. Some were “newbies”, others had some experience and wanted to improve, one man inherited his father’s equipment and wanted to use it, another had bought equipment a few years ago but never learned to use it, one lady wanted to be able to join her husband on fishing trips. The finale of the Clinic was roll-casting, which the attendees learned quickly because they already understood the basic casting strokes.
Audrey Williams and Floyd Sabins provided handouts and instruction on tying the three basic knots (surgeon’s loop, clinch knot, and surgeon’s knot) that are 90% of the knots a fly fisher needs. Cheryl Moore displayed boxes of her superbly tied flies. A fantastic lunch was prepared by Andy Frumento at the grill and Jim Edwards at his famous baked bean cauldron (see photos). At the conclusion, Melinda Burns presented each attendee with an FFCOC casting certificate
Knot Tying with Floyd and Audrey
Melinda and John Burns assisted with organizing the event and arrived early to set up and handle registration. They were assisted by several volunteers. Brian Mayer and other club members provided attendees FFCOC equipment and checked it in when the clinic was over. Our President, Marvin Crocker, helped keep us on schedule. We thank and compliment Doug Jones, Joe Libeu and the many FFCOC volunteers who conducted this super Clinic. All the attendees were cooperative and eager to learn our sport. Many expressed interest in FFCOC; we look forward to seeing them at future club meetings.