Fly fishing rod

Basic fly casting instruction available March 15

Allen County Fly Anglers will hold a basic casting instruction session at 7 p.m. on March 15 at the Harrod Events Center located at 9520 Harrod Road in Harrod.

Club chairman Brad Sherrick hopes “we’ll see some new faces at the casting clinic”. He added: “If it’s successful, we could schedule several more over the winter months next year.”

Those curious about fly fishing, including beginners and seasoned veterans, are welcome to attend all club events. Rods will be available for those who do not own a fly rod.

Sherrick noted that typically 8-10 people attend meetings, including regulars and newcomers.

“We would like to see new faces,” he said.

The club will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Allen County Sportsmen’s and Farmers’ Association clubhouse located at 1001 South Kemp Road in Lima.

How to set up a fly reel and different ways to haul gear to the stream as well as learning the basic knots used in fly fishing will be covered.

Avid fly fishermen usually start fishing for crappie in March. Favorite flies include a wiggler or Crappie Candy. Sherrick says pheasant tail nymphs or hare ear nymphs also work well.

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Kyle Weisenburger is leaving for his next Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit bass tournament on Monday and is ready “to get back into tournament mode.”

From March 13-16, he will be fishing the Lake Harris Range in Leesburg, Florida. Training days are Thursday and Friday. The Columbus Grove pro had stopped at Harris Lake Chain after fishing a Toyota Series tournament at Lake Ockeecobee in Clewiston, Fla. in February. He finished 38th in the tournament.

“I was able to do 2 and a half days of scouting when I was there. I feel like I was able to see most of the chain of lakes and have areas that I want to revisit at my return for official training,” he said.

He finished 111th in the circuit opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas.

Weisenburger will compete in the Toyota Series Tournament at Santee Cooper, April 7-9, in Summerton, South Carolina.

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Since many bodies of water are ice-free, anglers have already set their line or are seriously thinking about it. This is the time when those planning to fish and hunt should check the expiration date of their license.

An annual fishing license for Ohio residents is $25 for ages 16 and older. A senior license for those aged 66 and over costs $10. Fishing licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be purchased up to 30 days before the expiry date. A fishing license is required to fish in public waters in Ohio.

Many Ohioans buy their hunting license at the same time they buy their fishing license. Annual hunting licenses for Ohio residents for the 2022-23 seasons are $19 for adults and $10 for youth. Hunting licenses are valid immediately after purchase until February 28, 2023. All hunters, regardless of age, must have a valid hunting license to hunt or trap in Ohio.

Anglers and hunters can purchase their licenses from participating agents, online at wildohio.gov and through the HuntFish OH app.

Funds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, as well as excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, directly benefit wildlife management and habitat conservation efforts in Ohio . The funds also support improved access to fishing, shooting ranges and wildlife areas.

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Although sandhill cranes are still listed as an endangered species in Ohio, the number of these unique birds is increasing in the state. It is estimated that there are now 85 breeding pairs in Ohio. Herds of 150 individuals have been seen during recent waterfowl surveys.

These birds are often heard before they are seen as they blend into the marshes where they are often found in Ohio. Their unique cry is impressive. A great place to see and hear them is the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and other marshy areas along Lake Erie.

A volunteer count of Ohio cranes will take place on April 9. This count is initiated by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) in conjunction with the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative and the International Crane Foundation. According to the DOW, that tally largely depends on volunteer citizen scientists. This is a one-day count and estimates of the breeding population of sandhill cranes and raises awareness of their presence in Ohio. Those interested in participating can learn more at obcinet.org.

According to the wildlife agency, the slowly expanding breeding population shows the success of ongoing conservation work, such as the H2Ohio program, in the state.

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You can contact him [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL