By Allison Taylor
As December hits, winter settles in for Western North Carolina. Shorter days and colder temperatures take hold, and will be the normal for the next few months. With that, cabin fever can start to kick in for those that enjoy playing outside. While fly fishing can be fantastic at this time of year, the weather doesn’t always encourage a comfortable outing.
Just as fly fishing has become increasingly popular over the past decade, so has fly tying. Winter is the perfect time to practice the craft, personalize the flies that are being used and dive deeper into the sport of fly fishing. Ryan Waldrep, the outfitting manager and guide with DB bar D Outfitters in Mills River, is passionate about sharing his love of fishing. “That feeling of catching a fish on a fly that you’ve tied is amazing, and satisfying on so many different levels,” says Waldrep.
Many of the fly shops in the area have begun hosting fly tying events to bring together the angling community, while providing insight and instruction on fly tying. Headwaters Outfitters and Davidson River Outfitters are great resources for those looking for supplies and instruction opportunities. Both are located in Transylvania County. For anyone interested in women-specific options, the Pisgah Area Women’s Fly Fishing Group maintains a Facebook page with opportunities, information and upcoming events. Fly tying events serve as excellent places to learn how to tie different fly patterns, as well as meet other local anglers.
As with other sports, skills and hobbies, there are also endless online resources and videos on fly tying. Or, for that in-person and hands-on experience, stop by any of WNC’s local fly shops to learn more. “Ask questions, buy some fly tying materials and attend a local fly tying event to expand your skills and have some fun,” Waldrep says. “And, DB bar D Outfitters would love to host you on a fly fishing excursion!”
To learn more about DB bar D Outfitters and the services it offers, visit DBbarD.com. In addition to guided fishing trips, DB bar D Outfitters also offers fishing memberships and guided hunting trips.