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Aug 10

The Art of Fly-Tying

Posted on August 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM by Dustin Hall

Our friend Jim Rogers of Jim Rogers Fly School, was interviewed by Berdette Zastrow of American News we thought we'd share the article with you. (The fly pictured on the left was made by Berdette at Jim's school.)

Berdette's Fly The Art of Fly-Tying
By Berdette Zastrow - Special to the American News

Before you start fishing, you must have all of your gear ready, including the correct and appropriate lure. Trout like flies with tiny little hooks and feathers, hair or yarn. Whether you're after rainbow trout in Missouri or fishing in the Black Hills, trout appetites remain the same.

Three friends accompanied me on a trout-fishing excursion and fly-tying class at Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Mo. Jim Rogers is the park concessionaire and teaches flyfishing and fly-tying within the park at Jim Rogers School of Fly Fishing.

Since he first learned to fly fish in 1956, he has filmed several fly-fishing programs and has taught with the best. Rogers is one of very few international instructors to have a master’s certification in instruction for the Federation of Fly Fishers, a title he’s owned for the past 36 years. He is a fine and fun man to meet. He loves to share his fly-fishing knowledge and is thrilled to create new flyfishing aficionados

With Rogers’ expert teaching, we each made our own fly. He placed us at tables where each person had a special bobbin. We started by placing a small hook in a vise. After Rogers dispersed a piece of bright orange yarn, he instructed us to start winding the yarn on the hook shank. When finished, Rogers handed each of us special small black feathers, and we then held the feathers on the shank while wrapping clear, light-weight fishing line to secure them. We snipped the feathers to about a half inch and, presto, we each had our own, self-tied flies.

We were proud of our creations and, after our two hour class, we each left with a newfound passion. Rogers delicately placed each fly into a pretty jewelry box so we could safely bring them home.

Fly School Robin Matushin (American News) intently watches Jim Rogers at his fly fishing school at Bennett Spring State Park, Mo., as he demonstrates how to make a fly.

However, they were so special, we did not use them to fish. They are definitely souvenirs. We found some more special items in nearby Lebanon, a small town with a friendly personality and a lot to do.

When you are on a fishing or hunting adventure, learn about the area. You might find some surprises and how they all work together to make the great outdoors a wonderful place to experience.

Remember the old song, “Route 66” and the 1960s television show of the same name? We learned about the famous highway at the History Museum in Lebanon. Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and Main Street of America, was established in 1926 and was one of the original U.S. highways. Route 66 became one of the most famous roads in America and ran from Chicago through Missouri, ending in Los Angeles.

In the beginning of the 20th century, a dirt road was all that ran to Lebanon from St. Louis and carried only wagon or stagecoach traffic, meaning it had changed very little from its beginnings when it carried the Union troops during the Civil War. In 1922, a permanent highway was proposed, running to and across the Ozark Mountains. Local townspeople successfully lobbied for the highway to be in their town, and that’s how Route 66 wound its way to Lebanon. The Interstate system gradually replaced Route 66.

Aside from fly fishing during my trip, it was fun to drive on the old highway and see all the memorabilia in Mr. C’s Route Post, such as the Route 66 highway signs. The Route 66 Cream Soda and Black Cherry pop were fantastic and brought back lots of memories.

More stories about Jim Roger's Fly School: Story 1 | Story 2