Reminder: Olympic Fly Fishers to sponsor fly-tying classes starting in February

John Sisson holds a Lahontan Cutthroat Trout that he caught at Omak Lake on April 12, 2019. (Photos courtesy Olympic Fly Fishers)

The Edmonds-based Olympic Fly Fishers Club is set to host another series of fly-tying workshops, beginning Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Mountlake Terrace Community Senior Center next to Lake Ballinger. These courses will offer beginners another opportunity to learn how to construct and tie their own flies, similar to a series of classes the club offered last year.

At least nine tutorials of different types of flies — wet and dry — will be exhibited throughout the series.

The first workshop will focus on how to construct brassie and caddis flies utilizing peacock feathers, and will include different techniques of tying, such as through whip-finish and half-hitch methods.

The second installment, on Thursday, Feb. 27, will feature tutorials on creating woolly bugger, mohair leech and bead head sparkle leech flies. This time, chenille, hackles and marabou tails will be used to construct flies.

The third class will be offered less than a month later, on Thursday, March 19. It will highlight how to make leach patterns and San Juan worm flies, through a dubbing loop technique.

The fourth and final course will be the following Thursday, March 26. Attendees will learn how to design parachute cahill and Griffith’s gnat flies, with the help of either calf tails or antron yarn.

Club members gather around a campfire at Hatheume Lake in British Columbia in June 2019

Both John Wendt and Dave McCutcheon, two fly-fishing veterans, will be instructing the classes. Wendt, who will be approaching his sixth year teaching these courses for the club, has been an avid fisher since he was 6 years old.

“One of the things we say about fly fishing is, it’s an addiction,” Wendt said. “The fix is when you get that tug on the end of your line.”

McCutcheon grew up in a family of fishing fanatics and has even been formally recognized by Flyfishers International with an award for his demonstrated advanced fly-tying expertise.

“It [fly fishing] is just a sense of pride as much as anything. It’s enjoyable to catch a fish with something that you’ve created,” McCutcheon said. “I suppose there is an element of competition among every fisherman.”

Attendees will receive all supplies at each class, along with a free copy of the book Fly Tying Made Clear & Simple by Skip Morris, which will also be used during the instruction.

The cost is $55 for all four sessions, with each workshop lasting from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at the Mountlake Terrace Community Senior Center. The public can register for the courses at this link.

Club President Ed Kellison said the classes are suitable for anyone “looking for opportunities on ‘how can I enjoy the outdoors?’ Or ‘what kind of activity can I do that is not going to cost an arm and a leg and I can have a good time?’ That is fly fishing,” he added.

All class proceeds will benefit the club’s foundation, used for education and to fund donations for conservation groups committed to enhancing water quality and fisheries.

For more information, you can visit the club website:

— By David Gillespie

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