The day started by welcoming the students to Match the Hatch: Fly Fishing the Tennessee Valley Winterim. They patiently waited as we went over Winterim expectations, and then eagerly jumped to the unboxing of the new gear. We unpacked the leaders, tippet, flies and fly box, hemostats and nippers and packed the new bags ready to be used on the river.
Next we learned about the stages of the trout lifecycle, as well as their typical diet which includes caddis flies, mayflies, midges, terrestrials, leeches, sculpins and crayfish. We compared the typical flies associated with each forage, and went over some basic information about fly sizes.
After lunch we jumped in the van to head to the Burlington Trout Hatchery, which farms thousands of Brook Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Sea-run Trout and Survivor Strain Brown Trout (a special breed designed to withstand temperature changes better in our local Connecticut waters). Tomorrow we get to take the rods out for a practice run – can’t wait!