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leah kirk

PISGAH FOREST — Davidson River Outfitters is kicking off a diverse series of fly-tying, fishing and rod-building classes to help anglers sharpen their skills this winter.

                “We have, always tried to offer classes that are educational and exciting to area anglers” said owner Kevin Howell. “Our forthcoming fall and winter classes are some of the most diverse and in-depth that we have ever been able to offer.”

                The 2017curriculum begins November  17 and 18 with an appearance and instruction from legendary fly angler and world-renowned fly tier,  Bob Clouser. Famous for his popular deerhair minnow pattern, Clouser will demonstrate how to tie a host of his smallmouth flies during a class that Saturday.

                Throughout the fall season, DRO’s popular fly tying classes will return with basic, intermediate and advanced level classes. Specialty classes will focus on tying bass flies, musky flies, articulated streamers, midges, as well as terrestrials and Tenkara flies.

                The outfitter’s rod-building class on Jan. 5 and 6 is one of a few places on the East Coast where you can learn to build your own fishing rod. The class will be taught by expert rod builders Kevin Howell and John Rich.

                “Previous rod-building knowledge is not required,” Howell said, ”only the desire to create a customized fly or casting rod. There’s no greater feeling in the world than catching a fish on a rod you’ve built yourself, with a fly you tied yourself.”

                Veteran guide and author J.E.B. Hall will teach a class on spey and switch rod casting March 10, while Howell, a world-champion fly fisherman and caster, will teach anglers how to deal with pressured and spooky fish Feb. 16. Both of these classes will be taught on the water, with participants receiving hands-on instruction with the experts. Other casting- and technique-based classes will be added over the course of the winter, Howell said.

                For more information about DRO’s class offerings, visit or call the fly shop at 828-877-4181. Davidson River Outfitters is a full service fly shop at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. They offer full outfitting and guide services as well as classes, educational services and worldwide fishing related travel programs.