‘On the fly’: Student works to create fly fishing club

Fly fishing pole height and weight are important factors to consider when fly fishing. Nic Caswell, a junior from Shepherdsville, created a fly fishing club at WKU after he enjoyed a fly fishing class last fall.

Nicole Ziege

A student is casting a line over the campus angling for members as he starts a new club for those interested in fly fishing.

Nic Caswell, a junior from Shepherdsville, said he wanted to start the club to “give outreach to the recreation administration program and meet other fly-anglers.” He said he also started the club for community service opportunities.

“I enjoy fishing, but fly fishing is a whole other level,” Caswell said. “I love it, and I’d love to share that experience with other people.”

Caswell said there has not been a meeting for the club yet, but he is working on creating the bylaws to get WKU to recognize the club as a student organization.

Recreation administration professor and program coordinator, Raymond Poff, said Caswell came to him and expressed interest in starting a fly-fishing club.

“I thought it was great,” Poff said, regarding Caswell’s interest in creating the club. “It’s a great opportunity for our students. It’s a great opportunity for our campus community and our community as well.”

Poff said the club has several purposes. One is to allow people interested in fly fishing to get together and go fishing while another is to help people learn about fly fishing. Another purpose of the club is promote conservation, which Poff said is a common theme with fly fishing organizations.

Poff, who teaches a fly-fishing course at WKU, said the main difference between conventional fishing and fly fishing is the rod and the casting.

Poff said in traditional casting the person fishing uses a monofilament fishing line on the fishing pole.

“When you cast with conventional tackle, it’s primarily the weight of the bait or the lure that you have on your monofilament line that’s helping you cast,” Poff said.

Poff said in fly fishing the fly line is weighted.

“It’s the weight of the fly line that’s helping cast your fly,” Poff said. “We have to rely on the fly rod casting the weight of the fly line, which then in turn pushes the fly out.”

Shepherdsville sophomore J.C. Miller also plans to participate in the club, possibly as vice president.

Miller said he grew up bass and cat fishing. He said he signed up for Poff’s Montana fly-fishing class because he wanted to try out fly fishing. He said he has had most of his fly fishing experience from taking Poff’s class last fall.

Miller said what he likes most about fly fishing is how hands on it is.

“When you’re fishing for catfish, you’re usually just sitting there for long periods of time,” Miller said. “With fly fishing, you have a lot more control of the line, and it makes the catch a lot more authentic and satisfying.”

Miller said there should be a fly-fishing club on campus because it shows the importance of recreation and can introduce people to the recreation program.

“I want to help provide recreation opportunities to students on campus that are looking for a social recreational experience in college,” Miller said.

Caswell said the club. once formed, may take a trip at the end of the semester.

“That way we just see how it goes, and then we’ll build from there,” Caswell said.

News reporter Nicole Ziege can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Nicole Ziege on Twitter at @NicoleZiege.