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HIt me , babY: Culinary Arts Club President Dan Ricks looks none the worse for being pelted with tomatoes on the Quad. Click Arts&Life for a link to more photos. / Photo by Mikaylie Kartchner

Today's word on journalism

Friday, September 1, 2006

"[F]ew things are as much a part of our lives as the news. With the advent of sophisticated mass communication, the news has become a sort
of instant historical record of the pace, progress, problems, and the hopes of society. On the other hand--and here's the puzzle -- the news provides, at best, a superficial and distorted image of society. . . . The puzzle, simply put, is this: How can anything so superficial be so central to our lives?"

--W. Lance Bennett, political science professor, 1988

Fishing -- the world's best, right here in Cache Valley

YOUR FLY IS SHOWING: Round Rocks boasts an eye-catching sign. / Photo by Jared Durrant

By Jared Durrant

May 3, 2006 | Many places have things associated with them. For instance, when someone says the word Everest many people automatically think of extreme mountain climbing. When we hear the word Hawaii, many think of beautiful beaches. When we hear the words Salt Lake City many think, Mormons, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, or The Greatest Snow on Earth. But when we hear the words Cache Valley, what comes to mind? Utah State University? Agriculture? Cheese?

It is time that Cache Valley steps up to its great calling. It no longer needs to be known just for agriculture, cheese or Utah State University although all of these represent a part of what Cache Valley is. It is time we step up, and back to the roots of our great valley's name. It is called Cache Valley, because rugged mountain men like Jim Bridger would store (cache) their furs in various spots throughout the valley. Jim Bridger lived off the land and was happy; there was no cheese factory, no agriculture, and definitely no university.

Summer recess provides the perfect opportunity for us to experience happiness the same way Jim Bridger did. We can go back to the basics, we can go hiking or mountain biking in beautiful Logan Canyon, swim in a few of the local ponds and reservoirs, or my personal favorite, go fishing!

There are basically two types of fishing: spin fishing (casting) or fly fishing. According to Wikipedia, "The main practical difference between fly fishing and casting is that in casting, you are using the weight of the lure to "throw" it out (much like throwing a baseball). In fly fishing, the "fly" is virtually weightless and you are using the weight of the line to place the fly where you want it to be. In fact, a fly line can be "cast" without any fly or lure on it at all, a feat impossible with a typical casting rod and reel. The point is that a fly can be presented gently and under the control of the angler instead of plopping down with a big splash."

Many people enjoy the challenge that fly fishing presents. Tom Nakashima a renowned artist and avid fisherman, has great perspective on fly fishing.

"I look at fly fishing as a medium which requires a lot of skill, patience and discipline," he said. "Fly-fishing is not for everyone and makes up a small percentage of the fishing world, but for those who take the time to master the art will find it quite rewarding. To me fly-fishing is relaxing, it's a passion for me to escape from the realities of everyday life as I practice my casting twice a day and test my skills when I do get on the water. There are no shortcuts, what you put into it, is what you'll get out of it."

Fly fishing does take a lot of skill, patience, and discipline. Even experienced fishermen still run into a few problems while fishing. Occasionally, you may break a rod, snag a tree or a bush, and sometimes even a bird.

When Robert Morselli, a member of a popular fly fishing Usenet newsgroup, was asked about his worst fishing experience he responded, "I cast the fly, it landed on the water and even had one or two seconds to sink. I guess that Bob Clouser did an excellent job designing and constructing that fly -- which is meant to resemble a small bait fish -- because a pelican swooped over it and dove for the fly, which was presumably under one or two feet of water at that point. Initially, there was no tangling. But I panicked. I started to reel in -- slowly. The bird was hooked solid and started to flap violently, so I released some line, and that was a mistake, too. The bird came forward and managed to tangle itself in what I thought was the line. Flapping wings. Squawking. Tangled line. What a nightmare."

Fishing is Cache Valley's claim to fame. With our beautiful rugged surroundings, clear mountain lakes and streams, and no threat of pelican interference in the canyon, Cache Valley is the perfect place to fish. Many anglers visit our valley and canyons during the spring, summer, and fall. They come from valleys and states far away to experience the high-quality intermountain fishing that is found in the Logan Canyon.

We also have a large amount of resident experts at local stores throughout the valley. Rivers Wild is a fly shop that produces tens of thousands of flies that are distributed throughout the country to a variety of specialty fly fishing stores. Rivers Wild also offers fly fishing classes that are sponsored by Utah State University. Steve Smith, the instructor for Rivers Wild says jokingly, while teaching his students to tie a fisherman's knot, "fly fishing is harder than chemistry."

Although said in jest, there is a lot of truth to that statement. The hand, eye, line, and speed coordination involved with fly fishing can make it harder than chemistry. There are also other organizations located throughout Cache Valley such as Spring Creek Outfitters, and Rainy's Flies and Supplies, but my personal favorite is RoundRocks Fly Fishing.

When you walk into RoundRocks, you walk into a store that is clean, organized, and open. Vic Nelson is proud of the fact that RoundRocks is "undisputedly the home of the world's largest fly."

RoundRocks isn't only the Home of the World's Largest Fly, but it is also home to professional advice, and superb customer service. Vic Nelson and Brian Whitaker opened RoundRocks a little less than a year ago to provide quality equipment at an affordable price for the many fishermen who come to Cache Valley each season. They have thousands of hand tied flies to choose from. They also sell rods and reels for everybody- from first time beginners to the avid angler. They encourage you to test out the rod and reel before you purchase; they want you to be completely satisfied.

With the Logan River running right behind their store, Vic and Brian have the ideal location to teach beginners the basics, and experienced anglers the more advanced elements of fly fishing. Throughout the year RoundRocks offers fly fishing classes at an affordable rate. These classes are perfect for people of all skills levels. If you have always wanted to try fly fishing, here is the perfect opportunity: classes start May 3, at 6:30 pm. Classes last one month and consist of four hands on sessions and two field trips where you can test out your new skills, and even catch a fish or two. Brian has a warning for all those who are considering taking up fly fishing, "It can be addictive."

The sight of a fish striking your fly and jumping out of the water with a big splash is breath taking. Yes, fly fishing is addictive and a great hobby. Come get "hooked" at RoundRocks "undisputedly the Home the World's Largest Fly" at 530 S. Main in Logan.

From now on when you think of Cache Valley, instead of thinking of cheese, agriculture or Utah State University, think of the World's Largest Fly, and the World's Best Fishing.


Copyright 1997-2006 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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