At Iron Fly, learn about fly fishing, then help clean San Marcos River

At Iron Fly, learn about fly fishing, then help clean San Marcos River


I caught two brown trout while fly fishing the Provo River in Utah last week. Aaron Bible photo

I just got back from Utah, where I caught two brown trout while fly fishing in the Provo River.

Something about wearing waders, standing thigh deep in a chilly mountain stream and casting a fly rod fills me with contentment, even if I don’t reel in a fish. Doing all that and actually pulling out two foot-long fish made me swoon.

Guide Mason Osborne from Jan’s in Park City casts in the Provo River on Sept. 21, 2019. Pam LeBlanc photo

Fly fishing, for me, qualifies as a near Zen experience, and you can learn more about it at a couple of events in San Marcos this week.

Pig Farm Ink, a lifestyle brand that encourages people to get outside and fish, will host an “Iron Fly” competition at 6 p.m. Thursday at Sean Patrick’s, 202 E. San Antonio Street in San Marcos. Contestants tie flies while blindfolded, using non-standard materials. (Spaghetti strands? Who knows!) Coaches will offer assistance, and organizers say no experience is necessary.

A participant at last year’s Iron Fly event ties a fly. Photo courtesy Pig Farm Ink

“One of the reasons we hold this event in a bar is so we can engage with people who have never even thought about tying a fly or fly fishing,” Donovan Kypke, owner of ReelFly Fishing Adventures in Canyon Lake, said in a press release. “A little alcohol helps things along, too.”

On Saturday, the organizers will host a Get Trashed river cleanup and fishing tournament.

The event will be headquartered at Texas State Tubes. Prizes will go to whoever brings in the largest item from the river, the most trash and the most fish. Rookie anglers get bonus points for their first fish, as do those who catch a fish using a fly they tied at Thursday’s Iron Fly event.

Blindfolded patrons attempt to tie flies at last year’s Iron Fly competition. Photo courtesy Pig Farm Ink

If you’ve been on the San Marcos River this summer, you’ve probably seen the massive amount of trash left behind by summer crowds.

Participants in last year’s Get Trashed event pull trash from the San Marcos River. Photo courtesy Pig Farm Ink

To compete, you’ll need some sort of paddle craft or raft. Boats will be available free of charge, as will shuttles from the take-out points back to Texas State Tubes.

The event starts at 8 a.m. at Texas State Tubes, 2024 W. Old Bastrop Highway in San Marcos. Real Ale Brewing Company will provide beer at the after party, scheduled to last until 6 p.m.

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