I’m sure most of you have heard about the book “The Compleat Angler” written by Izaak Walton in 1653. Rather than being just a manual on fishing it is a story both in prose and verse which celebrates the joys of the English countryside and its sports related activities. It features 3 friends – a fowler, a huntsman, and a fisherman – extolling the joys and virtues of their favorite pastime. Through the book lessons are given on fly fishing and how to tie artificial flies.
While you can’t go back to the 17th century and you may not choose to go all the way to England you can still learn the joys of fly fishing right here in Delaware County. The Sporting Gentleman is a local shop which sells sportswear, gifts, and fly fishing gear. And they regularly offer classes to teach you this often overlooked sport.
Coming up in February they are offering free fly-tying nights. What better way to learn if this is the new sport for you or to enhance your knowledge. The free classes are being held in February on Tuesday nights the 7, 14, and 21st from 7 – 9 PM. These are for all skill levels. No formal teacher training but if you’ve wondered if this is the sport for you what better way to learn than to attend, watch and ask questions. Enjoy the camaraderie with other enthusiasts. The Sporting Gentleman has tools they will let you borrow if you want to give fly-tying a shot.
In addition they offer formal Fly Tying classes throughout the year. In February, March, and April there will be classes with instructions including Steve Turrisi, Bob Bonney, Tom Baltz, and Ed Jaworowski among others.
The Sporting Gentleman is adjacent to Chester Creek so you can try your hand at casting. On March 11, 2017 they are celebrating Cabin Fever Day. You can fish their freshly stocked trout stream which has over 200 rainbows, browns and tiger trout. You will need to call them to register for a time between 9 AM and 4 PM. There is room for only 3 people per time slot so don’t wait too long. On this day they will have representatives from Sage, Redington & Rio with their products for you to test. In addition Jeff White from the Delaware River Club will be in attendance to answer questions about fly fishing the Upper Delaware River. There will also be a night fly fishing opportunity on Wednesday evenings in starting in June and running until Septermber 15 from 5:30 PM until dusk. Equipment and instruction will be furnished. This is a free opportunity to try out this great sport. In addition to the Chester Creek near Ridley Creek State Park, there are many other Brandywine Valley areas for trout fishing including the East Brandywine Creek, Ridley Creek, and White Clay Creek. In fact, the Chester Creek meanders from the Sporting Gentleman site through the Darlington Walking Trail which only 1/4 mile from Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast.
The Sporting Gentleman is located at 128 Glen Mills Road in Glen Mills, Pa., a short 3 mile drive from Hamanassett Bed Breakfast. There are many more events coming up. And while there check out their on site restaurant, Byrsa Bistro. I challenge you to find better Mediterranean cuisine outside of the Middle East. For more information check out The Sporting Gentleman’s website of call 610-361-2001.