A rod, a cast and the thrill of fishing

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Class at the Blue Angler Quill teaches the fine points of the sport

By Tim Donohoo
For the Courier
If one never knows why an older brother and father would sneak out of the house early on a Saturday morning to go fishing now they can find out. All it takes is spending three hours with instructor Gary Okizaki.
Every Saturday, for two hours, from 10 a.m. until noon, the Blue Quill Angler fishing shop offers fishermen the opportunity to learn about the sport of fly fishing. Okizaki meticulously describes how to rig a fishing rod, cast, apply necessary knots and effective flies to fish dry flies, nymphs and streamers.
The Blue Quill has been in existence for 25 years. Jim Cannon and his wife, Martha, are owners along with Steve Parrott and Pat Dorsey.
The biggest conception of fishing might be that it is boring or uneventful. That you just cast the line and get cozy with a book until you hook one. That’s not the case, Okizaki said. A speech therapist for Jefferson County Public Schools, Okizaki teaches the basics.
“Learning how to tie the knots and casting is what we focus on here in the class,” the Lakewood resident stated. “I teach the most important things in fly fishing. This type of fishing is very much like golf. It is a gadget sport. You can go and load up on all of the materials.”
Okizaki has taught at the shop for 15 years. He is a professional fly fishing guide and commercial fly tyer who sells to the public.
“Our last class of the year will be in October. Through the month of September we will have 15-20 people show up for a class. I wish they would show up in early June or July when the fishing is there,” Okizaki said.
An expanded version of the Saturday class is the Fly Fishing 101 class. It comes with a $150 price tag but goes into much more detail than the free Saturday class. If one takes the free class they receive a $50 credit towards the 101 class.
The 101 class is very popular. This three-session class is taught weekly during the summer months. Participants must be 12 and older to attend. Two evening and one weekend day course accommodates working adults.
The 101 adventure introduces fishermen to the fundamentals of fly fishing. The last session is spent on the river. Instructors choose a location for the class based on current conditions and the highest quality of fishing available. Fishermen will view the practical aspects of fishing that can’t be taught in a classroom environment. Hands-on experience is the name of the game at the Blue Quill Angler.