My son, Gaston, took the john boat to Sapony Creek last Thursday to do a little fishing. He was waiting for me to get off work and had a few hours to try to find some fish.
As he was loading the boat, he started talking to Earl Tanner. Both of these fellows obviously enjoy talking about fishing. As my son and I fried some fresh rockfish filets in the barn later that night, Gaston began telling me about a fishing club Tanner has helped organize. He retrieved two brochures from his truck and brought them out to the barn.
Tanner is the director of the newly formed Tar River Fly Rod Club. My son was impressed by his knowledge of fishing and willingness to share valuable information.
The club currently has roughly 15 members, and they are looking for more fishermen to participate in their tournaments. Being a member only costs $20 per person for the whole year.
One of their goals is to encourage youth involvement in fly rod fishing. Fun and fellowship is another important part of their mission.
This is a very unselfish group, and another one of their goals is to teach inexperienced fishermen the art, enjoyment and mechanics of fly rod fishing.
There is a $20 entry fee per boat for each event.
There is a prize for the largest bluegill bream weighed in, and a first-, second- and third-place prize awarded for each tournament.
The rules are very simple. 20 fish can be weighed in. The species include pumpkinseed, bluegill, warmouth, redear sunfish, redbreast, and flier.
The season champion is based on their best six tournaments. All tournaments are conducted on the honor system.
This is a fly fishing club, and only a fly rod may be used to catch fish. Artificial flies, dry or wet, are the only baits allowed. They can be store bought or hand tied. There can be no attractants used on the baits, and no live bait is allowed.
All the tournaments begin at 7 a.m. and end at noon. Being late for weigh-in is a disqualification.
One goal of The Tar River Fly Rod Club is to hold events close to home. Most of the tournaments are an hour or less travel time from Rocky Mount.
Two events have already taken place. April 14, the fishermen were at Sapony Creek Ramp. Saturday, they fished at Wiggins Mill in Wilson.
When I spoke to Earl Tanner, he told me he really enjoyed tying his own flies and using them to catch fish.
Teaching being one of this group’s main goals, Tanner said they willingly conduct classes on how to tie flies, how to properly fish them and where and when to fish them.