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Fly fishing isn't just a mountain area sport

Certified Orvis shooting and fly-fishing instructor Todd Rogers, of Albany, will be at the Water, Wings and Wildlife festival Sept. 28 at the Flint RiverQuarium to demsonstrate fly fishing. (Special photo)

Certified Orvis shooting and fly-fishing instructor Todd Rogers, of Albany, will be at the Water, Wings and Wildlife festival Sept. 28 at the Flint RiverQuarium to demsonstrate fly fishing. (Special photo)

ALBANY — Todd Rogers is one of the lucky few: a man who can honestly say that he earns a living doing what he loves most, fly fishing.

“What is fly fishing?” he asks rhetorically. “It is the best time of your life!”

A native of Baker County and a resident of Albany for the last 25 years, Rogers is an Orvis-endorsed guide, as well as a traveling wing-shooting and fly-fishing instructor. He will be giving fly-fishing demonstrations at the Flint RiverQuarium’s Water, Wings and Wildlife Festival Sept. 28. Rogers has fished in 40 states and conducts fly-fishing schools both here in southwest Georgia and other parts of the United States and Canada, including New England, the Florida Keys, the western states and British Columbia.

While many think of fishing for trout in a mountain stream when they think of fly fishing, Rogers says that the Flint River is a big draw for fly fishermen because it is one of only three rivers in the country where they can fish for shoal bass.

“Fly fishermen are a lot like birdwatchers in a way,” he explains. “They want to see, watch and touch as many species as they can. Our shoal bass attract these fishermen, and they make the Flint River a destination.”

At the Flint RiverQuarium’s Water, Wings and Wildlife Festival, Rogers will be demonstrating fly fishing techniques throughout the morning and giving advice to both novice and experienced fly fishermen.

“If you are already fly-fishing, I can analyze your cast and give you some tips,” he says. “If you are an interested beginner, I encourage you to come down and ask questions. There are no silly questions, and I will be glad to help anyone who wants to get started in the sport.”

Getting started in fly fishing does not need to be complicated or expensive, according to Rogers. “It can be very simple with just you, a line and a fly.” Of course, he admits that it can also become much more involved. “There are always new gadgets to try, but you can get started with very minimal equipment.”

Albany’s location is another asset for fly fishermen in the area who want to add variety to their fly-fishing experience. “We are located close to Lake Seminole, Lake Eufala and Lake Blackshear, all great fishing spots, especially for bass fishing. Just a short drive and you can be at the Gulf or in the mountains, so from bream to tarpon to mountain trout, all are an easy weekend trip for us.”

For more information on fly fishing lessons, stop by and see Todd Rogers at the Water Wings and Wildlife Festival or contact him directly at riverdogtr@bellsouth.net or (229) 894-0470.

Windy Bellacomo is marketing manager for the Flint RiverQuarium.