By Dave Fason
Tying flies is something most anglers enjoy doing. The ability to use your imagination to create something that will in return catch fish is invaluable as an angler. I take for granted that I can purchase materials and tools needed so easily. This is not the case for everyone and takes me to the small city of Hopkins located in southern Belize.
Scott from South Water Adventures and founder of Southern Fly Tying Initiative invited me to help teach two classes. The small city has a group of legendary permit guides, junior guides and new fly anglers eager to learn how to tie their own flies. Unfortunately, they do not have access to materials or teachers needed. Shipping is nearly impossible without paying absorbent taxes or dealing with stolen packages. Most materials are brought down by friends or tourists that mule it across customs. In the past two years, several companies have sponsored the classes with tools and materials needed. Loon Outdoors recently jumped on board providing materials that these people have never laid eyes on.
The classes were set and I was on my way down to Hopkins. The locals were grinning ear to ear after seeing the gear that was sent down. Most have never heard or seen products like these in the area. UV epoxy was witchcraft, razor-sharp scissors cutting through any material and powders that mimicked baitfish shimmering. After a quick crash course on tarpon bunnies, McFly crabs and other salty flies the guys were off to the races. Each with their own ideas based on what they normally fish for. Shortly afterward we fished a dock close by to catch dinner on the newly created flies. New friends were made, new skills were taught and memories that I’ll never forget.
A big shout out to Loon Outdoors for sponsoring the event. The group is working on building a fly tying center where locals can tie flies and store their materials to sell to traveling anglers
See more information on South Water Adventure’s and Southern Fly Tying Initiative at https://www.southwateradventures.com