Complicated, yet fun; challenging, yet relaxing - fly fishing is a lifetime activity.
Members of the Capital City Fly Fishers have shared their experiences, talents and enthusiasm for the recreation - made famous by Brad Pitt in the movie "A River Runs Through It" - with sophomores from Jefferson City High School this week at Binder Lake.
The local club has been donating their time once a week, twice a year for more than five years to Linda Ringo's health and wellness class. They learn the basics of casting as well as the skill of tying lures.
"At the end of the week, they could do this on their own; we give them just a taste of it," said Lee Kudrna. "We give them an experience, to say they've done that."
Some students in the class have never been fishing, Ringo noted.
This year, the fly-fishing club members also donated four fly rods and fly-tying kits to the school's program.
In addition, the club donated a new rod and a fishing kit, each raffled for 25-cent tickets to students in the health and wellness classes. The proceeds are put back into the health and wellness program.
Dylan Frye bought eight raffle tickets, since he had $2 in his pocket at the time, he said. For that investment, his name was drawn for the donated rod.
"I like to fish," said Frye, who has been doing it with a rod and reel as long as he can remember.
"It's always fun when you catch a fish; it never gets old," Frye said. "It's relaxing just sitting in nature, even when they're not biting."
In addition to learning a new pastime, the students benefit from the attention and gift of sharing the fishers offer.
The Capital City Fly Fishers actively share their hobby with anyone interested in learning. They also visit the Truman Medical Center twice a month to teach fly tying to the veterans.
"We're like ambassadors for fly fishing and the outdoors," said Lee Kudrna.
These fishermen are not professionals or experts. But they enjoy talking about their experiences and the quality of recently visited fishing holes.
The sport takes time to practice and perfect the casting. But the motion is relaxing, Kudrna said.
For Josh Phillips, who won the kit for tying fly-fishing lures, he prefers making the bait.
"I like hands-on stuff, and I like to create," Phillips said.
After selecting his desired materials by color and texture, Phillips took the thread hanging from his table-clamp holder to wrap it in place.
The last piece added was a red "tail" feather, and then he looped the thread at the end to secure all of his intricate details.
"You try to make it look like a bug; the fish like them," Phillips said.