Well, as I sit here reflecting on what was a great weekend it was, I can honestly say the "Irish Flies" Shad School was a big success! Each day I left my house at around 8:15 am and would return after 9:00 pm. On Monday morning the owner of the company of my "real" job asked me if I was tired. I told him yes, but it is a good tired. There is something rewarding about working hard and achieving the result you are looking for. I do feel the class went well, and I do absolutely believe the people in the class gained some knowledge and are set to take advantage of this great fishery. Information packets were prepared with directions to the river, recipes for the four fly patterns we tied and performance surveys were also provided. I provided the class with a survey to rate the content of the class. My thought was if I am going to continue to up my game I need the honest feedback of the people attending my events to let me know about areas for improvement. I have already received some of the surveys back and the comments have been great. Many positive, and some suggestions for improvement, which is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you to all whome returned their surveys, I hope to see many more soon.
The slide show went through the different Shad species we have available. We also talked about appropriate gear, flies, rigging, and fishing techniques. I think the slideshow was well received, and the questions afterward were great.
After the slideshow and the Q&A session we took a short break to set up and we prepared to tie. We got all 4 patterns in each day. The ability of the tiers in these classes was great! It made my job easy. We tied the One Boot, Micro Clouser, Deer Creek S fly and the Dart. I told the class if they spend some time and fill their Shad box with a variety of these patterns you will be set for Hickories and Americans for years to come.
After we finished tying we had lunch at the Brandywine Grill. If you are ever in the Christiana Cabelas store stop in the Grill and get the Elk sandwich. It is REALLY good. I would be remiss if I didn't give a big thank you to Eric Williams, the marketing manager of our local Cabelas store. Eric has been very good to me and my "Irish Flies" endeavors. The conference room and cafe set up are perfect for this type of class and I look forward to doing more of this events in the future.
Now, what everybody has been waiting for...
Everybody is waiting for the Shad run to happen. I fished our local Shad river 2 times last week in preparation for the class, and I was there for several hours each weekend day with the class. The verdict...in my opinion it is not "on" yet. On Wednesday evening I hooked one Shad (could have been a Herring) and Ed landed 1. I did manage this nice Carp, and yes, he ate the pink Shad fly.
On Wednesday the numbers of fish moving through the river system was staggering. Many of these fish were Herring, but, by Sunday evening the Shad to Herring ratio was definitely swinging more toward Shad. As mentioned the number of fish moving up the river was insane! One of the people in the class would stop fishing for LONG periods of time and just look into the water. He said "I have never seen anything like this". Water temps varied between 58 and 70 degrees from Wednesday night until Sunday afternoon. My guess is that the fishing will get better and better as the days go by, this has been confirmed by reports from the last few days.
As mentioned the fishing was tough. We caught fish both days, but not in the numbers we are looking for. I scheduled the class early on purpose. My thought was the fishing would not be as good, but the guys would have the entire season to go back, use the knowledge they gained in the class, and bang some fish.
We took a ton of pictures and there is no way I could post all of them here. You can check out all of the photos on the Irish Flies Facebook page here. I would like to thank every body that attended the class. I hope you had as much fun attending as I did hosting. I also have to give a HUGE thank you to my buddy "One Boot" Ed. He spent about 24 hours helping me this weekend. ED, I couldn't have done this without your help. Thank you! Till next time...