SPRING CREEK, BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– While most team sports are on-hold through Covid-19, other sports are taking off–like fishing.
But, it’s hard to catch a fish without any bait… or flies (for fly fishers).
WTAJ looked to see if local shops are able to meet the current demand for items.
Fly fishing, particularly near Fisherman’s Paradise in Centre County, is casting off…. hooking many first-time fisherman.
“It’s very busy, everyone’s been fishing… it’s one of few activities everyone’s been allowed to do,” said Dennis Charney, Onwer of Flyfisher’s Paradise in State College.
Charney, said because of Covid-19 shut-downs, its been hard to fill every rack on his store’s shelves.
“Some of our supply chains were closed… some of them are still closed,” he said “Orders aren’t moving as fast, things are just slowed down.”
Charney adds that there are still plenty of materials to make flies.
“There’s usually more than one way to skin the proverbial cat… so we can always find something that will do. But, if you’re looking for particular materials, you may not be able to get a hold of them for a while,” he said, telling WTAJ: “I just placed an order this morning… they called to say they can’t process the order for at least two weeks.”
At the TCO Fly Shop in State College, Manager George Costa said it’s a similar story.
“We’re starting to see some stuff that’s harder to get,” he said.
He added: “Quite a few of our rod manufacturers are having trouble… they’re having a hard time getting components to build the whole thing.”
Still business owners hope the new fisherman will be hooked on the sport.
“Right now because of other activities you’re banned from doing… this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try—kids can’t play baseball, but they can go out and fish,” Charney said.
Costa added: “People have been doing those team sports for years, now people are getting out and teaching themselves. It’s great to see new faces giving a new energy to this business and the outdoors.”
Many longtime fly fishers say it’s the perfect sport for social distancing.
“I like to say fly fishing invented the term social distancing… if we see someone else, we’ll make efforts to separate, we like the solitude of the sport,” said Larry Ragan, Streamside Mentor for the Veteran Service Program.
Why it’s the perfect time to catch a fish…
The influx of new fly fishers came at the right time. This is the time of spring when many insect hatches occur, so fish are out feeding frequently–searching for these insects.
If you can mimic these insects with a fly, (and get some practice on your technique) longtime experts say it’s hard not to catch a fish.