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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend the annual Federation Of Fly Fishers Conclave? Honor Roll Subscriber Sonja Nisson did just that this year in Loveland, Colorado, and found not only a rewarding and educational experience, but also some good fishing. She writes:

“I recently attended my first Federation of Fly Fishers annual Conclave. It was in Loveland, Colorado, right in the middle of prime fishing country. The area features a number of alpine trout lakes, plus the Big Thompson (Big T) and Cache La Poudre rivers (called the “Pooter” by locals). Let me begin with the conclave experience….

“First of all, I was impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of FFF members. Where else can you walk up, rod in hand, to some of the best casters you have ever seen, who seem to enjoy nothing more than sharing their skills with you? The social events provided an opportunity to meet fellow enthusiasts, swap stories and have fun. Daily fly tying demonstrations were held in the exhibit hall both morning and afternoon. Silent auctions, raffles and a live auction featured outstanding items, including trips, exceptional art and rare fly plates that went for bargain prices.

“Conclave 2009 also included several pre-paid workshops designed to address specific skills: casting, fly tying, general fishing techniques and strategies. There were also classes devoted to fishing local waters. Classes were limited in size and lasted from two hours to all day.

The one I took was an all-day seminar called “Fly Fishing Colorado Alpine Lakes” taught by Jim Tilmant of Fort Collins. Our day started before 8 a.m., included lunch and ended at almost dark. We fished three alpine lakes within two hours of Fort Collins: Lost Lake for rainbows; Zimmerman Lake for rainbows and greenback cutts; and Joe Wright Reservoir for grayling. By day’s end, Jim’s strategies had helped me begin to solve the mystery of fishing these waters. I cannot speak about other classes, but I consider this one a terrific bargain at $150 per person.”

(Postscript: The location and timing of the 2010 Federation of Fly Fishers Annual Conclave had not been set at press time, but should be by the time you read this.

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