What comes to mind when you think Las Vegas? I bet it’s not fly fishing.
It sure wasn’t what popped into our minds when we were back in Las Vegas. What most people fail to appreciate about Las Vegas is that it is in the heart of the old west. If you want to get out and explore the American West, Las Vegas is a great place to base yourself out of. In a couple of hours you can be at the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks in Utah & Arizona, mystical Sedona, Death Valley or the Pine forests of Flagstaff Arizona.
Las Vegas could boast about its intriguing history in this most rugged of wild western settings but this rich history of Las Vegas gets drowned out by the din of the famous Strip.
It is also an amazing town if you like to shop. So it made sense to us to see the giant Bass Pro store not far off the Southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. Bass Pro is not the typical purveyor of luxury items usually associate with Las Vegas. If you want sporting goods for the great outdoors, this is THE place to shop.
We were aware that Bass Pro stores promote and offer a lot of outdoor education seminars. Each individual Stores Website has a listing of Outdoor Skills Workshops, many of which are free. We were going to be in town for a month in the winter and thought we would check into what they were offering.
Every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. two experts, Steve White a certified fly fishing casting instructor with the Federation of Fly Fishing, and Bill Teresco, an expert in Fly Tying, teach the 90 minutes Introduction to Fly Fishing classes. The course is four weeks long and despite our expectation that we were going to be pitched on BassPro fishing gear, there was none of that.
We were surprised at the depth of knowledge that was shared with us. We learned about fish behavior, reading the river, safety, techniques and the differences in gear. The classes are worthy of a high price tag, but they are totally FREE and held by the huge fish tank in the middle of the store.
Our instructors’ love of the sport of Fly Fishing was infectious. We finally understood why the sport is considered an art form. We tried a lot of different gear, heard the pros and cons and learned from the other students. The Las Vegas Fly Fishing Club and the Southern Nevada Chapter of Trout Unlimited meets twice a month at the store for club meetings and enthusiastically welcome new members. We hope to go on a Utah trip with the guides in the spring to practice what we’ve learned. These classes are a unique opportunity and a hidden gem in Sin City.
BassPro stores are throughout the U.S. and there are some in Canada. Check at any of the stores you might be near and see what free classes they are offering. We felt like we really scored a Las Vegas WIN with this four week course. Foreign tourists that plan to see some of the great American West while visiting should stop in and see the amazing collection of gear. If you’re not an outdoor person before going, you may be a convert by the time you leave.
The Las Vegas Fly Fishing Club and the Southern Nevada Chapter of Trout Unlimited are both organizations that work towards improving Nevada’s fisheries, teaching newcomers about the sport of fly fishing and sharing their love of fly fishing with others.
Las Vegas BassPro Shops at Silverton Hotel Casino
Here’s a link to the Las Vegas Store Fly Fishing Classes. You’ll need to click on the “Outdoor Skills Workshops” tab in the lower right Fishing Classes
We bought the Orvis Streamline Fly-fishing Outfit as a good novice all inclusive kit that came with its own packable storage case for throwing in on our backpacks or in a suitcase. From Amazon Orvis-Clearwater-5-weight-Fly-Outfit
Flywater: Fly-Fishing Rivers of the West- A gorgeous book that makes you feel like you could walk right into the scene. From Amazon Flywater-Fly-Fishing-Rivers-Grant-McClintock
Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die- This book is a bucket list for fishing enthusiasts. From AMAZON Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die