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Free fly fishing workshop offered

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Free fly fishing workshops will be held the weekend of June 9 and 10 at William O'Brien and Wild River State Parks.

The workshops will be led by Park Ranger John Weinberg and volunteers from the Federation of Fly Fishers.

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Whether you're a beginner or an experienced angler, this is a unique opportunity to learn about basic and advanced casting techniques, as well as watershed ecology and conservation. Participants will become familiar with equipment used in freshwater fly fishing and will observe demonstrations of tying imitations of native aquatic insects, including nymphs, dry flies and streamers. The workshops will also provide information on how stream conservation, watershed health and a fly fishing ethic can affect the water quality of the St. Croix River.

The first workshop is Saturday, June 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at William O'Brien State Park near Marine on St. Croix, Minn. The morning session will consist of fundamentals, equipment and fly tying. The afternoon session will focus on casting demonstrations, with hands-on instruction in small groups. Entrance to William O'Brien State Park is free on this date as part of National Get Outdoors Day and the Minnesota State Parks annual Open House.

The second workshop is Sunday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wild River State Park. The morning session will consist of fundamentals, equipment and fly tying. The afternoon session will focus on casting demonstrations, with hands-on instruction in small groups. There is no charge for the workshop, but an annual or daily Minnesota state park vehicle pass is required to enter the park.

Equipment will be available for use by workshop participants. These are free programs and no registration is required. Participants should bring lunches and snacks. The workshops are designed for ages 13 and older. They will be canceled if there is severe weather.

For additional information, call 715-483-2274.

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