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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Annual fly fishing expo coming to area in October


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HERNANDO BEACH - The Florida Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers will hold its annual expo in the area for the first time this fall.

The state chapter is part of an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of fly fishing through conservation, education and restoration, according to the FFF's website, and will hold the expo Oct. 18-19 at Plantation on Crystal River.

The event is co-hosted by Hernando County Fly Fishing Club and the Tarpon Coast Fly Fishers, said Roger Maler of Hernando Beach.

"We have an annual expo here with the Florida council, with 16-17 clubs, and this expo is pretty much all about fly fishing," Maler said. "They have various speakers. The speaker of the weekend is Chico Fernandez."

J.W. "Chico" Fernandez is a world-class fly fishing instructor and speaker, according to the federation's website, and the expo will offer the latest fly tackle and gear, clinics and workshops with certified casting instructors, demos and workshops with professional fly tyers, free daily programs and seminars, as well as raffles and both live and silent auctions.

"It's great for fly fishers, and it's just a lot of hands on learning, and a lot of knowledgeable people," said Bobbie Cox, president of Tarpon Coast Fly Fishers. "It's the place to go to talk about fly fishing. If you're interested in becoming an FFF member and instructor, you can get certified during the expo."

Cox said there will also be information available about different fly fishing destinations to fish during the expo.

Among those guides will be Captain Frank Bourgeois of "Always Fishing Guide Service" in Hernando County, Cox said.

The Plantation facility in Crystal River has direct access to Kings Bay for fishing, green space for outdoor events, several amenities including a 27-hole golf course, recreation on the water, fishing and seafood, according to the FFF's website.

Those interested can call the Plantation Inn reservations department at (800) 632-6262, and mention the Florida Council - Federation of Fly Fishers for valid rates between Oct. 13-22, or three days before and after the event.

That includes king or double hotel rooms at $96 and patio rooms at $116, according to the website, with a combined state and county tax rate of 9 percent.

The expo costs $10 for both days, the website shows, and children 16 and under will be admitted free of charge.

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