Just over a year ago, Moving Water Outfitters moved into Zionsville and the company is making an effort to educate and introduce more people to the sport of fly fishing.
“Ten to 12 years ago, I started the kayak side of the business (at a different location), mainly because there was no one out there marketing to fishermen," Assistant Manager Mar Dixon said. "I could see there was a need for something specifically geared toward fishermen and they spend a lot of money each year. The fly fishing side is a niche market that came along last year and though Indianapolis isn’t known for its fly fishing, there are a lot of people here that travel to fly fish. We want to cater to those customers.”
Originally, fly fishing was developed for trout but Dixon said today, fishermen can catch anything with a fly rod and are often surprised.
The difference between conventional fishing and fly fishing is in what lure is used and how the bait is thrown out, he explained.
“When you’re fly fishing, the line is delivering the lure,” Dixon said. “For the conventional angler, the weight of the lure is what propels the line out, but on a fly rod the line propels the lure out. It allows you to delicately place the lure out. The lures are lighter and give you a different move than something that has a lot of weight to it. You can’t throw something so light with a conventional rod.”
Why fly fish if you can stick with your rod and reel?
“There’s not the cast and wait aspect,” Dixon said. “You’re constantly casting. You’re also in beautiful places. We do a lot of fly fishing in rivers that are constantly moving and changing. There’s something to be said about a river meandering through, something around every corner; a new opportunity.”
Some established anglers come to the shop looking for something new. They want a bit of a challenge and a new thrill in the fishing world. Others have never picked up a rod and take advantage of the courses offered at Moving Water Outfitters.
“(Anglers) will go fishing with us and say they had no idea that this opportunity even existed," Dixon said. "It’s just getting the word out. We also want to expand general knowledge. There’s kind of a void in good fly fishing instructors and knowledgeable information.”
Dixon said fly fishing has a bit of a stigma among fishing communities and it can be intimidating to walk into a store for women or children that have no experience.
“Our focus is to get more people involved," he said. "We started these courses to kind of knock down those anxieties. We just had a women’s only class that was well attended and there is another seven signed up for the kids' class. There’s been a lot of good reception and some are coming back for other courses. We do have continuing education for the more advanced; extreme tactics and double haul classes. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can come in and take one of those. Then, in the fall, we have fly (lure) tying classes.”
The store is a culmination of almost any fly fishing and kayaking supplies a fisherman could need. A large selection of lure supplies satisfies those who want to tie their own and allows for creativity and new ideas as anglers contemplate in the off season.
Having the gear needed based on location is also important.
“Depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing, we have the gear to match," Dixon said. "We have guys going to Alaska where the water is 35 degrees all year long and they need waders and heavy rain coats. Others are going to the Bahamas and they are going to need long sleeves, sun protectant gloves, masks and more.”
Moving Water Outfitters offer frequent chartered trips locally, nationally and globally.
“We're going to Mexico in a few weeks and we have trips booked to Chile and Brazil in December,” Dixon said. “If you have zero experience, we’d suggest hitting Eagle Creek or one of the local ponds. We do offer guided travel here in town on Sugar Creek, Tippecanoe and the White River. Those can be catered to a lesson or with a more teaching aspect. A lot of people progress quickly. They try it out and then start traveling further and further.”
Even if you have had negative or no experience with fishing, Dixon said there’s something in the sport for everyone.
“My wife doesn’t particularly like to fish, it’s not her passion, but she’s been to Chile with me and absolutely loved going out on the boat ... the overall adventure of the day," he said. "Everyone finds their niche, some just love to travel. I’ve taken guys on trips all over the world that have never caught a fish in Indiana.”
A free Fly Fishing 101 course will be offered from 9 to 11 a.m. June 15 and July 13 and 2 to 8 p.m. July 23. The next Kids' Fly Fishing (cost is $25) is 6 to 8 p.m. June 18. Call 317-733-3014 or email email@example.com for more information or to register.
Visit the website at www.mwoutfitters.com for additional class schedules.