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Out & About: Clubs teach classes in backpacking, fly fishing

Sun., Feb. 19, 2012

Sharon McMullin, fishing student, on St. Joe River.
Sharon McMullin, fishing student, on St. Joe River.

Backpacking and fly-fishing schools conducted each year in Spokane have a common advantage: Both schools are organized by active clubs that continue to nurture their students long after they “graduate.”

• The Spokane Mountaineers organize a year-round schedule of group outings ranging from evening walks to wilderness treks.

• The Spokane Fly Fishers hold spring and summer “fish-ins” at lakes and streams throughout the region, where members share fish-catching techniques on specific waters.

Following are details about signing up for the clubs’ spring schools.

Backpacking School

Who: Sponsored by the Spokane Mountaineers, membership required. Students 15-17 must be accompanied by parent.

When: Starts March 30 and runs eight weeks on Fridays, 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield, plus one Saturday morning map and compass field trip; ends with “graduation” backpacking trip on Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Covers the 13 essentials – equipment, boots and clothing, wellness and safety, first aid, map and compass, meal planning and preparation, outdoor etiquette, low-impact backpacking, trail craft, textbooks and resources.

Preregister by March 15. Class size limited. Cost: $35, plus membership.

Info: Registration forms available at spokanemountaineers


Details: Jeff or Deb Harris, 879-5275, email jeffanddebharris

Fly Fishing School

Who: Sponsored by The Spokane Fly Fishers.

When: Starts March 8 and runs Thursdays through April 19, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, plus morning casting sessions April 14, 21 and 28 at Mirabeau Park.

Details: Covers all phases of fly fishing for the beginner to intermediate, plus local fishing information for experienced anglers new to area. Topics include equipment selection, fly selection, stream and river fishing, lake fishing, pontoon safety, how, when and where to fish, plus casting sessions.

Preregister: Class size limited. Cost: $125 or $60 for ages 12-16, includes membership.

Info: Dan Ferguson, (509) 325-8885 or e-mail;

Idaho perch record

OUTHOOK – An Idaho record yellow perch, 16 inches long, weighing 2.6 pounds, was caught Feb. 11 in Lake Cascade by Bob Shindelar of Meridian, Idaho, to tie the mark set in 1976. 

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