Fly fishing seminars a hit at Bill Wills Southeast Virginia Chapter

  • Jack Rephan (left) and Bill Wills (right) assist Boy Scouts with fly tying.
  • C.J. Smith teaching fly casting on the frozen pond at Northwest River Park.
  • Chapter President David Nash talked about basic fly fishing tackle.

The Bill Wills Southeast Virginia Chapter conducts fly fishing seminars on the first Saturday of each month at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake. They normally have about a dozen people in attendance, but on February 1, they had a standing room only crowd of 50 people in the activity building at the park. The crowd was swelled by the attendance of Boy Scout Troop 259 from Chesapeake so the boys could work on requirements of the Fly Fishing merit badge.

Bill Campbell, who usually leads the lecture portion of the seminar was out of town, so chapter President David Nash took over and wowed the crowd with his freehand drawing of a mayfly on the chalkboard. Following an introduction to fly fishing equipment, the crowd divided into groups to practice casting and tie flies. Chapter members set up several fly tying stations and stayed late so each scout could tie a fly to take home as part of their merit badge requirement. Bill Wills, chapter namesake, was in attendance and helped the scouts tie flies. While tying was going on inside, other chapter members were outside teaching casting on the pond, which is just outside the activity building door. The pond was frozen and there were still several inches of snow on the ground, but that did not deter fly casting instruction.

The next and last seminar of the winter is scheduled for March 1. Visit the chapter’s Facebook page at

The Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited is made up of representatives of the state’s 16 TU chapters.