COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Brian Flechsig can teach someone the basics of fly fishing in a couple of minutes.

“Fly casting is as easy as throwing a dart,” Flechsig says. “If you’ve ever thrown a dart before and you’ve hit the dart board, you’re a decent fly caster already.”

Flechsig owns Mad River Outfitters on Bethel Road. He explained that the pandemic prompted a surge of interest in fly fishing.

“It’s been absolutely amazing.,” Flechsig said. “Through our online store, through email, through phone calls, the number of new people getting into the sport, I’ve never seen anything like it in my 30 years of doing it.”

Interest in the sport of fly fishing has been climbing in recent years, and the pandemic sent the demand for fly fishing tackle soaring. The industry actually sold out of beginner type outfits.

Felchsig experienced people who had been cooped up for weeks and were looking for an outdoor activity and practice social distancing.

“I think the pandemic has caused people to say, ‘you know what, life is short, we never know what tomorrow brings. I’m going to go for it. I’m going to do it now as opposed to waiting a few more years’.”

Two common misconception, according to Flechsig, is that fly fishing is expensive and difficult.

“Everybody can do it. Old, young, male, female, everybody can fly fish no matter your income level, no matter your place in life. No matter where you live, there’s always a place to catch a fish. You do not have to break the bank and it’s not that hard to learn the basics.”

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