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Cast away

Swirling lines fill the air as students in the Fitness and Lifestyle Improvement Program (FLIP) fly fishing class practice their technique behind Thompson Arena on July 11. Through FLIP, students, employees and their families, as well as all Upper Valley residents, have the opportunity to take an eight-week course where they learn casting, wading, how to pick the right fly for the right situation and stream reading.

Fly fishing
Photo by Charles Rountree '05

"A lot of Dartmouth people choose fly fishing because it's a great way to get out from the high pressure of their jobs and studies," said FLIP fly fishing instructor Rick Hamel, who also works as a guide at Hanover's fly fishing outfitter, the Lyme Angler. "It's an easy sport to learn, and it's the kind of sport that really connects with the kind of people who choose to come to this part of the world."

Dartmouth's connection to fly fishing is so great that Fly Rod & Reel magazine ranked the College as one of America's top ten fly fishing colleges in their July/October issue. Dartmouth students, in addition to getting a good education in the basics of the sport, have access to what the magazine calls some of "the troutiest rivers in New England." Fly Rod & Reel also venerated Dartmouth alumnus Norman Maclean '24, who raised the national profile of fly fishing through his critically acclaimed novel A River Runs Through It.

"Fly fishing takes a certain amount of intelligence and physicality," added Hamel, "but it is also the perfect excuse to tuck yourself away someplace that is quiet and beautiful. I mean, you can't fish where it's ugly."

By JOEL AALBERTS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08