News for ri­par­ian landown­ers

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors@out­look.com

Ri­par­ian landown­ers are go­ing to want to pay close at­ten­tion to this first bit of the col­umn.

If that word ri­par­ian has thrown you for a loop, it sim­ply means wa­ter­front.

Ev­ery year around this time the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources opens up the ap­pli­ca­tion process for wa­ter­front landown­ers to li­cense their pri­vate shore­line for the pur­pose of es­tab­lish­ing sta­tion­ary blinds or blind sites for hunt­ing wa­ter­fowl.

You don’t have to ac­tu­ally ever hunt on it, but by li­cens­ing it, no one else can hunt on it ei­ther.

The way Mary­land law works is to give ri­par­ian landown­ers first dibs, but later in the year oth­ers will have an op­por­tu­nity to claim that shore­line for hunt­ing if it isn’t li­censed by May 31.

There are many spe­cific rules about how blinds must be marked and where they can be lo­cated in re­la­tion to the shore­line, dwellings and the prop­erty lines of ad­join­ing landown­ers. You can fa­mil­iar­ize your­self with these rules on DNR’s web­site at http://dnr.mary­land.gov/wildlife/Pages/Li­censes/ri­par­ian.aspx.

Only ri­par­ian landown­ers may li­cense off­shore blinds on the non­ti­dal wa­ters of the Po­tomac River and its non­ti­dal trib­u­taries.

The ap­pli­ca­tion and fee of $60 for three years or $20 for one year must be sub­mit­ted by mail or in per­son by May 31. Once li­censed, DNR will send out a re­newal no­tice by mail the year the li­cense ex­pires and you can just mail that back in with the ap­pro­pri­ate fee.

But if you miss this first round, you’ll have to wait in line along with the rest of us poor souls who don’t own wa­ter­front prop­erty in the open li­cens­ing process that takes place some­time in Au­gust. At that time, any res­i­dent of the state may ap­ply in per­son to li­cense up to two blind sites per day if 250 yards of un­li­censed shore­line ex­ists 250 yards away from any al­ready li­censed off­shore blinds.

And in case you’re won­der­ing, when there’s an is­sue such as two ap­pli­ca­tions for blinds in close prox­im­ity that can’t be re­solved through ne­go­ti­a­tion, DNR will grant the li­cense on a first-come, first-served ba­sis. If both ap­pli­ca­tions ar­rived the same day, a coin toss will de­ter­mine the win­ner. Just get your ap­pli­ca­tion in as soon as pos­si­ble so you don’t have to worry about it com­ing to that. Learn more about fly fish­ing

Here’s more proof the num­ber of fly fish­ing an­glers is on the rise.

The 2017 Vir­ginia Fly-Fish­ing and Wine Fes­ti­val is com­ing up April 8 and 9 at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell (near Kings Do­min­ion), just 34 miles south of Fred­er­icks­burg off I-95.

It’s a be­gin­ner-friendly event

with the mis­sion of in­tro­duc­ing as many people to the sport of fly fish­ing as pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially fam­i­lies with chil­dren.

And did I men­tion the wine tast­ing and mi­cro­brew beers avail­able for those 21 and older? Fish­ing and al­co­hol usu­ally don’t mix, but this event is one time it’s truly OK to take a break from the grind and com­bine the two.

Some of the biggest names in fly fish­ing will be in at­ten­dance and ready to talk shop, with cast­ing and fly ty­ing de­mon­stra­tions all weekend long.

If you won’t have the chance to catch up with Lefty Kreh at TieFest at the Kent Is­land Yacht Club this weekend, you’ll still have a chance to see him demo his cast­ing skills at this event.

You can meet other pros like Bob Clouser, a house­hold name among fly an­glers and the cre­ator of the Clouser Min­now. He’ll be teach­ing a few be­gin­ner cast­ing classes and giv­ing a lec­ture “All You Need to Know About Smallies.”

If you’ve got a Boy Scout who needs his Fish­ing or Fly Fish­ing Merit Badge, the Boy Scouts of Amer­ica, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers and TakeMeFish­ing. org, will be of­fer­ing merit badge classes at no charge ex­clu­sively to ac­tive scouts (who are en­cour­aged to wear their uni­forms to the fes­ti­val).

The class is a day-long pro­gram that teaches a va­ri­ety of skills from cast­ing to fly ty­ing, all of which will be taught by BSA-cer­ti­fied in­struc­tors. Reg­is­ter for the class by con­tact­ing Pete Adams at PA­dams@strat­sight.com.

And for ladies wish­ing to get started or brush up on cast­ing in a friendly and re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment, Kiki Galvin will be teach­ing a free hour-long be­gin­ner fly cast­ing class both days of­fered at 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

This women-only class is suit­able for novice and be­gin­ner fly an­glers and for chil­dren as young as 14.

The in­struc­tor will cover ba­sic cast­ing tech­niques and ev­ery­thing a new­bie needs to know to be suc­cess­ful on the water. Stu­dents should bring their own rods and dress ap­pro­pri­ately for the weather as the class is out­side.

Galvin is the owner of Ms. Guided Fly Fish­ing Ser­vices and has over 13 years of ex­pe­ri­ence lead­ing clients to fish.

Tick­ets for the fes­ti­val are $20 for a sin­gle day or $35 for a weekend pass. Chil­dren un­der the age of 16 are free with a pay­ing adult. For more in­for­ma­tion about the fes­ti­val and a full list­ing of events and celebrity ap­pear­ances, go to www.vafly­fish­ingfes­ti­val.com.

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