News for riparian landowners
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.