From The Old Mill:
As fly fishing aficionados descend upon Central Oregon this spring, they will want to hone their skills at the newly improved Old Mill Casting Course, set to open tomorrow, May 23, 2013. The course, which begins on the lawn across the Deschutes River from Red Robin and winds around both banks of the waterway, has been redesigned and restructured over the past few months. The course provides a fun way to practice and learn new casting skills before going fishing – or as a way to enjoy practicing during the off-season. When established in 2009, it was the first casting course in the world, and remains the only course in North America.
The Old Mill Casting Course focuses on developing the eye/hand coordination necessary to get the fly on target consistently when fishing rivers, brooks and streams. “The casting course was set up so that each ‘hole’ correlates to fishing conditions in different places throughout the world,” said Kevney Dugan of Visit Bend. “The variation of holes – which focus on everything from salt-water to spey casting techniques and beyond – actually forces participants to learn new casting skills to complete the course.”
For example, Hole 2, entitled “Bonefish Flats,” instructs players to follow a straight line with their rod tip while casting back and forth, in order to form smaller and more accurate casting loops. There are three levels of difficulty for each of the 12 holes (beginner, intermediate and advanced), and an instructional brochure provides easy guidance. Anglers can test out rods from the brand-new Confluence Fly Shop in the Old Mill District, or stop by the shop for some expert advice on where to try out their new skills.
The Old Mill Casting Course is free and open to the public. Conservation partners who have made the course possible include Deschutes River Conservancy, Deschutes Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land, Federation of Fly Fishers/Oregon Council, Trout Unlimited, Bend Park & Recreation, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, Central Oregon Flyfishers and Bend Casting Club.
About the Old Mill District
One of the Pacific Northwest’s most distinctive and dynamic mixed-use developments, the Old Mill District is located on 270 acres that formerly housed on e of the largest sawmill operations in the world. The rich history of the land is coupled with spectacular mountain views, scenic river vistas and an extensive trail system to enjoy the outdoors. More than 55 local, regional and national retail outlets and businesses call the Old Mill District home, as does the park-like Les Schwab Amphitheater which can accommodate up to 8,000 patrons for concerts and other events. The Old Mill District – Bend’s most unique shopping, dining, living and entertainment experience.
The Old Mill District is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 pm.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Many stores, including Regal Cinemas and restaurants, have extended hours. For complete information on the Old Mill District, visit www.theoldmill.com.