Genmar/Evinrude Backwater Fishing School expands

PINE ISLAND, Fla. – Fly fisherman and author J. M. “Chico” Fernandez is joining the Genmar/Evinrude Backwater Fishing School faculty and will headline an advanced fly fishing school for four three-day/four-night sessions this year, the school reported in a recent statement.

The four classes – June 20-24, Sept. 19-23, Oct. 17-21 and Nov. 14-18 – are being limited to four students each session “to ensure each student individual and personal needed to take their flyfishing techniques to the next level,” said Gordon Houser, director of the school.

Fernandez has fished for 55 years and fly fished for over 45 years all over the world, according to the school. He has broken several world records and was one of the first anglers to land a white marlin on a fly rod. In addition, he has written articles for virtually all the major outdoor publications in the U.S. and overseas, currently writes a column in Saltwater Fly Fishing magazine and has just finished a book on bonefishing, due in the stores this summer, the school reported.

He appears frequently on television fishing programs and has five videos on the market — in English, Spanish and Japanese. The movie, Chico and the Kids, teaching kids how to fly fish, won the Outdoor Writers of America award in 1980.

The Genmar/Evinrude Backwater Fishing School, now in its second season, has 12 sessions scheduled this year, compared to the six offered in 2003. The school is located at the 77-year-old Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island, just off Boca Grande pass and Pine Island Sound. It is home to schools of redfish, snook, speckled trout, kingfish and tarpon.

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