UC Davis Picnic Day: The Art of Fly-Tying

Ever seen an angler tie a fly?

You will if you visit Briggs Hall during the 110th annual UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 20.

"The Art of Fly Tying" by the Fly Fishers of Davis is an integral part of the insect events and activities at Briggs Hall, home of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.

The anglers are eager to show you how to tie a fly and then gift it to you.

At the 2022 UC Davis Picnic Day, we remember veteran fly fisherman Paul Berliner asking a six-year-old girl if she'd like a fly tied for her.  

She wasn't sure at first, but when she saw the neon pink feather, she was hooked. She loves pink.  

The Fishers of Davis is a "non-profit organization with 100+ members from communities in the central Sacramento valley," the website indicates. "Our charter is to promote the art of fly-fishing and to protect our natural resources and fisheries through community education and conservation...Our meetings and membership are open to the public, and we provide equal opportunity membership without any discrimination."

During the COVID pandemic and the cancellation of UC Davis Picnic Day, many organizations went virtual with presentations. The Fly Fishers created a video (click here), narrated by Berliner that won a second-place award in the UC Davis Picnic Day's Blue and Gold category, spotlighting health, recreation and athletics. Also check out Berliner's videos on YouTube)

The Fly Fisher meetings,  open to the public, are held the last Tuesday of each month, with a social at 7 and the general meeting at 7:30. (See website for details).  All members receive the club's monthly newsletter, “The Fisherman's Line.”  See the Newsletters for the current edition and back editions. Yearly dues for adults and families are $30 per year.  Yearly dues for students are $15 per year.

Typical meetings include the following:

  • An introduction of new members, and reports on who has been fishing.
  • A guest speaker who narrates a presentation covering some aspect of fly-fishing or conservation.
  • An available library of books and videos for members to sign out.
  • Updates on where to fish, club activities, outings, and conservation projects.

Outings take them to such fly-fishing sites as Pyramid Lake, Lake Berryessa, McCloud River, Lake Davis and Trinity River and more.

"Do our members ever get skunked on a fishing trip?" is one of the questions posted on the website. The answer: "Never! (Though, as highly trained professionals, we never admit it.)"

For other insect-related activities at Briggs Hall during the UC Davis Picnic Day, click here.