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Fly fishing dating catches on

| Thursday, June 13, 2013, 3:33 p.m.
Rebecca Ridinger/For the Ligonier Echo
Rebecca Ridinger/For the Ligonier Echo

Forget the movies or a walk on the beach. The newest trend for Ligonier couples to enjoy time together is fly fishing.

Twenty couples from the western Pennsylvanian region recently gathered at the Foggy Mountain Lodge to do just that.

The first Trout Trail Date Night, sponsored by The Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited and organized by Olga Herbert of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, was a sold-out success.

With the serene outdoor setting as a backdrop, the couples began the evening, with a brief but thorough instruction on the art of fly fishing.

Instructors Monty Murty and Bob Shusko shared some background and history on the sport, as well as divulged techniques, movements and a few secrets to help participants.

With all the equipment and education supplied, all they needed was a date.

“It's a great idea,” said Shusko. “It's a great way to get people involved. We see a lot more women on the streams then ever before. We're so blessed to live in one of the best states in the entire nation for fly fishing.”

After instruction, couples got in a few practice rounds and personal critiques from their coaches before hitting the trout-stocked pond. Then, the real casting began.

“It's something to do,” said Bonnie McCormick, an attendee from Pittsburgh.

“We're always up for learning something and it's nice to meet new people. It's a socialization thing,” she said.

Organizer Herbert said the event was intended to connect people to the outdoors.

“Sometimes you have to use a different approach to get people involved in something new,” Herbert said. “We want to help (more people) enjoy the fun and serenity of fly fishing.”

Marlene Shusko, wife of instructor Shusko, praised the event. “(Herbert) comes up with really creative ideas,” she said. “This was really nice and really fun.”

Ruth Poth of Irwin and husband Richard definitely wanted to participate in the event again.

“It's beautiful out here,” Ruth Poth said. “I'm glad I saw the advertisement.”

“With fly fishing, you are moving all the time,” Richard Poth added. “You're not just sitting on the bank waiting for something to bite.”

After fishing, the couples enjoyed dinner at the resort's restaurant.

The next event will take place on June 30. The cost is $65, which includes all equipment, personal instruction and dinner. Space is limited. For more information, contact Herbert, at 724-879-4241 or

Rebecca Ridinger is a freelance writer.

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