The fishing was only so-so, but the opportunity to swap fishing stories and fly-casting tips was a rousing success. Sponsored by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association and the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, the second annual Congressional Casting Call took fly-fishing to our nation's Capital. The event brought Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton, members of Congress and several officials from the Bush administration and various federal agencies together with fly-fishers for instruction and guided trips on the Potomac River.
Lefty Kreh quickly had Secretary Norton making crisp casts while other representatives from the fly-fishing industry and conservation groups joined local guides in offering casting instruction and camaraderie at the event. The day included a second session on the east lawn of the Capitol and an evening reception in the Rayburn House Office Building.
The Casting Call was fun, but more important, it offered an opportunity to exchange thoughts face-to-face on fisheries management and conservation issues. More than one member of Congress went home thinking about how a tailing loop was fixed, as well as some of the environmental issues discussed. And that, after all, was the point.