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October 07, 2002
[Penn State]
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October 07, 2002

Best Fishing Class

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[ Penn State]

Fishing clubs and classes are popular at many colleges, including Purdue and Montana. But Penn State's three-course fly-fishing series—first taught by angling legend George Harvey in 1947—is the perfect mix of fun and education. "Fly fishing is a science: You have to know entomology, geology, hydrology," says instructor Mark Belden, who teaches all of those things, plus casting and fly tying. Some 250 students a year take Belden's courses, which make use of the half-dozen blue-ribbon fishing streams within 30 miles of campus. The students throw back the brown trout they catch but take home a lifelong passion. Says Belden, "If these kids are still dreaming about flyfishing when at their big-city jobs, I've succeeded."