MAKO promotes area fly fishing

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
David Moss, founding member of MAKO and club historian, displays his collection of hand tied flies. MAKO educates, promotes fly fishing. Jason Johnston

Fly fishing club is accepting new members

A regional fly fishing club is accepting area members to immerse themselves into the sport while making new friends.

Since 1988, MAKO -- which stands for Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma -- has introduced people to fly fishing, said David Moss, founding member and club historian. MAKO comes to Kids Fishing Day every May and August at Roaring River State Park.

Greg Edster, left center, MAKO president, educates children about fly fishing at the 2010 Kids Fishing Day at Roaring River State Park. Contributed Photo

"We sit them down and tie a fly for them to kind of show them how it's done," Moss said. "Then, we give the

fly to the kid. After they do that, we come down to the creek and put a fly rod in their hand and show them how to cast a fly rod.

"We also donate a couple fly tying kits and also fly rods to the giveaway program at Roaring River. The Kids Fishing Day program gives away fishing gear to the children."

The children at Kids Fishing Day love learning how to fly fish, said Dwayne Allen, founding member and club vice president. He recalled this one girl from Wichita, Kan., came to the Kids' Fishing Day two years in the row.

"You do things to kind of lighten things up and get them to relate to you and get them to talk to you because they are bashful at first," Allen said. "When I was with the Newton County Sheriff's Department, I was in charge of the crimes against children unit. While interviewing children, you try to get to where you can relate to them. My name is Dwayne. So, to get them to remember my name, I would say, 'Remember this, Dwayne the bathtub, I'm dwowning.' So, this little girl from Wichita says to her mom, 'I wonder if Dwayne the bathtub is going to be there.'"

The club promotes fly fishing to involve children, men, women and new people into the sport, he said.

"In traditional fishing, the weight of the lure is what caries it out into the water," Allen said. "In fly fishing, it's the weight of the line that moves the fly because the fly is so small."

Moss said he originally got into tying his own flies because he thought he could save money.

"Forget it," he said. "You get a fortune tied up in materials and tools. But, there is a certain amount of satisfaction on catching a fish on something that you made. You tie your own fly and you catch a fish, and you tricked the fish. You get satisfaction out of that rather than a fly that you bought at a shop."

Allen said it takes a lot of time and effort to tie a fly.

"But, it is a labor of love," he said.

MAKO advocates catch and release, Allen said. For more than 20 years, the club has adopted Capps Creek in Newton County to improve the stream and the environment around it. Capps Creek has Jolly Mill and a waterfall.

The Missouri Stream Team Program allows organizations and clubs to adopt a particular stream, Moss said. On Capps Creek, MAKO does water quality tests and counts the different species of insects.

MAKO works with the Missouri Conservation Department, the Kellogg Lake in Carthage and the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, Allen said. The club is affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers and the Conservation Federation of Missouri. MAKO also participates in the annual Fishing Clinic and Derby at the Neosho hatchery for the youth, and it hosts fly fishing and fly tying clinics.

The group tries to have an outing once a month from April through November, Moss said. The members go fishing or camping.

MAKO holds meetings at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday each month in the Redings Mill Fire Department, located at 344 Redings Mill Road in Joplin. It is on Highway 86, south of Interstate 44.

The annual membership dues are $6 for youth, $12 per person or $18 per family.

If people are interested in joining MAKO, they may contact Allen at or 918-801-2396.

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