Cass Railroad offers programs

CASS – It could be the name of a song, “Trains and Fishing.” But it’s the focus of a fly fishing workshop at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park May 31-June 1.

“We’re casting this two-day workshop to anyone who wants to learn or try fly fishing,” said Monica Fleming, Cass activity coordinator. “The basics of equipment, stream biology, fly tying and types of flies to use for streams, casting and basic knot tying will be included.”

For experienced anglers, this clinic teaches fly fishing techniques. A Sunday expedition into the Shaver’s Fork area will be a fishing experience akin to Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River,” only of a shorter duration, according to Fleming.

The workshop is open to any angler. The fee includes instruction, stream ecology, a train ride to Spruce, two boxed lunches and a set of flies. Equipment is not included.

Workshop instructors are Jim Rainey, C. “Biff” Healy, and Jeff Steltzer. Anglers will need a West Virginia fishing license with trout and national forest stamps. Licenses are available online at

The course outline, equipment needed for the workshop and class and the departure times are posted at the Cass Scenic Railroad website, Company house rentals also are available in the town of Cass. To register for the Fly Fishing Workshop or to reserve a company house, call 304-456-4300.

Rainey is a 25-year retired Army veteran who spent the past 20 years working in the nonprofit world as a fundraiser and association executive. In his “second career,” he has been executive director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) and executive director of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF). He is an IFFF certified fly casting Instructor. Rainey is a 33-year member of Trout Unlimited (TU) and has served on the boards of three TU chapters.

Healy, a graduate of West Virginia University and Butler County Community College, is an avid fly fisherman, fly tier and rod builder. He has pursued trout for more than 40 years and is now an instructor of the art and a member of Trout Unlimited, Cumberland Valley Chapter. Healy is a retired Pennsylvania law enforcement officer and was employed at Holly River State Park as a naturalist for several summers after retiring.

Steltzer is a graduate of Colgate University. Retired after 40 years of steelmaking, coal mining and benefaction, Steltzer has more than 50 years of fly fishing experience and is a specialist in small stream fly fishing. He is master of the bow and arrow.