© Submitted photo
The International Federation of Fly Fishers will honour Brookfield’s Dennis Grant, left, and his wife Verlie, later this month.
The International Federation of Fly Fishers, with a history spanning 46 years, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of flyfishing through conservation.
This year marks the first time in its history that the Lifetime Achievement in Fly Casting Instruction Award is to be awarded outside the United States.
The 2013 award will be presented to Dennis Grant of Brookfield at the IFFF International Conclave on September 25 in West Yellowstone, Montana.
Grant, a certified master casting instructor and examiner and a certified two-handed casting instructor and examiner, has been a member of the board of directors with the International Federation of Fly Fishers since 1999.
“I was elated when I received word about the award,” Grant, 71, a Liverpool native who has lived in Brookfield since 1981, said. “The best way to describe it, I was honoured. I couldn’t believe that it was me. ‘Holy smoke’ I thought, am I in too deep or do I really belong?”
Grant said he immediately researched the names of previous winners.
“I considered these winners the top people in the world in the art of fly casting,” he said. “I was amazed. Any time you get a lifetime award it kind of seems like you’re getting up in age but I’ll still be looking forward to the presentation.”
Dennis and his wife, Verlie, have booked an early September flight to Kelowna, B.C.
Following a visit with relatives they’ll drive from Kelowna to Montana for this year’s seven-day fair and banquet.
“We love to go each year,” Grant said. “I always get excited. Between 1,200 and 1,500 people from all over the world attend. You meet so many great people. Verlie and I will both be teaching fly fishing instructors as they upgrade their instruction ability. There are 50 different classes and we’ll be conducting two classes. Right now I’m tweaking my agenda in order to be ready for the class we teach.”
Grant, who retired in 2000 as a representative with Communications Energy and Paper Workers Union, was introduced to fly fishing in 1956.
“I can still clearly recall the moment,” Grant said. “I remember that first day my father took me out fishing on the river with a fly rod. I was 14 and it was Greenfield outside Liverpool. It is still in my memory like it was yesterday -- my father putting on my first fly.
“Yes, I absolutely caught a trout even if it wasn’t very big. When I think back, that was the beginning of it all for me and my love for fly fishing.”
Around 1990, Grant decided he wanted to build a fly rod and got in touch with George MacQuarrie of Middle Musquodoboit.
“George was my mentor,” Grant said. “It was in 1993 that together we organized our first fly fishing class. There were only eight to 10 who attended in the beginning. But, since that year, teaching fly casting has involved more then 3,200 different people.”
For the past 20 years Grant and his wife have owned and operated Atlantic Fly Fishing School in Brookfield.
“Overall, it’s been quite an adventure,” Verlie said. “It’s been great in that it’s been something we have been able to do together. Originally, I did all the cooking for the fly casting classes. But, I decided the sport looked like a lot of fun and I got involved. After finally getting my certification I started to teach. It has been wonderful.”
Lyle Carter’s column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.