By Mike Clancy and Jim Brosio – Co-Directors, The Academy 

Twentyone enthusiastic boys and girl graduated from the 2018 NW Youth Conservation and Flyfishing Academy this past summer.         

After a week of classroom study, classes in fly tying, knot tying, conservation, stream side ethics and etiquette, water safety, stillwater fly fishing techniques, matching the hatch, exploring a stream to learn about “Living Waters”, principals of ecology and disecting a fish, they were tired. A couple days we started at 5am to go to the ponds or rivers to learn how to fly fish.  It’s not about catching, it’s about learning how to catch and how to read the waters, how to walk in a river, learn to mend.  They fished both morning and evening

This event is not for the faint of heart, we kept them busy.  They do an amazing job of keeping up with the program. The Academy is held at The Gwinwood Community Center on Hicks Lake in Lacey, WA.

To participate, each applicant is required to write an essay explaining why he or she wants to attend The Academy and they also need a letter of recommendation from their school counselor, TU/FFi organization president, or a responsible person.  The essays were remarkable and their letters of recommendations were as well. We were privileged to have over 40 volunteers again this year.  If it wasn’t for the volunteers and the financial support from TU, FFI, WSCFFI Fly Fishing Clubs, WCTU and TU Chapters, business organizations, private individuals and folks like you – this event would never happen.  I must remark – every penny that is donated to The Academy for the kids, goes 100% to the effort to make this event the success it is. 


So on behalf of the youth, the staff, and the community

– thank you! 



Enrollment open for 2019 Academy


The 2019 Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy will be held June 23-29, 2019 at Gwinwood Community Center on Hicks Lake in Lacey, WA.  The event is one full week with the staff and youth living at the Gwinwood Center and boarding in cabins.  Meals are provided.  Students need to bring their personal belongings, i.e., sleeping bags, pillows, rubber boots, etc.  All fishing gear and fly tying equipment is provided, however, students may bring their own fishing gear.

The event is supported by WCTU and WSCFFi and members of South Sound FF, Olympia Chapter TU, and Puget Sound Fly Fishers of Tacoma.

The enrollment fee for each student is only $300, sponsorships are available through TU Chapters, WSCFFi fly clubs and private donations.  No applicant will be turned away because of lack of funds. 

Applications will be accepted starting January 1, 2019 until April 15, 2019.  Applications may be downloaded from our website –,via email to or call 360-753-1259. Each applicant must submit an essay explaining why THEY want to attend The Academy.   A letter of recommendation is required from a school teacher or counselor.