By Carol Anderson V.P. Education

Give your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews’, or your neighbors’ kids an exciting week at the Northwest Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy scheduled for the last week of June 2023.

This premier Washington State Fly Fishing camp for kids 12-17 sponsored by Trout Unlimited and supported by Washington State Council FFI is now available for sign-upon the Academy website:

When you give this hands-on summer fly fishing camp to a kid in your life, they will learn a unique combination of fishing and science designed to develop lifelong fly fishing enthusiasts. It is a gift of learning and memorable experiences that lasts forever.

The NWYCFFA has a long and successful history. Established in the early 2000’s, the Academy has operated every year since except 20/21 due to COVID restrictions. This year’s 2022 Academy’s marked the final camp at Gwinwood in Lacey, WA, and an end to a nearly 20yr relationship. The Academy’s new co-directors have chosen to move the camp to a newly updated venue at Panhandle Lake Camp near Shelton, Washington to be closer to small rivers and situated on a fully stocked trout lake.

The 2023 Academy features a completely revised curriculum of current science information and fly-fishing skills. The program is perfect for boys and girls ages 12-17 and is suitable for both the eager beginner and kids who have already had some fly fishing experience.

Spending time in nature has always been a joy for kids and families, especially during summer vacations. We have observed a decline in youth fishing participation perhaps due to busy family life and a lack of fly fishing education venues. As younger generations replace outdoor experiences with time in front of a computer monitor, they often lose their connection with nature.

Given a chance, adolescents are keen to be outside and to learn to catch fish. The NWYCFF Academy is an excellent opportunity to refresh a love for the outdoors. Academy attendees learn Fly Fishing skills, conservation science, and to grow self-confidence by experiencing task affirming accomplishments.

The Academy provides a valuable life-changing experience; benefits that carry on throughout a teenagers’ life.

The new NWYCFFA hands-on curriculum reinforces:

♦ Patience: standing quietly in a river or lake, waiting for a perfect catch is an exercise in patience; something you won’t find online in an age of instant gratification.

♦ Creative Outwitting: Fooling a wise old trout into taking your fly, trout are remarkably selective in their feeding habits. Learning to fool the fish takes careful observation and problem solving skills – understanding fish habitats and habits. Stu- dents practice these skills daily as they scan the water, air, and nearby plants for signs of what fish might like to eat.

♦ Practice, Practice, Practice: There are no shortcuts to becoming a great fly fisherman; it takes practice and perseverance. The more participants work through prescribed daily lesson practice, the better they become.