By Carol Anderson
There are two very exciting announcements from the VP of Education for this month’s newsletter. First, the Fly Fisher’s International Youth Curriculum is finally in the process of being transferred to the FFI main website. This preliminary curriculum was presented at the Fly Fishing Expo November 2021 to parents, children and FFI clubs and councils. It received enthusiastic support from participants. Finding time to transfer materials from the presentation medium to our main FFI website has been slow due to a work overload at headquarters. We have Dutch Baughman and Rhonda Sellers to thank for clearing a path to make the transfer happen.
Kids are always looking for an adventure. Fly fishing can be one of those adventures, but it takes time and patience.The new youth education curriculum presents basic fly fishing skills so kids can easily understand the essential skills needed to actively participate. The curriculum content is designed to be “Kid friendly” and above all fun. Kids and their friends can quickly learn a single skill and then go on the water to practice. With lots of topics to explore kids will feel like they are on an adventure with the kids shown on screen. Orvis education has played a heavy role in the curriculum content as have other providers from you tube and our own knowledgeable young people.
The “Hold Your Own Academy” content section provides FFI clubs and councils with online training and a downloadable manual to plan and hold local fly fishing academies. The manual presents materials for initial planning, volunteer recruitment/training, safety, instructions for the actual on-the-ground of the academy program and much more.
Please remember that developing this comprehensive FFI Youth Curriculum is an Iterative process, so you may see changes in content material as soon as we post it. As always your thoughts, activities, suggestions and photos are welcome. I will be traveling all summer 2022 to film kids enacting the skills they learned from fly fishing online instruction.
Our second exciting news is the Northwest Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Academy will be held once again this coming summer and will introduce at least 12 youngsters to the world of fly fishing. The academy is to be housed at Gwinwood Retreat Center, a private campground on Hicks Lake in Lacey, Washington. The academy date is the last week of June this year. Instructors, mentors and youth will follow the Covid protocol guidelines from Trout Unlimited, FFI National, the CDC and local health regulations during the camp.
Unfortunately the Academy was paused due to Covid lockdowns and so this year we are really looking forward to working with a new group of youngsters. The NWYCFFA is a collaborative education project of the Washington Council of Trout Unlimited and the Washington State Council of Fly Fishers International. Our goal is to open the door for today’s youth to learn conservation and fly fishing, regardless of financial means, for any serious minded youth willing to do engage in this wonderful activity.
The Academy is a life changing experience for our youth’s attitude about stewardship, conservation, and fly fishing. The knowledge they learn about the abundance of life in our rivers, lakes and streams is invaluable and it is imperative that we preserve this event for our current youth so they become future conservationists and fly fishers.
Hands-on activities are part of every class, helping to make the learning experience fun and memorable. Campers will tie their own flies, learn basic knot types, practice casting and identify locally-collected aquatic invertebrates. While examining the aquatic invertebrates, they will also learn about water quality and what impacts affect water quality. Safety in and around water is a must for all campers to learn as well. All youngsters will have a chance to actively practice their newly acquired skills and fish in the lake and streams. Our request to you is that your organization budget to contribute to the Academy in 2022. Your continuing support is needed to make this year’s camp and future camps a continuing success. Please send your contributions payable to:
WCTU, and “Academy” listed in the “For” section of the check,
c/o Mike Clancy, 2531 Simon Lane NE,
Olympia, WA 98506.
Get more information about this year’s academy from our updated website: