My daughter has been fascinated with fly fishing for as long as I can remember. What is funny though is that neither my husband nor I fish, so how she came to be interested is a bit of a mystery. Most of her experience has revolved around tying flies, however, not actually fishing.
This past year she had the opportunity to take two 6-week fly tying courses through the local fly fishing association. In addition to demonstrating how to tie numerous flies, the instructors shared with us a scholarship opportunity to attend Fish Camp. She expressed interest in going to camp and talked of it frequently. She applied for a scholarship and was delighted to have been selected. You can read her essays on her blog, My Fish Camp Scholarship Application.
Each summer kids from all across the U.S. come to enjoy a week at Fish Camp, a unique program that offers children the opportunity to experience the mystique of fly fishing coupled with the serenity of the outdoors. Boys and girls, 10-15 years of age, arrive each week with smiles painted on their faces and sleeping bags in hand, visions of leaping fish dancing in the back of their minds. A few short days later, campers have all caught fish on a fly (many on their own hand-tied flies!), met new friends, and experienced countless adventures in the great outdoors.
With over a decade of experience introducing hundreds of young campers to the wonders of fly fishing, they have put together a great itinerary, with plenty of fishing time every day, workshops on a variety of different aspects of fly fishing, fly tying in the evenings after dinner, and stories and S’Mores around the campfire each night. Some of the lessons include:
• Fly Casting (roll cast, overhead fly cast, false casting, shooting line)
• Fly Tying
• Knots (Improved Clinch, Double Surgeon’s, Perfection Loop)
• Basic Entomology and what fish eat
• Reading the Water
• Safe Wading Techniques
• Catch & Release Rainbow & Brown Trout in our stream and lakes
When we picked her up at the conclusion of camp, she was brimming from ear to ear. Her experience at camp had been everything she dreamed it would be and so much more. The counselors nominated her “Most likely to have her fly pattern published”. On the drive home she exclaimed, “Catching a fish on my own fly is the best feeling in the world! It is so cool, I can’t put it in words.”
She is already planning on attending camp again next year. Until then, I think we’ll need to buy a fly rod and reel.