Fish Camp 2013

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.

fish camp

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
•  Leave-No-Trace

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.

Submitted to the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival at Handbook of Nature Study.
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Dedication and Passion

When Sweetie started fly tying earlier this year, she learned of a scholarship opportunity to attend Fish Camp. She expressed interest in going to camp and talked of it frequently. Under the tutelage of experts, the young anglers learn the fundamentals of casting, fly fishing techniques, advanced fly tying, and outdoor skills through an award winning summer fly fishing camp located in Northern California. Surrounded by miles of private stream and fish-filled lakes that provide the ideal fresh-air classroom, the kids have a blast catching (and releasing) lots of trout on flies they tied themselves.

She thereby wrote two essays as a part of the application process and begged to go even if she didn’t win a scholarship. Yesterday, she received a call from one of the volunteers on the selection committee announcing that she had been selected. Knowing that she would be taking part in the fly fishing expo today along side her mentors, she was very excited; I doubt she slept much.

She has shared her winning essays on her blog. I encourage you to hop over and read about what she enjoys most about fly fishing and why she wants to go to camp.  She is pictured here with one of the local fly fishers and with another young angler who was also selected as a scholarship winner.

Fly Tying 101 – Weeks Five & Six

Guest Blogger ~ Geneva

During week #5, we learned how to tie a Pheasant tail fly.  The Pheasant tail fly uses a lot of Pheasant tail feathers.  It looks really cool when it is all done though it was a little confusing to make.  The woman pictured behind me is one of the volunteers in my class.  She is considered to be one of the world’s best fly tyers.

Week #6 – The last week of the class was probably the most fun. We got to tie a Copper John. This one was really cool because we got to split the tail in half.

I really enjoyed Fly Tying class.  The volunteers said that they will have another class in the spring and if there is enough interest, they will do an advanced class.  I hope the other kids want to do it again because I would love to learn how to make more advanced flies.

They also have a summer camp in July.  I am going to write a couple of essays so that I can hopefully win a scholarship to the camp.  I think it would be a lot of fun.

Fly Tying 101 – Week Four

Guest Blogger ~ Geneva
This week in fly tying class we learned to tie a lure.  A lure is not actually a fly but a hook with flashy stuff to attract the fish.  Once they are lured in close, you can change your hook. You can sometimes hook them with just the lures, too.

I also learned in class about a fun Fish Camp in the summer.  It costs a lot of money so I am going to write two essays so I can maybe I can go on a scholarship.

This is a great fly tying website, Fly Anglers OnLine, Your Complete Internet Flyfishing Resource.  On the home page, if you go to the left column and click on FOTW (fly of the week), you’ll tap into thousands of fly tying patterns.
There are also three levels of fly tying courses (after you click on “fly tying” in the left column), and lots of other articles and information.   Warning:  this can eat up lots of your time, so it’s best to save it until after all studying and homework is done for the day.
Today my mom and dad gave me a fly tying kit.  It was my birthday gift.  They waited to buy it until after the class so they would know what kind of kit to buy.  I am really excited.

Fly Tying 101 – Week Three

Guest Blogger ~ Geneva

In Fly Tying class this week we learned how to tie a Zebra Midge.  We tied two similar flies that were very quick and easy.  It is a great sub-surface fly.  It resembles a mosquito larvae.

The tool that I am using in this picture is called a whip finish it does a whole lot of half knots at one time. This is a cool and fun fly to tie.

The person on the left is one of the teachers. He is very helpful. Below are the flies that I tied in class this week. They are very small.

The two on the right are ones that are coming to the surface to live the rest of their lives. They all have a small gold bead to resemble the fly’s head.

Fly Tying 101 – Week Two

Guest Blogger ~ Geneva

I love fly tying. Today we got to make a fly that is suppose to resemble the Caddis Fly. The Caddis Fly, in it’s early life or nymph stage, lives in a tube that it makes out of little pieces of rock and wood.

You can find them in creeks, streams, and some rivers. The trout loves to eat them, so this is a fly that works well on trying to catch trout.

You usually tie the fly with a small hook. This is a really cool fly when you are done tying it. One cool thing about tying this fly is that you use a torch and just catch the end on fire to make a butt.

This is my friend that is doing the fly tying class with me. I’m glad that we get to do it together. I think it is more fun that way.