SAO Pages

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Passing The Torch!

This past weekend was our second annual Kid's Fly Fishing Camp. Each year 10 to 12 youngsters make the journey over to the Allegheny's to partake in everything from casting, rigging, fly tying, fly selection, proper catch and release, and when and how to harvest. Most importantly each kid learns the value of team work, and leaves with the confidence and a sense of accomplishment that only fly fishing can deliver. Here's a glimpse into our weekend...

8:00am Saturday Morning briefing and the start of our weekend.

After briefing each excited angler is given the opportunity to stock a few trout. Nothing like being a kid and seeing the stock truck show up with a few beautiful fish. To say they were excited would not describe the moment. 

After stocking the kids were broke up into partners, and began learning to tie the fly patterns that were going to be used while fishing that afternoon. Each student was required to tie two flies.

Mike Sowers took the opportunity to take the lead and help each kids complete their goal of tying two patterns for the days fishing.

We were all amazed at how well each tied and the amount of effort each angler put into their patterns.

Fly patterns that were tied included the Woolly Bugger, San Juan Worm, Soft Hackles, Marabou Streamers, Clouser Minnows, and the Elk Hair Caddis.

It wasn't long after the fly tying that each angler and their fishing partner set out for an afternoon of casting and fishing. The goal was that each fishing partner would work to help each other on everything from casting, spotting fish, netting, and sharing in each others experience! 

When it all comes together! Great job!

Jason Gregory dedicated the weekend to wearing many hats, and helping out with casting and the simple things these boys needed to learn while on the stream. 

Shawn Brillon from the Orvis company and his son RJ made the long trip up from Vermont to be instructors and apart of making this weekend a success for all our young guests.

As you can see the patience each angler put into tying their flies and into learning good casting presentations paid off.

Each team of anglers found success during the afternoon and showed great sportsmanship and friendship toward one another, as each angler made sure (on their own BTW) that no one left the stream without hooking, landing, and releasing a trout! If only all anglers would treat each other this way...

As dinner approaches Jay worked hard to get these hungry kids fed well.

This year we decided to teach the kids how to properly field dress and prepare a trout for a camp fire dinner. Here Dave demonstrates and helps the boys clean 4 trout. The boys decide that with all the other food, that 4 trout would be plentiful and an acceptable harvest.  

I really think that this was one thing many of these boys have never been exposed to, and they dove into the opportunity to learn, and what it was like to eat food they had worked hard to harvest.

I took the time to show and assist each boy in making the perfect Citrus Brook Trout!

Here's a close up of one of the Brook Trout the boys prepared.

The trout along with beans and potatoes were all cooked over the camp fire.

Here's a pic of the camp fire dinner these boys helped complete!

Sitting around the camp fire, feasting on trout, burgers, dogs, potatoes, and beans. The fishing stories weren't half bad either :)

A pic of all the gear and items donated to the kids by the Orvis Company.  

Each anglers name was placed into a hat and when their name was drawn they had to pick a prize to give to one of their fellow anglers. Each angler left with more than a few nice gifts. 

This lucky angler was voted by his peers to have demonstrated the most sportsmanship and was awarded a new rod and reel outfit for his efforts. Shawn Brillon and RJ from Orvis were on hand to award and offer congrats to this fine young man.

After a night of marshmallow's and camp fire stories they were back at it.

What a beautiful catch!

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the parents involved! Dave-o, Flip, and Thunder!!! Thank you for bringing the boys into town and being a part of these boys lives on a daily basis! Jason and Mike thanks for all your hard work and being apart of this project over the past two years! A special thank you to Shawn Brillon, RJ, and The Orvis Company for being a huge part of this event. Most importantly to all you young anglers who attended- I am honored to have the opportunity to host and have you all as fishing partners each year! I look forward to what next spring will bring.

1 comment:

Patrick Campbell said...

1. Good heavens Mike Sowers has built one big beard since I saw him last :)

2. What a great idea for the creek this year. One of the early fishing adventures I had with my daughters was stocking our pond and to this day they relate back to that when we discuss fishing. Great stuff!!!