Every Summer I look forward to Tahoe Truckee Fly Fisher's Cliff Frazier Memorial, a youth program that introduces kids to every element of fly fishing. Many members from the club volunteer their time at the actual event including professionals like myself, but what people do not see is the many hours of behind the scenes work that takes place. With no money to profit from, we simply do this for the kids with a hope they will become stewards of our rivers as they become adults.
During the two and a half day event the students learn casting, knots, equipment selection, entomology, rigging, fly tying, and the process of hooking, fighting, and landing fish. We also teach them about conservation, how to properly handle fish, and stream side etiquette. The Cliff Frazier event is one of the best kid's programs in the entire country.
On day two I lead the entomology workshop which starts with a simple PowerPoint program as an introduction to the world of aquatic insects. This year we had live specimens during the program which were projected digitally on the screen in real time. After this phase of the class was done we headed down to the river to take a thorough sampling from the Truckee River.
The kids really enjoy this segment of the program, and they get so excited while collecting bugs because simply, bugs are fun. The amount of aquatic insects collected and the diversity was astonishing. The new restoration work that was completed last year on the San Francisco Fly Casting Club's property included "W", "U", and "V" weirs which created not only better habitat for trout, but also for the bugs. The stonefly population has quadrupled since the weirs have been put in due to the fact that there is more aeration which stone flies thrive in.
Day 2 and 3 was all about the catching, and the kids were dedicated to doing such. All types of rigs worked, nymphing with indicators, streamers, dry flies, and dry/dropper rigs. A record 272 trout were brought to the net! - Many hundreds more hooked but never landed. It was incredible!
For many of the students this was their first time holding a big trout, their faces hurt at the end of the day from having perma-grins from ear to ear.
I'm already looking forward to the 2019 CFM event, if you would like to enroll your special little soon to be fly angler, please contact the Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers HERE.
Special thanks to Mike Brugh, the many volunteers, TTFF club members, our sponsors, and lastly the San Francisco Fly Casting Club for the use of their facility - Which is world class! See you next year kids, I can't wait!