New Brunswick Salmon Council High School / Youth Fly-Fishing Club Program
Have you ever tried (or considered trying) fly-fishing? If so, you are sure to have enjoyed the tranquility and excitement of being surrounded by nothing more than the forest, sky and stream while casting a fly in anticipation of “the strike”. No doubt, you have fond memories of where you first began fly-fishing and who introduced you to the magic of the river… perhaps your Dad, your grandmother, or family friend. It surely was an education like no other.
At one time, in the days before the world-wide-web, cell phones and Facebook, going fishing was a common family activity and kids had many opportunities to spend hours on end exploring their local brooks and ponds for trout or any other fish that would bite their hooks. Nowadays, go to your favourite salmon pool and you are much more likely to see gray hair than peach fuzz!
The NB Salmon Council, a regional council of the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF), plans to reverse that trend by helping to introduce middle and high school age kids to the art and sport of fly-fishing, and to the many fine angling opportunities the rivers, lakes and streams of New Brunswick provide. Not only do we want to introduce kids to the sport, but we want them to develop the skills and the knowledge that will enable them to “head out to the river” on their own, or with friends and family, confident in their abilities to share the river with others and to protect and conserve our wild fish populations, having a fantastic time in the process!
Consider the possibilities if your school launches its own fly-fishing club… Members can:
- Learn all about what is needed to go fly-fishing – the rod, the reel, the line, the flies
- Learn how to prepare the gear, tie knots and cast a fly
- Learn how to tie their own flies
- Learn how to read and understand the angling regulations guide
- Understand angler etiquette and how to behave when out on the waters
- Learn about the mysterious and fascinating life cycle of wild Atlantic salmon
- Learn about the deep cultural connection New Brunswickers have for wild Atlantic salmon and the sport of fly-fishing
- Understand why conservation is important and how to safely handle and release fish
- Learn how to handle a canoe, possibly getting flat-water certification if available
- Learn about guiding and outfitting as a future career path consideration
- Learn about the Crown Reserve and how to apply for the annual draw
- Become members of the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) and local volunteer-based watershed/conservation groups
- Develop a “Club Fly” based on the school colors and mascot
- Include a club photo in the school yearbook
- Run a club website, posting photos, videos and stories to share with other clubs
- Receive discounts on fly-fishing gear and materials
- And best of all – GO FISHING
How do we get this started? If you are a teacher, coach or volunteer, are interested in fly-fishing and would like to be the champion of launching a club in your local high school or youth organization, contact the NB Salmon Council for more information, advice and support. Our dedicated volunteers will help you establish contact with local watershed and angling organizations and provide advice on getting things going. There are already clubs active in NB and they are willing to share their experience and provide ideas to you as you get things going.