Last week, I got the opportunity to be a counselor for the Trout Unlimited Youth Camp in Pittsburg, NH. For five days, children from ages 13 to 16 come and learn important skills. These include casting, fly tying, reading the water, bug ID, and, of course, time on the water.
This year, we had nine campers and nine counselors. This allowed for individual attention on the water. The campers’ experience ranged greatly. Some had never held a fly rod before, while others were experts in their own right.
We mostly fished on the Trophy Stretch, although we ventured below Murphy’s and Back Lake as well. The latter allowed the campers the opportunity to cast oversized dries to aggressive bass and trout during the Hex hatch.
A Back Lake rainbow caught on a Hex dry
As with any “learn to fly fish” program, there were challenges. Casting was the first major obstacle to overcome. Other challenges included line management, strike detection and hook-setting.
Given the short period of time, however, I was stunned at how quickly the campers absorbed their instruction. In the end, every camper caught a fish and went home having hopefully gained a newfound passion.
Small, but pretty Trophy Stretch Brookie
Now you see me, now you don’t