Posted on April 26 2016
It’s one of the most innovative, rewarding programs in fly fishing (personally, a life-changing experience).
The fight to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine is NOT over.
The annual Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy has grown significantly over the past seven years, with broad community support and sponsors, involvement from local Yup’ik elders and volunteers, and nearly a dozen graduates employed at Bristol Bay-area lodges and guiding businesses. This year, the academy will once again host 15 lucky Bristol Bay-area youth, giving them the foundation of skills and knowledge to pursue jobs in the sport fishing industry that thrives on the nearby rivers and draws anglers from all over the globe.
“At minimum, the students learn a new skill that has lifelong health benefits. But we are really aiming to do much more than that,” said Tim Troll, director of Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, and co-founder of the Academy. “We want to open up doors to fish-based jobs for young people, and keep more of Bristol Bay’s tourism revenue in local communities while strengthening the salmon-based economy that thrives here. We also want to help lay a foundation for collaboration and communication among river users so that communities are better equipped to address the tough conservation challenges this region will continue to face.”
Thanks to support of community and conservation organizations, the weeklong job training and conservation program is offered free of charge to students. The weeklong riverside course, through volunteer instructors, teaches fly fishing, tying, customer service and guiding basics, river etiquette, leadership, conservation and fisheries management.
“The academy has cultivated a number of passionate guides who are informed about local life and river issues and who are able to create a truly unique experience for visitors to Bristol Bay,” said Nanci Morris Lyon, lead instructor for the Academy and owner of Alaska Sportsman’s Bear Trail Lodge in Naknek. “At the end of the week, graduates are well on their way to becoming guides, have gained confidence and leadership skills, and they get to take home a fishing rod that we hope will lead to a lifetime of positive outdoor recreation.”
WHAT: Free fly-fishing and guide training program for Bristol Bay-area youth and BBNC shareholders and descendants
WHEN: June 10-17, 2016. June 16: Mock Client Day, where students will use their new skills and take members of the community and press out for a day on the water. If members of the media are interested in attending client day, please contact Jenny Weis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHERE: Mission Lodge. Aleknagik, Alaska.
WHO: Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy is organized through the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program with support from UAF- Bristol Bay campus and dozens of additional sponsors.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: please see www.bristolbayriveracademy.org