WFC's Next Gen Fly Academy
West Fork San Gabriel River Conservancy
|Special Thanks to our
sponsors for making
the Next Gen Academy
|Glenn Campground - Located seven
miles West of the Hwy 39 gate, and
base camp for the Kids Academy.
|Camp is set-up, ready for the Kids.
|Cris briefing families on the weekend's
|Our first seven lucky kids, about to get
a two day dose of Fly Fishing and
Drew explaining the basics of Fly Tying.
|Looks like "Allie" has it figured out!
|Ryan showing how to start a fly.
|Cris explaining the life cycle of "water
bugs" aka: Trout Food.
|Mark teaching connections.
|Allie about to tie her first Surgeons
|Mark working on the sides.
|Lunch is served! Campers and
Volunteers are served three meals
during the Academy.
|After lunch, it's the Casting Clinic
|Volunteers work with the kids to teach
|Camper watching his loop form.
|After Casting class, Cris begins to set
up each Camper with the gear
generously donated by our Sponsors.
|Drew tied enough flies to fill a box for
|A Camper looking over his new
G. Loomis Rod and Reel, while Cris
explains the need to support the
Companies that support Conservation.
|Tough conditions Saturday as a big
release from Cogswell had the river
running high and hard.
|All smiles - Geared up and ready to fish.
|With conditions not improving as the
day wore on, we were off to try some
|A ten minute hike from camp had us on
a quite little tributary.
|Even in the "small water", the Wild
Trout were ready to rise and give the
kids the thrill of a Dry Fly take.
|While the kids are out trying their new
gear, Master Camp Chef Ed is working
on the next meal.
|After dinner, Campers are taught the
fine art of telling fish stories while
enjoying Peach Cobbler and Smores.
The Next Gen Fly Academy is put on by the WFC to not only teach the basics of Fly Fishing, but to also instil
conservation mindedness as well as fostering a sense of "ownership" of the Forest for future generations.
This program includes casting, knot tying, entomology, and fly tying instruction for kids between the ages of
10 and 17 and a parent. Students are invited to learn the basics of Fly Fishing on the Catch & Release
portion of the San Gabriel River and it's tributaries. Students are in for a fun filled day of fishing and
conservation, while instructors stress the "leave no trace" philosophy of the WFC.
So what is this youth program all about? The ideal age range for
eligibility is 10 to 17 years old, however we are flexible. The academy is
comprised of 3 weekend sessions throughout the year at the West Fork
San Gabriel River's Glenn Campground.
Each weekend has a different curriculum designed to educate the
participants about the various aspects of fly fishing and conservation.
Repetition and various training methods are used to instill the
knowledge as each subject is approached through a classroom setting,
a practice setting and the real thing.
The first two weekends are the Next Gen Basics and the Next Gen
Entomology Academies. Basics, and Entomology must be completed (in
either order) before a student can be entered into the final step which is
Next Gen Competition Academy.
One of each Academy is held every year, and the dates are spread out
to facilitate completion If scheduling is a problem, the student can
always pick up where they left off the following year.
Basics Academy is an introduction to the basics of fly fishing, and
conservation. In the morning the students receive a classroom
presentation on basic entomology, and conservation (leave no trace,
and proper fish handling and etiquette). They then rotate between 3
stations teaching knot tying, fly tying, and casting. The students learn
2 basic knots (improved clinch, and triple surgeons), tie two flies
(Griffiths Gnat, and PT adult mayfly), and practice casting with two
different ‘training rods’. Following lunch, the skills are applied: the
students rig up a real rod using the knots they learned and a fly they
tied, and hit the water where they demonstrate their newly honed skills.
They receive ‘on the water instruction’ on casting and reading the water.
Entomology Academy delves into aquatic bug life. This weekend
starts out with a classroom presentation of bugs specific to the West
Fork, and the Conservancy vial collections of actual West Fork bug
specimens. Several species (hatching at that time) are compared to
reference material (hatch guide) to learn some specifics about the
habits and patterns of that insect. From there, the students rotate
between 3 stations set up at the river, where they prepare their own vial
and collect some bugs with the assistance of our volunteers. The bugs
collected from each section are then reviewed in a group setting, and
we point the students towards the ones hatching at that time and why
(what’s the tale tell sign that a bug is about to hatch?). Then the
students tie replicas of the real thing. Following lunch, the students hit
the water with their patterns. They are again coached on rigging,
casting, and reading the water as they fish.
Competition Academy is the final test. In this two day camp over
session, students will compete in trash cleanup hour near the "HIRA"
(high impact recreation area), a casting contest, and a fishing contest
where the rules of the SWCFFF interclub tournament are applied.
Prizes for the most trash, best caster, flawless rig, biggest fish, and
fishing contest winners are awarded. Ultimately the completion of
Competition Academy means the students have done more than just
attending a class, rather, they have truly absorbed the material as
evidence by their retention and repeated demonstration of the skill.
|Sustaining Conservation is ALL ABOUT Educating the Next Generation of Conservationists
Transportation is provided to and from the campground from the San
Gabriel Education center where secured parking is provided.
All learning materials and fishing gear are provided for Student use
during the Academies. If needed, camping gear (for the Competition
Academy) may be available for Students/Parents who don’t have
what they need, but would like to camp. Camping is not required and
any students not camping will meet the group at the Education
Center Saturday Morning, and at the West Fork access gate on
Various graduation gifts are also awarded to the students as they
progress through Basics and Entomology Academies (i.e. a fly box
with flies, hatch guide, etc.). And for completion of the program, the
students receive a more elaborate surprise of their choice as well as
a certificate of completion.
Students completing the program will be eligible for the WFC's
"letter of recommendation program" with the US Forest Service.
Students are welcome to return and accrue "service hours" for
school credits, as well as earning a letter of recommendation from
the US Forest Service for College application purposes.
|Want more information? Read on...
|When is the next session?
The next scheduled session is April 12, 2014 This will be the "Basics
Academy" which is open to first time students.
A "Entomology Academy" will be scheduled for the fall and a "Competition
Academy" will take place in the winter.
If you have a child that is interested in applying to join our Kids Academy on
this date, please download the following application and waiver and email to