2016 Northwest Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Academy


Our Future Leaders in Conservation
Applications are now being accepted for the annual Northwest Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy to be held during the last full week of June.

The Academy is located on Hicks Lake at the Gwinwood Conference Grounds in Lacey, Washington. Its purpose is to educate youth about the importance of coldwater conservation and natural resource stewardship.

Twenty-four youths, ages 12 to 16, who show an interest in stewardship and fly fishing will be selected to attend. Acceptance will be based upon a written essay indicating a candidate’s desire to attend and a recommendation from his/her school science teacher or counselor. Students need not be experienced anglers. Application period is from January 1 to April 15 of each year. Cost, including meals and lodging, is $300. Fly fishing rods, reels, and fly tying equipment will be made available.

The Academy is modeled after the nationally acclaimed, award winning Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp held annually in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.


  • Academy is coeducational ages 12 - 16.
  • Academic classes focus on conservation and natural resource stewardship.
  • Fly fishing classes include gear selection, fly casting, fly tying, streamside ethics and etiquette, knot tying, reading the water, and water safety.
  • Morning and evening fly fishing opportunities on scenic Hicks Lake and Deschutes River.
  • Hands-on experience with habitat enhancement project.
  • On-the-water aquatic invertebrate sampling activity.
  • Faculty and staff include wildlife resource professionals, noted northwest fly fishing and fly-tying professionals and enthusiasts, and Trout Unlimited volunteers.
  • Career discovery opportunities.
  • Hosted by Olympia Chapter Trout Unlimited, South Sound Fly Fishers and Puget Sound Fly Fishers.

Why a Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy?
While some of the best stewards of our aquatic resources are anglers, the last decade has seen a decrease in the number of people, primarily youth, becoming involved in the sport of fishing. Fewer people fishing might well imply a smaller number of advocates and less political influence when it comes to environmental and conservation concerns.

Recognizing the critical need for a new generation of educated, concerned, and dedicated stewards of our natural resources, delegates to the July 2000 Trout Unlimited National Convention adopted an initiative to promote youth natural resource stewardship education nationwide. In response to the initiative the Washington Council Trout Unlimited established the Northwest Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy.

The sport of fly fishing is an ideal vehicle for educating youth about stewardship and to ascertain a more positive future for our coldwater resources. It is an activity that can immerse one in nature and bring about a passion for the care and respect of all our natural resources.

Upon completion of the Academy, students will have gained an understanding, appreciation, and awareness of Washington's coldwater resources and habitat of trout and salmonids. In addition, they will have developed essential fly fishing skills, knowledge of outdoor ethics, and an awareness of sport fishing opportunities in Washington State. The Academy experience will truly prepare its participants to become the next generation of resource stewards and future leaders in conservation.

For application or further information contact:
Mike Clancy
Telephone: (360) 753-1259

Jim Brosio

Telephone: (360) 943-9947
E-mail address - nwycffa@comcast.net

Tom Van Gelder

Telephone: (253) 261-6129

Visit our web site - http://www.nwycffa.com

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