I was approached to discuss trout and perhaps some fly fishing with students of Winona Senior Highs Fish and Wildlife class. I began doing some more general research on trout, developed a game plan, and put things in motion. To help present information on Minnesota trout I used the typical boring powerpoint presentation but I used youtube videos of trout spawning, and mayflies hatching to help keep the attention of students. I decided that I needed to have real trout food for students to inspect which would double to help explain why certain flies are tied the way they are, such as a caddis larva and its imitation. I took samples from a spot I had visited a few months ago and brought them in for students to examine while we discussed macro-invertebrates.
I structured the lecture to explain trout in Minnesota and their behavior prior to jumping into anything to do with fly fishing. The class was an hour and twenty minutes and I used every second of my time. I spent forty-five minutes with my presentation on trout and then spent twenty minutes to discuss the absolute basics of fly fishing ie. rod/reel, fly line/leader/tippet, casting, presentation ect… With the last twenty minutes I had the kids gather round while I tied three basic patterns, the basic un-cased caddis larva, a PT nymph, and a BWO Compara Dun. I managed to get all three ties in with my time while explaining why they were tied and how they were fished as I went.
I was very pleased to be invited back to do another lecture next term for the same class. For next time I will be changing some of the information around to maximize the time. I was pleased with the information I gave, I believe it to be accurate but still emphasized places to reference and learn more while giving the kids information to make their own choices on issues such as, is C&R always a good idea? I gave out handouts on how to help a trout recover after release so that if the kids choose to C&R they will know how to release the trout without it dying downstream.
I had an excellent time and once I got going students were paying attention and asking good questions, I was able to answer most of them and point them in the direction of answers if I couldn’t provide one.
Kids watching someone tie flies is a good thing. Nice work.