Last week I helped my wife lead the 2017 Next Cast Flyfishers master class outing at East Lake. She has done a terrific job leading these young fly fishers. Seven fly fishers between ages 12 and 16 were invited to attend this year’s outing. This was the second year we held the camp for these experienced fly fishers. The kids who were invited to attend have participated in numerous Next Cast activities, including multiple Fish Camps, river clean-ups, fly casting, and fly tying.
Our goal was to help these kids be self-sufficient in their fly fishing journey. They’ve learned to put their own rods together, tie knots, attach tippets and flies, and even use a few of their own hand-tied flies.
We teamed them with mentors from Central Oregon Flyfishers on Friday and Saturday who donated their time and boats. It was an opportunity to fish one-on-one with an experienced fly fishing mentor for a day.
This outing was the first opportunity to use rods made by COF member Charlie Schillinsky. He wrapped 12 rods, all using different thread colors and added feathers above the handle. They are beautiful!
Our camp was set up at the East Lake Cinder Hill campground.
It was scheduled in conjunction with a Central Oregon Flyfishers outing at the lake. It was great to see the kids interact with other club members who wanted to help these kids be successful fly fishers.
Last year, it rained and almost snowed during our outing. This year was totally different. The sun shown and the temps were hot with lots of wind most of the day.
I was able to take a couple Next Caster’s out one evening after the wind died.
The fish cooperated as we fished close to shore. They were able to hook and land several on dry flies.
The evening was beautiful and a full moon came up and was a spotlight all night. Here is what it looked like at 4:34 am.
And a few hours latter, sunrise was just as spectacular.
The kids fished their hearts out, but the fish were tough to catch. They ended up casting from shore and were able to hook and land some really nice fish.
One of the lessons learned is patience while waiting for the fish to take their fly.
The last night, the kids built a campfire and made s’mores. The next morning, I pulled out the cast iron dutch ovens and cooked a couple of Mountain Man casseroles. There were no leftovers as the kids, mentors, and parents cleaned up both.
I hope we created a few memories these kids will cherish at the 2017 Next Cast Flyfishers master class.
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