Last week I helped my wife lead what I’m calling the Next Cast Flyfishers master class outing at East Lake. Six flyfishers between ages 11 and 15 were invited to attend the outing, the first of it’s kind for our club. These kids 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.

Here are our campers ready to fish!

Next Cast Flyfishers - Before |

Lake fishing is something most of the kids haven’t had a chance to do very much, if at all.

The inaugural Next Cast Flyfishers master class allowed them to use skills learned from the previous Fish Camps (our annual 3-day fly fishing camp).

We teamed them with mentors from Central Oregon Flyfishers who donated their time and boats. It was an opportunity to fish one-on-one with an experienced fly fishing mentor for a day.

Besides their own rods, grants from Kokanee Power and other donors were used to purchase:

  • additional rods/reels and fly lines
  • neck lanyards with nippers, mitten clamps, tippet holder, and Frogs Fanny floatant
  • fishing bags with fishing license holders, foam with two chironomid rigs attached ready to fish, and fly box for their flies

We wanted to provide them with new experiences of fishing with an intermediate line and chironomids with strike indicators. Each kid brought their own fly rod to fish dry flies and we brought 12 more rods – 6 with intermediate fly lines and 6 more with floating lines for chironomid fishing.

In preparation of the outing, we met the kids at Bend’s Confluence Fly Shop in the Old Mill on Monday and Tuesday the prior week to tie a few chironomids. After fly tying, we ventured out to the Old Mill Casting Course to have them cast a rod with an intermediate line one night and a dry line with strike indicator attached on the other night. We wanted them to experience how different these lines were from a standard dry fly line. It was time well spent.

Our camp was set up at the East Lake Cinder Hill campground.

Cinder Hill Campground |

It was scheduled in conjunction with a Central Oregon Flyfishers outing at the lake.

The kids fished, ate, and had fun toasting marshmallows for s’mores and made toasted cheese bread over the open fire, something I haven’t seen before.

Cheesebread at East Lake |

Finally, it’s time to get fishing.

John and Coe at East Lake |

Fish on!

Tim and Jett at East Lake |

The weather wasn’t the greatest with wind and rain throughout the day, but the Callibaetis mayflies began hatching and everyone caught fish…lots of fish.

Coe with Fish at East Lake |

We fished for a couple of hours and returned to camp for a late breakfast, then out again for more fishing.

Here is our Next Cast Flyfishers “Master Class” after a day of fishing and catching.

Next Cast Flyfishers - After |

Do you think the kids had a great time?

Because we were part of the Central Oregon Flyfisher’s outing, Next Cast Flyfishers helped cleanup after both evening meals.

Next Cast Cleanup Duty |

Here is breakfast on the last day – Mountain Man cooked in a dutch oven.

Dutch Oven Breakfast |

For more information about Next Cast Flyfishers, see my previous post about our camps – Fish Camp (June 2016) and Next Cast Flyfishers Camp (June 2015). Oh, here is a link to an article from the Bend Bulletin picked up by the New York Times.

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. Outstanding! What a lucky bunch of young fly fishers. And a lucky bunch of older fly fishers that had the opportunity to work with them.

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