Do you know any teenagers that are interested in fly fishing and conservation?
This is a week-long camp organized by Colorato TU. The dates this year are June 12-18, 2022. It is located in Taylor Park, at the AEI Base.
Our chapter is willing to underwrite one or two applicants, but the deadline for applying is April 10, 2022. Please contact projects@collegiatePeaksTU.org by email for more information.
About the camp
MISSION AND VISION
It is our vision to inspire the next generation of river stewards. We do this by providing youth a safe, fun and inclusive environment to learn how conservation and a passion for the outdoors and fly fishing come together in an overall ethic.
The camp was established in 2006 when 20 campers gathered in Parshall, Colorado to complete a week-long program of STEM-based conservation education and instruction in the art of fly fishing. The camp was the vision of CTU Board of Directors member, Sharon Lance, who envisioned a program designed such that participants can imagine multiple education and career paths that align with their personal passion for the outdoors. More than 250 teens have attended the camp representing all corners of the state of Colorado, and some states beyond. Campers complete a week-long program that balances STEM-based conservation education with building and improving fly fishing skills. They participate in hands-on conservation activities and receive one-on-one and group instruction in the art of fly fishing. Their experience is enriched as they make lifelong relationships, “finding their people” and bonding with peers of similar interests. The program exposes campers to the complexity of water management in the west and its nexus with recreation. The diversity of the conservation program is designed so that participants can envision multiple education and career paths that align with their personal passion for the outdoors.
The camp is run with a staff of Trout Unlimited volunteers committed to mentoring the young leaders of the future. A number of volunteers have been engaged with the camp for much of its history. The staff includes counselors that attended camp originally as campers, and have successively filled the role of junior counselor, and are now senior counselors.
Our program is presented in a daily agenda that typically includes both a conservation and a fishing activity. It consists of hands-on conservation exercises and fly fishing skills instruction and coaching. Campers use a field notebook designed to guide and chart their experiences.
- Introduction to Stream Entomology – Campers are introduced to the major trout food groups through discussion, reference materials, and an interactive game.
- Fly Tying – Campers learn basic fly tying skills through a series of instructor-led lessons. They have the opportunity throughout the week to practice their skills and learn more patterns. More advances tiers receive instruction for new patterns and skills. The week culminates with a fly tying contest with several different categories to compete under.
- Gear Basics – Campers learn the most useful fly fishing gear and its correct use.
- Knots and Rigging – Campers learn the required knots to correctly rig their fly line and leader. They also learn how to rebuild their leader. skills are reinforced through friendly games and competitions.
- Fly Casting – Campers are introduced to fly casting and have opportunities throughout the week to practice and improve their casting skills through games and competitions and fishing. More advanced casters receive one-on-one instruction to tune their skills and learn new techniques.
- Wading Safety and Survival – Campers learn how to safely navigate the river.
- Fly Fishing Ethics – Campers are introduced to a code of stream-side ethics and state laws and regulations. They also learn how to safely handle fish for photography and release.
- Reading a River – Campers translate their hydrology lessons to understanding where trout feed, rest, and generally occupy various river morphology.
- Journals – Campers learn the value of recording a fly fishing journal. They have the option of maintaining a journal during the week and prizes are awarded for the highest quality journals.
- Fishing – Campers have ample opportunity to experience various river and pond fishing locations. Camp counselors act as guides to coach and encourage campers.
- Introduction to Trout Unlimited: Campers are introduced to the history and roll that Colorado Trout Unlimited plays in protecting the places that we love to fish.
- Benthic Macro invertebrate Survey: Campers learn how to perform a scientific survey, identify aquatic insects, and assess water quality. They perform a mini-survey at each fishing location to relate hydro logic setting and inform fly selection.
- Water Quality Testing: Campers perform basic water quality measurements at each fishing location to integrate with macro invertebrate data.
- Stream Reach Surveys: Campers use their observational skills to document stream characteristics at each fishing and data collection location.
- Stream Hydrology and Flow Measurement: Campers learn about hydrology, river and wetlands dynamics through a series of hands-on activities using the NRCS Riparian trailer. They also learn techniques to measure flow, and develop understanding of flow variations in the river system and how it relates to trout holding water.
- Comparative Data Analysis: At the end of the week, campers are led through a comparative data analysis for each data collection and fishing location with the goal of relating observations to system scale characteristics and variations in water quality.
- Trout Biology: Colorado Parks and Wildlife scientists lead campers in performing a dissection of a trout and learn trout biology basics.
- Invasive Species: Campers are introduced to the invasive species that threaten Colorado’s rivers and lakes.
- Native Species Conservation: Colorado Parks and Wildlife scientists present Colorado’s native cutthroat species, the science that is being used to understand their history, and what is being done to restore these species in Colorado.
- Fish Hatchery Site Tour: Campers learn about fish hatchery operations and stocking in Colorado while they visit a Colorado Parks and Wildlife fish hatchery.
- River Restoration Site Visit and Conservation Land Trust Operations: Crested Butte Land Trust staff lead campers on a site visit to ca mine clean up area where they learn about the full cycle of river restoration from fund raising and planning to post-restoration monitoring.
- Water Use in the West: Gunnison Basic Trout Unlimited staff members lead campers in an interactive discussion about roles, water use and demands in the west.
- Colorado Water Law: Trout Unlimited staff lawyer leads campers in a discussion around the complexities of Colorado Water Law. Campers experience role playing in an interactive game that demonstrates basic elements of water management in Colorado.
- Habitat Restoration Activity: Campers put on work gloves and perform a habitat restoration project. Recent projects have included invasive species control, planting willows and cottonwoods to improve riparian habitat, and repairing a damaged irrigation system.
HOW TO BECOME A CAMPER
Youth between the ages of 14-18 are eligible to apply to camp. Twenty two (22) campers are selected based on their application responses, including an essay on why they wish to attend camp. First time camp applicants will receive preference.
Registration fee: $50 — Due with registration form after acceptance
Our chapter has a few scholarships
NOTE: our chapter will cover the fee and tuition for qualified applicants! The deadline for applying is April 10, 2022. Please contact projects@collegiatePeaksTU.org by email for more information. Bottom-line is that you need to apply by filling out the form above, and specifying our chapter as the sponsor.