What a fun day! I am very excited to report that most of the students caught fish today — on the flies they tied themselves! It was great to see.

We started the day by meeting in front of the Scout Hut. The Chaffee Shuttle took all the students to the Mount Ouray SWA just north of Salida, while volunteers drove separately. Today we had two new volunteers, high school students working for a GARNA scholarship: Kaden and Rose.

At the Mount Ourway parking lot we distribute the fly rods (thank you GARNA for obtaining the grant). Each student got their own Redington Path 5wt outfit, to keep. They learned how to put the rods together and how to string them.

The casting clinic was conducted on the little meadow along the path, further downhill. Karen demonstrated the four-step cast, we put some hula-hoops as targets, and there was a lot of practicing.

After that all the students looked through their fly boxes and picked a fly to start with. Most chose streamer type flies, but we had a nice assortment of nymphs too. We demonstrated the clinch knot, as the all-around popular knot to go with.

Here are instructions for the Improved Clinch Knot:

Once everybody had their flies tied on, we proceeded to the lake and spread out. All in all we had 10 students, 7 volunteers, a great ratio for learning and having plenty of one-on-one time.

Riggs was the first to catch a trout, on a beadhead streamer that he tied up. And then other students started getting fish too.

Poor weather moved in, a bit of rain at first. Just in time for some hot pizza — courtesy of Moonlight Pizza! Delicious and a few of the students were more than ready for a bite to eat.

After snack it was time to fish some more, until the shuttle picked us up at noon.

All students get to keep the fly rods, their flies of course, and will also be awarded memberships to Trout Unlimited’s Stream Explorers club.