The North Carolina Blue Ridge Adventure is about to enter the backcountry for the first time after yesterdays action packed day.
The trip got off to a quick start. On the first morning everybody was up and ready to go by 7. Llewyn and Will helped cook up some pancakes and bacon before we spent the rest of the morning building on our wide range of fly fishing skills.
On all of our trips you will have the chance to catch rainbow and brown trout, but one of the coolest parts about our teen fly fishing expeditions is backpacking into the remote wilderness to catch native trout. Below is a sample of some of the fish caught during our summer expeditions.
Before I led Lillard Fly Fishing Expedition’s first teen fly fishing adventure I sat down for a beer with TU’s Director of Youth Education, Franklin Tate. We talked about the success TU has had engaging young kids with their Stream Explorer’s program, and the growing number of college students participating in TU college chapters. Then we talked about the challenges of engaging teens. Despite their efforts TU has not experienced the same success with teenagers that they have enjoyed with pre teens and college students.
At Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions our mission is to “inspire future generations of sporting conservationists” through the combination of fly fishing, environmental education, and leadership training. We are always striving to make new connections that help us reach this goal. Oftentimes those connections are with families, schools, or non-profit organizations, but occasionally we find companies who like LFFE, have a passion for conservation inspired by a love of the outdoors.
Dear LFFE Alum, Families, Staff, and Friends Old and New, In January of 2012 I graduated from NYU with a Masters in Environmental Conservation Education, the dream of inspiring future generations of sporting conservationists, and a 40+ page thesis about the effectiveness of using fly fishing as a tool for teaching environmental education. Almost two years later, thanks to all of you, that thesis has become Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions and my dream has become a reality.
The Colorado Rocky Mountain Explorer, and for that matter the LFFE 2013 summer, is only one day away from completion. The summer has been full of great fishing, but the last few days may have topped it all!
We are sad to say that we have exited the backcountry for the last time this summer. Enjoy this recap of our last trip, written by trip participant Quintin Pollart
Ahoy from Stillwater Campground,
Greetings from the West Side,
Our group spent yesterday volunteering with the Rocky Mountain National Park Trail Crew. After meeting our project coordinators we grabbed some tools and hiked two miles up the Fern Lake Trail. From there we started working our way back to the trail head, “brushing” the trail as we went. Everybody in the group worked hard so by 3:00pm we were back in Estes Park enjoying some hard earned ice cream.
Greetings from Estes Park, CO. After 4 days in the backcountry we are happy to be sitting in the laundry mat waiting for clean cloths and our turn to shower.
It is hard to believe that our 18 day West Elk Adventure has come to an end. After 15 days of backcountry fishing and meals cooked over the camp stove we ended the trip with some float fishing and a delicious banquet dinner.
Our West Elk Expedition is back from our final backcountry. After four nights of backpacking and camping along Pine Creek we have a lot of great stories to tell.
Greetings from Gunnison CO,
Our group of teen fishermen just finished the first backcountry section of our trip. After 4 days of fishing along the Crystal River everybody in the group has caught bunches of fish.
I can not believe our first open enrollment trip of the summer is already over! 12 days goes by so fast when you are catching fish every day. The final few days were packed full of great fishing and some huge trout.
This morning we hiked out of the backcountry of the Blue Ridge Mountains for the last time during the summer of 2013. It was bittersweet as our group was enjoying the solitude and good fishing that hiking away from the crowds brings. On the other hand, as our trip winds down we still have two days of fishing for trophy trout, and a final banquet dinner to look forward to.
The Blue Ridge Adventure is back at the Davidson River Campground after two nights in the backcountry. We could not have asked for a better first trip into the backcountry.
Greetings from the Davidson River,
Our Blue Ridge Adventure is off to a great start! We have a awesome group of students with a wide variety of fly fishing experience. The fishing has been so good that we are just two days into the trip and everyone has caught a fish over 14 inches!
Will & Kim :
Written by Quintin Pollart
After a long night of rain and cold the group awoke to a clear morning atop a hill in the Crystal River Valley. This was our first full day in the backcountry. Once we were all awake we dove into our personal supplies of backcountry food. Once we were fed we quickly packed our daypacks and started our four-mile decent into the Crystal Valley and to the Crystal Mill.
Q: When did you first learn to fly fish?
Davis: I learned to fly fish when I was about 6 or 7 years old. At first I wasn’t really sure I’d get into it; I mean, it’s way easier to catch fish on spin gear anyway so why waste all that effort trying to entice them essentially with a flimsy stick? After I learned the motion and began to practice it I realized it had a soothing effect that relieved tension and stress from the mind.
Q: What have you learned from your fly fishing experience?
Many people assume you cant fly fish during the winter. The truth, is for those who are armed with the courage to face cold temps and a good pair of waiters, winter brings solitude to even the most crowded of rivers and occasionally some really good fishing. The insect life might slow down a little, but I promise you Trout eat all winter and with a few pointers you could be out there catching them.
June 13th, 2012
When I plan our fishing adventures I want to feel absolutely confident that they provide the best possible experience for LFFE participants. That means the locations I choose must have great fishing, backpacking, and scenery. I also have to consider, among many other things; unpredictable fishing conditions that make planning trips months in advance very difficult, time spent driving in the van, and the availability of diverse fishing options suitable for a variety of skill levels.
The final group journal entry of 2012. Quintin did a great job summing up how we all felt.
Trip: Colorado Rocky Mountain ’12
Date: July 20th, 2012
Written by Quintin Pollart
The LFFE blog is finally here. Check back often as we will be frequently adding LFFE news, interesting stories from our trips, photos, videos, and much more.