Is there anything quite as inspiring as the pride and enthusiasm of a group of fresh-faced young men and women celebrating a landmark achievement? Instead of sporting cap and gown, however, this bunch is looking pretty great in waders and ball caps!
Meet the 2016 graduating class of the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy! Located in Bristol Bay, AK, the Academy merges salmon and river education with recreation and conservation principles to educate, engage and inspire Bristol Bay young adults to become local leaders in salmon stewardship, and prepare for jobs based on healthy salmon in their home rivers. Students have the opportunity to work with expert anglers to learn fly fishing best practices in preparation for working in the growing recreational fly fishing industry. They also get a healthy dose of conservation education to teach respect for the protection and preservation of their ecosystem, equipping them to become informed environmental advocates. This year’s program took place at Mission Lodge, in Aleknagik, AK. In an area with limited employment opportunities but abundant and spectacular natural resources, this is a real win/win program.
And did we mention it’s fun?! Participants have the opportunity to do everything from fly tying up through “client day”, when they get to go out and practice their guiding skills on real people. They hone their fly fishing skills with some of the best instructors around on some of the most breathtaking waters on the planet! Friendships are made, and oftentimes careers are launched. Not a bad answer to the question, “How did you spend your summer vacation?”
Orvis is proud to be a major sponsor of the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy. We compliment the commitment of its talented staff and applaud the achievements of the Class of 2016. Best wishes for a bright future!