Written by: Jace Garcia, Twin Territory
[Editor’s note: Twin Territory is the brainchild of Jace and A.J. Garcia, real-life teenage twins from Utah. Their website and Facebook page promote their love of fishing, hunting, outdoor activities. . .and girls (go figure). Their younger brother, Cameron, is an honorary member, even if he isn’t a twin. Together, their goal is to create a movement across the United States to get kids and teens back in to the outdoors.]
Twin Territory is all about getting kids off the couch, away from video games and into the outdoors. Recently, we were asked to help with a program here in Utah called “Trout in the Classroom.” The Utah DWR and a local chapter of Trout Unlimited are the engines behind this program in the classrooms and invited us to teach some basic fishing skills and show the students some of the area’s preferred fish foods. To get ready, A.J. and I went to the Ogden River and did some screening for bugs. We were able to find some worms, sow bugs, caddisfly larvae, leeches, midges and a few other bugs. We then went home and tied some flies to match the bugs we found. We put together a pretty good collection.
The next day, we had a blast going to the classrooms and showing the kids what the real bug looks like that the fish will look for and then the imitation fly. The students were amazed, mostly by how small the flies were that we had tied, but also at how much detail they have. We had from a size 8 leech to a size 20 sow bug. We also showed them some pictures of live fish with flies in their mouths.
Then to the river we went!
We were able to show the kids where fish hide, where they feed, and where they would rest. We showed them how to tie a nymph rig and how to do the pick up and lay down cast, and some of them, the roll cast. A lot of the kids had fun and after were asking where they could buy a fly rod.
We have been asked to come back next school year and help with teaching fly fishing in six schools. We are working right now to write a grant to be able to add five more schools. Hopefully, we get the grant because this is a great way to get kids off the couch and into fly fishing! We feel lucky that we are being asked to share our passion ’cause “It’s our mission to get kids fishin’!”