Team USA Youth Completes Conservation Education


In April, 2015, the USYFFT organization began the year with three Youth Fly Fishing Clinics for the 2015 competitive season. Cabela’s Outdoor Fund provided the Team with many opportunities to reach youth in new areas of the country. These three, high profile events were held in Cherokee, North Carolina (April 2015), Lamar, Pennsylvania (May 2015), and Big Sky, Montana (June 2015). These important clinics drew youth anglers, their families, supporters, and spectators who learned that Cabela’s was the sponsor of these educational events. The Team Head Coach, Assistant Coaches, Team Manager, Instructors, environmental directors, the participants, their families, and the Team Board worked under the support of Cabela’s to make this season a successful cooperative effort.


Southeast Clinic April 17-19, 2015

Hosting Facility:

Nantahala Outdoor Center,, 13077 W Hwy 19, Bryson City, NC 28713

Clinic Coordinator(s)

Paul Bourcq, Head Coach and Christopher Smith, Team Manager and Assistant Coach


Team USA Youth Representative(s)

2014 World Championship Team (Hunter Hoffler, Cam Chioffi, Andrew Brown, Mason Sims, Hunter Enloe, Gabriel Wittosch)

Instructors covering nymphing, dry fly tactics, streamer tactics, FIPS rules, and reading the water

Gordon Vanderpool

Josh Stephens

Chris Lee

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Clinic Attendees:

23 youth, ages 11-18, from Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.


Cooperating Agencies:

Cherokee Fisheries and North Carolina Wildlife

Environmental/Conservation Educational Program

Jacob Rash, Coldwater Research Coordinator for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Presentation on Gill Lice


The goal of the project was to instruct clinic attendees about gill lice, which is now evident in some North Carolina streams. Gill lice attach to a fish’s gills, which can traumatize gills and inhibit the fish’s ability to breathe. The presentation was designed to educate the youth anglers about the problem, its implication for the waters in the southeast US, and to obtain their help as they fish the area. As Jacob stated in his presentation, “Biologists think the primary means of transmitting gill lice is from fish to fish, but anglers can do their part by properly cleaning and caring for their fishing equipment to prevent the spread of other aquatic invasive species.” The follow-up activities from the educational presentation include the Team Manager accompanying Team members from the North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia region as they gather data and perform sampling on their camping trips. In addition, all clinic attendees and team members will independently gather information for the organization.


Mid-Atlantic Clinic May 15-17, 2015

Hosting Facility:

Sieg Center (Lock Haven University facility), 1494 Narrows Road, Lamar, PA

Clinic Coordinator(s)

Paul Bourcq, Head Coach, Mark Hanes, Assistant Coach, and Dejon Hamann, Assistant Coach


Team USA Youth Representative(s)

2014 and 2015 World Championship Team (Gabriel Wittosch, Alex Rundella, Douglas Freeman)

Instructors covering nymphing, dry fly tactics, streamer tactics, FIPS rules and reading the water, and progressive fly casting

Joe Humphreys

George Daniel

John Wilson

Brooks Robinson

Dave Rothrock

Dave Houser

Gordon Vanderpool

Kalvin Kaloz


Clinic Attendees:

17 youth, ages 12-17, from Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania


Cooperating Agencies:

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission


Environmental/Conservation Educational Program

Karl Lutz, Director, State Stream Habitat Management


The goal of the project was to introduce habitat improvement for trout streams and conduct a macro study on Fishing Creek. The attendees were presented with 2 hour program, which covered the use of habitat assessment field data sheets for high and low gradient streams, and a physical characterization/water quality field data sheet. Time was also spent doing field data assessment which included observations on weather conditions, stream conditions, sediment deposition, channel flow, available cover (vegetation and other). Stream ecology, steam bank stabilization, diversity of trout habitats, and other subjects were covered during this session. The youth anglers completed the stream habitat census forms. Dave Houser, retired State Director of PA Fish and Boat Commission, will follow-up on this program by continuing to work with the US and the State Directors of Trout Unlimited for habitat management on trout streams.

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Western Clinic June 5-7, 2015

Hosting Facility:

Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, MT (

Clinic Coordinator(s)

Paul Bourcq, Head Coach and Brian Kimmel, Assistant Coach


Team USA Youth Representative(s)

2014 and 2015 World Championship Team, and earlier years ( Ryley Batewell, Robert Funk, Steven Sheetz, Peter Sheetz, Knox Kronenberg)


Instructors covering still-water fishing, loch style, fly tying, use of lines

Kurt Finlayson

Dan Oas


Clinic Attendees:

16 youth, ages 12-16, from Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wyoming and Utah


Cooperating Agencies:

Gallatin Valley Land Trust



Environmental/Conservation Educational Program

Peter Brown, Stewardship Manager, Gallatin Valley Land Trust

The goal of the environmental program was to learn about natural resource management and conservation stewardship to protect wildlife habitat and the work of the Land Trust to seek cooperation for river access from land owners. Peter has been working with GVLT since 2011 as the conservation easement Stewardship Manager, responsible for enforcing GVLT’s portfolio of conservation easements, which includes 90 projects totaling 42,800 acres of the best wildlife habitat, prime agricultural soils, and scenic open space in the headwaters reaches of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. The particular focus of the session with the youth anglers was to understand the types of invasive species of plants along the waterways. The 3 hour program provided educational materials such as plant identification books. The youth spend time identifying invasive species along the banks of the Gallatin, pulling the plants under supervision of Peter and his staff, and disposing of the plant debris. The Clinic attendees cleared over one acre of stream side ground and filled over 10 trash bags for proper disposal. The GVLT has expressed a desire to continue to work with the USYFFT on future projects in public use and outdoor spaces.


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