Each year I look forward to my week at Camp Barry on the grounds of the Berlin Fish Hatchery and each year the week shoots by so fast. In a short period of time we teach the campers so much about fishing, both fly and bait, knots, fish identification, fish handling and much much more. Every camper learns to tie flies and then uses their fly to fish with, often catching their first fish while fly fishing. Its quite a neat thing to hear "today was a great day, I caught my first fish fly fishing on a fly I tied this morning". Our days are long and its not unusual to be tying flies at 5am because we ran out of ones that were working the previous day.
This year we were fishing one of the local ponds and we had a light cahill fly hatch followed about 60 minutes later by a dark dun fly hatch. We used that entire sequence to educated the campers that were fly fishing with us at the time. That night ended with all the instructors in head lamps while fishing on the pond.
Two days are spent fishing the Androscoggin River below the Pontook Dam catching this year dozens of rainbows and browns. For me the time on the Androscoggin allows me to relive many days of my youth fishing with my grandfather who owed one of the first camps on the base of Braggs Bay. I feel lucky to share what knowledge I have with the campers about fishing that river.
Camp wrapped up last Friday and we already have started planing for next year. Areas we can improve, experiences we can expand on as we once again prepare for 2019 Fish Week as a Let's Go Fishing Volunteer for NH Fish and Game.
The photo below is a classic, the camper missed a strike from a brown trout when he looked at the camera (you can see my reaction). It became a teachable moment and he did not miss the next strike.