By Brandon Miller
The Greenbacks enjoy their active role in community involvement, especially when it comes to getting today’s youth outside to explore the values of fishing first hand. One of the many ways we connect kids with fishing is through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in the Denver area. Kids, and their big brothers and sisters, get the opportunity to learn about the many aspects fishing has to offer. This includes water entomology, casting lessons, fly tying, and just having a good time. But our very favorite is the feel of a fish at the end of their line.
Recently, we held our annual BBBS camp in Denver. Everyone split into different groups and picked a station where they would get individualized education from our leaders. The entomology station was a big hit with everyone. Here we taught the kids how to correctly identify all of the different insects that lived in the watershed. Greenbacks leader Heather Sees helped the kids also identify which insects gave clues as to how healthy that particular water was by either isolating living insects or the absence of others.
Another station that the kids really enjoyed was the fly tying. Starting out with the San Juan Worm, bigs and loved the fundamentals at in creating a fly that will attract fish by targeting the fish’s natural food source. Garrett Hanks, the Youth Education Coordinator for Colorado Trout Unlimited, demonstrated a few more patterns, like the Wooly Bugger, and explained how these patterns imitate larger aquatic species.
Overall kids caught fish, smiles were abundant, and memories were made that will stick with the kids for a lifetime. At the end of the day, through a charitable donation from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, each kid got to take home his or her very own fishing pole so they can continue to get outside and enjoy the waters we have come to know and love in Colorado.