New Youth Fly Fishing Education Program announced for 2024

On August 6, the Wildlife Leadership Academy and the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Association announced the creation of the Youth Fly Fishing Educational Training Program for 2024 called Stepping Stones. 

“WLA is pleased to join with the PFFA in presenting to our alumni and new students this weekend an opportunity to experience the world of fly fishing including technique, stream awareness, and habitat conservation” said Joseph Reibman, Board President of the Wildlife Leadership Academy and the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Association. 

“The PFFA is excited to see the partnership with WLA come to fruition.  Advancing fly fishing amongst high school youth by education is consistent with our mission, and represents a step forward for our member-based organization” said Tom Hoffmaster, Executive Director of PFFA.

The mission of the Wildlife Leadership Academy is to engage and empower high school age youth to become Conservation Ambassadors to ensure a sustained wildlife, fisheries and natural resource legacy for future generations. The PFFA was organized to bring more individuals into fly fishing, targeting youth, families and beginners that feel they want to experience the pleasures of fly fishing.

WLA currently hosts summer field schools that focus on wildlife/fisheries biology and conservation as well as leadership skills development. The students continue their involvement with community outreach through education, service, media engagement, creative arts, and outdoor mentorship with the ultimate goal of becoming a certified Conservation Ambassador! The Youth Fly Fishing Advanced Educational Program expands upon the knowledge learned about conservation, management and recreation in the current Brookie and Bass Field Schools.

Stepping Stones
The Stepping Stones Program is a 3-day school located at Camp Krislund in Centre County and will be open to 16 students ages 14 to 17. It will be staffed by five professional instructors, four youth mentors, 20 fishing volunteers and nine WLA staff. The program will include topics such as the history of fly fishing, conservation and fishing ethics, benthic macroinvertebrate collection and identification, fly tying and casting, fly fishing techniques for various fish species and of course fly fishing in the central Pennsylvania area. Click Here for a 2-page program description.

Sponsorships Invited
The success of the program will depend upon the contributions of everyone in the fly fishing community who may be interested in furthering the sport through youth education. Therefore, the groups are soliciting corporate sponsorships for financing to reduce tuition costs and also gear and equipment donations for the students to use in the school and for many years to come. 

Please contact Dr. Sara Mueller, Ph.D., Wildlife Leadership Academy Executive Director, by sending an email to: [email protected] or call  570-245-8518, or Steve Kralik, PFFA President, by sending an email to: [email protected] or call 717-443-4255.

Visit the Wildlife Leadership Academy and the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Association to learn more about their programs, initiatives and upcoming events.

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