The National Fly Fishing in Schools Program (NFFSP) is a nationwide program that teaches our youth how to flyfish. It is taught by PE teachers in grades (6 – 12) as an "in school" curriculum. There is also a college / university program.
The program uses big round targets with some 18 species of trout and 10 warm water fish on it as a target. They use a velcro fly which is made with a small 1/8th inch diameter split ring, a 1/8 inch wide piece of velcro through the ring and then tied around the velcro just below the ring to hold it on the split ring. The students after mastering basic fly casting, cast at the target from about 25 feet. When the velcro fly hits the target correctly, it will stick. The program uses less fly rods than students so the ones waiting to cast can learn to identify the fish they might be catching for real. (Editor Note: I tried this method and it was a lot of fun while requiring casting accuracy.)
The main difference between this fly fishing program and many others is it is approved by the State Schools Admistrator before being taught in the schools. It uses an established cirriculum for teaching. And it allows the students to fish during school hours. A chance to be outdoors and away from the classroom and still earn credit for it. Whadda Deal !!
The FlyFishing Education Foundation is the parent organization for the NFFSP. The FFEF is a non-profit corporation and any donations are tax deductible. The mission of the FFEF is to encourage support from anyone in helping our young students learn about the lifetime rewards of fly fishing while instilling in them a respect and understanding for our natural resouces.
I talked with Dana Cole, Director, how he helped start a program like this while living in Lincoln, NE. Dana answered with a straight face, "Well as you know Nebraska is the fly fishing mecca of the country." Then LOL. Continuing on,he said "But if you fly fish in Nebraska, you are likely to be very good." Basically some of Nebraska’s fly fishers wanted to do something to help the local youth. And it has grown from there until the program is in 5 schools in the Omaha, NE area.
The NNFSP is not associated with Federation of Fly Fishers, Trout Unlimited or AFFTA. But it would be nice if these organizations would talk to The FlyFishing Education Foundation about this program since it uses an established cirrculum for teaching and can be taught during school hours.
To contact the program www.flyfishinginschools.org