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A second-year student, Logan Ball, sent us the following story from the 2017 Academy:
I had the most wonderful time at the academy. I made some great friends while I was there and learned so much! I was a second year student this year and being such I got to spend more time with the guides, they taught us a lot of things like how to inflate and set up rafts and drive boats (even though most of us already knew how to 😉). On our first day of fishing, the second year students got to raft down the river with some of the guides, it was a beautiful day, we caught tons of fish and got to learn how to row. It was amazing and probably my favorite day the whole time I was there!
Another one of my favorite stories was on our second day of fishing, that day I was fishing with [instructor] Chris Little and [student] Justin Dye and we were wading the river. We had been catching tons of fish all day, but it was getting later and we had to get going, so we cast one last time and Justin and I both got a fish on! We landed our fish at the same time and they were both beautiful 20 inch rainbows, it was amazing!
I would just like to thank everyone that made this academy possible, I had the most amazing time!
Client Day of the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy is here. Today, the local youth of this rural region of Southwest Alaska will show off the new skills they’ve learned throughout the week. This year, we’re at Mission Lodge on Lake Aleknagik in the heart of Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon country.
Sunny weather beckoning, three float planes lined up at the dock, shore lunches packed and new Orvis gear donned, the group was more than ready for another big day on the water. The students were told that today was their last big trip before they'd guide their client. Given this, they set to work (and play too, let's be honest) ensuring they are ready to show their clients how to bring in a fish safely and while having lots of fun on Client Day.
Historically, day three of the Academy is when the students come alive. They've gotten to know everyone's names, they've got the basics of fly fishing down, they're not shy around the instructors and after many hours in the classroom, they are SO ready to get out on the water.
As I type, Mission Lodge is buzzing. Forks are clanking, students are laughing. Someone just asked, "where are you from again?"(New Stuyahok, he answered). It smells like pizza, and I'm slurping down a Coke knowing we have a night of activities ahead - and the long days of June in Alaska will allow for them.