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Day 2: knots, flies & casting 101


The second day of the Academy is when we get down to business. Here’s a glimpse into this action-packed day.

7: 30am – Breakfast is served. Surprisingly, all 13 students are on time… and [mostly] awake!

8:30am – Trivia (“Who can name all the parts of the fly line from the reel to the fly?”) and announcements.

8:40am – Flies and Knots. The group divided in two. One group was tasked with learning all the knots for the first time, with the goal of creating leaders for themselves and their clients. Simultaneously, the tying crew made egg-sucking leaches, “Iliamna Pinkies,”some fly patterns, eggs, and woolly buggers for themselves for the week and their clients.

10:00am – Outdoor Safety with Dave. Dave’s got a down-to-business style of teaching safety with a good sense of humor. The students came away with lots of new information and tips after a great presentation and lots of role-playing. We stress throughout the Academy that safety is #1 and fun is #2, and Dave did a great job of reinforcing this message.


Students practice their abdominal thrusts with Dave

Noon – Lunch. And we were all ready for the break in action.

1:00pmAleknagik’s IGAP environmental coordinator Tina Tinker came to talk to the students about bugs. They loved it!


Tina gathers bugs with the group.

2:00pm – Back to Flies and Knots.


Lodi starting a new fly.

5:00pm – Introduction to casting. We went out on the lawn, the students assembled their rods and reels for the first time and we practiced casting. This is always a highlight of the week. It was fun to witness many of them pick up a fly rod and cast for the first time. Surprise to no one, they were rocking their casts within just a few minutes, and SO excited for the real deal tomorrow.



6:00pm – Dinner

7:00pm – Joe and Molly Chythlook, elders from Aleknagik came to talk about attending the mission school that is now Mission Lodge and share some stories from their youth and nearly 50 years of marriage in Aleknagik. Students learned some Yup’ik words (Or instructors, rather, because most students already knew these): “quayana” (thank you), “Jamai” or “waqaa” (hello/what’s up), “doy” (an abbreviated version of the word that means, goobye/this is not the end).


Joe and Molly, Aleknagik Elders 

There was a touching moment when Molly looked at the students and told them, “this is the most important time of your lives. When you look back, this is what you will remember.” And with that, the Chythlooks wished them luck and were off!

7:30pm – After Joe and Molly left, Pudge Kleinkauf spoke about her business, Women’s Flyfishing. She spoke about how women came into the sport of Fly Fishing, challenges she’s faced and told stories about her clients.


Pudge speaks to the students

8:00pm – We did a trivia question or two and then Dan told the students about the fishing regulations… because tomorrow is the first FISHING DAY! As you can imagine, after this action-packed day with a lot of classroom time, we are ALL ready to get outside.

9:00pm – We gave them free time and thoroughly expected them to retreat to their rooms or the lawn for volleyball… but instead they ALL ended up making more leaders and flies. Because they’re major overachievers and SO AWESOME.

10:00pm bedtime and as you can imagine, we all slept darn well.

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