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Recap: 2021 Guide Academy at Last Cast Lodge

The 2021 Bristol Bay Guide Academy was held as Last Cast Lodge in Igiugig this year, right where Lake Iliamna feeds in to the Kvichak River.  

The Guide Academy hosted 9 students this year from Manakotak, New Stuyahok, Kokhanok, Igiugig, Soldotna and Anchorage. The Academy was led again by head instructors Nanci Morris Lyon and Mac Minard, and a new addition to the instructor team were two prior students, Triston Chaney and Tatyana Zackar.

Our loction this year was as good as it gets. Students were able to do casting practice right on the beach in front of the lodge, and many caught some of their first rainbows from the banks of the river. But after the first two days of classroom instruction, we were able to get them on jet boats and head downriver to some other great spots, where all of them caught rainbows and silver salmon and greyling.  

Shelby Nukwak-King at the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy

One of the unique things we got to do being in Igiugig was a tour of the village. AlexAnna Salmon and Karl Hill led our class on a tour that showed us the sustainability projects the community has initiated. The RivGen project is helping the village source its own energy from the river while not harming the fish. We got to see the community gardens and high tunnel that are growing food for residents. The Academy thanks the Village of Igiugig for hosting us and sharing their work with our young leaders!

Students pose with the new RivGen project in Igiugig.

Unfortunately due to COVID-19, we were unable to bring community members in for Client Day, the last day of the Academy where students take their clients on a full day of fishing to test the skills they’ve learned throughout the week. Luckily, our instructors role played being clients, and students still got to facilitate a solid day of fishing on the Kvichak River.

Monica Christopher with her catch at the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy

The Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy would like to thank Trout Unlimited, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy, Orvis Fly Fishing, Last Cast Lodge, the village of Igiugig and so many others for making the 2021 Guide Academy a success!

Visit the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy Facebook page to see more pictures from the week!

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