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Bristol Bay River Academy Kicks Off!

The chef calls that breakfast is ready and the students aren’t clamoring for food as they were the first day.  Where are they?  A quick inventory and they are huddled around the fly tying table amongst a gaggle of feathers, chenille and their newly acquired vices.  There’s some serious discussion happening on which fly they are working on is most smolt like and whether its going to appeal to a king or a chum.
The 13 students, from communities all over the bristol Bay region, have gathered for a week of on-water fun at Bristol Bay’s Mission Lodge.  While here they learn from local experts how to fly fish, what its like to be a guide, river conservation principles and how they can be amassadors for their region.   Ideally a couple of the students, like year’s past, take their new skills and pursue jobs in Bristol Bay’s world class sport fishing economy.

This week they’ve already mastered the basic skills of fly fishing, talked with community elders about local stories and place names, discussed and put to practice essential customer service skills, and discussed how to safely guide people in the field.  

Now its time to find some fish.  We are gearing up and heading out this afternoon to see if we can find a few willing fish that are interested in the smorgasbord of flies created early this morning.

Apply now for 2013!

We are now excepting applications for the 2013 Bristol Bay River Academy.   The course will be held June 13th-20th at Bristol Bay Mission Lodge this year.  Check out the application for additional details and to get your name in.  Space fills fast…so we encourage you to apply soon!

Bristol Bay River Academy 2012 Photos

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The Class of 2012

Congratulations Bristol Bay River Academy Class of 2012!  After an action packed week of river side learning the 2012 Academy graduates are ready to share their new knowledge and skills with their communities.

Back Row (left to right): Brydin Pacheco, Willie Larson, Travis Tungiug, Katrina Merlino, Danielle Stickman, August Shade, Kvichak Aspelund, Jordan Nukwak. Front row: Sharolynn Zackar, Blaine Romo, Connor Ito and instructor, Nanci Morris Lyon.

Photo by: John Van Vleet, Orvis

2012 Academy A Success


Thank you to the students, instructors and supporters who made the 2012 Bristol Bay River Academy a huge success!  Eleven lucky students from around Bristol Bay spent a fabulous week on the Naknek River with local lodge owner and guide Nanci Morris Lyon.  They learned how to cast, how to read the river, what knots to tie, and what it takes to be a guide.  They also got to meet local biologists and talk with local experts about river conservation issues in the region and things they could do in their own communities to help trout and salmon.   We look forward to working with the graduates as they continue to build their skills and pursue work as guides.

You can read a few tales from week at the Orvis blog written by one of this years guest instructors John Van Vleet.

Stay tuned for more details and videos!

The 2012 Bristol Bay River Academy (formerly the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing & Guide Academy) will be held June 3rd -10th in Iguigig, Alaska.  If you are a Bristol Bay resident  (or BBNC shareholder) between the age of 15 and 24, that would like to learn to fly fish and has an interest in exploring a career in Bristol Bay’s sport fishing and tourism industry this is your chance!  Through this riverside course you will learn how to fly fish, how to tie flies, what its like to be a guide, river ecology and many other skills to put on your resume.

Applications and nominations will be accepted through April 30th.  Bristol Bay residents between the ages of 15 and 24 will be given preference.  There is a $25 application fee (that will be reimbursed at the Academy) but all expenses are covered for  Bristol Bay residents and BBNC shareholders.

Questions or more information?   Nelli at 907-230-7121 or

DOWNLOAD the 2012 Application here: