Cliff Frazier program a hit in Truckee
The Tahoe Truckee Flyfishers held their third annual Cliff Frazier youth program through the Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District this past weekend. A class of seven eager students greeted the instructors on Saturday morning.The program was started in 2006 in memory of one of the most active members of the local fly fishing club who passed away. Cliff was such an integral part of the club. He would help many a novice at the inlet at Boca and would get many new members to join as a result of his helpfulness.Money was donated in Cliffs name to the club, and deciding what to do with it became an easy choice. Cliff loved helping people learn to fly fish, and he had a passion for helping kids. Thus, the youth fly fishing class was created in his honor.The money was used to start up the program to teach 11- to 15-year-olds the basics of fly fishing. Equipment, text books and other items were purchased to get the program underway. An additional grant from the Bay Delta Committee of the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers last year helps with the annual ongoing costs to put on this program.Saturday began with a Powerpoint presentation on the basics, including information about trout, bugs (entomology) and other topics. Then the kids were broken into groups of three and learned more about the equipment that is used, how to set up a balanced system and knot tying, and fly casting.Sunday was spent on the water on the Truckee River off Glenshire Road. The students got in more casting, learned about stream hydrology, learned more about the bugs and other food available to the trout by collecting samples and identifying them and, finally, how to present a dry fly, nymph and streamer.After the instruction part was over on Sunday, each child was sent out with an instructor and allowed to fish the rest of the afternoon. Whether they realize it or not at this point, the skills the children picked up during this event will make them successful fly fishermen. All that is needed now is more practice.Those who were involved as instructors for the first time this year were amazed at the progress of the students. By the time they went fishing, the skills they had were impressive.Special acknowledgment should go to Rudy Knudsen, who organized the event the past three years. He works tirelessly on this event.Recognition should also go to the instructors who take a weekend to pass along their knowledge to the children. Many have been involved both years. This year the instructors and assistants who took part in the two-day clinic were Keith Beeson, Elayna Hocking, Vickie Fenner, Bob Jajko, Rudy Knudsen, Dave Lass, John Lim, Stefan McLeod, Terry Schnepp, Peter Williamson and myself.Special recognition should also go to Reno Fly Shop owner Dave Stanley for offering discounts on rod combinations for the kids who took the class. Mountain Hardware andamp; Sports in Truckee provided much of the terminal tackle this year at a discount for the event.The goal of the local club is to get new fly fishermen into the sport. Children these days do not always have someone who can get them started on the right path to fly fish. This class fills the void, and perhaps years from now these future fly fishers will be sharing their skills with the next generation.Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.