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I’m the local Brainerd, MN area Boy Scouts Fly Fishing Merit Badge Counselor. I’m in the midst of working with a local troop to teach these kids how to fly fish. It’s interesting. I haven’t worked with boys in the 11 – 17 age range. 

As expected, some pick up the information and techniques quickly, some don’t.

The main “hands-on” activities have been knot tying, hook removal, and fly tying. 

The fly tying has included several different patters starting with the Everyman fly, the Wooly Bugger. The kids got that down fairly quickly and most did a decent job. Then came a blockhead foam popper, followed by a bead head type panfish fly. 

All in all it’s been a good experience working with these kids and observing the various levels of connection I’m making with the young men. I even have a few young girls that came to pass the time and wound up wanting to tie flies. 

Once the weather mellows, we’ll pull out the fly rods and begin casting lessons. After that debacle, we’ll eventually find a location to actually put it all together and have these kids try to catch fish. 

Oh yeah, they’re supposed to catch, clean, cook and eat fish, as well. 

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