ShareThis Page
Forbes Trail Chapter revs up youth conservation, fly fishing program |

Forbes Trail Chapter revs up youth conservation, fly fishing program

Bob Frye
| Monday, January 5, 2015 9:33 p.m
Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited president Leo Vensel, right, and Spencer Hudson, a student in the chapter’s 2014 youth fly fishing program, show off a trout caught on one of the group’s outings.

Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited is preparing to kick off its 11th annual youth conservation and fly fishing program. It has served a specific goal over the past decade: to get children to pay attention to coldwater conservation and other environmental issues, with an introduction to fly fishing as the hook.

The kids cast for trout and steelhead on outings throughout the year, and learn to tie their own flies, while studying stream ecology, stream health and other subjects.

It has always been — and continues to be — open to boys and girls ages 12-16, regardless of their experience level.

But this year the chapter is trying something new.

“One improvement to our program involves adults. We will now accept a limited number of adults,” spokesman Drew Banas said.

“We’ve had requests from adults to teach fly fishing to them so we are making adult education a part of our program.”

The club has been debating the change for a while after requests from adults began coming in a couple of years ago, he said. That interest has never waned.

The result is that this year’s program, while still youth-centered, will include some adults, too, he added. All participants, regardless of age, will enjoy the same benefits.

The group will meet twice a month at the Loyalhanna Watershed Association’s office in Ligonier. Children and adults will learn to tie a new fly at each meeting. They also will hear and learn from local experts in stream ecology, trout behavior, casting, fishing techniques and knot tying.

The group will take some field trips throughout the year, too.

One will involve an electrofishing demonstration on Loyalhanna Creek, aimed at documenting all or most of the 20 species of fish that live in the creek’s upper reaches.

There will be time spent fishing, too, on local streams and, later in the year, on Lake Erie’s tributaries for steelhead.

The program always has proven popular, Banas said, and the opportunity for a few adults to get involved should only make that more true.

“This is a terrific way to learn to fly fish or to further develop existing skills,” Banas said.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-216-0193 or via email. See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

Categories: Outdoors
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.