What we do — Education
Most fly fishers know about NCCFFF events like the Hall of Fame dinner and Fly Fishing Festival. Fewer know about Council activity that provides conservation news to club conservation people via the NCC’s conservation list serve and $ grants to clubs for conservation projects. But there are other activities that few know about—one is the NCC’s education activity.
Trout in the Classroom is one part of education outreach. The NCC’s efforts here include providing grants to fund equipment purchases, and programs to help teachers in classroom instruction. Tens of thousands of dollars in NCC club grants by have been provided in support of this program.
Another education outreach effort is the Learning Centers, which the NCC provides during events like the International Sportmens Exposition (ISE) , the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Shows, the Bass Pro Shops Spring Festivals, and the annual Salmonid Festival, Salmon Restoration Conferences. Literally thousands of current fly fishers have been introduced to fly fishing at these events.
A relatively new major NCC and fly clubs outreach program teaches fly fishing to disabled veterans, using fly fishing in their rehabilitation. It is called Project Healing Waters/Fly Fishermen for Veterans, and Veterans First Fly Fishing (VFFF). They are holding the 1st annual benefit dinner on December 8th at the Fremont Elks Lodge, 38991 Farwell Dr. Fremont, CA 94536. The funds from the dinner and raffle will be applied to:
–Purchasing materials and equipment to support the workshops for the veterans
--Developing, building and providing fly fishing and tying devices/equipment for disabled veterans.
Outings & trips (mostly within California). Funds go to paying the veteran's portion only, (volunteers pay their own way)
VFFF Recent developments include adding a workshop through Art Livingston & the Granite Bay Fly Casters (GBFC) that serves the Community Based Warrior Transition Unit (CBWTU). CBWTU's are comprised of combat wounded Army soldiers who are in their own homes recovering, and/or convalescing while they and the services are evaluating their future status. Some may return to active duty and some may be retiring with disabilities. This is a new avenue for us and we are thankful for Art & the Granite Bay club stepping up and hosting these soldiers at their meetings and events.
We know there are more opportunities in our communities–the Marines and Navy have similar programs to CBWTU's. Since all these service men/women are in their homes it makes it easy to just invite them to attend a club's fly tying, casting, and rod building session.
Ed–(Ken Brunskill deserves a world of credit for being the driving force behind the program, But also, he and Ed Huff have developed special tools to aid the disabled in tying and casting).
VFFF has recently been working with the Blind Center at the Menlo Park VA. We had two veterans tying flies that have partial vision loss–we put the VA onto the Opti-Vision magnifiers and these veterans found them to be a great help.
During these sessions we discussed the vet’s inability to perceive depth, which brings a new challenge. We are looking into a split screen utilizing Closed Circuit TV's, like surveillance equipment, and are soliciting our fly fishing community for ideas and sources.
The concept with the split screen is to provide two views of tying a fly, one as the tier see with his eyes and one from directly above. Both would be displayed simultaneously on the screen.
Harbor Freight sells a device with a monitor that is $59.95. However, it is black and white and has a very small screen. The concept will be discussed further with the clinicians at the blind center at Palo Alto VA. They have some equipment, and we’d like to get them to help in the experiment.
We are soliciting our fly fishing community for ideas and sources. Six Nor Cal clubs are already actively involved in the cause, and there is room for more.
A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life wrote a blank check Payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including their life.