The 59th year of the OYFC has been a big success! 

This year the summer camp was moved to a shortened first week of August. Due to the move and the timing there were only 42 campers. Fly casting and fishing was on Monday and Tuesday.

Volunteers from the LMFRF that came included Main Hutcheson, Jim Kelly, Eddie Brister, Ethan Wright, and myself. On Tuesday, we were joined by Jonathan Rogers and Steven Palmer from the Dallas and Plano Orvis stores, respectively. They are the guys teaching Orvis fly casting schools in Texas.

As many of you know, we are still figuring out our new stream and the trout in it. You also know that right now, while the numbers may seem low, the size of the trout being caught has been exceptional! The first afternoon was a bit slow but there were some strikes and some of the campers had fish on for a while. Nothing was brought to hand. On Tuesday, we hooked into many more fish with some kids getting 3 and 4 good hook-ups. However, being new to fishing, none were brought to hand. The fish were stronger and smarter than the campers.

This did not deter anyone and all the kids had a great time. I wasn’t too sure about this until afterwards at dinner. Jonathan, Steven, and I got our food and sat at the back of the dining hall to get a bit of a rest figuring the kids would all sit in their groups. Within minutes we were surrounded by campers asking us questions and wanting to fish more this week. They were disappointed to find out that the fishing part was over but are looking forward to next year.

Orvis donated two Clearwater outfits and presented them to two of the more promising candidates; Jaden Jackson and Cody Schumacher, although there were quite a few deserving kids. They are also sending a reel and line to William Wauqua, whose reel broke just a couple of days prior to the start of camp.

Orvis had a great time and announced that they would like to be involved every year for the foreseeable future as they have been looking for community projects to be a part of. This will take the fishing portion of the camp to the next level and we are happy to have them on board.

Click on this link for this year’s photos of the 59th Oklahoma Youth Forestry Camp.

Next year’s camp will be June 6-11, 2016 barring any weather-induced problems.

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