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Trout Camp Curriculum

The Maine TU Trout Camp curriculum is designed to make every student successful. While covering subjects like water assessment, life cycles, invasive species and pollution, they'll be interspersed and completed within a fly-fishing environment, engaging students while they have fun and learn. Our 2017 camp schedule of activities will be available in the spring. Here's a description of the activities at our camp.


2016 Camp Schedule in PDF format



Camp Rules and Orientation:
The director will introduce the staff followed by a review of the rules of conduct for the camp week with the students and parents. The camp week curriculum, meal hours, and campground layout will then be reviewed.


Getting Started:
Basic fly casting technique will be introduced and taught to the twelve students with L.L. Bean 8’ 6” Streamlight fly rods with 5 weight large arbor fly reels.


Equipment Check, Safety Discussion and Fly Fishing Etiquette:

Student fly fishing equipment will be checked and loaner fly fishing equipment will be assigned as needed for the students use during the camp week. Wader safety and fishing etiquette will be discussed and demonstrated on the shore and in the Kennebec River.


Didymo Bucket demo:
Didymo (rock snot) invasive algae will be discussed and waders and boots for all of the staff and students will be disinfected with Kennebec Valley TU Didymo buckets with a 5% solution of salt.


Knot Discussion and Tying:
Knot tying for fly fishing will be demonstrated and taught at the Kennebec Valley TU tent.
Discussion and demonstrations of knots needed to tie the backing to the spool, the backing to the fly line, the leader to the fly line, the tippet to the leader and various other knots for tying flies to the tippet.


Fly Tying Parts 1, 2, 3:
These fly tying seminars will introduce and teach the students to ty wets, streamers, nymphs, and dry flies in a skills-oriented approach at the Main lodge. Special emphasis on tying flies that can be used by the students during the camp week will be included.


Embden IFW Hatchery:

IFW Hatchery Manager will lead the students on a tour of the most modern trout hatchery in the state of Maine.


Art Class:
Hands on art class for the students to learn how to draw fish at the Main lodge and all art materials will be provided.


Historical Distribution of Maine Native Fish:

A presentation and discussion of the native fish of Maine from the ice age to the present time.


E-Shocking with the IFW Raft:

IFW Biologist will demonstrate Electro- Shocking with a raft in front of Evergreens Campground on the Kennebec River and explain how and why the raft is used by the IFW Research Division.


Rock Basket Retrieval:

DEP Biologist will present methods and techniques used in real-world stream habitat study, focusing on the use of rock baskets, D-Ring nets and kick seine nets. Aquatic life will be quantified and identified during this activity. “Hatch Guide for New England Streams” by Thomas Ames Jr. and identification keys will be used for insect identification.


Reading the Water Parts 1 & 2:

In depth discussion of where trout live in brooks, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes and a focus on how to fly fish for them.


Maine Brook Trout Lakes and Ponds, Native and Wild:

Presentation and discussion of the state of Maine native and wild brook trout in lakes and ponds using the Google Earth program.


Show and Tell, Fly Fishing Knowledge:

ME TU Trout camp staff will show and tell their hints, tips and suggestions on fly fishing that will be useful to the students during the camp week and with their future fly fishing adventures.


Fly Fishing Knots:

Arbor to Tippet knot tying with a proficiency test of the various knots by the students.


Trout Dissection:

IFW Pathologist will guide students through the anatomy, physiology and dissection of a trout with a focus on how the fish finds, eats, and digests food. This is a hands-on section, with students performing guided fish dissections.


Stream-side and In-stream Incubation:

DMR Biologist will introduce students to the current Atlantic salmon telemetry study on the Sandy River and the techniques of stream-side and in-stream incubation currently in use to help regenerate Atlantic salmon in Maine.


Catch and Release Fishing Nets:

Demonstration on the making of a C&R fishing net with all students participating to make one fishing net.


Drift Boat Trips:
Three Registered Maine guides will guide 6 students by drift boats on the Kennebec River from Evergreens Campground to Dunphy’s and then from Dunphy’s to North Anson. The first group of 6 students will float after breakfast until lunch and the second group of 6 students will float after lunch until supper.


Life Cycle of Trout:

IFW Biologist will teach the students the important aspects of the trout life cycle from egg to maturity on the Kennebec River.


Electro Fishing and Beach Seining:

UM Fishery Ecologist will beach seine with the students in the Kennebec River in the Solon stretch and electro shock Alder Brook in Embden.


Penobscot River Restoration Project:

The Penobscot River Restoration Project is an unprecedented collaboration between hydropower company PPL Corporation, the Penobscot Indian Nation, seven conservation groups, and state and federal agencies, to restore 11 species of sea-run fish to the Penobscot River, while maintaining energy production.


Conservation Talk:

Trout Unlimited National staff will present on TU activities regionally and throughout the USA.


Camp Fire Gatherings:

Each evening after fly fishing at the Solon stretch of the Kennebec River alongside Evergreens Campground the students will sit around the camp fire for one hour before going to bed to tell their fishing stories of what fish they caught but more importantly the story of the big one that got away!


After Lunch Activities

Some of the lunch periods provide an opportunity for additional activities for students. These will be arranged dynamically, based on student interest, weather conditions, etc. Activities would include fly tying, fly casting, aquatic insect identification, time to try-out different rods/reels, and other topics of interest.


Copyright © 2004 Maine Council of Trout Unlimited | Updated February 1, 2017
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