Our project is to create a standing, free "academy" that introduces children from low-income families in Boulder County to fly fishing and backpacking, in partnership with Trout Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Anglers, and Tenkara USA. Tenkara is a minimalist style of fly fishing brought to the United States by Daniel Galhardo, a resident of Boulder, project partner, and founder of Tenkara USA. Tenkara equipment is both light and small and, thus, well-suited for use when backpacking or hiking. Our project would provide children from low-income families with a free tenkara academy that would include:
• tenkara fly fishing lessons (using rods that Boulder Valley ICO would purchase with grant funds) • fly tying lessons (using vices that Boulder Valley ICO would purchase with grant funds) • tenkara fly fishing outings (local) • stream improvement service outings • backpacking trips that feature tenkara fishing
Children who complete the academy would be able to purchase at a deeply discounted price a complete tenkara fishing kit of their own so that they could fish on their own. We would also make available to the children, free of charge, a small fly tying kit so that they can tie their own flies.
In our experience, there is little or no cultural barrier to fly fishing and, thus, it serves well as an introduction to the outdoors for children who have a little or no exposure to nature. Our goal is to connect children to nature, both to enrich their lives and to create a new and more diverse generation of environmental stewards.
Funded by Boulder, CO (January 2016)