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 Fly-fishing Merit Badge

Teaching the Fly Fishing Merit Badge: A Guide for TU Members

The new Fly Fishing Merit Badge was established in May of 2002. It gives Boy Scouts the opportunity to learn about fly fishing, fly tying, and fishing conservation. It also offers Trout Unlimited members the unique opportunity to share their fly fishing knowledge with our nation’s youth. Our local chapters will be a primary source of angling expertise for tens of thousands of young Scouts who want to learn how to fly fish for trout and other species. Acting as teachers, mentors, and friends, TU members can help influence the ethics and practices of young fly fisherman around the country, creating future conservationists and protectors of our fishing resources.

How do I get involved?

The first step you should take to get involved is to contact a Boy Scout Troop in your area. Your local Boy Scout council will have a list of all the troops in your area. Here is a link for the Boy Scouts’ Local Council Locator.

You may want to attend a District Roundtable, which is a meeting for all the Boy Scout Troop leaders in a given region. Once there, you can present your idea to a number of different troop leaders and find one that is interested in working with you. For those not already familiar with the Boy Scouts, the following information will help you understand their terms and procedures as you get started.

What is a merit badge?

As chartered by the Congress of the United States, the Boy Scouts of America is a movement dedicated to supplementing and enlarging the education of youth. The merit badge program, which provides opportunities for youth to explore more than 100 fields of skill and knowledge, plays a key role in the fulfillment of this educational commitment.

While an actual merit badge is just a small item to be sewn on a uniform, the program is one of Scouting’s basic character-building tools. Through participation in the program, a Scout acquires the kind of self-confidence that comes only from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Instruction is offered in everything from animal science and public speaking to swimming and communications, providing a young man with invaluable career, physical, and interpersonal skills. This cannot happen without the service of thousands of merit badge counselors who have knowledge of particular subjects and are interested in helping Scouts grow into men of character. Because of their knowledge of fly fishing and passion for conservation, TU members are perfect candidates for becoming Fly Fishing Merit Badge counselors.

What are the requirements for the Fly Fishing Merit Badge?

To obtain the Fly Fishing Merit Badge, the Scout must:

    1. Explain to his counselor the injuries that could occur while fly-fishing and the proper treatment, including cuts, scratches, puncture wounds, insect bites, hypothermia, dehydration, and heat reactions. Explain how to remove a hook that has lodged in your arm. Name and explain five safety practices you should always follow while fly-fishing.

    2. Discuss how to match a fly rod, line, and leader to get a balanced system. Discuss several types of fly lines, and explain how and when each would be used. Review with your counselor how to care for this equipment.

    3. Demonstrate how to tie proper knots to prepare a fly rod for fishing:

    1. Tie a backing to a fly reel spool using the arbor backing knot.

    > 2. Attach backing to fly line using the nail knot.

    > 3. Attach a leader to fly line using the needle knot, nail knot, or loop-to-loop connection.

    > 4. Add a tippet to a leader using a double surgeon’s loop or blood knot.

    > 5. Tie a fly onto the terminal end of the leader using the improved clinch knot.

    > 4. Explain how each of the following types of flies are used: dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers, bass bugs, and poppers. What does each imitate? Tie at least two types of the flies mentioned in this requirement.

    > 5. Demonstrate the ability to cast a fly consistently and accurately using overhead and roll cast techniques.

    > 6. Go to a suitable fishing location and make observations on the types of insects fish may be eating. Look for flying insects and some that may be on or beneath the water’s surface. Look under rocks. Explain the importance of matching the hatch.

    > 7. Explain the importance of practicing Leave No Trace and how it positively affects fly-fishing resources.

    > 8. Obtain a copy of the regulations affecting game fishing where you live. Explain why they were adopted and what you accomplish by following them.

    > 9. Explain what good outdoor sportsmanlike behavior is and how it relates to fishermen. Tell how the Outdoor Code of the Boy Scouts of America relates to a fishing enthusiast, including the aspects of littering, trespassing, courteous behavior, and obeying fishing regulations.

    > 10. Using the fly-fishing techniques he has learned, catch two different kinds of fish and identify them. Release at least one of them unharmed. Clean and cook another fish.

    Here is a printable list of the requirements for the Fly Fishing Merit Badge.

What is a merit badge counselor?

Merit badge counselors are the key to success in the merit badge program. They offer their time, experience, and knowledge to help guide Scouts in one or more of the merit badge subjects.

The merit badge counselor will:

    1. Assist the Scout as he plans the assigned projects and activities to meet the merit badge requirements.

    2. Coach Scouts through interviews and demonstrations on how to do the required skills of the craft, business, or hobby.

    3. Follow the requirements of the merit badge, making no deletions or additions, ensuring that the advancement standards are fair and uniform for all Scouts.

    4. Certify the Scout after determining whether he is qualified for the merit badge.

What are the requirements being a merit badge counselor?

To qualify as a merit badge counselor, you must:

    1. Be at least 18 years old.

    2. Be proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation or hobby.

    3. Be able to work with Scout-age boys.

    4. Be registered with the Boy Scouts of America.

Here are some links to more detailed information:
Guide For Merit Badge Counseling: http://www.usscouts.org/boyscouts/MBCounseling.html

Merit Badge Counselor Orientation: Supplemental Adult Leader Training: http://www.meritbadge.com/bsa/info/orient.htm

Sample fly fishing program for Boy Scouts: http://www.scouts.mtbethel.org/calendar/wc10052002.htm

If you are a TU member, you can download the catalog: PDF and order form here to purchase equipment.

About Us
This is the Bellevue/Issaquah Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
For a list of 2013 officers and to read meeting minutes, 
go here ...

Chapter membership total - 630

To see a calendar of 2013's activities  go here ...
Read Dallas Cross' article explaining where the Kokanee have gone Read here...

Support our chapter by buying gear from J. Stockard Fly Fishing (http://www.JSFlyFishing.com) thru the end of July. Ten percent of your purchase will be rebated to the club. Use coupon code TU109

Read Dallas Cross' article on sturgeon fishing opportunities Read here...

Read Dallas Cross' article on fly fishing for Kamloops Trout Read here...

Read Dallas Cross' article on how fly tying is healing veterans. Read here...

Read Dallas Cross' article on waste water treatment issues. Read here...

USFWS denies endangered species listing for Lake Sammamish Kokanee Read here...

Read Dallas Cross' article on fishing for Cutthroat trout in saltwater Read here...

Read Dallas Cross' article on fishing for kings in Lake Sammamish Read here...

Our chapter has received an Embrace-a-Stream grant from TU. Read here...

Here's an op-ed in the Oregonian relating to protection of endangered salmon stocks from California to British Columbia.  Pretty interesting! To read click here...

Read Dallas Cross' latest article about fishing access rights and Washington stream access laws Read here...
Kokanee Project
Find out what we're doing to help restore the Kokanee population in Lake Sammamish here.

Read a copy of the latest plan for supplementation of late-run kokanee in Lake Sammamish Click here...

Here's Hans Berge's Kokanee presentation from the general meeting on Feb 10, 2010 Click here...

Read a Seattle Times article about Mark Taylor's work on the Kokanee project Click here...

King County Council urges protection of Lake Sammamish Kokanee Click here...

An article in the Sound News discusses the plight of Kokanee in Lake Sammamish Click here...

Bear Creek Project
Read about a new project whose goal is to enhance lower Bear Creek in Redmond Click here

Trout Unlimited is working with Water Tenders to measure the effect of pollutants from SR520 on Bear Creek water quality Read more here
Fishing Report
Where are the fishing hotspots? More importantly, where are the fish?! We're not telling! No, really, go here.
Conservation Organizations

Save Lake Sammamish

Mountains to Sea Greenway

Green Shorelines for Lake Washington and Sammamish

Sno-King Watershed Council

TU Youth
Read about Marvista  School's "Salmon in the Classroom" project...

Kids, do you have the Boy Scout fly-fishing merit badge
 More about fly-fishing merit badge

Cast for Kids Events -  September 8 - Gene Coulon Park.  For more information, click

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