In an effort to inspire the next generation of conservationists, Trout Unlimited is working to promote our mission on college and university campuses throughout the country. As part of the 5 Rivers College Outreach Program, TU volunteers and staff are giving college students the encouragement and tools to engage the next generation of conservationists. Here in Colorado, a budding partnership between the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited (CMCTU) and students at Colorado College (CC) is showing great promise. With the help of TU and Angler’s Covey Fly Shop, several students have started a campus organization with the goal of attracting, educating, and uniting fly fisherman at CC. The CC Fly Fishing club is an official TU-affiliated college club under the 5 Rivers College Outreach Program. TU affiliated clubs have the opportunity to take advantage of deals with manufacturers, have stickers and banners with their logo printed by TU, connect with and receive support from their local chapter, and connect with other clubs in Colorado and throughout the country.
The CC Fly Fishing club has already begun hosting weekend fishing trips, casting clinics, movie nights, and other events. Club president Brooks Pinnick said, “As a new club we need as much support as possible. The guidance provided by TU was helpful as we develop a successful campus organization. Also, being a part of TU will help us get more involved in conservation in addition to fly fishing.” Jacob Twersky, another club officer, said “When I came to CC I thought there would be a fishing culture present. That wasn’t the case, so we are trying to make that happen and create a community of fly fisherman.” Future projects include fly tying workshops with CMCTU volunteers, a fly casting contest, and further trips. In addition several members have begun volunteering for CMCTU conservation projects. Sam Humpert VP of education for CMCTU said, “This partnership is a win-win because it is a great extension of our current youth education and provides an opportunity for environmental conscious students to participate in chapter projects.” He continued, “This has been a great opportunity to work with an age group we are targeting specifically to continue the legacy of TU.”
Aside from the new fly fishing club, CC students have had several opportunities to engage in stream restoration and fly fishing this year. As part of a freshman orientation experience, 22 students and two student leaders participated in two days of service, performing trail maintenance and willow planting with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte. After a couple days of camping and hard work, the students were rewarded with a day of fly fishing led by volunteers with CMCTU. After casting lessons the students headed to Cheeseman Canyon to try their hand at some fishing. Maggie Mckeon, an orientation leader who led the trip and a junior at CC said, “Fly fishing is a growing interest at CC and TU has been a great resource. Several participants were very excited and will likely continue fly fishing.”
Additionally, a group of nine students were led by Jacob Twersky, who is also a leader with CC’s Outdoor Recreation Committee, on a fly fishing trip to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The students, who were mostly novice fly fisherman, hiked up to alpine lakes, beaver ponds, and streams where they caught some fish and had a good time. CMCTU provided the group with nine fly rods and six dozen flies for the trip.
To learn more about TU’s 5 Rivers College Outreach program and how you can engage students at your local campus, please contact Jake Lemon, CTU’s Youth Education Coordinator. firstname.lastname@example.org 720-354-2646 http://www.tu.org/about-us/youth/5-rivers