Elite camp seeking teen anglers

Aspen Times Staff

Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Colorado Trout Unlimited is now accepting applications from teens for a summer Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp to be held at the Peace Ranch in the Fryingpan Valley, above Basalt.

The camp, June 10-16, is designed to educate students on the importance of coldwater conservation and provide hands-on fly-fishing instruction. It is open to youths, age 14-18; applications are available online at and must be received by March 15, 2007.

The Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp is limited to 20 qualified students who will be selected based on their qualifications and a written essay on why they would like to attend. To qualify, students must have been born between June 23, 1988, and June 18, 1993.

“The selection process for this elite camp will be quite rigorous as we seek students who not only exemplify an interest in fly fishing, but demonstrate leadership, community service and dedication as well,” said Shawn Bratt, a Colorado Trout Unlimited spokesman, in a press release. “By selecting the high school leaders of today, we believe they will be our community leaders for years to come. It’s important for these students to understand the value of clean water and how it relates to our everyday lives. The camp curriculum will help provide the foundation for that education.”

Colorado Trout Unlimited chapters around the state will select and partner with students in their areas before, during and after the camp. Following the camp, all participants will work on a local conservation or education project with their chapter, applying what they’ve learned to the waters in their community.

“We think it is especially important that our work with these young people is not limited to the one-week camp itself,” David Nickum, CTU executive director. “By fostering a relationship with their local chapters on a conservation project, we hope to give the students a chance to deepen their education and apply what they are learning in a way that makes a difference right in their own communities.”

The camp will be hosted at Peace Ranch by the CTU Ferdinand Hayden chapter located in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Beattie family has donated the use of the ranch, located three miles above the Fryingpan River and five miles from the town of Basalt. The 600-acre ranch has six acres of trout-filled, still water fed by Taylor Creek. Students will live in their classroom during the camp, surrounded by some of the best trout waters in the West, according to Trout Unlimited.

Camp classes will include: principles of ecology, hydrogeology, aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate sampling, hydrology, trout behavior, trout stream entomology, the biology of pollution, acid deposition, and politics of conservation and human effects on the Rocky Mountains. In addition, the camp will include hands-on fishing classes such as fly tying, fly casting, streamside ethics, angling literature, streamside botany, wader safety and survival, and the evolution of an angler. Students will also participate in a watershed project to repair habitat in a nearby stream.

The camp includes faculty from various environmental fields and state agencies such as the Colorado Division of Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service. The cost to attend is $375. For more information or to download an application, visit or contact Larry Quilling at (303) 543-0939.

Colorado Trout Unlimited is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Colorado’s coldwater fisheries.