Education Education

The Norther California Council will have the Learning Center up and running at the Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton on February 21-23, 2014.
Available at the Learning Center will be fly tying, fly casting and entomology.
Available to all IFFF members is a publication called The Loop, The Journal for Fly Casting Professionals. Below is an article from the 2013/2014 Winter edition.
If you are not a member of the IFFF, join today by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.
Rod McGarry, Portland, Maine, USA
The keys to an efficient, instructive private casting lesson are three: the student, the subject and the skill the student wants to practice or learn. I offer the following thoughts and concepts I use in my fly casting instruction. These are concepts you can build into your relationship with students, and that will make your private lesson more effective, and make your student a better caster and fish catcher.
Students learn differently. Some learn best by watching, some by watching and hearing, some by doing. But what is known is this: Students learn best by using not just one of their senses, but using multiple senses. It is up to us as instructors to determine how a student learns best, then teach to their strengths. We need to help our students use all their senses to learn. We can do this by using practices, techniques and coaching that is geared to that particular student. A first-rate instructor is the key to building a first-rate student caster.
Begin with the end in mind.  Stephen Covey said it so well in his ‘Seven Habits of Successful People’.
1.It’s Not About You
Imagine going on a first date, sitting down with your companion and saying, ‘I would like to begin our date by telling you all about me.’ Spend your first five minutes together finding out what’s important to your student, what he or she wants to accomplish, what goals, what problems. Ask a lot of questions Who, What, Where, How and When — then LISTEN.
These kinds of questions position you as a valuable resource. They build trust and establish a bond. And they will help you establish the pace they are prepared to undertake. This kind of conversation will take you only five minutes or so and it will energize their casting more quickly and confidently.
2.A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Visualization makes it possible for a person to absorb large amounts of data quickly (reflect for a minute on how many images you see in day). Similarly, a complex concept (rod stop position, angle of the fly rod, or plane of the casting stoke) can be conveyed with just a single still image.
Are you taking photos of your student with your smart phone or tablet? Are you sharing them right there, right now, for instant feedback?
And are you using the capability of video on that same device? Think about how many video images they may see in a day on their own smart phone or tablet. You will help your student make quicker progress when you show them what they are doing.  Casting movements get into muscle memory more quickly when you can reinforce / ratify good moves.
Computerized simulator programs like Ubersense, Coacheseye, or Replay Booth will help you reconstruct their casts for reinforcement and/or correction.
3.Your Favorite Number Should be EIGHT
Do a little math with me. What is your favorite number? Take your number and double it. Now add 16. Then take half of that and subtract your original number. What have you got? Yeah, Eight! Eight minutes is about the reach of the attention span/ concentrated practice period of time for most people. It is up
to you to be prepared to introduce a bridge, a transition, some reinforcement, confirmation or correction about every eight minutes. It can be the snapshot or video we mentioned earlier. Or it can be your demonstration, or an opportunity for them to give you some feedback about how they feel. Your student needs these plateaus and rhythms. You have to be the voice on the GPS that calls out the turns or stops on the road to casting success.
4.People Love to Buy . . . They Hate to be Sold
This axiom works even better in fly casting instruction than it does in business. Reflect on all the television commercials we see in our consumerist society. They all espouse some values (some appeal to logic, some to fashion, some to snobbery, some to fear). Keep watching and you will see an underlying pattern.
They are all based upon a climactic moment. Here we go back to #1. In the commercials: The cake has been baked, the family is gathered to see the adorable three-year-old blow out the candle. The race has been run and won and beautiful young people jump up and down in ecstasy as they reach for a diet cola. Men are shown working their jobs for all of a second and a half, then it is Miller time — life at it’s best.
Build those same kinds of climactic moments into your instruction.  This is the reason Item #1 above is such an important first step in a private lesson. Learning takes place in spurts. To help folks stay motivated to keep on learning, we have to go back to what’s important to them. I found out a long time ago that people do things for their reasons, not mine.
5.BONUS - Value Added
Give your students something they did not expect in your private lesson, something that adds another measure to the experience. Maybe it is a map-point reference to a back pond near the stream where they are going to fish, a knot they should know, a C-Cast for those times when they are frustrated, a hand-tied fly you
use on waters you fish. Whatever it is, give them something that contributes (adds) utility (value) to the services you gave to them.
About the Author: Rod McGarry lives in Portland, Maine, USA.  His mission is to help individuals develop better fly-casting and fly- fishing skills so they can have a unique outdoor experience. He is an IFFF Certified Master Fly Casting Instructor and a recipient of the IFFF’s Harger Award for Lifetime Achievement in Fly Casting Instruction. Rod is also a registered professional Maine guide, and is the fly casting staff instructor for L L Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools Programs.
Northern California Council Federation Fly Fishers - Education Report (1/12/14)
1.Trout in the Classroom & Salmon & Trout Education Programs
a.47 Northern California Council area clubs have installed & supported
i.750+ Classroom aquariums
ii.1,875 Students (at 25/classroom average)
b.These students are eager to learn about how to protect our streams.
c.These students go home and influence their parents – who vote
2.The council received a national award from the Aquatic Resource Educators Association for:
a.Developing Power Point Presentations for teachers and volunteers which provide graphic illustrations of:
i.How the aquarium components replicate nature
ii.The life cycle of a Rainbow Trout
iii.What a rainbow trout eats
iv.Components of habitats (Riparian and Aquatic)
v.Watersheds and their impact on streams 
b.Creating three posters for classroom use
i.Anatomy of a Rainbow Trout
ii.Riparian Habitat
iii.Trout foods
3. The council has become the fiscal agent for the CFW Trout in the Classroom
4.The council is the birthplace of Veterans First Fly Fishing with (7) operating Fly Fishing workshops: (Teaching Fly Tying, Fly Casting and Fly Fishing)
a. Livermore VA:
i. Community Living Center 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
ii. Bld. 62 Outpatient 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
b. Menlo Park VA – Welcome Center every other Friday, 10:30 – 12:00 PM 
c. Palo Alto VA Spinal Cord Injury 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 2:30 – 4:00 PM
d. San Jose VA – Respite Room, the 3rd Thursday, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
e. Oakland VA – MAC Club, the 2nd Friday, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
f. Sacramento area – Granite Bay Club Meeting 2nd Thursday, 6:30 PM
g. New programs opening in Oregon and Louisiana 
5. The council provides the “Learning Center” at Fly Fishing shows and venues throughout Northern California, where we teach:
a. Fly Tying to all ages and skill levels
b. Fly Casting to new casters, as well as advising and/or fixing casting problems
c. Entomology – identifying aquatic insects
d. Knot tying 
For over 25 years member club of Northern California Council Federation of Fly Fishers (NCCFFF) have been supporting teachers that hatch fish in their classrooms. In recognition of the long term commitment to advancing student knowledge of aquatic ecosystems, the Aquatic Resource Educators Association (AREA) conferred upon NCCFFF and its member clubs an award for outstanding achievement for their efforts in aquatic education.
AREA is a national organization of Professional Aquatic Educators working for fish and wildlife agency across the United States. Inn 2012, AREA selected one program for recognition and this one program is the California fish in the classroom programs supported by NCCFFF.
Ethan Rotman, Classroom Aquarium Education Program coordinator for California Department of Fish & Wildlife nominated NCCFFF and had the honor of presenting the award to the NCCFFF and its affiliate clubs.
“This program of hatching fish in classrooms is one of the best models for creating stewards of our watersheds” Rotman stated when he presented the award. “Through the process of learning what fish need to survive, nurturing the eggs and fish, and ultimately releasing the fry, the kids connect what they know in their head with what they feel in their heart.”
“This program exists today in large part due to of the hard work, time, money, and devotion of fly-fisherman.”
“We fully recognize it is the individual clubs and their members that have earned this award” chimed in NCCFFF President Ken Brunskill. “We applaud those individuals for their visionary work protecting our rivers.” The award was given to NCCFFF as it is an umbrella organization that includes most of the individual clubs that have been involved in the program. 
In 2013, over 750 classrooms in Northern California participated in this program. 
For more information, visit

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