The 2017 Youth Academy is now Full!!!!
May 20, 2016 Through May 21, 2017
ROGER MILLER YOUTH FLY FISHING ACADEMY
By Gary Pullings
As I get older and I am watching my kids grow into adult hood I often wonder what will be of the world that they will live in. I often think of my grandfather who was a pioneer in the scuba diving industry. He was an avid spear fisherman. He would predominantly hunt for the Giant Black Sea Bass. Unfortunately, he admits that his hunting helped bring about the near extinction of the species. For the last 20 years he has been a advocate for building artificial reefs and helping the ocean regain her former glory from people like him. He taught me to take care of what we have and use it in moderation and we can live side by side. In 2002 I saw my first Giant Black Sea Bass. What is amazing is that it was the first one spotted in nearly 50 years at that location.
I never met Roger Miller, however I have met his wife, grandchildren and his brother in-law. In speaking to them about Roger I have found out that he was just like my grandfather in many ways. The only difference was that he started earlier in his conservation effort. In order to change minds, you have to teach the children, because as adults we tend to be stuck in our ways and that is where the term “You can’t teach a old dog new tricks” comes into play. Children seem to pick up on things that us adults don’t. That is why I can hand my 10-year-old my smart phone and ask him to fix it and it is fixed within minutes. Where I spent the last 2 hours trying to fix it. Their brains are sponges and soak up all of our ill-gotten experiences and learn from our life’s lessons.
That is why we at Fresno Fly Fishers for Conservation believe in teaching children about fly fishing. We want them to take up the sport and learn to conserve the beauty of the sport and the environment. We want them to learn to live side by side. We want them to take up the efforts of Hank Urback and Paul Hankavarra in their conservation efforts of our local fisheries. They will be building on the foundation we set for them. If we don’t lay a proper foundation then they will not be able to finish the work. Let’s face it in today’s climate everything is political. Hank and Paul are trying to get the Lower Kings River to become a great fishery again like it was 20 years ago. We at FFFC have to agree and help mold the minds that will proceed us so they can take care of what we and our forefathers have messed up for them. As we all age we learn that our previous beliefs were not always the right ones and it is our job to teach from our mistakes. That is why the Roger Miller Fly Fishing Academy was so important to Roger and the Club. Because of his vision, we named our youth academy after him.
I am thankful for people like my grandfather who was a mentor to me, I am greatly thankful for people like Roger who has laid the foundation for younger people like me to pick up where he left off and to keep the ball rolling in education of our Youth. I don’t know if he can hear me or members of the club, however we want to thank him and his family for laying the foundation of conservancy and education within our club. So if your Listening Roger, Thank You!