Nearly two dozen preteens are all in the same room after school and somehow the general atmosphere is calm and focused. They are building fishing rods and tying flies; there’s no time for …
Nearly two dozen preteens are all in the same room after school and somehow the general atmosphere is calm and focused. They are building fishing rods and tying flies; there’s no time for anything else.
The youth are meeting for Powell Middle School’s fly fishing club. This is the first year at the school for both the club and its leader, physical education teacher Eric Oram.
Oram, who is originally from Cody, had taught at Pinedale High School before deciding to come back to Park County. It wasn’t long before students asked Oram about creating a fishing club.
“It started this fall: A couple of students were interested in fishing and knew that I had a passion for fishing. So they approached me and asked if I would start something,” Oram said. “I decided that my expertise is more in fly fishing so I said that if I’m going to take this on, I’m going to put a fly fishing spin on the club and focus on that.”
Right now, there are 28 students in the fly fishing club. Every member is building their own rod and tying their own flies. Oram wants to make sure every person in the club has their own equipment. After that, they’ll begin to practice casting and eventually go fishing in April. To ensure every student had their own fly rod, Oram partnered with Joey’s Fly Fishing Foundation to host a fly rod building clinic for the weekend of Dec. 17-18. Roughly 32 fly rods were built over the two days, Oram said. Every student who raised money for a fundraising raffle and finished their rod was given a Joey’s reel.
Members of the fly fishing club are excited to learn a new skill or gain more experience in the hobby.
Eighth grader Tucker Robinson started fly fishing last summer, prior to the founding of the club, but he’s excited to “make my own flies and learn better casting.”
Sixth grader Lilly Sapp is most excited about “being able to fly fish in my grandma’s creek with my dad.”
Oram hopes the students currently in the fly fishing club will be mentors for students in the years to follow.