VHS?Outdoor Club To Sponsor Coldwater Fly Fishing Seminar
Josh Weekley, a Valley High School teacher and advisor to the Outdoor Club, is encouraging the public to attend a seminar Oct. 17 by Bubba Holt, executive producer of Fly Rod Chronicles on the Outdoor Channel. A seminar for VHS outdoor club students will be held that afternoon from 1-3 p.m., while the community is invited to a separate coldwater fishing and fly fishing seminar that evening from 6-9 p.m. at the high school.
The event is free and being presented by an individual who is a recognized authority on fly fishing and trout fishing.
Holt’s visit is a part of the Outdoor Club’s movement to get students interested in the outdoors and, hopefully, staying out of trouble. “I know how influential the outdoors have been in my life,” said Weekley, adding “People say there is nothing to do, but there is. Fishing is a great outlet.” Weekley also cites the fact that Pine Grove is one of few places in the area that has stocked trout.
Weekley first sought out Fly Rod Chronicles while trying to contact Curtis Fleming. Fleming is originally from Bridgeport and has worked with troubled youth for years and now has the Outdoor Channel’s “Fly Rod Chronicles.” Weekley believes that Fleming can make a connection with students. Fleming’s parents worked in a coal mine and he was the first in his family to go through college.
Weekley e-mailed Holt about low test scores and drop-out rates in the schools and told him that he wanted to do things that students want to talk about, such as fishing, as well as sneak in educational information.
Holt responded the very next day and volunteered to hold a seminar at VHS. Holt also serves as Dean of The Fly Fishing School of West Virginia, as well as Treasurer of Trout Unlimited in West Virginia. Holt also suggested getting the school to hold a “Trout in the Classroom” program. In the program, students would raise brook trout from egg status to three-inch fingerling status, when trout are then stocked in West Virginia’s streams.
Weekley says a variety of school subjects can go with the trout project, including math, science, English, and art. Students will have the opportunity “to tend these trout from egg to the point where they can revitalize our water shed,” said Weekley. “Trout fishing is a lifelong sport. It keeps people from drugs and It gives students the responsibility for feeding the fish or they will die.”
In addition to folding the “Trout in the Classroom” program in to Valley’s curricula, Weekley said he hopes the state Division of Natural Resources will find a way to become involved. He said he also hopes the creek between the two bridges in Pine Grove – now strewn with trash – can be revitalized.