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2019 Truckee Fly Fish Camp

Photos and Video by Stefano Shishido & Words by Trey Humphrey

Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

Henry David Thoreau

After the successes last year brought, High Fives, Trout Unlimited, and Matt Heron Flyfising Guides were all anticipating another amazing fishing experience in the North Tahoe region. Thanks to the positive attitude and unwavering energy from Ricci Kilgore, Matt Leonard, Tyler McKenzie, Ryan McLaren, and Dennis Mankel High Fives were able to connect Athletes with guides in a way that sets the standard for all future camps. The objective this week was to develop relationships between Athletes and mentors that would carry well beyond this camp and the week got off to a great start after the first morning’s casting lesson with Matt Heron and his dedicated team of volunteers.

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Meeting at the Resort at Squaw Creek, Athletes were gifted some pretty amazing gear bags thanks to High Fives partners; YETI, PHUNKSHUN WEAR, ARCADE BELTS, DARN TOUGH VT SOCKS, SMITH OPTICS, ZEALIOS, KIND DESIGN, CLIF BAR, GOPROBIGTRUCK. New this year, were 3 rod and reel combos, generously donated by Scheels of Reno. Matt Heron then led a morning of world-class fly-casting instruction and quickly put every athlete on the fish in the ponds underneath the looming Squaw Valley ridge lines. After everyone began to get a feel for the sport, the crew headed to the Truckee River Winery for some grilled meats and veggies, courtesy of Mountain Valley Meats. It wasn’t long before the fish stories came out and everyone was cracking smiles and slapping each others backs. Matt Leonard took home one of the rod/reel combos for hauling in the day’s SMALLEST catch, a 4-inch long rainbow trout, just a wee little baby.

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The following day, the crew headed back to Sawmill Pond just adjacent to the Resort at Northstar. Unlike last year, the decision was made to get everyone into a drift boat so they could access the entire reservoir and really track down some of the massive brown trout. Tyler Mckenzie secured himself the second rod/reel kit by hauling in the only brown trout of the day.

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On day 3, the San Francisco Fly Casters Club invited everyone back to the historic ranch for some more Blue Ribbon fishing. Guides and Athletes quickly split up and staked out their section of the river and began working their way through the “honey holes.” Once everyone had their fill, lunch was served on the deck of the clubhouse, overlooking the Truckee River. Matt Heron and Mike Porter delivered the wrap-up speeches and thanked our gracious host and volunteers. Just before everyone broke for the week, the crew voted Ricci Kilgore to receive the final rod/reel combo, this one for earning the best nickname: Ric the Stick, for her buttery smooth casting ability.

The second annual Truckee Fly Fishing camp was another success and wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of guides, volunteers, and sponsors.