Youth Academy

Northwest Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Academy 

Donate to the Academy (Alan Harger Fund)

The Academy is a youth education project designed to teach youth about the importance of conservation and resource stewardship and introduce them to the world of fly fishing. The event provides 7 days of education and fishing to youth from ages 12 to 16. It is held the last full week of June each year in Lacey.

Acceptance into the co-educational Academy is based upon a candidate’s written essay indicating his/her desire to attend and what he/she hopes to learn from it.  The Academy is limited to qualified youths, ages 12 through 16. Applicants must not have reached their 17th birthday before July 1st the year of camp.

The Academy was founded in 2008 by SSFF member Dick Nye, following the blueprints of a very successful Academy in the East. After Dick retired members Mike Clancy and Jim Brosio assumed responsibility for the Academy. After fifteen years at the helm, Mike and Jim have turned over their responsibilities to their successors. SSFF remains very dedicated to providing these youngsters with the best conservation and fly fishing education experience.

Members of SSFF and many others donate their time and energy to make sure these kids have an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Guest speakers and subject matter experts read like the “Who’s Who” in northwest fly fishing.

Unfortunately, in order to keep our youth and staff safe during the COVID 19 outbreak, the 2021 Academy event has been cancelled for this year.

You can download a NWYCFFA Application here.

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Alan Harger Fund, His Award, and The Academy

“A Man Who Loved to Fish, Because He Loved the Places Where Fish Live.” 

Who was Alan Harger? To all the members of our SSFF club, Alan Harger was a very skilled member of the South Sound Fly Fishers from 1984 to 2009.  In 2008, the Board of Directors recognized Alan for his sustained, superior service to the SSFF and for serving on the Board for the period of 1984 to 2007.  For nearly a quarter of a century Al served as a Board member in numerous capacities. He was counselor, advocate, champion, and voice of reason and experience on countless issues before the Board. His steadfast and valued guidance to the Board was essential to the success of the Club over the decades.

Alan was affectionately respected by all.  Alan died in May 2009 at the age of 62 after a long illness.  Alan was fishing friend to many and a close fishing partner to our members Burt and Ginger Sarver.  When Alan passed away he asked the Sarvers to donate all his fly fishing possessions to the Club to be sold to benefit one project: the Academy.  On March 1, 2010, the sponsorship fund beginning balance was $5,258. The idea was to contribute $500.00 to the Academy annually to sponsor one or more students or just to contribute supporting funds for the Academy that year. 

There are special funds in the South Sound Fly Fishers and in the Puget Sound Fly Fishers that support the academy.  SSFF established the Alan Harger fund. Puget Sound Fly Fishers in Tacoma established the Bruce Ferguson Fund.  Both funds were established by members of these clubs that carried out the wishes of Alan and Bruce by selling their fly fishing gear and using the proceeds to create these special accounts for the sole benefit of the Academy.

In addition to providing funding support and scholarships to the Academy, SSFF also presents an award in the name of Alan Harger.

The Academy’s Alan Harger Award is presented to a student with the following criteria: “The NW Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Academy is pleased to present the Alan Harger award to the individual who best exemplifies the fishing partner everyone treasurers.  Their amicable nature, their respect for others, ideas, devotion to the environment and sport of fly fishing, eagerness to develop skills, and their readiness to share their skills and knowledge with others, distinguishes him and her among their comrades at the camp and merit this recognition.” 

If you wish to donate to support of the NW Youth Conservation & Fly Fishing Academy please use the button at the top of the page or send a check in any amount made out to “SSFF” with the notation that the donation is to be applied to the Alan Harger Fund. Please mail your check to:

South Sound Fly Fishers, PO Box 2792, Olympia WA 98507.

A check will avoid credit card and PayPal Fees.