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TU Teen Essay Contest | Third Runner Up | Will D. from Georgia

Each year, TU Camp and Academy graduates are invited to enter the TU Teen Essay Contest in which they share their camp experiences. This year we had ffour finalists, and Wills essay is the first to be posted in this series as the third runner up! William is from north Georgia and attended the Georgia Trout Camp in Rabun Gap, GA. Please read on for Will’s memior and reflection of his time at camp.

Do you know a teen that’s ready to attend a TU Camp, visit the TU Camps Page to see if there’s one near you! Already been to a camp, you say?? Then that teen may be ready to attend the TU National Teen Summit, an annual conference for young leaders in TU. Click here to apply.

TU camp is… by Will D.

My Camp: Georgia Trout Camp

My TU Chapter:The Rabun Chapter

My favorite thing about being outside is just seeing and being in the beautiful creations God has given to us. When fishing, my most favorite things are experiencing the outdoors, fighting the fish, and feeling the sudden jerk when a fish snatches the lure.

When I learned that I was accepted to go to Trout Camp 2017, and that the Rabun Chapter was sponsoring me, I was electrified. Trout Camp was an AMAZING experience! I enjoyed it from beginning to end and everything from receiving our equipment to making habitat for the trout. Some of the main highlights for me at Trout Camp included: the quality gear we acquired, fishing in prime North Georgia trout streams and rivers, and learning how to tie flies.

When I received my gear, I was thrilled at the sight of it all and to learn what the purpose of each item was. Prior to receiving the equipment, I had never owned or been introduced to any fly fishing gear which made it even more exciting. While at camp, each piece of equipment served its purpose very well, and it allowed me to have an awesome first experience. Since Trout Camp, my equipment has held up and been put to good use. I went fishing with my dad and brother and was a successful fly fisherman for the first time outside of camp! My brother has already caught his first fish on a fly rod and is becoming interested in the sport of fly fishing. Most importantly, besides enjoying new experiences and teaching others what I have learned, I must give the credit to the sponsors who donated all the supplies and who made Trout Camp possible.

Tying flies at camp was a very cool skill to learn, especially because the guides aided me in tying the flies and shared with me their opinion on the best way to do one thing or another. After learning the general idea on fly tying, each night my friend and I would stay up and tie flies until it was time for lights out. Since Trout Camp, I have tied many flies including ones I have caught fish on. They really work!!

All the views and beautiful scenery of the North Georgia mountains was the icing on the cake. In some areas while riding the bus along the mountain roads, we were almost in the clouds with mountains all around us. Each time we reached our destination, we would hop off the bus and get geared up for fishin’. With a guide assigned to every one or two people, we and the guide, or in some cases just me and the guide, went and found a good-looking area to fish in. I caught several fish including brown trout and a red-eye bass—not to mention trees–both of which I had never caught before. The guides were really kind and helpful especially in guiding me to choose the right flies and most importantly catch fish.

In conclusion, Trout Camp was a great learning experience because of all the very experienced fly fishermen who spoke to us and taught classes. I learned how to read the water—the ability to know where the fish are hanging out, how to sustain aquatic species to allow people in the future to enjoy trout fishing, and how to know what flies to use to catch trout within a certain stream by finding which insects are hatching out. To my surprise, I was also able to earn the Boy Scout fishing and fly-fishing merit badges at camp! My incredible experience at Trout Camp 2017 has inspired me to respect, enjoy, and protect trout and all of God’s amazing creations.