Not long ago, I read that the average American kid spends about seven hours a day in front of a screen of some type, but only about seven minutes a day outside. As a parent and a grandparent, those numbers sent a chill through me. If kids aren’t outside, how can we expect them to be the anglers of the future? How can we expect them to care about clean air and clean water if they’re stuck in front of a screen all the time? These are the kinds of questions that also concerned my friend Will Lillard, while he was starting his company Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions.
LFFE was founded by Will while he was earning a M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. As a youth, Will spent his summers in the mountains of Colorado and western North Carolina and developed a love for the outdoors. After college he followed this passion and spent 5 years working as an outdoor educator and fishing guide in WY, CO, CA and NC. As an avid fly fisherman and guide, Will admired the dedication to conservation and stewardship he noticed among fly fishermen and women. During his masters studies he examined the link between a person’s participation in outdoor activities and their environmental ethic. What he found was that research overwhelmingly supported that people who fish and hunt have an increased understanding of the importance of environmental conservation. His research along with his love for fly fishing, conservation, and teaching inspired him to develop Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions.
LFFE is an adventure education company, specializing in wilderness fly fishing trips for adolescents. Their flagship programs are 10-20 day fly fishing adventures and expeditions for students entering 7th-12th grades. The trips are a unique combination of fly fishing, wilderness travel, environmental education, and community service with a goal of inspiring future generations of fly fishing conservationists. Expert guides and trip directors work closely with participants as they develop their own leadership style, independence, responsibility, interpersonal skills, and environmental ethic. All of this, while participants travel on and off the trail through remote wilderness gaining the skills needed for a lifetime of fly fishing and backcountry adventure. When the trip is over these young people are accomplished anglers, backpackers, and conservationists with leadership, personal, and interpersonal skills they can put to use the rest of their lives.
In the summer of 2017 LFFE will be leading 8 unique trips in North Carolina, Maine, Colorado, and Yellowstone National Park: four 10-16 day Adventures (students entering grades 7-10) and four 15-21 day Advanced Expeditions (students entering grades 9-12). The locations and dates for these trips range and were selected after extensive scouting to ensure the best possible conditions for the experience of a lifetime.
At TU, we know that the future of conservation is in the hands of our young people. We’re proud to have Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions as a TU Business Member.
Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768