It has been three years since we’ve first decided to put Romania on the international fly fishing map and to pursue our goal, i.e. to foster sustainable development in our home country through a responsible fly fishing tourism.
In 2016, shortly after Fly Fishing Romania was brought to life, we therefore launched a project for the sustainable development of a beautiful fly fishing destination, a project that also aims a greater participation of local people and stakeholders in decision making, to motivate and empower them to protect the rivers they grew up with.
So first we’ve organized a public workshop and then, with the help of numerous volunteering fishermen and friends from Romania, we could repair two water stages (cascades). After that we’ve designed and assembled two information boards for anglers together with the first thematic educational trail for children and adults, which provides information on the brown trout and the protection of its habitat. Pictures of the activities are here to see.
And because it is particularly important for us first to sensitize young people from the region for the protection and sustainable use of natural resources and then to also offer them the chance to learn how to fly fishing, this year we wanted to carry on the awareness raising campaign and to organize within it the first fly fishing youth camp in the same destination.
Description of the Camp:
The camp itself is the first charitable fly fishing youth camp in Romania and at the same time the first fly fishing youth camp in the Western Carpathians.
The organization of the camp is based on the collaboration with the Apuseni Natural Park Administration, Cluj Forest Management and the Aqua Crisius anglers’ association, a collaboration which started in 2016, and now includes the participation of the Municipal Highschool Rachitele (which ensured the participation of local children) and of Alex Guesthouse (which provided space and accommodation). Thus, we have managed to establish the first public-private partnership in Romania in the field of fly fishing.
Due to the mostly precarious living conditions of local families, we have undertaken, as already mentioned, to organize the camp as a charity event.
Its implementation was based solely on the volunteer engagement of experienced fly fishermen from Romania and Germany and on material and money donations from both the Romanian and the international fly fishing scene (Germany, France, USA). Above all, the gear donations were important to us, as we wanted to give every participant a complete fly fishing equipment, with the intention of not only to inspire them for fly fishing, but also to enable them to give them a chance to practice this sport in nature also in the future.
The camp was conceived and planed for two days and took place on a weekend, the 17-18th of June 2017. 9 pupils from the Municipal Highschool Rachitele enrolled, whereas the great interest shown by another 4 children who had relatives in the area, convinced us to accept them on the camp. All were between 7 and 13 years old and had no experience in fly fishing.
During the two-day camp, the children were able to learn in an interactive way important and interesting things: starting with the values of the natural park and the river as an ecosystem, and habitat for trout, til insect and material knowledge, as well as fly tying and the practice of the basic casting techniques.
And because they finally managed to fish with their own, complete equipment, the children could enjoy a real fly fishing. Despite bad weather conditions, it was a few full, but beautiful days, which we were able to look forward to.
We have managed to arouse the interest in this sport among local youths and their parents, to make them aware of the nature and their protection, and through all that, to have fun. In addition, the camp has got an unexpected good feedback from the international public and we were able to attract numerous fly fishers to take part to our event in one way or another. For these reasons, we have decided to organize next year a new fly fishing camp for children, this time for 20 youngsters, for 4 days, with a more attractive program comprising a special fly tying event.
The camp will also have a charitable character next year, as we will continue to provide the children with full fly fishing and fly tying gear.
We are very happy that the organizers and stakeholders of the 1st Fly Tying Event NRW have allowed us to present the camp and our project this November in Südlohn and that together we can try to collect the funds to procure 20 basic equipment for fly tying.
For the great support from all of those implied, we’d like to once again thank each and every single one!!! You all have made it possible! :)
Pictures of the Fly Fishing Camp are here to see.