BSA Fishing
Certified Angling Instructors


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  • 01-Dec-2020 9:46 AM | Michael Brand

    Giving Tuesday! One of the many worthy missions for your generous gifts!

    Please consider giving to this mission. For more information visit

    Or Contact Jeff Wilson  for more information.

  • 23-Nov-2020 3:53 PM | Michael Brand

    USDA Forest Service Supports Youth Education
    with Fish Art Contest

    For Immediate Release:

    Contact: Julia Luger,

    WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN – Wildlife Forever is proud to recognize the USDA Forest Service for their support of the 2021 Fish Art Contest. By teaching youth the Art of Conservation®, the national partnership reaches thousands of young people each year and is used by educators as an introduction to outdoor recreation.

    The award-winning Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest connects young people to fish, fishing, and aquatic conservation through art, writing, and science. To enter, contestants create an original illustration of any species from the Official Fish List and a one-page writing entry. Entries are due postmarked by March 31st each year.  For details on contest rules, entry forms, and to view past winners, visit
    Nat Gillespie, Assistant National Fish Program Leader at the USDA Forest Service, said “The Fish Art Contest is an innovative program that introduces young people to the outdoors using the Art of Conservation. The Forest Service manages 220,000 miles of streams and rivers and over 10 million acres of lakes and reservoirs that are home to some of the most popular, most beautiful, and rarest fish in the country, and we are proud to be building the next generation of conservation stewards with the Fish Art Contest.”

    “The Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest eliminates many traditional barriers and provides an all-inclusive platform for youth education. The USDA Forest Service is a leader in supporting conservation initiatives and building stewardship. I am grateful for their vision and support. Investing in youth is the key to our future,” said President and CEO of Wildlife Forever, Pat Conzemius.

    The 2021 Fish Art Contest is now open and accepting entries. The deadline to enter is March 31st, 2021 so start creating today! Details available at

    About the USDA Forest Service: The USDA Forest Service is a multi-use agency that manages and protects 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 43 states and Puerto Rico. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Learn more about the Forest Service fisheries program at:

    About the Fish Art Contest: The award-winning Wildlife Forever Fish Art™ Contest, with support from Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops, the USDA Forest Service and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, brings children, art and aquatic conservation together! The annual contest reaches thousands of youth each year. New distance learning resources allow students to participate from home or classroom and complement a wide array of educational programming. To enter, young artists create an original illustration of any fish from the Official Fish list and written words detailing its habitat, and efforts to conserve it. Entries are categorized in four grade levels: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Educators nationwide utilize Fish On!, the full-color Fish Art Lesson Plan, integrating the disciplines of science and art. Entries are due postmarked or emailed by March 31st each year.

    About Wildlife Forever: Our mission is to conserve America's wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife. Wildlife Forever is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to investing resources on the ground. Recent audits reveal that 94% of every dollar supports our award-winning conservation programs. Please, Join Today and learn more about the Fish Art Contest®, Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ and Prairie City USA® at


  • 23-Nov-2020 1:14 PM | Michael Brand

    In today’s current environment, our Scouts need to get into the Outdoors!

    As Merit Badge Counselors for Fishing, Fly-Fishing, and Fish and Wildlife Management, we have a unique opportunity to get these Scouts and their families outside.  How can we do this and keep you and the Scout Safe? We can do this by offering our Merit Badges in a Virtual Environment. 

    Earning Outdoor-oriented Merit Badge in a Virtual Environment:

    1.     Scouts may complete a portion of any merit badge online. Some outdoor-oriented merit badge requirements can be completed in a virtual environment.  These requirements include those that ask the Scout to; “Show,” “Demonstrate,”; “Describe, “Make,” or “List.”

    2.     Outdoor-oriented merit badges should require completion in an Outdoor Environment. 

    We are extending a personal invitation to;

    Training - Fishing Merit Badge Program Delivery-Virtual Environment

  • 22-Nov-2020 1:40 PM | Michael Brand

    My hope is you can fit this on your to-do list after Thanksgiving but before the New Year.

    Please review the piece tilted;

    Enhancing Angling Experiences-2021

    Thank you all for what you have done and what you will continue to enhance our Scout Fishing Experiences. 

    Until we meet again, wishing you tight-lines and Fish On!

    Michael Brand

    BSA National Sub-Committee-Fishing

    Task Team Lead - Marketing and Communication

  • 21-Nov-2020 9:53 PM | Michael Brand

    Take a moment out of your busy life and reflect on Why-BSA Fishing Programs are essential.  

    Now write down your thoughts on a napkin or piece of Paper.

    After you have recorded your thoughts, please review the following pieces titled 2020-Why-BSA Fishing: To access the files click below.

    2020-Why-BSA Fishing-1 Pager

    2020-Why-BSA Fishing-4 Pager

    How did your response compare to ours?

    To support your efforts in Delivering your Promise to our Scouts. You may want to share these pieces with a personal note to fellow Scouters at the Unit, District, and Council Level.

    Consider asking them how you can help them Deliver the Promise in these challenging times.

    You may want to offer your help, whether virtual or small, while following BSA Safety Guidelines.


    Michael Brand 

    BSA National Sub-Committee Fishing - Member 

    Task Team - Marketing & Communications - Lead

  • 19-Nov-2020 3:14 PM | Michael Brand

    Repost of Trails to Adventure Posting Summer Edition 2020

    Trail to Adventure - Summer Edition - Fishing Program.pdf

  • 19-Nov-2020 9:25 AM | Michael Brand
    NOVEMBER 2020
    First National Camping School Short-Term Camp Administrator Trainings Begin
    On October 17th, twenty-eight Scouters took part in the first ever National Camping School Short-Term Camp Administrator training. The course was hosted online and facilitated by the National Service Center. These participants played a valuable role in giving immediate feedback to the content of the course
    NEW BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award Materials Available Online Now
    In October, the BSA announced the William T. Hornaday Award, was discontinued, and replaced by the new BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award.
    Central Region Winter Outdoor Program Conferences
    Due to the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Region Outdoor Program Support Committee (CROPS) has made the difficult decision to offer virtual conferences in January 2021.
    See all posts on the Trail to Adventure blog »

  • 28-Sep-2020 8:30 PM | Michael Brand

    From the Desk of David Lund

    Here is the final online Fishing MB presentation for publishing and distribution.

  • 16-Sep-2020 6:41 PM | Michael Brand

    With the expert assistance of Robert Quam, Central Region Area 3 Lead - Fishing, he has been able to memorialize an Interview with Fred Hodge by Michael Youssi.

    We are so blessed to have this, and to have known Fred Hodge.

    Fred Hodge Interview Link:

    Fred Hodge Fly Tying Link:

    Thanks for the memories!

  • 08-Sep-2020 11:51 AM | Michael Brand

    From the Desk of Robert Sousa.

    I designed a credible fishing fly that I hope Fred Hodge would have liked. 





    Some facts:
     Hook:  Gamakatsu R 10 B Size 12 (barbless)
    Thread:  Gudebrod Tan 8/0
    Tail:  Golden Pheasant
    Quill:  Brown Verigated grizzly
    Wing:  Lemon Wood Duck Flank
    Hackle:  brown Grizzly
    Head:  UV Fluorescent
    Finish:  UV Glaze Topcoat

    Notable features.  Like Fred, I wanted to integrate several unique features into this fly while still maintaining some traditional characteristics.  For example, the red head is a traditional feature of the Ausable Wulff patterns.  The unique element introduced here is that I used fluorescent UV Red thread.  Since UV light red penetrates water better than  plain red, the fish will be able to see it from a greater distance.  Fred would like that.

     I wanted something to reflect Fred’s personality and that is why I selected the gold cape feathers of the Golden Pheasant.  Fred sure loved his pheasant hunting and we all know what a hit he made giving out Pheasant tail feathers at Jamboree.  He had literally thousands of scouts proudly wearing their pheasant feather in their cap. 

     When you get to see a fly up close, you will see that it’s abdomen uses a tightly wrapped quill (center spine) of a brown grizzly hackle (complements of Pete).  Taking the feather, I stripped all of the side barbels off.  Now starting where I tied in the tail, I began my wraps.  As the quill became thicker, it began to suggest a segmented abdomen of an adult insect.  However another reveal is that in youth we have darker hair but as we age our hair becomes more white.  So it is with this fly.  Closer to the tail, it is darker but nearest the wing it is Snow White...just like Fred’s hair!

     For a wing, I used the verigated lemon yellow flank feathers of the wood duck.  Then to suggest more gold, I merged another feather of the Golden Pheasant.  As we all know, Fred was in the USAir Force.  He wore those Golden pilot wings proudly and this fly’s namesake recalls Fred’s honorable service to our country. 

     For a dry fly hackle (again complements to Pete), I used a brown grizzly.  “Oh My” he would say whenever we spoke of fishing in Alaska where grizzly bear encounters are quite common.  Fred had a passion for wildlife and fishing and his travels around Alaska (as well as other parts of the Country and world for that matter) gave him a perspective that he always taught to kids. 

     He loved the Au Sable River.  As a youth he lived in the area where his dad was a Michigan State Forester who helped restore vegetative cover to the deep sands of the region.  It is for this reason that this fly will have that River name in its title.

     The Gamakatsu hook I used was selected for several reasons.  First, they are of the best quality.  They also are a relatively new hook having a unique shape.  I had them in my hook box here in R.I. and they seem to call out to me.  Maybe it was Fred looking over my shoulder.  They are barbless with the point section being extra long.  I think they will hold the fish better yet make for a quicker release. 

     Lastly, I am certain this pattern will catch fish. 

    Robert Sousa

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