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Nushagak River: Fishing for credit

Clark James Mishler
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.
© 2010 Clark James Mishler/www.mishlerphotos.com.

For a week in early August, nine rural students had the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay as their classroom. Subjects at the 2010 Bristol Bay Guide Academy included fly fishing, knot tying, salmon river ecology and the history of Bristol Bay.

"The whole goal of the academy is to give local kids the skills and inspiration to pursue careers in sport fishing," said Nelli Williams, a Trout Unlimited special project coordinator. Lodges in the area need sport fishing guides who know the rivers and the area, she said.

The academy, sponsored by the Nushagak-Mulchatna Land Trust, Trout Unlimited Alaska, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bristol Bay Native Corp., brought in guiding professionals to teach students how to fly fish, as well as the art of guiding clients.

Students, who ranged 14 to 22 years old, were all familiar with commercial and subsistence fishing but it was their first experience with fly fishing.

Photos ©Clark James Mishler / www.mishlerphotos.com