July 29, 2014

Fly Fishing Industry Challenge Presented by the National Fishing in Schools Program

“Uniting industry leaders and specialty retailers with state and federal wildlife agencies in support of an in-school, accredited angling education program designed to inspire and empower our youth – and genuinely promote the sport of fly fishing.”

The National Fishing in Schools Program (NFSP) has developed tremendous momentum in 2012. A just-announced partnership with the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA), along with a major grant from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and growing support from state and federal Fish and Wildlife Agencies, has allowed NFSP to launch a dedicated campaign to implement “Fishing in Schools” into 500 schools across the US and teach 225,000 youth by the close of 2015. With 60 schools and organizations already participating in the program in 12 states and the District of Columbia, NFSP anticipates adding an additional 50 schools by the close of 2012 and doubling that number a year later. With your help “Fishing in Schools” can accomplish, or even exceed, this reachable goal.

“Fishing in Schools” has modeled itself in part on the hugely successful “Archery in Schools” program (NASP) which, after a decade of development, is now taught in over 10,000 schools and has educated over 10-million kids in the sport. As an “in-school” curriculum, usually taking place during PE classes, NFSP ensures participation as new students take the course year-after-year. As a result, NFSP expects outcomes similar to NASP – a program that is now a larger participatory activity for youngsters than Little League Baseball!

But even more significant than NASP’s participation numbers are the 27% of the kids who took the class and went on to become active participants in the sport, thus assuring a boundless customer base for the archery industry. NFSP is very excited to report that its own data echoes a similar trend, with 25% of participants purchasing their own fly fishing equipment after finishing the course. NFSP’s data also reveals that with nearly half of the
kids having never fished before, and most of the rest having only limited experience, Fishing in Schools is a true “recruitment” effort and not just “retentive” in nature.

NFSP recently received a commitment from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for $50,000 in matching funds to install the program into 30 schools. The 2012 Fly Fishing Industry Challenge endeavors to match that amount by soliciting fly fishing manufacturers and service companies to contribute $5,000 as a corporate sponsor and fly shop owners $500 as a local school sponsor. Sponsors are asked to make an initial pledge to NFSP with monies due by December 31, 2012. Sponsorship funds will only be collected if the initial $50,000 goal is fully pledged. If the goal is not met the Challenge Grant will not be realized. If more than the initial goal is met the additional funding will be used to install more schools in other areas.

Based on NFSP data a $5,000 contribution (paired with matching funds) pays for 1,500 kids to complete the program over a three-year period. If 375 of those kids (25%) become active participants in the sport, your investment creates potential lifetime customers at a mere $13.33 each. Assuming most anglers spend $10,000+ over a lifetime of fly fishing, that’s a terrific ROI for our industry. Please join us in this extremely worthwhile effort and make your pledge now, and/or contact us for further information.
National Fishing in Schools Program

Contact: Katie Cole at 970-708-9373 • katiemcole@flyfishinginschools.org
3601 Calvert Suite 26 • Lincoln, NE 68506 • www.flyfishinginschools.org

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About Tom Sadler

Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Key grip and trout wrangler at Dispatches from the Middle River. Playing Doc Holliday to the Wyatt Earps of the fish and wildlife conservation world. Tenkara fly-fisherman, outdoor journalist, AFFTA board member.

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