Young Mount Shasta fisherman selected for fly fishing summer camp

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Eleven-year-old Seth Smith of Mount Shasta enjoys fishing, but he doesn’t know much about fly fishing. That will change this summer after he attends a five day, four night FishCamp on a scholarship.

An 11-year-old fishing enthusiast from Mount Shasta is excited to learn how to tie his own flies at FishCamp 2021 this summer after he earned a scholarship to attend the five day, four night camp in July.

Seth Smith, a sixth grader at Sisson School, has a big collection of fishing poles, said his dad, Jimmy: about 38 of them, all set up for different situations. 

Seth has been deep sea fishing, has fished for trout at Lake Siskiyou and once caught a 28-pound salmon on the Sacramento River in Anderson, but one thing he doesn’t know much about is fly fishing.

During the camp, which is run by The Fly Shop in Redding, Seth will learn every aspect of the sport, said Zachary Miller, who went to the camp himself when he was a youngster and later managed FishCamp for five years.

Dave Zeug of Shell Lake prepares to select a fly while fishing on the Brule River near Brule.

Seth was selected from a slate of candidates who applied for the scholarship through Siskiyou Flyfishers, said Rick Meredith.

Hosted at the privately-owned Antelope Creek Ranch near Weed off of Highway 97, camp participants will learn how to cast, tie flies, tie knots, basic entomology, how to read the water, safe wading techniques, how to leave no trace – everything they need to know to become a successful fly fisher, Miller said.

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They’ll be able to catch and release rainbow and brown trout in the property’s stream and lakes.

The hands-on camp is open to the public and is $895 per session, but many of the spots for this summer are already full, said Miller.

“He’ll wake up at 8 a.m., have breakfast and start fishing,” said Miller. Campers sleep in wall tents and there’s a cook house; bathroom and shower facilities; and a camp cook who makes all the meals. 

The camp is filled on a first come, first served basis, but the Siskiyou Flyfishers offer two scholarship every year, Meredith said.

Although the group usually gives one scholarship to a boy and another to a girl, this year they only had boys apply. 

Judges read the applicant’s essays blind, and this year, Seth’s essay “stood out immediately,” Meredith said. The second youth selected for the scholarship was Zane Krueger from Etna.

To learn more about FishCamp, which was first opened in 1998, go to www.theflyshop.com/camps/fishcamp.html

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.