Frequently Asked Questions

But First Meet The Directors

Carol Anderson - Co-Director

John Gravendyk - Co-Director

Bruce Merighi - Co-Director

Carol Anderson
John Gravendyk
Bruce M at Potholes Lake

Carol has an Med. in Educational Technology and taught public school for 25 years. Her passion is developing outdoor science education curriculums for elementary and middle school students.

She was an Associate Professor at Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University and Director of the Educational Multimedia Lab. Her career also includes positions as an eLearning Consultant for Bellevue College and City University, Training Manager for F5 Networks, and Instructional Design Development Manager for Microsoft.

Her company, Windwalker Media currently develops online science education curriculums. Clients include Microsoft, F5 Networks, Discovery Channel and Shortland Publishing in New Zealand. She’s a Fellow Member of the Explorers Club.

Carol is an avid sailor who has raced and cruised four different oceans. She currently spends her time filming nature in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and New Zealand when not standing on a remote bank of some river fly fishing. Carol is the VP Education for Washington State Counsel Fly Fishers International and a TU member.

John grew up surfing, SCUBA diving, skiing, fishing and lifeguarding in Southern California and has lived in Carnation WA since 1980 where he and his wife raised two fly fishing daughters.  

He is a retired Senior Engineering Manager at Boeing Commercial Airplanes charged with “stress testing” international design partners to ensure appropriate engineering capability. John and his wife Katherine realized a long term dream of fishing Scotland’s storied salmon fishing rivers with a trip to the Spey and other European waters in 2015.  

After a six year run, John and Katherine recently retired as Co-Chairs of the MBYC Youth Sail Program.  This sail training and sail racing program serves 350 youths (age 8 to 18) each season through 12 weeklong day camps on Lake Washington’s Meydenbauer Bay.  

A past President and current Youth Committee Chair and Board Member of Washington Fly Fishing Club, John is also a Youth Coordination Chairman of The Washington Council of Trout Unlimited in addition to Co-Directing the Northwest Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy. 

Bruce has lived 42 years in Leavenworth WA.  Moving there after living in three foreign countries as a State Department dependent. Four, if you count New York where he was born. 

Learning how to fly fish on his own at 12 in up-state NY  and how to downhill ski, in of all places, the Caspian Mountains north of  Tehran, Iran. (in the days of the Shah).  He has also fly fished in Patagonia, Cuba, Korea, B.C.,  Alaska, near the Artic, and Mongolia. 

After 20 years, Bruce  retired as the Medical First Responder and Fire Chief of  Chelan County Fire District #4.     He also served for 16 years as the Safety Officer and Fire Science Program Manager, as well as being a Hazardous Materials Instructor, for Wenatchee Valley College.   

He owns a Safety consulting business writting emergency procedures and safety policies for schools.  A TU member for 17 years, Board Chair of  Education and Conservation for the Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers for 12 and proudly serving on the Chelan County Citizens Advisory Committee  for the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board.

Matt Tuttle – Academy Leader 

Matt tying flies at the vise

I learned how to fly fish from Tom Owen when I was still in grade school. Since then, I have fished in many different lakes, rivers ponds, and even creeks that had no names. Passing on the love of fly fishing is an honor for me.

Now The Questions

$500 is the per student fee.

Once your application has been approved, you and your parents will be sent notification of acceptance letters and a password to access the websites Payment page. It’s the red button on the Homepage header.

There you can make a deposit (which secures a spot at the academy) and conduct other financial transactions or request scholorship assistance (donated by a local Fly Club or TU Chapter). If you wish you can make your payments directly to one of our directors at: John Gravendyk 818-291st Ave. N.E., Carnation, WA 98014

When your deposit has been received you will be given a password to access our Library page, where you can review the schedule, class list, videos, explore informational links and use training aids that will give you a running start on academy topics.

The Washington State Council for Trout Unlimited, local Fly Clubs and the Washington Council for the Fly Fishers International are our major financial donors for this program. T.U. Chapters, local businesses like Echo Rods and other generous donors all contributed to ensure this academy continues to provide fly fishing experiences, resource conservation values and aquatic knowledge. The academy is an all volunteer and non profit program and it depends on the generosity of the above mentioned, to help finance the $1,696 (per student) cost of this academy. Our thanks to them and appreciation to you for considering our academy.

Visit the volunteer page on this website.  There is an application form there to sign up.

Yes. The staff are all encouraged to know how to swim. We hire a Certified Life Guard for scheduled swim times and during the required Boy Scout Swim Test in shallow water. It’s necessary for students to know how to swim, in order to use any flotation device. Bring a bathing suit.

Registration is from 3:00 – 5:00 pm on Sunday, June 18.  Students can be picked up at noon on Sunday, June 25 

The Directors of the academy all  agree that your time at camp should be equitably divided into time for instruction, learning activities and time to fish.  Fishing time is scheduled every day after day one.  By the second day you should be able to cast well enough to start trying to fool fish with a fly.  FYI –  We don’t use hooks when we practice fly casting and only use barbless hooks when fishing and tying flies.  

No. Accommodations are dormitory style and we also require a Ghillie in each room.

A Qualitative Yes.
We can probably make minor changes to the menu.  We’ll need to talk well before the academy in order to work out the details.

Yes. We’ll be collecting macro invertebrates (bugs) in a nearby creek and you’ll be getting wet. So if you want to bring a pair of rubber boots that would be good. You can also hike around the lake so a good pair of trail walking shoes could come in handy, but it’s an easy trail. Most important – bring a pair of lightweight shoes like sneakers to wear when in a watercraft.


They need to sign your application.  They will also need to sign a waiver and release form found in the Library page under the button labeled ‘Parent Paperwork’.  They need to sign and bring that form with them to the registration.


If you take prescription medication or want to use over the counter medication you will need to self administer these items.  Pursuant to Washington State law the staff can not administer medications to any student.  

WA Fishing License

12-14 years old:          No license required

15 – 16 years old:       License required

Must Bring

  1. Sleeping bag, pillow & pillow case
  2. Sneakers for watercraft, shoes for hiking and boots to sample bugs in a creek.
  3. Clothes for seven days. There are no washer/dryers available at the academy.
  4. Swim suit and towel.
  5. Toilet articles including soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, etc.
  6. If you take  a prescription drug or use over the counter medications , they must be self-administered.   The academy staff cannot legally provide or administer any type of medications.    Therefore, beyond first aid, emergency medical assistance will be delivered only via  emergency medical services.  The cost for such service (if any) is the responsibly of the parent or guardian of the camper requiring assistance.
  7. Eye Protection – We require the use of eye protection when casting.  We can supply the students with safety glasses or they can use their own.  Regular glasses or sunglasses will also work.    Polarized sun glasses are the best option.  They help the student see fish and makes river wading safer by allowing the user to see the bottom more clearly.
  8. Your own Coast Guard approved – Type 3 or 5  Personal Flotation Device  (Life Vest)
  9. Belted Chest Waders and  Wading Boots.    Hip boots are ok, but very limiting.

Strongly Recommended

  1. Face Masks –  For riding in vans, in very close quarters,  to off campus fishing rivers
  2. Sunscreen –  Just in case of sunshine.
  3. Rain gear, hats, coats, warm gloves, etc., for less than perfect days.
  4. All fly tying equipment and materials are furnished by the academy.
  5.  Fly rods, lined reels, leader, tippet and fishing tools are provided.
  6.  However, students may bring their own fly fishing gear.  If your bringing your own, might we recommend.

Rod –  4, 5 or 6 wt.           Reel – Freshwater   Floating Line

The Northwest Youth Conservation Fly Fishing Academy started in 2002.