Frequently Asked Questions

But First Meet The Staff

Marcia Kindinger Co-Director

All my life I’ve enjoyed the outdoors, and learned a little about fishing from my Dad and Mom. I took my first pack trip at the age of 5 up to a mountain lake in Colorado.  When we moved to Seattle everyone spent time on the water, boating, skiing or fishing. Quite a change from Wichita, Kansas! But I absolutely loved the mountains, water and fishing. Plus moving to Seattle gave me the opportunity to have my very own horse which I showed in Dressage and Three Day events
against international competition. My first job was exercising racehorses at Longacres. I’m a graduate of the University of Washington, and worked as a paralegal and office manager for a law firm in Seattle. When my husband and I had our daughter, I retired to raise her and began the wonderful life of being a parent, and “professional” volunteer. I have volunteered at Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Treehouse, the Guardian ad Litem program for King County,
helped create a chamber music camp for adults and children, been President of the Endolyne Garden Club, founded a piano performance group that has been going for 20 plus years and grown from its roots in Seattle to as far as Tuscon, Arizona. Since joining the Washington Fly Fishing Club, I have been it’s Ghillie, Foundation Treasurer, and now helping the NW Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy. I am also a member of FFI and demonstrate fly tying at
their expos. I now split my time in Seattle with a home in Bozeman, so I can fish the wonderful rivers of Montana. My hobbies, other than fishing and fly tying, include Pickleball, reading, piano, knitting and last but not least, playing with my grandson.

Bruce Merighi Co-Director

At twelve my first fly rod came with a manual that taught me how to scare fish and decorate adjacent trees with flies.  I tried to fish with a fly for about six years and then finally  got a few tips that allowed me to actually hook fish.  Not until I was about forty did I start learning how to fish with a fly rod.  Then my world changed for the better.

I grew up in New York and moved overseas with the family when fifteen.  Graduated from  Cal State Fresno, worked in Market Research and  moved to Washington forty years ago.  I was the Fire Chief of Chelan Co. Fire District #4 for 20 years  and then founded a small Safety Consulting Business where I crafted Emergency Plans, Training Programs and Functional Exercises for hospitals, schools and industry.  

On the fun side I’ve fly fished in numerous countries on this planet and just plain love the sport and  I’m anxious to pass on a life time of tips about fooling fish with a fly.

James Goedhart Co - Director

Jim learned how to tie flies and casting at the Long Beach Fly Fishing Club while in high school and started active fly fishing in 1966 while attending Chico State in northern California. His primary fly fishing has been in the salt in Rhode Island, the Keys, the Caribbean, and in the Puget Sound and in freshwater for trout in the Pacific Northwest and Internationally.

Jim worked in industry for over 40 years in North America, Europe and Asia developing and installing information systems to implement lean manufacturing and inventory management best practices.

Jims a member of the Washington Fly Fishing Club, Trout Unlimited and Fly Fishers International.

John Gravendyk Co-Director

John Gravendyk

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. 

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.

Ghillie - Wriley

I am 17 years old and I have been fly fishing for 6 years. I attended NWYCFFA when I was 12 years old and had such a great time that when I was asked to be a Ghillie in 2022, my response was absolutely.  Fly fishing and fly tying is my way of escaping. I can really think and concentrate when I’m on the water or at my desk. I also enjoy snowboarding, mountain bike and am a club diver.

Ghillie - Cassidy 

I am interested in fly fishing because I like doing outdoor activities.   I’ve gone hiking, sailing and clam digging on numerous occasions. I’ve caught Chum salmon on a fly and think fly fishing is a more engaging way to catch fish.

Ghillie - George

I am a fly fishing enthusiast and have lots of knowledge about fish and insects. I spend as much time fly fishing during the summer as I can. My favorite fish to catch on the fly rod are trout, specifically cutthroat trout and bass. I especially like fishing for trout in small creeks with a lightweight rod. summer.  I used to spin fish, but about two years ago I picked up fly fishing and haven’t stopped since. I like fly fishing because of the detail, different techniques, and the many different fly patterns.

Ghillie - Zander

He is from Minnesota and has participated in Mentorship Programs with his local Trout Unlimited Chapter and has led annual fly fishing trips through his school.  

Now The Questions

$500 is the per student fee.

Once your application has been approved, you and your parents will be sent an acceptance letter with the password to this websites Payment page.

There you can make a deposit (which secures a spot at the academy) and conduct other financial transactions or request scholarship assistance (donated by a local Fly Club or T.U. Chapter).  If you wish you can make your payments directly to  Co-Director   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 Fly Fishers International provide the majority of  financial support for this program.  T.U. Chapters, local businesses 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 defray  the $1,800 + per student cost of the academy.  Our thanks to them and appreciation to you for considering our academy.


Label  all  your  personal  items.


Water Bottle


    • Bring your own water bottle or two.
    • The Panhandle Lake facility uses a freshwater well that provides great tasting, quality drinking water. We would not be good stewards of the environment if we generated cases of used plastic bottles therefore, we do not supply bottled water at the academy.
    • Students will need hydration while fishing, hiking, goofing off, paddling a canoe, or searching Goldsborough Creek for macro-invertebrates.  They will need their water bottles.

Fishing Gear

                    Day Pack

  •  Large enough to carry a water bottle and a box lunch on field trips.
    • Life Vest
  • Coast Guard Approved – Type 3 or 5
    • Wading Gear  (We only wade up to the knees therefore, Hip Boots or Chest Waders are acceptable)
  • Chest Waders
    • Felt soles are recommended. Felt provides a good degree of traction when wading. Rubber soled ‘hunting style’ booted waders are slippery and dangerous when wading.
    • Must have a wading belt.


           *       Sneakers or Sandals to wear when fishing from watercraft.

  • Hiking boots or trail worthy shoes.
  • There is no washer/dryer available at the academy.
  • Bring clothes for cool/wet as well as hot/sunny days.
  • Swimsuit
  • Rain gear or a light coat, for less than perfect days.
  • Clothing storage is very limited in the dorm rooms. Please bring only necessary items.
  • Highly recommended for all fishing situations.
  • Polarized Sunglasses
    • Protect the student.
    • Improve sub-surface visibility making wading safer.
    • Allow the user to see fish more clearly.
    • The  academy will supply clear safety glasses for use when casting if a student does not have sunglasses.
  • Sleeping Gear
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Pillow
    • Pillowcase

Toilet Articles

    • Soap
    • Shampoo
    • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
    • Towel
    • Sunscreen – in case of sunshine.

Registration is from 9:00 – 10:00 pm on Saturday June 22.   Students can be picked up between 11:00 and 12:00 on Saturday  June 29. 

The Academy has a written Emergency  Plan that has been shared with the Trout Unlimited Volunteer Youth Program Coordinator,  the camp facility manager, Mason County  Sheriff ,  Co. Fire/Rescue and Emergency Medical Services.    It  documents preventive measures, preparedness, response and recovery procedures.  The Emergency Plan’s components are available for review by any staff member, registered student or family member.  The Emergency Plan is otherwise not distributed,  for security reasons.

 The Academy Staff  (Directors, Academy Leader and Ghillies plus anyone who stays overnight ) must all pass a National Background Check.

The Academy Directors are all First Aid, CPR and  Safe Driving Certified.

We conduct a pre-use facility check that covers Food handling, propane tank inspection, fire extinguisher, AED and Fire Alarm systems checks.

Students are only allowed on the dock, in a watercraft or in a river fishing when they are wearing a properly donned Personal Flotation Device.

Only wading up to a fly fishers knees is allowed.

A Rescue System is enacted whenever a student is in a watercraft on Panhandle Lake.  It’s a multi layered system that includes Ghillies on the water with rescue gear as well as an on land observer who is in radio communications with the Ghillies.

All food is prepared by a state certified food handler.


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

Yes, in order to use any of the academy watercraft  it’s necessary for students to know how to swim.  The staff are all swimmers and we employ a Certified Life Guard for  the required  Swim Test. 

The Co – Directors of the academy all  agree that your time at camp should be equitably divided between  instruction, learning activities and time to fish.  Fishing time is scheduled every day, after the safety classes on day one.   By the second day you should be able to cast well enough 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 same sex Ghillie in each dorm 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.


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.  

The Northwest Youth Conservation Fly Fishing Academy started in 2002.