We sit down with Trxstle Ambassador, Shyanne Orvis, and the Director of Development and Student Programs, Heather Harkavy, to learn the answer.Fish for Change is a nonprofit organization that offers international fly fishing programs to a diverse group of students. Students engage in a variety of initiatives that promote connection, education, conservation, and education. Initiatives include mangrove restoration, teaching english as a second language, community art projects, trash clean ups, and more. Our goal is to create a generation of conscious anglers who use fishing as a platform to change the world. Throughout the course of the program, students integrate with local communities and work together in local and global initiatives.
Can you tell me a little more about each program?
Guanaja, HondurasStudents learn all elements of saltwater fly-fishing in a very diverse fishery, preparing them to fish anywhere in the world. In addition to fly-fishing students snorkel, dive, paddle-board, and explore Guanaja, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the resources. Service projects flourish during slack tides while students plant mangroves, teach in schools, participate in community art projects and more. The local community collaborates with students on all projects as everyone unites to Fish for Change.
Gals Week in GuanajaThe first of its kind, this upcoming season Fish for Change will be hosting an all girls trip to Guanaja, Honduras. Young ladies will have a chance to fly fish and learn alongside their peers while giving back to the local community and environment. Fly Fish Guanaja is lucky to have Beckie Clarke, Shyanne Orvis, and Heather Harkavy leading this program. These three women dedicate their lives to the sport of fly fishing and conservation. They look forward to instilling proper ethics and spreading their passion for the sport to the next generation.
Abaco, BahamasThe Fish for Change Abaco program brings life to the island of Abaco as well as to the students involved with one of the top bone-fisheries in the world. Alongside Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, students will have the opportunity to tag and track some of our favorite sport fish while also being educated on proper tagging, handling, and angling techniques. Fish for Change Abaco will partner with two non-profit organizations during the week: Austin Serving Abaco and Friends of the Environment. Austin Serving Abaco works to provide kids in the community with education and a sense of hope. Friends of the Environment works with local kids to teach them about conserving and protecting the ecosystem of the island.
Campeche, MexicoFish for Change Campeche program is a unique and strong culturally based experience in Mexico. Based out of Campeche Tarpon lodge, students will have the opportunity to fish in one of the healthiest tarpon fisheries in the world in pursuit of baby tarpon ranging from 5 â€“ 60lbs. Students have the opportunity to gain a strong cultural understanding of the community. They will be visiting Edzna City and Campeche's Historic Downtown to learn about the Mayan culture and history of this location. As well, students will have the opportunity to fish for Octopus and prepare local dishes with the locals.
Black Canyon, Colorado
Students learn to teach fly-fishing to adaptive anglers while fly-fishing through the Black Canyon. After floating the Gunnison, students head to the Colorado Mountain College in the Roaring Fork Valley where they base for engaging with Colorado Adaptive Angler and the Roaring Fork Conservancy. Students spend 4 days teaching fly-fishing and working on service projects in the Roaring Fork Valley and finish the course by fish-floating the Colorado River with professional guides.
How can I participate in a student program?
We are offering programs this upcoming summer at Fly Fish Guanaja, Abaco Lodge, Campeche Tarpon Lodge, and Colorado. If you are a high school student interested in participating in a program you can apply here.
How can I help your mission?
Donating to Fish for Change helps to fund scholarships for state-side students as well as students from our hosted communities to participate in our life altering programs. Donations will also go towards the outreach projects we are running, from mangrove restoration to research and fish tagging.
Photocredits: Erikson Corbin, Mang Gear