Fishing and Fly-Fishing Merit Badge Instruction

“Every Scout ought to be able to fish in order to get food for himself. A tenderfoot who starved on the bank of a river full of fish would look very silly, yet it might happen to one who had never learned to catch fish.”

Robert Baden-Powell in Scouting for Boys

Monday, March 19th 6:00-7:00: We will have a one hour meeting before the regular troop meeting in the Garden Room for all boys who would like to earn the Fishing and/or Fly-Fishing merit badges. Come prepared to this meeting and with a little luck fishing at Fish Camp on Saturday you should be able to earn your badges!

​If you cannot attend the meeting, please print and complete the sections covered (or all) of the merit badge worksheets. You’ll also see the requirements which have changed recently (specifically knot requirements).

The BSA Merit Badge Pamphlets contain all the info you need to pass the requirements. Please read them. With your parents permission, you may also view two playlists that I’ve created on youtube that show you how to tie knots and fly-fishing skills.

​​Here are expectations for ​the meeting on ​March 19​th.

Remember, a scout is prepared​.

​#1 ​We will discuss the following at the meeting. Read the merit badge requirements and ​the relevant sections of the merit badge pamphlets so that you are prepared to discuss. These apply to both Fishing MB and Fly-Fishing MB:

  • 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d – Hazards, Safety, Prevention and First Aid while fishing​. How to remove a hook embedded in your arm.​
  • ​​6a – Review the Scout’s Outdoor Code and Leave no Trace principles. Explain the importance of practicing Leave No Trace techniques. Discuss the positive effects of Leave No Trace on fishing resources.
  • ​6​b​ – ​Discuss the meaning and importance of catch and release. Describe how to properly release a fish safely to the water.
  • ​7 (8 for Fly-Fishing) – We will provide a copy of MO fishing regulations and will discuss as a group.
  • ​8 (9 for Fly-Fishing) – ​Explain what good outdoor sportsmanlike behavior is and​ ​how it relates to anglers. Tell how the Outdoor Code of the​ ​Boy Scouts of America relates to a fishing sports enthusiast,​ ​including the aspects of littering, trespassing, courteous​ ​behavior, and obeying fishing regulations.
  • ​If we have time, we will review types of fishing gear, lures and flies. You’ll be checked off on your knowledge at Fish Camp.

#2 Practice your required knots. The perfect spring break activity!

  • We’ll have help tying with these knots on Monday and at Fish Camp and can check you off either day. Practice with a larger piece of rope first, then advance to using monofilament. Refer to the videos above.
  • For the Fishing MB you need to be able to tie and explain when to use the Clinch, Palomar, Uni, Double Uni and Arbor knots.
  • Fly-fishing adds the Nail Knot or Needle Knot, and the Perfection or Double Surgeons loop.

At Fish Camp on Saturday/Sunday March 24/25 we’ll do the following:

We’ll have instruction on casting all the gear, gear setup, lures, flies and fly-tying. We’ll check you off once you’ve demonstrated your skills!

For both Fishing MB and Fly-Fishing MB:
Requirements 9./10. Catch, clean and cook at least 1 fish!

For Fishing MB, you’ll do the following requirements:

  • 2.Discuss the differences between two types of fishing outfits. Point out and identify the parts of several types of rods and reels. Explain how and when each would be used. Review with your counselor how to care for this equipment.
  • 3. Demonstrate the proper use of two different types of fishing equipment.
  • 4. Demonstrate how to tie the following knots: improved clinch knot, Palomar knot, uni knot, uni to uni knot, and arbor knot. Explain how and when each knot is used.
  • 5. Name and identify five basic artificial lures and five natural baits and explain how to fish with them. Explain why bait fish are not to be released.

For Fly-Fishing MB, you’ll do the following requirements:

  • 2. Demonstrate how to match a fly rod, line, and leader to achieve a balanced system. Discuss several types of fly lines, and explain how and when each would be used. Review with your counselor how to care for this equipment.
  • 3. Demonstrate how to tie proper knots to prepare a fly rod for fishing:
    (a) Tie a backing to a fly reel spool using the arbor knot.
    (b) Attach backing to fly line using the nail knot.
    (c) Attach a leader to fly line using the needle knot, nail knot or a loop-to-loop connection.
    (d) Add a tippet to a leader using a loop-to-loop connection or blood knot.
    (e) Tie a fly onto the terminal end of the leader using the improved clinch knot.
  • 4. Explain how and when each type of fly is used. Tell what each one imitates. Tie at least two types of the flies mentioned in this requirement.
  • 5. Demonstrate the ability to cast a fly 30 feet consistently and accurately using both overhead and roll cast techniques.
  • 6. Observe what fish may be eating both above and beneath the water’s surface. Explain the importance of matching the hatch.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Shorter ([email protected]).