Student Fishing Programs – Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions//Travel


How is your teen going to spend his or her summer? Tailwaters Travel may be able to help solve that puzzle. We are delighted to begin offering youth fishing programs, ranging from local casting lessons, to international service-oriented work/fish programs, to backcountry expeditions on some of America’s most fabled waters.

First up is Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions (“LFFE”), an adventure education company specializing in wilderness fly fishing trips for middle and high school students. Founded by Will Lillard, a fly fishing guide with a Masters degree in Environmental Conservation Education, LFFE’s mission is to inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists.

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions offers a variety of programs, from shorter “adventure academies” geared toward beginner fly fishermen, to parent/child adventures, to longer expeditions into remote wilderness areas home to some of America’s most famous trout waters, such as the Yellowstone River. LFFE offers programs in Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina, and Maine.

A combination of fly fishing, wilderness trekking, environmental education, and community service, LFFE’s programs are about much more than catching fish. They engender independence, responsibility, leadership, environmental ethic, backcountry skills, and of course, fly fishing proficiency. There is no better way for a teen to get away from text messages, social media, and video games for a week or two, and into wild nature. How many other summer activities will truly create lifelong memories?

We at Tailwaters were introduced to LFFE by Tee Clarkson, a longtime friend who operates his own youth fishing camps in his home state of Virginia (“Virginia Outside”). Tee is an incredible fly fisherman and instructor, and his constant good humor and patient demeanor make him the perfect host for a youth expedition. Tee will be hosting an LFFE expedition to Yellowstone July 7-13, 2019. We hope to send some of our best, brightest, and most adventurous teens along with Tee on what promises to be an epic adventure!

Host Tee Clarkson with a Bolivian golden dorado

Instead of trying to cover all the important details of all of the trips offered by LFFE here, we will instead focus on Tee’s hosted trip because it is representative of LFFE’s programs. Just keep in mind that trips are available throughout the summer (as well as spring, fall, and winter breaks), to different destinations, and are geared toward teens with various levels of fly fishing and outdoor proficiency. If your student cannot make Tee’s trip but you would like information on LFFE’s other programs, please let us know.

Yellowstone Hosted Trip with Tee Clarkson

Dates: July 7-13, 2019
Price: $2,495 (includes everything but airfare to Bozeman, Montana)
Destination: Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park
Species: Cutthroat, rainbow, brown, and brook trout, plus grayling and other species as well. Cutthroat are the focus.
Trip Leaders: Will Lillard and Tee Clarkson
Capacity: 12 students

Tee’s hosted trip will venture deep into the world famous Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park. After arriving in Bozeman, MT the group will head through the northeast entrance of the park and trek to the campsite in the heart of the Lamar Valley. Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River wind their way through the meadows of the valley, providing endless cut banks full of native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. As an added bonus, the group will make the trek into Slough Creek to chase some of the biggest cutthroat in the park. This backcountry section of river lies between 4 and 9 miles from the nearest road, and only gets fished by the most adventurous anglers.

Each participant will need to bring gear and clothing essential for the backcountry, but LFFE can provide some important items like backpacks and rods/reels (full packing list to be provided). Students not only receive fly fishing instruction and guidance while fishing these pristine waters, but backcountry skills as well: reading maps, selecting and setting up campsites, wilderness safety and first aid, and backcountry cooking — all in addition to leadership skills and fellowship involved in venturing into remote wilderness with a small group.


7/7 – Arrive in Bozeman. Drive to Mammoth Campground. After dinner fishing on the Gardner River.
7/8 – Move Camp to Pebble Creek Campground. Fly Fishing Soda Butte Creek.
7/9 – Fly Fishing on the Lamar River.
7/10 – Enter Slough Creek Backcountry. Fish Slough Creek.
7/11 – Fish Slough Creek. Hike out of Backcountry.
7/12 – Float fishing on the Yellowstone River. Bozeman Hot Springs. Banquet dinner in Bozeman.
7/13 – Depart Bozeman

LFFE’s website:

Please let us know if your teens are interested in joining Tee’s trip, any of LFFE’s other programs, or simply whether you would like more information. We can think of no better way for teens to spend a week of their summer break!

Schuyler Marshall
Tailwaters Travel
[email protected]