“Fishing is a wonderful hobby that can be shared with family and friends, any age, anywhere, for a lifetime.”

– Bryan Schrage

Background Information

Bryan Schrage grew up in Alexandria, VA and has been fishing all of his life with his family.  From oceans and marshes, to rivers and lakes, fishing has been his family’s way of enjoying the outdoors together, learning about the environment and caring for it. He believes that it is a fun way to bond with family and friends, share experiences in nature, and travel to beautiful places. He also finds it to be a personally challenging yet gratifying escape from the day-to-day world. Over the years he has discovered that many people don’t know how to fish but wish they could. They seem intimidated by the complicated gear and techniques, and are unsure how to start. Realizing this, Bryan set out to offer families a beginner fishing experience called GoFish! with the goal of getting kids interested in fishing while providing parents with the knowledge to support this new hobby.

“Fishing is a wonderful hobby that can be shared with family and friends, any age, anywhere, for a lifetime.”
– Bryan Schrage

“Many of the most highly publicized events of my presidency are not nearly as memorable or significant in my life as fishing with my daddy.”
– Jimmy Carter

Implementation of Project

Bryan pulled in his immediate family and his grandfather to plan for GoFish! He shared the concept and then worked with his team to create an action plan for the project. The team discussed how best to introduce the basics of fishing, the gear needed, and the best place for ensuring success for first time fishermen. They determined that time on the family boat would provide the best chance for success and, at a minimum, a fun experience on the water. Bryan reached out to the younger scouts in his Boy Scout troop as well as neighborhood families via an online community message board, and received many inquiries. The initial GoFish! program filled up immediately, with several on the waiting list. Bryan and his family provided two 2-hour sessions of GoFish! each with two families participating. All families received personal instruction on boating and fishing safety and techniques, and experience catching fish. Bryan also provided each family with a beginner tackle box.

“The significant response that I received from neighborhood families confirms a strong interest in guided outdoor learning. I’m excited to get more people interested in the outdoors through fishing!”
– Bryan Schrage

Results of Project

GoFish! was a great success, both for the participating families and for Bryan. The families were all excited to learn how to start fishing, and enjoyed their day on the water. They all learned techniques and skills for continued fishing and most participants caught at least one fish. All seemed eager to continue fishing on their own. Bryan was pleased to share his passion for fishing with the families, and found it personally rewarding to be with these young people for their first fishing experience and success. He looks forward to hearing about their own fishing adventures.

“My son and daughter (and myself of course) had a fantastic time and my son caught his first fish…and then his second and third.  If the fish weren’t biting, they took us to the next hot spot.  Great day out on the water with a nice parting gift to remember the experience.”
–Mike L.

“Bryan – thanks so much for today and for being so patient with Toby! He really enjoyed it and I think you’ve got him ‘hooked’ both on fishing and boats!”
– Sally C.

“The experience was phenomenal…My daughter caught her first ever fish so this is a moment that will be relayed in stories for decades.”
– John H.

What’s Next?

Bryan will graduate from West Potomac High School in 2018 and hopes to attend a college that offers fishing nearby and an academic program in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership. Because there was such a strong interest in GoFish!, Bryan has offered it a second time and will continue to offer it as opportunities arise.

“You don’t catch the fish you don’t seek.”
– Bryan Schrage