BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
SOUTH WEBER – A pair of South Weber twins is starting a movement to get more teenagers their age to put down the controller and grab a fishing pole.
So far, it seems to be working.
Jace and A.J. Garcia, 15-year-old twin brothers, started promoting their movement with twinterritory.com and a companion Facebook page, which aim to get other teens away from at-home video games and cell phone applications.
The trade off, said A.J., is that most of the teens will get the opportunity to learn how to fly fish and possibly do more from there.
“We were at the International Sportsman’s Expo in Sandy and then went to the Wasatch Fishing Expo later on,” he said. “We’re trying to hold monthly seminars and have a sponsor that donated some fly fishing poles in order to help us get started on the whole thing.”
So far, the movement has worked. In their first “learn to fish” camp, held at Pineview Reservoir in Ogden, A.J. said the turnout was somewhere close to 50 people, mostly teenagers.
Hutch Hutchinson, a representative for Orvis Company, which donated the fly fishing poles, said the twins’ movement was one of the reasons the fly fishing company invited them to join in a demonstration held last Thursday in Salt Lake City.
The demonstration was part of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
“They’re only 15 and they’re out there trying to get kids outside,” he said. “It’s a different world we live in with all this technology we have, but they’re trying to teach kids their age and other people to fish. I think it’s great.”
Alex Garcia, the twins’ father, said the idea started roughly two to three years ago. Even though he was hesitant at first, so far they’ve made every attempt to follow through on their efforts.
“At first, they gave me the idea of what they wanted to do, and I thought they were crazy,” he said, “but it’s been a lot of fun to watch what they’re doing and to be a part of it.”
Garcia said the movement didn’t get started on the right foot.
The twins initially had signed up for a fishing camp that cost $80 per ticket, and Alex agreed to foot the bill because “they said they already used my debit card to sign up.”
Once they got there, however, the price had to be negotiated because of a registration mix-up.
“I was ready to strangle them,” said Alex. “But they did their homework on the camp and they ended up placing first and second in a competition, so I guess it all worked out.”
Jace won first place by catching a 22-inch brown trout. In other events the two entered later in the year, each would finish in the top five, and the movement was up and running.
“I really couldn’t say no after all the things they did,” said Alex. “Having all the success they had really sparked the whole movement into what it is now.”
The pair’s last camp, held in July, had roughly 25 kids, and rallies and other drawings so far have helped them raise about $3,000.
They’re also part of the C.A.S.T (Catch a Special Thrill) for Kids Foundation, whose goal is to give individuals with disabilities the opportunity to do normal things through innovative technology.
Eventually they hope to expand their camps to all types of fishing and even skeet shooting.
“We’re trying to get a camp going on a more consistent basis,” said Alex. “Right now it’s about one every six weeks or so, and we’re trying to get more sponsors as we move along.”