Catch50: The Beginning
Dad and I reached the Thomasville pond, rods in hand, feeling a light breeze across our faces. Today would be the day. I yearned to feel the rush of the line through my fingers and the bend of the rod with my first bass, fly embedded in its lip. We began to cast and settled in, laying out the fly across the calm pond, breaking the glass as the line hit the clean, clear water. This sensation puts one in another world of peace and serenity. But as I felt the tension of the line, and set the hook, the excitement of the fight began. What felt like Moby Dick on my lightweight fly rod turned out to be a three pound bass, my first fish on the fly. There was no going back; I was hooked. With a giant smile, I turned to my dad and told him I was ready for a tarpon. He chuckled and told me there were a few things I needed to do before then.
Through the next few years, I continued with the life long sport and enjoyed learning more about fly fishing until I finally realized my dream of catching a tarpon five years ago.
It was that fishing trip with my father that inspired the loftiest goal I’ve ever set for myself. I have recently created a new fly fishing goal: to catch a fish on the fly in all 50 states before I go to college. But my Catch50 quest isn’t just for me. Through its site, and with the help of my good friends at Orvis, I hope to display to youth and adults alike that fly fishing is a sport for everyone, and also bring awareness to conservation issues affecting this wonderful sport.
I have come to understand that many are hesitant to try fly fishing due to the perception that is a difficult, expensive sport that can be done in only a few places. I hope to show my readers that it is not difficult, can be made inexpensive, and can be done anywhere that conventional fishing is practiced and more. You don’t need much. Fly fishing creates a truly unique way to experience the outdoors, and anyone who has an interest can and should get to try it.
In addition, during my journey across the 50 states, I have learned about many of the conservation issues fly fishing faces. If we don’t take care of our waters and the environment, our fish and the destinations we love could eventually be destroyed. There are so many things we can do to help save our rivers, lakes, and oceans to preserve their wildlife. I’m excited to know more about how we can help, and I will share these ideas through my blog.
I hope you will follow my excursion across our great country, enjoy my tales, gain new perspectives about the sport, and learn a few things along the way.