Urban Youth & the Zen of Fly-fishing by OPB/Oregon Field Guide
One of our past events this year Anglers Quest – Olympic National Forest – Hoh River, was amazing and to have professional anglers from various walks of life gave a service to 18 inner city youth and veterans in a way of exposing them to the wonder of the outdoors, teaching many facets and multiple layers of fly fishing. Participants learned and soaked up the ideals of what fly fishing is all about on many intimate levels and in an unconventional approach. Our main focus was be authentic and do our best to make change one soul at a time by being a friend and providing an equal share of learning opportunities. And that is what we have successfully done! It was an honor to be in the presence of Mother Nature’s theater (spotting bald eagles and being in the presence of a herd of elk in our camp), as well as with friends on the water and at the base camp who committed/gave their time to selflessly serve and teach new minds as ambassadors of the outdoors. Past blog post here.
We want to give a big THANK YOU(!) to our partners and sponsors – U.S Fish & Wildlife, Tualatin River Valley Wildlife Refuge, LOOP USA,Sierra Club, City of Vancouver Parks & Recreation, Scientific Anglers, Costa Eyewear, SKOUT Organic, Sea Run Pursuits, EvolTwin Printing &Education Recreational Adventures
- Thursday, November 13 at 8:30 p.m. on OPB TV
- Sunday, November 16 at 1:30 a.m. on OPB TV
- Sunday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. on OPB TV
Soul River and LOOP would like to thank our armed forces veterans for all their hard work and service to our country. This veterans day, we encourage everyone to reflect, honor, and give thanks to our veterans for their dedication, strength, support, and sacrifices they have made in the line of duty.
You’ve covered our 6 with all your contributions and we would like to give you something in return. As a special thank you to the men and women in America’s armed forces, we are offering very special discounts available exclusively to veterans and active duty military on LOOP rods including the XACT and EVOTEC series in single rods and double handed spey rods. These discounts are available starting Veterans Day 2014. Because these discounts are not available to the general public and highly classified, we ask you contact us directly to acquire the savings.
Please contact us at 503-954-7625, or in person at the Soul River retail store located at 1926 N Kilpatrick St. Portland, OR 97217. Tuesday – Saturday 11am-6pm
EVOTEC DOUBLE HAND
XACT DOUBLE HAND
EXCLUSIVE ONLY HERE AT SOUL RIVER
-Soul River & LOOP
Thank you to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife, LOOP, City of Vancouver Parks & Recreation, Korkers Footwear and all volunteers who came out to be part of this amazing experience! Youth and veterans had the opportunity yet again to get back into the nature, grow in the company of others, and learn more about being conscientious conservationists. Every opportunity that comes our way is one to sieze, capturing not just the experience of nature but inspiring a young, new mind. We intentionally set differences aside and forge on to replace the curiosity with a hands-on experience and learning tools which ultimately lends itself to smiles, laughter, play, and feeling renewed!
Throughout every outing, a common thread tends to weave itself into the initial experience for the youth – educating more than just the participating youth, but their moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, and guardians about the value in connecting with nature. Knowledge is power and where there is no knowledge or foundation of reference, youth can end up sharing the same fears or stereotypes about being in the outdoors that have cycled over and over throughout generations. This has given me a new perspective on the statement that fear is learned. If parents or guardians cannot inspire or embrace opportunities for their child then moving forward in life turns into sharing the same fear, misconception, or misinterpretation of what nature has to offer from the parent or guardian and handed to the youth. This was especially apparent after our Angler’s Quest in May on the Hoh River. After fitting all 17 youth in boots and waders, taking them into the water, educating them on currents and river reading, was I then told by many of them that their parents gave them strict instruction to not go in or near the river water. This was incredibly eye-opening and yet sad. The youth had learned a few survival skills as well as had the opportunity to feel river currents and decide for themselves if this was something they were going to fear uninformed or respect with wisdom. I have especially seen this in African American and Hispanic families. Pursuing the outdoors is always an unpredictable arena when you have no control over Mother Nature’s thermostat or weather changes. As outdoors-people we have to be smart and learn to always be prepared. Yes, always use common sense but when there is just the change of air flow and light rain we don’t change the course just because Mother Nature gave us rain. Part of being in nature is embracing what is there and what is around us including the rain and the mud.
As this outing neared, merely hours away, the rain in Portland and Vancouver poured demonstratively. Meanwhile, over Mount Hood and in Oregon’s high desert, I was experiencing dry, 65 degree weather with clear blue skies. It was disappointing to receive a phone call stating that once again I had the opportunity to experience parents and guardians making uninformed decisions by pulling their youth from the outing due to the rain they were witnessing right in front of them. I started to see that parents and guardians can be stuck in their own mindset of operating and not really understanding what is happening or going on in the outdoors a couple hundred miles away. Fear can drive us mad and cause us to make decisions that can be sometimes irrational and create a domino effect of consequences for others.
The pursuit of connecting urban youth to the outdoors includes also the pursuit of educating the family unit. Whether its information about weather differences in various parts of the state, how critical and empowering water safety is for youth, or what conservation is all about, it is up to us as leaders and models to show how to embrace it and be prepared.
This outing was truly an incredible experience. The youth had a wonderful time learning so much centered around how to wade in river water, how to use the buddy system when crossing the river, navigation, learning how to use a compass/making a cross reference with a digital GPS compass, to fly fishing, casting, and, most of all, being a good ambassador of conservation!
· Black anodized aluminum reel seat
· Cork-mix handle
· Ceramic stripping guides and durable chrome snake guides with double coating
· Rod model inscription and dot mark on ferrules for correct fit on rod sections
· Comes ‘ready-to-go’ in a Cordura tube with integrated reel case
· Form and friction-stable brake discs in metal and carbon on model 5/8
· Reel frame and spool in corrosion-proof composite
· Large brake adjustment dial
· Simple spool change