Just as the saying goes, it still rings true that it takes a village of unselfish souls to make a change in the heart and mind of a single youth. Just as the Soul River Runs Deep logo and brand embodies a brand of art, design, humanity, and fly fishing, behind the shield of the NCO logo stands the humanity mission and responsibility of accessibility for all people – no matter what your age, race, creed, ability, or gender is. Anglers and friends of the river and ambassadors of Mother Nature traveled over 252 miles north to the Hoh River in the Olympic National Forest bringing with them nothing but passion, heart, knowledge, and guidance to inspire new minds. Participating youth and veterans came from Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington to share in the one mutual love and spirit we have – fly fishing! The group was a beautiful tapestry and representation of diverse backgrounds, from ethnicity to socio-economic status to gender identity. The art of fly fishing is a lifestyle guided by the rivers we fish and the outdoors we respect. It’s a way to live by when shown through the eyes of an angler who reveals secrets and imparts wisdom through science, humanity, responsibility, art, respect, and consideration. The art of fly fishing goes deeper than the water’s surface with many layers that probe a child to smile and cause an adult to rethink their own thought in how they see the world.
Professional anglers from various walks of life gave a service to 18 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. There are no celebrities here, no rewards, no paycheck, and no award of the year! Just anglers, youth and veterans! Precisely what NCO by Soul River Runs Deep is all about! This outing was a huge success and there are many more to come!
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