September 14, 2011
How to Become a Fishing Ambassador
By Kirk Deeter
The most exciting part about fishing for me is sharing the experience with others, and watching that pilot light of enthusiasm get kindled. Of course, I'm really enjoying the experience of teaching my 11-year-old son, Paul, how to fish. But it doesn't stop there. And it doesn't have to only involve kids. The other day, I went fly fishing with my neighbor, Pete, for the first time. He is a natural. My only regret after the day is that we've been neighbors and friends for several years, and it took me that long to get him out on the river.
One of the most rewarding experiences I ever had was being part of the Bristol Bay Academy last year, in the Yupik village of Ekwok, Alaska. There, we were able to teach young folks from the native communities in the region the ins and outs of fly fishing. Talk about a wonderful cultural exchange; I learned as much as the students did.
I've had the honor of recently working with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation on its "Take Me Fishing" campaign. One of the goals of this effort is to recruit over one million "Angler's Legacy Ambassadors." To be an ambassador, you simply have to promise to take someone fishing.
The more you fish, the more you respect and appreciate the culture of fishing. And the more you value the fishing culture, the more you realize that more people standing in support of our fish and natural resources that make this pastime strong, especially in this day and age, are vital.
Do you have a "share the experience" story to tell, about taking someone fishing? Or perhaps about that mentor that tuned you into fishing? For the best comment, I will send a signed copy of The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing.