I’m proud to introduce you to young writer/angler William Salazar, who is a sophomore in high school in Helotes, Texas. He had a class assignment to write a story for a magazine editor. He found me. Here’s his work:

“My numbed feet battled against the relentless current and clumsily collided with trickily placed rocks in the river. I stared up into the glaring sun to see the Navajo Dam which resided on the San Juan River in New Mexico on the Community of the Navajos. It supplied a shockingly cold stream of water from below the dam which stayed at a constant temperature of 42EF year-round, a haven for trout and dream spot of any angler. Our guide had led us through a jungle of tall weeds and trees, giving a fisherman the impression that surely no fish could live here, until he emerged from the canopy of overgrowth into sunlight and open water.

The water flowed dreamily over the rocks, so clear that it appeared as if there was no water at all … only air between you and the bottom. The blazing sun clashed with the frigid water, which provided comfort from the hot summer day. We made our way across the river to the opposite bank where Chris, our guide, set up our poles with his self made flies, barely visible to the human eye. Two flies were rigged about a foot of space between them and a small indicator three feet above those. I set up right above where the river began to curve and tossed my line upstream waiting for the fly to make its way back to me before flipping the line back behind it. After four or so tries I managed to bring in a sixteen-inch rainbow trout. My pole flexibly bent until the tip flirted with the water, I brought the reel close to me and positioned it parallel with my body trying to keep the pole up. For not being the biggest fish the trout still manages to put up a commendable fight, craved by those who know the feeling. After a light lunch we headed down river where the water moved a bit slower and was much more calm. There our guide set up my older brother, who was an outdoorsman to the bone and hardcore fisherman, in what he said was the best spot, because he had yet to catch a fish. My brother, who almost always outfished me, was filled with jealousy until finally he caught a fish. At first he seemed to have trouble adjusting from his previous bass and salt water fishing experiences but eventually he caught on.

Even when we weren’t catching fish it was still enjoyable; all of the beautiful scenery and majestic wildlife kept our attention the whole time. Now, New Mexico isn’t really the first place you think of when it comes to flyfishing but, hopefully, people’s views will change once they experience it for themselves. The surroundings were breathtaking, the fishing amazing, and the experience, unforgettable.”

Sophomore? Keep on it William. We need guys like you writing and fishing… and I hope you get an A.