28 Jul Deep Creek Fishing Program
How it started vs how it ended
“Nothing like refreshing yourself in the cold waters of the river after a hot day of work.”
– Julio Andrés Campis DíazThis fishing program took place in Deep Creek around 1 pm after a morning of birding programs in the visitor center. Although an amazing set up for my fishing station, I had to walk around a mile with all the materials to find this spot. It was worth the walk. My idea was to lead a 15–20-minute program where I would teach visitors how to flyfish and if they wanted, snorkel as well. Most of them mostly did flyfishing. Once they completed their fishing training, I would swear them as a Junior Ranger Angler, give them a ruler for measuring fish, a ranger friend sticker, a Junior Ranger Let’s Go Fishing Activity Book, and the best part, a Junior Ranger Angler badge. The excitement on the kids’ faces once they are sworn in is priceless. They truly deserve it after flyfishing, especially since those rods are larger than most the kids. But it wasn’t only the kids that participated in the program. Adults with a sense of adventure or simply wanting to join their kids also learned to flyfish the waters of the Smokies with me. Some of them were even more excited than their own kids to receive a badge.
There was one kid named Henry who was very enthusiastic in fishing and stayed with me two hours between fishing and snorkeling. We would repeatedly snorkel down the river, only to walk up and flow down once again. Although we didn’t catch any fish, he was just happy to be fishing and seeing the fish. Henry was the real star of the show this day. The funniest part was once the parents came to pick him up, they told me: “Thanks for taking care of Henry”, like I was some type of babysitter. I was not even mad, cause Henry and I really had a blast of a time, he even asked me for my YouTube channel so he could subscribe and contact me. And so, I did.
Truly a wonderful day for all who graduated from my fishing school, and therefore, a wonderful day for myself.