This time of year is a time we consider what we are truly Thankful for in life a time of thanksgiving. When thinking of WVAngler and fly fishing there is so much I have to truly be thankful for. So many people who have helped me get to where I am and continue to help me along the way.
My dad has always been a person that's spread the love of the outdoors to me starting back in our Boy Scout days. I still fondly remember a canoe trip the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, mountain trips we would camp out along a stream, or driving across the country so I could catch a trout somewhere. What I truly am blessed with he was kind enough to put a fly rod in my hand at a still young age where I could grow, he shared his old martin fiberglass combo with me and off we went to the streams of WV chasing stock trout with an old fiberglass rod. That love and passion for the sport has grown for me over the years and very thankful to have been given those opportunities early where I could start!
When I started fly fishing I was drown to the cold bug infested waters of the Elk River a great place for anyone to learn the sport. I remember standing at the Angle Hole and being dumbfounded as to what in the world I was doing or what they were eating and just not having a clue what in the world to do. A few good friends helped that learning curve grow quickly. Dave Breitmeier, Chad See, and Roy Smith helped me figure out what I was doing early one. I remember many days tagging along on the river, hanging out at the tailgate of the truck and hashing things out, and being blessed being able to sit on Dave's porch till the wee hours of morning and learning everything from tying a 32 to anything you want to know about bugs and presentation. When people start something new its always a tough learning curve unless we are blessed to have those who help us learn!
Those tailgate sessions I am also so thankful for as they became the starting place to something that's been near and dear to my heart a place called WVAngler. It was created on these rivers after the evening spinner fall so fellow anglers could have a place to share and others could grow. A place to share the true love for what WV offers! Its been a long road guys like Jonathan Paine and Zach Adkins have helped so much along the way and we wouldn't be where we were if it wasn't for so many great people. I will always be thankful to be a part of WVAngler and being able to share that passion of WV with others. I always look at not being a part of a website message board but being a part of a true family of fisherman!
WV Waters are truly something to be thankful for. What makes these waters so special no not the brook trout as some talk about the variety we have where we can chase so many things with a fly. Rivers are filled with smallmouth bass that's eater to eat a fly, areas where you can throw a massive 8 inch streamer to a toothy musky, the Ohio where you can catch Hybrid striped bass that makes your drag scream, flowing back county where brown trout will rise eagerly to a spinner fall, then so many blue lines filled with tons of native brook trout. Yes this state is a thankful place to be able to pursue fish we have so many options and areas it makes fishing always a truly new and unique day.
The fly fishing industry is a huge market I am truly blessed and thankful I have been able to make so many great contacts and friends in the industry. The team at Vedavoo lead by Scott Hunter is truly family. They not only offer a great fishing sling when you buy something from them you become part of a great community a family of people that love something simplistic and something made in the USA. Companies like Chota, Risen Fly, and Waterworks Lamson make trade shows enjoyable and a truly blessing to hang out with and products that make time on the water well spent.
What should we be most thankful for time on the water. I am thankful for each person I get the blessing to fish with and share a moment of time with on any given body of water. The opportunity and blessing from God to be able to be healthy enough to wade and cast a fly at that moment. And just so thankful for the chance to cast that fly when we do have that opportunity!
Blessings always abound to us in life. Sometimes we take things for granted but we are thankful for so many moments while we are here for this short time. The next fish you hook into the next cast you make be thankful for that moment you have!!
Thank you all for what you do an being a part of WVAngler!