2014 camp essay contest -- honorable mention: Logan

Logan attended the third annual national TU Teen Summit, held this past summer in the Driftless Area in Wisconsin.  We appreciated Logan's reflections on what makes TU tick.

TU chapter: Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter 
Favorite stream: Timber Coulee in Driftless Wisconsin 
On being outside: I enjoy the scenery and releasing the fish. Also I enjoy the challenge of "matching the hatch."
by Logan
From as early as I can remember, fishing was a connection. I am still trying to figure out what the connection is. Is it nature? Or maybe my family? All I know is that the connection I continue to feel is strong. Every day since I was 2, I would ride my electric gator over to the neighborhood pond. I had my SpongeBob fishing rod in hand, and my father running behind trying to keep up. When I got older, my grandfather introduced me to the love of my life. I retired my SpongeBob pole, and picked up my beautiful Redington fly rod. My new life, just began. 
Driving to spring creeks with my grandfather are some of the best memories of my life (right behind actually fishing at those spring creeks). Catching a beautiful brown trout on a fly that I tied was a very rewarding experience. After my first time out, I wanted to go back. I begged to skip school to wet my line just one more time. I was addicted to fly fishing for trout. 
One day I was checking my emails, I saw that there was a Trout Unlimited teen camp. Reading the details, I knew that I had to go. I applied and got in. I was ecstatic. I would be with other teens who loved to fly fish just as much as me. 4 weeks later I drove 3 hours to the 3rd annual TU Teen Summit located in Driftless Wisconsin. I was the first person to arrive. Meeting the counselors, I knew that this was going to be one fun week.
Soon after I got there, the other 23 teens arrived, coming from all over the country. I met all of them and realized, these kids were different from me on the outside, but on the inside, all 23 teens were just like me. We all shared the same passion, that passion was fly fishing. After unpacking, we went outside and did some casting lessons with a certified casting instructor. We all got some tips to improve our casts, which would come in handy the next morning when we went to Sugar Creek. At 5:30, we woke up and walked about a mile to the creek, talking along the way to many very interesting kids from all over the country. When we got to the creek, the water was cold and the fish were biting. It was a memory I will never forget.
Throughout the camp, we had many discussions. They were about various topics, like how to protect the streams we truly love. One thing I learned really hit my emotions. I learned that if we don’t protect our streams, they will be no longer be the home to trout. Things like pebble mine, and frac sand mining will ruin fishing in those areas forever. The camp consisted of talking, sleeping, fishing, and building projects. On the beautiful Blue River the TU Teens built 2 turnstiles (A small ladder that is used for people to get over fences and barbed wire to a stream). It took a few hours, but now many fishermen will get to enjoy catching trout on the Blue River. At night we sat in the main building and tied flies. We would help each other get better. Max taught me how to tie his secret fly, the sour weasel. And Sam taught me how to use a dubbing loop. During the camp, I found out what the connection is. It is nature, family, and what I discovered on this trip, friendship.
I will now go back to my home in Menomonee Falls, WI, with more knowledge than I went with. I am still amazed with some of the kids fly fishing abilities. They taught me some amazing techniques, and some valuable lessons. Next time I go fly fishing, I will think about these amazing memories, and amazing people, and hopefully catch a few fish.



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