My life can be separated into two distinct parts: Life before I picked up a fly rod, and life after it.
I began my fly fishing journey in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin, the place where I call home. It was the beginning of January and my hands were freezing cold; every moment I spent casting my fly back into the river was like falling in love all over again. I have been stuck to fly fishing ever since that cold January morning. It has become apart of who I am, and I am so grateful for that.
Fast forward five years and I now find myself a rising senior at Gustavus Adolphus College in southern Minnesota. I am currently pursuing a double major in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Some of the research I’m working on includes analyzing the terms we use to describe the natural world, and how these words impact the way in which we interact with the world around us.
Next year I will be taking over as the Gustavus Fly Fishing Club president. Over the last year I have served as the vice president, and I greatly look forward to the new responsibilities and opportunities this role will provide me.
This semester I helped lead 20 members of the Fly Fishing Club to Alcova, Wyo., where we fished the North Platte River for six days. This was an incredible experience to share with some of my closest friends. The chance to fish and connect to new water in an awe-inspiring place such as the North Platte was indescribable. I often find myself falling in love with each river that I have the privilege to fish, and the North Platte was no exception.
Outside of fly fishing I find that I am constantly yearning for the outdoors. Sometimes this desire to get outside can be somewhat crazy. During the polar vortex of January, one of my good friends and I decided that we would brave the elements and do some winter camping. It was certainly a formative experience.
In addition to the outdoors, I have a strong passion for music. For the past five years I have played banjo and guitar in a bluegrass and classic rock band. The Hay River Ramblers, as we call ourselves, have played small venues near my hometown and even landed a gig on a riverboat cruise on the St. Croix River.
I am beyond excited to be a part of the 2019 TU Costa 5 Rivers Odyssey. I will never forget this opportunity to learn first-hand about the issues surrounding native species and clean water in the Pacific Northwest, and how I can help be a part of the solution. I am determined to help protect native species and the right to access public lands, and the Odyssey will give me a platform to aid in this mission.
I am honored to be a part of this group that is working to make positive change. I look forward to bringing my skills and passion to this year’s Odyssey, and eagerly await the adventure that is to come.