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There’s just something special about standing knee deep in a river in the early morning hours; suited up in waders, boots, pack on your hip, net on your back and fly rod in your hand, watching the mist slowly come off the river as the early morning sun filters through the trees overhead.

Catching fish isn’t the only reason I love fly fishing.  I am also drawn to the amazing, wise and inspiring people that you meet along the way; whether that person is a legendary angler, an eager, excited child looking to learn more about fish, the mentor who taught you about fly fishing or simply someone that you met at the fly shop or on the river.  Every person I meet has a passion for fishing that I get some sort of inspiration from.  Whether it’s their excitement in showing me a picture of the monster fish they caught a few days ago, or infectious enthusiasm about their latest new rod, or something as simple as showing off a new fly pattern that they just invented.  Simply seeing others so happy with the sport inspires me in indescribable ways to become a better angler.

photo courtesy of - Alleigh Raymond

Another thing I love about fly fishing is the places that the fish live.  The miles of wild pocket water, tucked deep in the Western North Carolina mountains is practically another world; untouched my humans, just waiting to be discovered by an adventurous angler.

The strategy, technique and variables involved in catching fish are different every time you set foot in a river.  Where will the fish be?  What will they be eating?  The challenge to catch that one specific fish is something I crave.  We can all relate to those tough days on the river; the constant changing of flies and approaches, where the fish just don’t seem interested in anything you’re offering.  And then … you finally find that one fly and you begin catching fish, after fish, after fish and you get this incredible feeling of success and accomplishment.

photo courtesy of - Alleigh Raymond
photo courtesy of - Alleigh Raymond

That wonderful feeling is something I thrive on.

Everyone has personal drive, a persistent idea or impulse constantly forcing its way into our consciousness and my drive is fly fishing.

It is my obsession.  Whenever someone compliments my skill in fly fishing, I thank them for their kind words but give God all the glory. He is the reason I have gotten anywhere in the sport and the reason I have this talent.  When I stand in the middle of a large river and look around at where I am, I have a moment of realization of just how insignificant I am in this large world.  I am small, but I am also part of something immense and beautiful.

photo courtesy of - Alleigh Raymond

I am small, but my God is big.

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