2° Out West Podcast

Fostering Diversity in the World of Fly Fishing with Austin Campbell

Austin’s love for fishing became a passion for getting people of color and underserved groups in the outdoors. Recently, he formed a non-profit with several of his fishing friends called, Community Fly Fishing. Tune in to learn more about his journey and the important outdoor equity work his group is facilitating.

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Austin holding up a brown trout on a fishing trip.

Austin Campbell is a Denver-based fly fishing guide that works with Trouts Fly Fishing and runs the non-profit Community Fly Fishing to introduce inner-city kids and underserved Denver residents to the joys of fishing and the serenity of the outdoors.

Austin grew up fishing in Atchison, Kansas, a historic black farming town where his grandfather owned a farm. He and his brother spent many days hunting for crawfish in local streams and exploring the outdoors.

When his family moved to Denver, they tried out fly fishing for the first time, and Austin was instantly hooked. He bought a fishing rod from a local Walmart, scoured YouTube for fly fishing videos, and started fishing at nearby ponds.

Austin’s love for fishing became a passion for getting people of color and underserved groups in the outdoors. Recently, he formed a non-profit with several of his fishing friends called Community Fly Fishing. Through sponsor partnerships with Patagonia and Umpqua, Austin and his group have been able to get more and more folks into the world of fishing to share their love of the sport and their appreciation for the serenity of nature.

Austin fly fishing at Clear Creek.

Austin loves how being on the water allows you to disconnect from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. It’s one of the main things he hopes to share through his work at Community Fly Fishing.

I think the experience of being in nature, just the ability to kind of relax and get away from being on your phone, the next email that's coming through, it allows you to be present in the moment which I think is super important.

Listen to our newest episode to learn about outdoor equity and fly fishing. Please consider leaving a review after listening so more folks can find our podcast. 

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what i like about the west

We would love for you to contribute to the new “What I Like About the West” Segment. 

Create a 40-second voice memo telling us what you like about the West and email it to us at Jessi.Janusee@westernresources.org. We would love to feature you on our next podcast episode! Also, please take a minute to watch this 1950’s video of Tex Williams performing the song, “That’s What I Like About the West.” His song was the inspiration for this segment. 

That's What I Like About The West

Episode Guest 

Austin Campbell is a Denver-based fly fishing guide that works with Trouts Fly Fishing and runs the nonprofit Community Fly Fishing to introduce inner-city kids and underserved Denver residents to the joys of fishing and the serenity of the outdoors.

Full Transcript 



[00:00:00] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Equity in the outdoors entails many things, including access to equipment, access to a vehicle, or public transportation and access to knowledge. We also have to think about the constraints of time and money and all the different ways that it can be really difficult to take that time to get out and experience something as wonderful as fly fishing and being in the river. Today on the podcast we’re talking to Austin Campbell. He’s a fly fishing guide in the Denver area, and his focus is on making fly fishing more equitable and getting more underrepresented folks in the outdoors. Austin is really such a wealth of knowledge, and he shares it with all of us so that maybe you can get out there and start fishing.

[00:00:43] “Where they’ll have a shift from going to like, oh, you know, I want to catch all the fish. I want to catch all the fish in this river right now. To them being like, okay. It’s actually more of just the whole experience just being out here and being able to disconnect and just relax and you know, focus on something completely different.”

[00:01:02] Welcome to Two Degrees Out West, a podcast where we talk about all of the amazing things of the Western United States and the different ways that we can come up with amazing climate solutions to make sure that we have a beautiful and thriving West for all. I’m your host, Jessi Janusee the multimedia storyteller here at Western Resource Advocates, and let’s get started talking to Austin.

[00:01:26] Austin Campbell is a Denver-based fly fishing guide that works with Trouts Fly Fishing and runs the nonprofit Community Fly Fishing to introduce inner-city kids and underserved Denver residents to the joys of fishing and the serenity of the outdoors. Yeah. I’m so psyched to have you here. I know almost nothing about fishing.

[00:01:44] I think I’ve gone fishing like four times in my life. So, I’m stoked about it. And I live in Northern Nevada and it’s a big deal out here, like people love it.

[00:01:53] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Oh yeah. No, you guys have some great spots to fish out there. And oh my gosh, there’s the lake out there. I cannot even remember what it’s called, but it’s like half of it’s a Native American reservation and then the other half, it’s kind of open for everybody else, but I’ve seen some huge fish just being pulled out of that.

[00:02:07] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, that’s Pyramid Lake.

[00:02:08] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Pyramid Lake. Oh my God. Can’t even remember that.

[00:02:12] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, and they have the Lahontan cutthroat trout, which is apparently like super special.

[00:02:19] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Oh yeah. Apparently huge. I’ve never gone out there yet and fished, but you know, I know a few people that have gone out there and just enjoyed it so much and I said it was just an amazing experience and it’s just the craziest thing that you can pretty much do in terms of lake fishing.

[00:02:32] So, yeah.

[00:02:33] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, it’s gorgeous. You should come out sometime. My friend was just there last weekend fishing, and it was like, basically like a religious experience to him because the lake is like a religious site for the Tribe out here. And he, he’s not, he’s not indigenous, but he just like, you know, feels the essence.

[00:02:51] So when he went out there to fish for the first time, he like brought an offering and like, you know, like really set his intention for it and had like a really incredible spiritual experience fishing so, Yeah. Okay. Let me get started just by asking you how you got into fishing.

[00:03:07] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I’ve been fishing for, gosh, since I was probably like four or five years old.

[00:03:13] So back in the day,  my parents, they would always bring us up to this farm in Atchinson, Kansas. And so the farm is basically a black farming town, which is amazing. They’ve got some really kind of rich history there. And all my dad’s side and kind of family is up in that area. And so we would go down to, oh my gosh, we get on to different ponds on the farm.

[00:03:30] You know, they would take us to the Missouri River. Kind of anywhere. There’s just fish anywhere in Kansas. But they would take us out there, we would just, we’d do more conventional stuff. So, you know, we were using worms and liver and like guts and stuff like that to catch catfish. But you know, it’s a really good time.

[00:03:44] And I think that’s what really kind of got me into just the world of like the outdoors and just, you know, taking that time and you know, spending time outside with your family fishing on the farm. So, you know, transitioned out to Denver. Still wanted to be out in the outdoors as a kid. So my parents, we were fortunate enough to be able to hire a fly fishing guide for a trip that we did and went up and just enjoyed it so much.

[00:04:03] And, you know, it’s a completely different game. And so I just, you know, told myself, Hey, you know, I’m going to get into this however I can. So that’s kind of when the addiction hit me and I was stuck and I was like, oh my gosh, I’m like really enjoying this now. I got to do it every single weekend.

[00:04:14] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: What’s the name of the town?

[00:04:16] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: For sure.

[00:04:17] It’s Atchison, Kansas. So they’re on the outskirts of it. So yeah, my great-grandfather, he was he used to work for just different, kind of like white landowners back in the day and he was clearing their property and such, and then was able just to buy a bunch of different land for our family. And so you know, we kind of split it out between.

[00:04:34] They have 10 brothers and sisters, so it’s split up between everybody and you know, everybody was kind of working on the property and living out there. So it’s fun to go back and visit for sure. You know, it’s, you know, it’s almost kind of like going back in time a little bit. But, you know, I, I love it.

[00:04:48] I love just being in the outdoors out there.

[00:04:51] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: That is so cool. I love that story. Yeah. I’m like, I want that. I want to make a farm for my family and pass it down. That’s amazing.

Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide Right? Yeah. Crazy, right?

Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: That is so cool. It is so cool. Yeah, so sweet how it impacted your life. That’s really beautiful.

[00:05:06] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: For sure.

[00:05:07] That’s definitely just the foundation for everything. You know, my parents were always like, oh, you know, like, we don’t watch tv, or you know, like we haven’t really played video games and stuff like that. So my brother and I were just like, outside either riding bikes, you know, or just, I don’t even know, just doing random stuff outside as a little kid, which was just so fun.

[00:05:22] And then, you know, going up to the farm and having that experience. But you know, like the one thing that I was really appreciative of just having that ability to just, you know, kind of disconnect and just go and do something completely different in nature and you know, I know not everybody can like, kind of have that, you know, same ability.

[00:05:36] So my biggest thing is just trying to get more people in the outdoors however I can.

[00:05:40] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, I really want to get into that, but first I just want some foundations about fly fishing. I’ve seen people do it, like it happens around here in the Truckee River and on the lakes and stuff, but I don’t fully get what the difference is between regular fishing or whatever and fly fishing.

[00:05:57] So can you just explain it a little bit?

[00:05:59] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: No, absolutely. So, with kind of more conventional fishing, you know, I would say it’s more just the experience is a lot different. So, you know, it’s more, you’re kind of sitting there and you cast out, you know, you’re using live bait and you’re basically waiting for the fish to kind of come to you and eat.

[00:06:13] With fly fishing, it’s, it’s a little bit more involved. So, it’s more kind of like a hunting game is how I kind of envision it, especially when I’m on the river, you know, I’m always kind of moving, flipping over rocks, looking for different bugs, reading the water, just in terms of how quick the current is going in a specific area and, okay oh, there’s a little pool over here. Well, I know a trout are going to be sitting kind of right in that mid-current, being able to eat, you know, so it’s just more of a hunting game and it’s kind of more involved too. And then also just, you know, the gear that you’re using, I mean, with a conventional fishing rod, I guess, you know, they’re not as big as a fly rod.

[00:06:44] You know, fly rods can go from 9 feet to 10 feet, you know, some even bigger than that. But you know, really what you’re trying to do is just replicate the natural state of bugs or fish with streamers and such to get that trout or whatever species you’re going for eat. So, so, yeah, it’s, it’s really an interesting game.

[00:07:02] It’s really methodical, which I also enjoy. I know you’re always just switching up in terms of depth and presentation and you know, just kind of figuring out what the fish are doing that day. So it’s a fun game. I love it. I love it. For sure.

[00:07:13] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: And you’re in the water, right? That’s part of the deal.

[00:07:15] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: You are in the water, which is so nice. I think that’s, you know, like a really fun thing for me. When I was a kid on the farm in Atchison, I was telling you about we used to like to walk up these little creeks and we would try to find crawfish and then we would put him in his bucket, bring them home and have like a crawfish boil.

[00:07:30] Gosh, that sounds so country now thinking about it. But you know, it’s kind of that same experience with fly fishing, just being able to walk in the stream, kind of, you know, flip over rocks, you know, and really just kind of see and, and figure out where those fish are. So it’s just a completely, completely different game for sure.

[00:07:45] But it’s a lot more involved, I would say.

[00:07:48] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. And then the flies themselves, right? I have a friend who paints and makes flies and it’s like a whole thing. Yeah. That I’m also like, what’s up with that? Like, how, so you’re trying to make these like colorful bugs? And then put them out there and then the fish try to get it?

[00:08:07] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah, exactly. No, that’s, that’s literally it. And when I’m tying flies and such, you know, I’ve just got different materials I’ve got different feathers and such from birds that I’m using to just tie on these hooks to really imitate either a nymph form or a dry fly form. You know, we can kind of get into that later.

[00:08:22] But, you know, just replicating exactly what those bugs are doing and how big they are, color and like the shape and how they move under the water is really what you’re doing when you’re tying those flies. And you know, I, I tie a lot of flies too, but you know, when I get in my season since I’m taking people out all the time, sometimes I don’t have like enough time to tie enough flies for folks to, to kind of lose and stuff like that.

[00:08:42] And so I try to buy, buy them in store just at like a local fly shop and stuff too. So, But yeah, it’s a, it’s beautiful, it’s a beautiful kind of sport to be in. There are so many just different caveats of the sport too with painting like you were saying, or tying flies, or even just fishing.

Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller:

[00:08:56] Yeah, that’s cool. There’s like art to it and then also like a kind of like a mental game to it. And you’re also like in it.

[00:09:03] Yeah, I get why everybody likes it.

[00:09:06] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah, no, a hundred percent. Like there’s just, there are so many different kinds of paths that you can go into it. You know, I’ve even got friends that don’t even, this is actually crazy, you know, they don’t like fishing, but they like tying flies and I’m like, okay, tie all the flies you want and please send them to me so I can use them.

[00:09:22] But you know, there’s just, there’s so many different ways you can take it.

[00:09:24] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: So, when you do your fly fishing guide, and then do you guys actually catch fish and bring it back? And then also, cook it and process it.

[00:09:35] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: So, when I’m guiding, I typically don’t do that. You know, there’s different rules and such that you do have on different streams, you know, and my biggest thing too is, you know, I also want people just to have the ability to catch that same fish that I did and I want that fish to grow.

[00:09:48] And especially when I’m fishing the same water kind of over and over with different clients and such, you know, I’ll start noticing like, okay, well I know that there’s this one fish that has this kind of weird feature on the side of the fish and I know exactly where it’s going to be sitting. And it’s funny just to come back and kind of catch that fish with your different clients and such. So, but yeah, I think and another thing you can do too, and I also will keep some fish if I’m going you know, out on a camping trip and stuff like that, you know, there’s a place that my wife and I try to go up to and it’s gosh, it’s like 13 miles way up on this Jeep trail.

[00:10:18] And there’s a bunch of different brook trout up there and so they’re pretty small. Some get a little bit bigger, you know, some of those I’ll try to try to catch and just, you know, keep ’em and you know, I think there are only limits and stuff that you can have like only two fish that you can keep and, but you know, we’ll keep some of those that are just more kind of higher up in the mountains that not a lot of people are going to.

[00:10:34] But yeah, for the most part, I’m just kind of throwing ’em back and people look at me like I’m crazy when I’m throwing fish back sometimes too. But you know, I want everybody to kind of have that same experience with that fish too.

[00:10:43] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. And I get like, also you need them to complete the life cycle. You can’t overfish them.

[00:10:49] Right? Like that would be terrible.

[00:10:50] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Exactly.

[00:10:51] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: But with the fly fishing, is there a hook on the fly? The fly has a hook on it. Right? So, yeah. So when you hook the fish, you can unhook them and it doesn’t mess them up.

[00:11:04] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: So, kind of with that, so on those flies, like, gosh, I, I try to use barbless flies, so there’s no barb that’s going into the hook since I’m going to be releasing the fish anyways.

[00:11:12] You know, obviously, people will be like, oh, you know, your catch count, you know, can be not as high because the fish are going to get off the hook and such without having that barb on there. But yeah, I try to go barbless with most of my flies that I’m tying, or, you know, if I buy flies and I’ve got barbs, I try to pinch ’em down for the most part. And in doing that, you know, it just kind of, it helps the fish too, you know, so there’s no cuts or anything like that in their mouth.

[00:11:34] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Out here on Pyramid Lake, a lot of my friends fish, you know, and then there’s also an Indigenous fishing guide. She’s really rad. And I’ve been wanting to do that with her.

[00:11:44] I don’t want to hurt anything, even though I’m a meat eater like I can’t handle hurting things myself. So that’s the thing that’s been really making me not do it, you know? Because I’m just like, oh, the poor fish babies.

[00:11:58] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah, and it’s interesting too, I mean, you know, like just over the years with fishing and with just fish itself and like how they’ve evolved, some fish actually don’t have feeling in their mouth, which is interesting, you know, so like, especially when you’re not using a barbless hook, you can just slide that fly right out of the fish’s mouth.

[00:12:15] And so they’re okay. But another kind of weird thing too is when you do hook into a fish, you’re technically drowning it and you do hook it in its mouth. Yeah. So it’s like depleting all of its air. So interesting. But you know, my thing too, and especially with just climate change and stuff and how hot the rivers are, I try to have my clients not fight the fish for too long, you know, especially if it’s a hot day in the middle of July. I’m like, okay, I got to make sure this fish swims away, you know? Or the client’s going to be looking at me like I’m crazy, like, I just killed this thing. But, but yeah, it’s kind of yeah, kind of like a balance.

[00:12:47] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. I guess it’s just like getting cut. It’s not that terrible? Yeah, it’s not that terrible.

[00:12:54] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: I guess it’s not that terrible, but yeah. You know, it just, yeah, I guess, you know, you just try to do as much as you can just to, you know, preserve the fish just so it can be there and kind of continue the life cycle like you were saying earlier.

[00:13:05] So, you know, just anything I can do, like even just, you know, not even like, oh my gosh, on the river sometimes I’ll see people, like, they’ll have dry hands or they’ll have gloves on and they’ll just grab a fish and there’s a coating that’s like a sunscreen that’s on a fish. And so, you know, when you do that, you kind of like leave some, if you’re using gloves, like you can leave an imprint with like a glove and stuff on the side of that and, you know, it’s not, you know, like equitable or healthy for the fish and stuff.

[00:13:29] So I just try to do as much as I can just to, you know, make sure that there’s always going to just be fish for us to catch. So, when you’re catching the fish, you should always make sure your hands are wet first. Wet your hands. Yeah. And then you’re good. And you know, and it gets tough.

[00:13:43] People are like, oh my gosh. Well, it’s like 12 degrees out and I’m fishing right now. It’s like, all right, well still wet your hands.

[00:13:50] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. If you want to be out here fishing, that’s part of it. Sorry.

[00:13:53] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: What you got to do, that’s what you got to do.

[00:13:56] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Well, I’m all about how beautiful it is out there and the idea of like this quiet time where you’re like in, in the flow, but like in the flow of the universe and in the flow of the water, you know, like that sounds amazing to me.

[00:14:09] Yeah. And I totally get the meditation of it and like why it’s amazing. And then you’re also like you’re connected to this ecosystem and that’s incredible. So yeah, the fishing thing sounds really cool to me. I’m just also like, oh gosh, I don’t want to hurt anything. Yeah. But I think it’s like incredibly valuable in a really cool sport.

[00:14:32] So I guess let’s get into how you decided to dedicate your life to fishing. How and why, and then what, and I’m sure this is going to tie into each other, but like, what do you think people can gain from being outdoors fishing all the time?

[00:14:49] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah, no, absolutely. Let’s see, kind of dedicating my life to the sport.

[00:14:54] Gosh, I just, yeah, and those questions do definitely run. I think like the biggest thing for me, you know, I just, you know, I really enjoyed the conventional game of fishing, you know, and I still do it sometimes too, but I think for fly fishing, it’s just a little bit more interactive like we were talking about.

[00:15:08] You know, and there are just different things that you have to do to make sure you’re going to catch fish. And so, I think that’s always just, it’s always fun. There’s always a give and take, you know, and I, I would be lying to you if I told you that, you know, I catch fish every single time I go out. You know, I think it’s good to get skunked because it keeps the humility there.

[00:15:24] But I think, I think just the experience of being in nature, just the ability to kind of relax and get away from just the everyday kind of hustle and bustle being on your phone, you know, the next email that’s coming through. You know, it just, it allows you to be present at the moment, which I think is super important, kind of with everything you do and just the mental aspects of it.

[00:15:42] Oh my gosh. Like, it just feels so good to just kind of get away from, you know, society and just go do something completely different and, and have what you’re doing just matter so much that your phone is just, you know, left for the whole day and you’re like, oh my gosh, I’ve been out here for eight hours.

[00:15:58] It feels like I’ve been out here for an hour. I think all that has really kind of made me, you know, dedicate, you know, my life to, to fishing and just trying to get other folks in the outdoors. But the biggest thing is just the mental aspects that it just plays on everyone. Just, you know, having that time of just kind of disconnecting.

[00:16:15] And I also read a fact that looking at water is good for your brain. Just kind of interesting. I don’t know what it does or anything like that, but you know, I hope my brain’s okay from staring at it all the time.

[00:16:27] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: I believe that, I mean, yeah, this goes into a whole philosophical thing, but just like yeah, that we’re so, so much of us as water, right?

[00:16:36] Water is so central to our being. I feel like we as humanity are chronically dehydrated and yeah, and being in the water. Oh my God, that is the most soothing thing. Even just hearing it is the best.

[00:16:49] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Oh my god. Yeah, for sure. Hearing it. Yeah, and which is so nice. I see some people like they’ll fish with headphones on.

[00:16:56] I’m like, man like you’re missing so much right now. And you know, most of it’s just like white noise, pretty much just in the background, but it’s just, there’s something about it that’s just absolutely, you know, it’s just amazing. It’s just beautiful at the end of the day.

[00:17:09] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Have you seen that a lot as a fly fishing guide?

[00:17:12] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Like, oh yeah, that happens a bunch too. And you know, especially like people coming in from different states and stuff, you know, like they don’t know what to expect, you know, once they get out there, you know, they’re like, okay, this is really nice. Like, or they’ll, they’ll have a shift from going to like, oh, you know, I want to catch all the fish.

[00:17:27] I want to catch all the fish in this river right now. To them being like, okay. It’s actually more of just the whole experience just being out here and being able to disconnect and just relax. You know, focus on something completely different, you know, which is good. So, So, yeah, just a bunch of different mental aspects with it.

[00:17:44] I think it’s good. It’s good to just get out of your house, you know, it’s just good to get away and do something different, but that comes with access and you know, not everybody has equal access. So, you know, just trying to figure out how we can kind of navigate that as well.

[00:17:58] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, let’s talk about outdoor equity.

[00:18:00] It’s a huge thing

[00:18:01] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: For sure. Yeah, I think it’s, it’s definitely big, especially in the fly fishing game. Things are expensive, you know? It’s expensive to get a fly rod, expensive to get waiters, you know, like when I started years ago, I was like, okay, you know, I’m going to go to YouTube to try to figure everything out.

[00:18:15] I went to Walmart and bought a fishing rod. And I just kept it super basic on just like a basic level. You know, I didn’t know about all the places in the mountains to go fishing, and so I would just go to like my neighborhood pond or you know, I would go fish like the Denver South Platte, just like right downtown.

[00:18:29] But you know, for folks it’s, my biggest thing has just been like, how can I, how can I get folks from my community to get into the outdoors and to get into the mountains to really get that full experience? Because it’s a completely different experience going and fishing Denver South Platte or your neighborhood pond than really driving like an hour away, really being super immersed in nature and kind of by yourself.

[00:18:50] But you know, as I said, it does come with a cost, and the biggest thing, you know, just creating a platform to get folks into the outdoors. And so me and like a few other folks in Denver, we created Community Fly Fishing, which is basically, it’s just, it’s a platform to get folks from underrepresented communities into the outdoors.

[00:19:06] You know, we really work with everybody. So, it can be kids kind of up through, gosh, however old you are, but really our prime target for folks is people that are 18 plus since, you know, you do have to have a car. You’ve got to have a car to get far away to get into the outdoors. And so, with that, you know, I’ve just been trying to figure out how can I make it more equitable for people.

[00:19:23] And so I was able to work with Patagonia and Fish Pond and Umpqua, and they were able to basically put together an opportunity for me to give to other folks. So, it’s the biggest thing is just offering, you know, 101 sessions on just how to fly fish and just the basics of it and what you need. And then also just offering like on-water instructional trips.

[00:19:42] And, you know, we partner with different fly shops in Colorado to get folks out, to have them experience that. So, I think it’s just been amazing and, you know, it’s been great and I hope that those individuals that are older in their family can then pass that along down to, to younger folks as well. So, yeah, a lot of, a lot of things in equity though, that, you know, need to change and you know, it’s hard to make a change too.

[00:20:02] I try to do what I can with what I have. I just try to give to others.

[00:20:06] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. That’s all you can do.

[00:20:07] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: That’s all you can do, right? Like, oh my gosh.

[00:20:09] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, even, you know, even just like you existing, right? Like you as a fly fishing guide that’s like dedicated, that has this like diverse background, you know, that is representing is huge.

[00:20:21] Like just, just being a person that other people can see right? That’s so powerful. Yeah. And then there’s all the, yeah, the economic factors, right? Like if you don’t have a car if you can’t afford a car like you then and if you can’t afford to take the time off work, to go up there or if you’re, you know, you only have one day off of work a week or something like, and you’re like, oh, I don’t have the, I can’t spend two hours fishing or whatever, or four hours.

[00:20:46] It’s so hard. And then those things, those extra things or whatever, or things that we really need and that we all deserve to be able to be in the outdoors and find solace and all that stuff. Yeah, yeah.

[00:20:59] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: No, exactly. That’s, yeah, that’s exactly it.

[00:21:02] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: You want to tell me a little bit more about making your Community Fly Fishing nonprofit and how you came about doing that?

[00:21:09] I mean, obviously, the equity piece is really important and you just want to get more folks out there fishing. But like how did you, because I know you were running clinics before and now you’ve taken this bigger step to do this big nonprofit, which is so cool. So yeah.

[00:21:24] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: So yeah, I guess in 2020 there was a group of us that were all folks of color just in Denver that fly fish and we happen to be folks of color.

[00:21:32] It’s just our people that we know and kind of hang out with. And, you know, we were, we were talking, we were like, okay, like how do we get more people into this? And so we started just going to different parks. So, we would go to, yeah, we would go to City Park in Denver and then we would go to like Montello.

[00:21:47] They had some parks over there. And we would also go to Green Valley Ranch where more folks of color and stuff live. And so yeah, we would just kind of do little clinics, casting clinics, and we would talk about the aquatic biology of fly fishing. We’d go over different knots and things like that, you know, which was a lot of fun.

[00:22:01] And, you know, we did that for like two years, and back in October last year I was chatting with Patagonia and I was just kind of telling them what we’re doing and you know, what we’re trying to accomplish and they, you know, just really, really loved it and really just kind of appreciated the community aspect of it.

[00:22:16] They were able to help us get some funding so with that, you know, now we were able to get even further away. So now it’s like going from these parks and stuff in the Denver area, but now we’re able to take folks up to the mountains, just any almost like literally anywhere that we can go.

[00:22:30] And like any place that, you know, is willing to have community fly fishing, we’re able to go there and provide transportation and you know, everything is taken care of. So, it’s a great experience for folks. Right now we’ve applied for the nonprofit status, going through all that, which is super fun.

[00:22:47] You know, it’s just, it’s been amazing just watching this grow too, and next week we’ve gotten an event that we’re having, it’s a three-day event, and Vail Valley Anglers was able to donate some time on the water for us. And so we’re doing a kind of mini instructional guide day for people that are interested in instructing with Community Fly Fishing for the rest of the summer.

[00:23:05] And so we’re going to have that on the 14th. And then on the 15th, we’re basically having like 10 different folks from the Denver area come up. Same thing on the 16th, have another group of 10 folks come up and teach them how to fish. So, it’s a nice kind of kickoff to the season of it for sure. So, yeah, it’s been fun.

[00:23:20] It’s been fun watching it grow.

[00:23:22] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: I love that. Can you send me some photos?

[00:23:24] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Oh yeah, no, we, yeah, absolutely. We got a bunch.

[00:23:28] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: I don’t know what the population is like in Denver, but I like, I always see a lot of immigrant folks fishing. It seems like that’s like, you know, I’m a second-generation American, so like, I don’t know.

[00:23:39] I just feel I’m like always watching, you know, I’m always like, oh, the, the immigrants. And I feel like, yeah, I see hella people in downtown Reno and Sparks fishing at the little ponds or the stream, and I feel like that’s just like a lot of those people bring that knowledge with them, you know, and then like, just apply it here.

[00:24:00] And, it seems like that’s like a major part of their diet and stuff, which is really interesting.

[00:24:05] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Oh yeah. That’s super interesting. I remember going to reservoirs when I was a kid and you know, like we would see like, there’d be like a heavy Asian population that would be like fishing and such out there.

[00:24:14] And man, just killing it though. Like, oh my gosh catching all the fish and we’re sitting there catching nothing, but yeah, and then they’re taking it home, cooking it up, and it’s amazing though. But man, I would just, I would love the opportunity and my brother actually did this, gosh, when he was in college.

[00:24:28] But he had the opportunity to go to Vietnam and just kind of spend some time over there with that community. And, you know, he was just talking about, he talked a little bit about some fishing over there and stuff, but just completely different. But, you know, their diet is so big on fish and kind of what they can kind of find in nature and such.

[00:24:43] Yeah. I always think that’s so awesome to get to see those folks out there. For sure.

[00:24:46] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. It’s just cool. You just get to see different people bringing their knowledge and their background to it. It’s rad. Okay, so what are some tips you would give to newbie Fisher folks? Definitely wet your hands before you touch a fish.

[00:25:00] Good to know. Thanks for giving me that knowledge.

[00:25:02] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: I would say, yeah, I would say the biggest thing, is go to YouTube. Yeah. YouTube will teach you anything, which is so nice. Like YouTube University I call it, you know, go learn casting, learn knots, learn about bugs and such. But you know, it can be also overwhelming for folks too.

[00:25:20] So, you know, I would also say, you know, if you do know other people or if you’re on the river and you see other people, most people are pretty friendly. And that’s been my experience and you know, especially being a person of color on the river, sometimes I’m like, oh, you know, like, how is this person going to react if I ask them questions after a while?

[00:25:36] It’s just like, you know what? I don’t really care how you react, but I’m going to ask you this question, which is kind of nice. So, you know, I always just, you know, I always just try to try to gain knowledge from folks I see in the parking lot. But yeah, definitely go to YouTube. And then also just start small.

[00:25:49] Like obviously, you know, it’s an expensive hobby to get into, and with that, there are just different ways you can get around it without paying the big dollars for certain things. So, you know, going to Walmart and stuff like that and starting there and then, you know, like once you’re like, oh my gosh, this is really fun, then, you know, you can kind of start increasing your gear and what you really bring.

[00:26:10] So yeah, that’s kind of some good tips. So, definitely go to YouTube. Teach you everything.

[00:26:15] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. YouTube’s the best. I love it.

[00:26:17] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: It is the best. Change your life, imagine like, and you know, it’s crazy too, like thinking when, like back in the day when folks didn’t have YouTube and things like that, you know, then it’s really word of mouth.

[00:26:26] You got to, you got to really just kind of ask folks that are out there and around you. But I think that’s just been a big influence on a lot of folks that are fishing nowadays. For sure.

[00:26:35] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Heck yeah. Yeah, I teach some art classes, and pretty much everything I learned, I learned from YouTube and then I’ll just be like teaching this group of 30 people and I’m like, well yeah, I Googled it, and I, you know, yeah.

[00:26:50] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: That’s the way to do it. Like, oh my gosh. And, you know, you’re just, you’re sharing the knowledge, you know, at that point too, which is really good.

[00:26:56] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, I love that.

[00:26:57] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: I think the last thing too, you know, if there is a local fly shop or something like that, You know, always just stop in there and just ask different questions.

[00:27:06] You know, to perfect your game, I think is also just really, really important too, so, yeah.

[00:27:12] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. And I feel like people that really love something want to share it because sharing your love of something is so special. So yeah. You want to nerd out on the thing you like, so at least ask me about it, you know, like, let me tell you everything about it.

[00:27:27] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: For sure. Yeah. Let me tell you everything. And, you know, too, like for me, I’m just like, my goal is to get different folks and kind of anybody who wants to fish give an opportunity to try it. So, I’m like, you know, like me holding information from you is not going to really, help you get in the outdoors and really enjoy it.

[00:27:43] So I’m an open book. I tell people everything. I’m like, here, go here, try this. This is what should work. And then let me know if it worked.

[00:27:51] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Are there any people that are secretive about their fishing spots?

[00:27:55] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Oh my gosh, yeah. You get that so much and, and I get it, you know, I get it. You know, you got to.

[00:28:00] There are some spots that you’re like, okay, I can’t tell anybody about this place. You know? And I’ve got those spots too that I don’t really tell a lot of people about, but there are so many spots that are just like so known to the public and such, and just so quick and just easy access. Like for example, in Denver, you’ve got Bear Creek and Clear Creek.

[00:28:18] Those are 20 minutes outside of Denver with no traffic. So, you know, those are just great spots that you can just kind of pull up to and go and fish and just keep trying different things on those rivers. But yeah, you know, there are some other places that I don’t tell people about that are a little bit further away.

[00:28:33] But yeah, other than that, ask me anything. I’ll tell you.

[00:28:36] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, that’s fair. That’s like the hot spring culture, you know? Right. Every time I, whenever I post a photo of a hot spring, it’s like 60 people being like, where’s that at? And I’m like, yeah, no secret. Sorry. Yeah.

[00:28:48] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Oh gosh. And it’s crazy too, like the amount of people that moved to Denver.

[00:28:52] Oh my gosh. It’s crazy. There are a lot more people here too. And so, it is just more people on the river and such too. It’s good to kind of keep some of those spots that you know, you’ve been going to, a secret and also just spread knowledge as you can though too. And just sharing with folks and telling them where to go as well.

[00:29:07] Because you know, that’s kind of how I started too. I went on YouTube, figured out where to go, and then I went to a local fly shop and they were like, Hey, like check this out. So, I would go there and then stuff started working and I was like, okay, I can see how this is kind of working out.

[00:29:19] But yeah, just share, share info, as much info as you can.

[00:29:23] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. What about getting used gear? Like can you find stuff on Craigslist and Marketplace? That’s where I get all mine, once I’m like, oh, I want to get into a hobby. I just find somebody who’s over that hobby. Yeah. And then I take it all, I buy all their stuff.

[00:29:36] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Oh my God. And I bought so much stuff on Facebook Marketplace and like Craigslist and gosh, even from like friends or like some fly shops you can go to after the season and be like, Hey, you know, how’s your rental gear looking? Like, do you have any rods or anything that I can buy at a discount or things like that?

[00:29:54] But yeah, used gear is where it’s at. Oh my gosh.

[00:29:57] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Cool. For sure. Look at YouTube. Watch YouTube videos. Go on Facebook Marketplace. Start fishing.

[00:30:04] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yep. Start fishing. That’s it. Yes. That is it. I’m telling you.

[00:30:10] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: What about climate change? I mean, you talked about population growth, which is like, that’s huge. I’m seeing that in Reno and it’s like, it’s tough because I moved here, so I’m part of the problem.

[00:30:22] But also, yeah, but it, but it’s still like, oh man. Huge swaths of desert that I used to do archery, you know, I would just go out and do like wild archery or whatever. And now it’s like a housing development or condos, you know? Yeah. And I’m like, dang. And I’m sure Denver is the same.

[00:30:43] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Oh yeah.

[00:30:44] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: But then other things about climate, like you guys have been in a drought for a while. Finally, you have good snowpack. Same, also. Same. Yeah.

[00:30:52] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. No, it’s, it’s been crazy. The first thing I wanted to say, just address. Yeah. There are so many spots that I’ve gone to, especially up in Frisco, Silver Thorn area as a kid there was nothing out there.

[00:31:04] And then, you know, you come back like a year later and you start seeing things go up or like, oh my God, like they’re taking over, you know, this little area of water or you know, like up right next to the stream. You know, it’s always sad too, but you know, I get it. More people moving. Yeah. But yeah, just in terms of climate change, there’s been a lot that we’ve been dealing with over the past few years, especially in Colorado and also in Pennsylvania too.

[00:31:25] I saw a bunch of that while fishing out east. But the water temperature has been huge with it being hotter and such in the summertime, that water temperature has been just so crazy. And so, it’s been warm and you know, some fish really don’t trout specifically, like don’t do well when that water’s getting, you know, like 60 plus.

[00:31:44] I would even say it gets too hot for them. And so, you know, I try to do as much as I can, you know, with tippet size I’ll be like, okay, well it’s going to be hot today, so I don’t want to fight the fish for too long and so I’ll increase my tippet. So typically for tippet, you know, you’re using five x, four x but you know, sometimes if it’s super-hot I’ll go to three x. And what that means, is it’s basically just stronger. And so it’s easier to just kind of pull the fish in and then just release them after that. And with that too, you know, when it’s super-hot, I try to not have my clients like hold the fish too, you know, like I’ll kind of hold the net up and they can take a picture of it and such too.

[00:32:18] But, you know, it’s been really interesting and you know, with that can also bring some reduced flows on some headwaters and such too. So, like there’s a lot of different factors right now. And the Colorado River, hopefully it should be good this year with just the amount of snowpack that we got.

[00:32:31] But in the years past, it’s been like super low and you know, we’ve been here with hoot owls where we have to be off the water at a specific time and such too, which is great to really just kind of preserve the fishing.

[00:32:42] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Ooh, what does that mean? So, it’s like a curfew?

[00:32:44] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah, it’s a, it’s a curfew pretty much.

[00:32:46] So like some days we’ll be like, okay, you know, you got to be off the water by like, I don’t know, like 12 o’clock or something like that too when they know it’s going to get hot this afternoon. The temperature of the water is going to increase too. It’s going to be even harsher for the fish.

[00:32:59] And so we try to get off the water. Gosh, there was a period like a couple of years ago where like you couldn’t even fish like certain rivers and such. They would close, which was, which was really good. So they would close and, you know, force you to go look at different spots, but it just, it was good for the fish and just good for the habitat to keep it good and kind of, yeah, to keep the habitat growing and healthy for future generations. But there’s so many different, there’s so much water here that you can go, you know, go down south or you know, go up to Wyoming or down to New Mexico. There are so many different places to go.

[00:33:32] You know, when kind of all this is going on in the summer months.

[00:33:35] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, you’re going to have a good season this year, but it’s so tough because you just don’t know what the next season will be, so.

[00:33:42] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Exactly. Yeah. And I’m excited for this season too. Like I know the reservoirs are looking good, you know, the snow packed is crazy.

[00:33:48] We’ve gotten so much snow, which has been so fun and I do a lot of snowboarding and stuff out here. But that’s been super, super helpful. So, I’m looking forward to that. I think the one thing that’s going to be kind of nuts is definitely going to be runoff this year. So, you know, definitely be careful during the runoff season and when you’re wading and getting in the water, you know, because those, oh my gosh, those flows on Clear Creek, for example, here, you know, like, it’ll be, I don’t know, maybe like 15 or something like that, CFS and it bumps up to like 800 sometimes to like a 1,000 CFS.

[00:34:17] And so that water is just pushing and, you know, it gets higher banks and stuff and that water is just flowing down.

[00:34:23] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Is that cubic feet per second?

[00:34:26] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah, cubic feet per second. Sorry. I’m just like, sorry. Kind of spit that out. But yeah, so you know, definitely just being careful during those times and it’s actually really sad, like I would almost say like every year there’s always an accident or something like that in Clear Creek, which is the place that’s like 20 minutes outside of Denver.

[00:34:42] People just getting into the water when it’s going that fast and you know, they get pulled under and such, and yeah. Which is just so scary.

[00:34:50] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Be careful if it looks like it’s a raging river, it is. Don’t get in.

[00:34:54] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Right. Don’t get in. You don’t need to get in. There’s another place that you can go that’s probably not raging, you know?

[00:35:00] So definitely looking at flows and such for the runoff.

[00:35:04] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah, it’s been snowing from October to April. It hasn’t snowed this much since the 1950s, so it’s crazy. It just snowed. Yeah. Last weekend, basically every three days it snowed. It’s geez. Yeah, it’s like an east coast winter. I’m like, what is happening?

[00:35:20] But the river is raging and it’s going to be super good fishing and hopefully it’ll be good for the fish and it’ll be good trout spawning year.

[00:35:30] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. Yeah. It’ll be, that’ll be, that should be good. I’m excited. You know, that was a good winter for sure. It’s much needed. Much needed winter.

[00:35:40] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: So, are there any special moments from your fly fishing career that really stand out to you, that you’d like to share with people?

[00:35:48] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. Gosh, I feel like I’ve had so many special moments, honestly, every single time going out and fishing is special, which is nice. But you know, I would say I’ve recently, like within like the past like four years, I’ve gotten into more saltwater fishing, which has been a lot of fun.

[00:36:03] And so, you know, going to Mexico and The Bahamas. Just different, different just spots like Belize and such.

[00:36:10] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Whoa. Jealous.

[00:36:11] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: I went down to, yeah, it was so fun. Oh my gosh. But I went down to The Bahamas and went to Nassau, which was funny. We actually, we were down there for a conference or something like that, and you know, my brother and I always bring our fishing stuff and when we’re going places, and I was like, okay.

[00:36:26] Like you don’t really hear about fly fishing on Nassau specifically, but more of like the other islands and such, like Abaco. But I was like, okay, you know, like there’s definitely got to be some fish here. And so just started doing some research and I found this one guy who’s the only Bahamian fly fishing guide on the islands, we hit him up and I was like, Hey, you know, like my brother and I coming down can you take us fishing?

[00:36:46] And he was like, yeah, yeah, I got you guys. You know, it was crazy. And I didn’t tell him that we were black folks, you know? He was so shocked. It was hilarious when he pulled up, you know? He’s like, man, like, you know, I never really fished with like any other like black folks. I’m like, all right, well here we go.

[00:36:59] Now we’re going to get these fish. And so we went to the south side of the island and there was a bunch of different flats and such. And God, I just remember walking, like we walked probably, man, we walked probably like four hours, and didn’t see any fish.

[00:37:15] We saw some sharks, saw some stingrays, but didn’t see any bonefish or anything like that. And the guide, we just kept walking and walking and we finally came up to this town. And typically he was like, you know, usually the trip’s over, but we hadn’t caught anything since we hadn’t seen any fish or anything.

[00:37:29] And he’s like, Hey, let’s just keep going and fish kind of around this bend to where it was like these people’s backyards. They had different boat launches and such, and I guess you can walk through it. So, so yeah, we kept walking, get around this corner and we just see these pods of bonefish, like with bonefish, they school together, so they’re always just kind of together and moving together and such.

[00:37:49] And we got around there and it was probably three pods of, it had to have been like a hundred plus bonefish, just kind of sitting there and I was like, oh my God, like this could be crazy. And so, we just started fishing for them and we caught, I don’t even know how many fish we caught after that, but it was all within like, you know, like an hour or so of just fishing with this guy that we were able to catch these fish after walking for hours.

[00:38:10] But it was really cool. It was a good experience and you know, it was fun too since you know, nobody’s really going to Nassau to go fly fishing, so it’s really fun to meet this guy and just kind of connect with him on just stuff that he deals with too, like as a Bahamian guide and, you know, dealing with people that are coming into vacation and such and kind of getting his experience.

[00:38:27] But, yeah, that’s one that’ll probably stay with me for a very long time. I really enjoyed that.

[00:38:31] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: And you’re just on, you’re just on the beach, like on the beautiful tropical beach. Just fly fishing. Yeah.

[00:38:36] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. We’re just like on the flat. So like, and it’s so crazy. Some of those flats, like you can walk, gosh, like from like where the beach is, if you’d walk a mile all the way out to, you know, kind of like the middle of the ocean if you will. But it’s still only three feet of water which is crazy. But when the tide starts kind of increasing, you got to start walking back just so you don’t get stuck out there.

[00:38:55] But that was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun kind of just being in that whole different scene in nature still, but it was just still so beautiful, just so amazing. So that’s one that will probably stick with me forever. But yeah, love the saltwater game. It’s a lot of fun and definitely trying to go to different spots to do more of it.

[00:39:12] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: And your brother goes with you a lot? It’s so cool that you guys share that. That’s amazing.

[00:39:16] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. My brother and I fish pretty much if I’m not fishing with him, I’ve only got like a few other people that I try to fish with and stuff like on my own when I’m fishing and, but yeah, I fish with him a bunch and you know, like out here we actually, we just bought a raft about a year and a half ago, which is so fun.

[00:39:32] And so, you know, we’re going to start doing a lot more float fishing and stuff like that on the river, just to kind of expand the game. So, it’s been fun doing it with him though, you know, it’s just something that we’ve always just connected with and always just connected being outside since we were kids fishing and such too.

[00:39:45] So it’s fun to do that now as we’re older.

[00:39:47] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Oh, man. Now I’m like, I better, I have a little fishing boat that was gifted to me in 2018 and I’ve done nothing with it because I know how to do boat stuff when the boat’s on the water, but I don’t know how to get it to the water, which is like, I’m sure it’s not that hard, but it just intimidates me.

[00:40:05] But now you’re making me think that I should bring my kids out and then they can like, maybe they’ll love it. Yeah. It’s, you know, I’m like, oh, let me bond my children with fishing. That sounds, yeah.

[00:40:14] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. You’re like, here we go. But no, it’s so fun though. But, you know, and being on a boat is, oh my God, that is such a blast.

[00:40:22] Like, for me, some days I’m like, I don’t even need to fish. Like, I’ll just row all day and have a blast out there. So, you know, there’s just, there’s so many things that I guess, like fishing, has done for me and just in general and such, and just different doors that it’s been opening in the past few years.

[00:40:37] You know, it’s, it’s been amazing. It’s just been a fun journey.

[00:40:39] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Yeah. I love that, thanks for sharing your story. I love what you’re doing and it’s just like, it’s such a rad outdoor success story. You know? I love that it’s like a whole family event for you guys and you have this beautiful farm that you go to.

[00:40:54] Maybe my kids will also. Yeah. You know, like with our little ranch and with all the times I force them to go camping with me.

[00:41:02] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. Oh my gosh. And you know, it’s so funny, like as a kid you’re like, oh, am I having fun? Like as a kid when I was fishing I was having fun, but when I had to go and work on the farm and stuff, I’m like, this is not fun.

[00:41:13] Like this is hard. And then you look back on it, you’re like, oh my God, that was such a blast. I’m like, just the opportunity to live on a farm, like go to a farm and so much is so amazing and such a different perspective that not everybody gets. Yeah. And so there’s something about that.

[00:41:28] There’s something about that for sure.

[00:41:31] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Is there any other thing that you want to add before we finish?

[00:41:38] Austin Campbell – Fly Fishing Guide: Yeah. As you’re getting into the sport, just basically going to parks too. I briefly mentioned that, but definitely going to parks and for the casting aspect of it, just like setting up little targets, you know, like when we do our community fly fishing, things like, we’ll typically have hula hoops that we’ll set up and we’ll just put them at different lengths and such and you know, we’ll just do like different target practice, like it really helps, you know, for you to get on the river and kind of just know exactly what you’re doing.

[00:42:02] Or just know, you know, kind of how to just get the fly out there and especially when you’re starting, it doesn’t have to be perfect, you know, just get it out there as best as you can. So yeah, definitely just go to parks around your house too. And there are so many different places to kind of get started and get into the sport.

[00:42:21] Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller: Thank you so much, Austin. That was amazing. Now I’m definitely really motivated to get my kiddos out on that fishing boat on Pyramid Lake. That sounds wonderful. And also, thanks for all of the amazing stuff that you’re doing in Denver to just get people out in the wilderness, in our rivers, and connecting with nature.

[00:42:39] It’s beautiful. If you want to learn more about Austin’s non-profit Community Fly Fishing or maybe hire him for a private lesson or as a guide, I will put all of those links in the show notes so you could find out more and get connected. Maybe you’re going to Denver for a conference soon like I am, and you’re like, it’s a great time to fly fish.

[00:43:04] Really quickly, I just want to thank you to our amazing sponsors who help make this possible. And as I’ve been saying for a few episodes now, it is sponsorship season. So, if you’ve been thinking about sponsoring something cool, our nonprofit could definitely use your support. And then you’re also contributing to this podcast and making sure I can still make this content.

[00:43:25] So yeah, think about it, check it out on the show notes, and learn about it. We’d like to take a second to thank our premier sponsor, Vision Ridge Partners, our signature sponsor, Scarpa, and our supporting sponsors, Jones and Company and Javelina. Thanks so much guys. We appreciate your support.

[00:43:47] Okay. Don’t, don’t turn it off yet it’s time for my favorite part. “What I like About the West,” where we ask you what you like about the West, you send in your little sound bite and then we play it here. This episode we have my coworker Crystal Parrish. She’s the senior Foundation Relations Officer here at WRA, and she told me what she likes about the West, so let’s listen.

Crystal Parrish – Senior Foundation Relations Officer 

[00:44:15] Hi, I’m Crystal Parrish. What do I love about the West? Where to begin? I love the landscapes. I love the big blue skies. I love the freedom that I get, what I feel when I’m out in nature, how it helps me decompress from the stresses of urban life or even suburban life. I love the lakes that I visit and hike around.

[00:44:45] I love that I can take my animals, my dogs out on a trail and we can spend a whole beautiful afternoon just enjoying nature and running about and being free.

Jessi Janusee – Multimedia Storyteller:

[00:45:02] Thanks, Crystal. I like all those things about the West too. And don’t forget, you can always contribute to this little segment by emailing me your recording right to my inbox and I’m not going to even spell out my email here cause it’s a little tricky, but look in the show notes and there’s always information about how to submit your stuff.

[00:45:20] Okay, time to wrap it up. Two Degrees Out West is a production from Western Resource Advocates. We advocate for the West. That means we help to put laws in place that protect the West, advance clean technology, keep our air clean, keep our waters healthy, and all that great stuff. If you’d like to learn more about us, maybe even sign up for our email alerts, go to our website, westernresourceadvocates.org, where you can find out a whole bunch of information and also become a donor.

[00:45:46] Thanks so much for listening. I hope you are inspired to go fishing. Have a great one. I’ll see you guys next episode.


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