UA fly fishing gets philanthropic with nonprofit Fishing’s Future

Angeleah Coker

The last paved road ended 30 miles ago. A birdsong, water trickling and the wisp of a line being cast are the only sounds the fly fishing club can hear this deep in the woods.

Adam Hudson, a senior majoring in biology and secretary of the UA Fly Fishing Club, said his mind is at rest while fly fishing.

“No other aspect of your life really matters,” Hudson said. “You’re thinking about making a good cast and trying to fool a fish whose brain is the size of your thumb.”

The University of Alabama Fly Fishing Club takes trips like this as often as it can, not only to get away from the stress of school and work, but to maintain friendships.

Matthew Allen, club president and a senior majoring in geology, said the club knew it wanted to base its philanthropy project on getting kids fishing and outdoors. The Fly Fishing Club sponsor, Trout Unlimited, linked the club with a Texas-based, nonprofit organization called Fishing’s Future, whose mission is to reconnect kids to nature, strengthen family relationships, increase participation in recreational angling and to teach and increase awareness on environmental issues.

The Fly Fishing Club is in the process of becoming an official chapter of Fishing’s Future and will be the first in Alabama. Currently fundraising to reach $1,300, the club is meeting with sponsors this week and hopes to file the paperwork by April 12. The first event will be hosted before the end of spring semester or during the summer because kids will be out of school.

Fishing’s Future will supply the club with the equipment needed to host the event. Because fly fishing takes a lot of coordination, traditional rods and reels will be available for smaller children. Hudson said it’s not so easy for beginning adults either. The club holds casting workshops for university students who are interested in learning how to fly fish as well. New members are welcome with or without previous experience, he said.

“It’s a good idea, in college, to have a group of friends with similar interests,” Hudson said.

The club has focused on recruiting new members since it was established last year, Allen said.

Those interested in joining the University of Alabama Fly Fishing Club are encouraged to email the club president at [email protected] or join the Facebook group UA Fly Fishing Club. Prospective members are also welcome to attend a meeting held every second Sunday each month in Gorgas Library Room 206.

Members new and old recently travelled to Clearwater, Fla., over spring break for the club’s first fly-fishing tournament. Allen said the club prefers simple fishing trips with fellow members rather than competitions. Hudson and Allen agree fly fishing is not a competitive sport, or even necessarily a sport at all, but a passion and a hobby. It’s about focusing on the season, the time of day and what a fish eats according to these things – something they call “reading the water.” Allen said even when he’s not catching a fish, he can watch his cast fly through the air all day.

“I think it’s not really a sport as much as it is an art,” he said.