An Interview with RJ—Get (Outfitted) Gear Giveaway Winner and Aspiring Angler

Many see fly fishing as a way to escape from the stresses of everyday life – and recent Gear Giveaway winner, R.J., would agree. After winning a lesson with Macauley “Mac” Lord, an L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools instructor and renowned fly fisherman, R.J. learned how to not only catch fish, but reconnect with himself and nature. We caught up with R.J. to see how he is using his gear and what he has to say about his renewed connection to nature.


R.J. casts a line in his new L.L.Bean gear


Happy that’s he’s now found the joy of casting a fly, R.J. explains how fly fishing always seemed just out of reach for him:

“Fly fishing is something I’ve been chasing my whole life. I’m originally from the Shenandoah River area in Virginia, where there’s tons of fly fishing – so it’s something I’d always really wanted to do and learn. But I’ve had a job my whole life, and it was always go to school or go to work. Something I really regretted because I knew fly fishing would be something I really loved.”

After paying his way through school, R.J. moved to Rhode Island. It was then he started to discover fly fishing and other ways to finally take time for himself.

“It was always the one thing that got away from me, and I got a second chance at it. This was something that completely overdelivered – I feel bad I waited this long to get into it. The older you get, it’s few and far between you get an opportunity to do something great for yourself. ”

R.J. shared a story of practicing his fly-fishing knots on a plane ride – using his shoelaces – which startled some of his fellow passengers. He’s even been trudging through the water with half-waders, and we have a hunch from this photo that we know what will be the next piece of gear on his list.



We love that R.J. discovered how to press “pause,” something he now advocates for all of us to discover:

“How to press ‘pause’ – that is still ringing true. It was a surreal experience; I got all this free fishing gear, a private lesson with Macauley ‘Mac’ Lord – it was a blast, and I was immersed. There is always going to be a million things to do at work and at home. But you really do have take time for yourself and break away for a bit.”


“There’s a little bit of guilt, yes – but as long as you’re maintaining your core responsibilities for your family, it’s okay to stop and do something for yourself.”

Watch R.J.’s video to learn more about his discovery:

R.J.’s story inspires us to get out and find the “pause” button. How do you press “pause?”


  1. A.Scott | June 22, 2012 | 10:23 am

    Great story.

  2. Karen Clayton | June 27, 2012 | 9:42 pm

    RJ grealy deserved this experience after missing out when he was younger to help his family instead!!

  3. Michael in Seattle | August 14, 2012 | 7:52 pm

    Why would you send him half waders when they’re considered by many unsafe? Why not full waders with the waistbelt to keep the legs from filling with water and dragging you down?

    • Sara | L.L.Bean | August 22, 2012 | 11:42 am

      Thanks Michael for sharing your comments. R.J. is wearing our Flyweight II Boot-Foot Hippers. We chose this type of wader for R.J. because he typically fishes in small streams with low levels of water and in warmer water. We do agree with you about safe fishing practices. L.L.Bean is adamant about the importance of using wading belts with all waders. We stress that fact to the students in our Outdoor Discovery Schools fishing courses and to our customers in our retail stores. We understand your concerns, as the photos in the blog post make it appear as if R.J. is fishing in deeper water. Thank you for contacting us and we appreciate your concern.

Add your comment

About You

This is the name that will be displayed publicly with your comment.
It is not necessary to use your full name.

Your email address will not be displayed publicly
with your comment

Email Updates
Exclusive sales, special offers and more
Comment guidelines
Be detailed and specific, focusing on the writer’s story.
For your privacy, please don’t include your name or personal information.
All comments are reviewed by L.L.Bean prior to publishing.
Obscenities, critical or spiteful comments and discriminatory language.
Advertisements, “spam,” references to other products, offers or Web sites.
Email, URLs, phone numbers, addresses or other contact information.