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.
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: http://bit.ly/LLBean_Gear_Giveaway_Videos.
R.J.’s story inspires us to get out and find the “pause” button. How do you press “pause?”