Fly fishing lessons

It’s been dreadfully cold here in Chicago this year, but that doesn’t stop me from looking forward to my spring fly fishing trip to the icy waters of Montana. Fly fishing is a passion of mine. I love everything about it. The freedom, the independence, the skill, being waist deep in the frigid water…all of it is very appealing to me.

I was figuring out which flies and what equipment I needed to bring along on my trip this year, and it made me think of a picture I saw once of a young man fly fishing from his wheelchair. He was out in the river doing the same things that I love to do, but just doing it from a wheelchair. It was pretty amazing to see the photo. It made me think about our similarities and not our differences. I stand in the water…he sits. We’re both doing the same thing, enjoying the same experience, and probably suffering the same indignation of a trout taking and throwing the fly in the very same way.

I also thought about the barriers that stand in the way of people doing the things that they love. Those barriers can be physical or attitudinal. And they can also be overcome.

I don’t know the man in the photo, and I don’t think he’s ever received services from Easter Seals, but studying this photo of him in the water reminded me how important it is to do all we can to help people achieve their goals and dreams. In this instance, it was a guy trying to catch a trout. That may not sound like a big deal, but for us fly fishers, it’s pretty important.

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