The founder of the brand Patagonia showed up to teach young crow students what it means to fly fish.
The Crow reservation is located on one of the best trout fishing rivers in the country, the Bighorn River. While crow students often see fly anglers launching boats and floating down the stream casting their high dollar fly outfits, they themselves have been struggling economically for some time.
This is one of the reasons as to why Ann Marie Emery set up this special day of fly fishing on the Bighorn. A total of seven Crow Indian students were able to participate on a portion the river located 10 miles south of St. Xavier. The Bighorn River Alliance is an advocate group that has been devoted to protecting the Bighorn River and its access. As if a day of fly fishing on the Bighorn was not enough to make these kids happy, Emery was able to round up her long time friend, Yvon Chouinard, to help teach these kids the ropes.
For those of you that have been living under a rock, Yvon Chouinard has long been a pioneer in the outdoor world. He is the founder of the massive outdoor brand, Patagonia, and was one of the original rock climbers in Yosemite National Park along side the hero of the sport, Royal Robbins.
Yvon focused his efforts teaching the crow students how to use a Tenkara rod. These rods are very simple to use are and are essentially a fly rod without a reel. The line simply connects to the tip of the rod and leverage created by pointing the rod tip away from the fish is used to pull the fish in. This form of fishing has been use for thousands of years in some areas of the world.
By the end of the event, all but one student had landed their first fish ever! A huge milestone for children that would not have had the opportunity if this generous event was not held.
Many thanks to Yvon Chouinard and Anne Marie Emery for their kindness in showing other what fly fishing is all about.