Friday, July 1, 2011

Bowed out

So with wrapping up school this spring it was time to close a chapter. I had long ago decided it was time for me to bow out of the CU FF club. This fall I realized that if I kept with it for 4 more years I could say I had coached for it for half my life. It is time, or past due in some eyes I'm sure. So after 14 years of corrupting young minds to fly-fishing at CU, this is my exit. Below is my farewell/thank-you email to some of the main leaders/contributors from the past 14 years. If it weren't for students that had such a strong passion for fly-fishing and sharing that knowledge, it would have never been.

Hey Guys,

This May marks the end of my tenure with the club. Like my brother said before getting married, “It was a hell of a run”. Please feel free to pass this on to other friends from the club that I have missed. Call me this summer and let’s fish.


It’s been an interesting spring to look back and think about the adventures and friendships that came out of the last 14 years. To think I’m associated with some of the delinquents to come out of the club. I thought I was doing pretty well by dropping out of school to live out of a car in New Zealand, and then others walked away from good jobs to live like a vagabond through Argentina. Some had crazy dreams of their own outfitting business or stream restoration. Some wanted to save the world while others were corrupted into a life of guiding and never willing to bow down to the Man. Some went to become published authors, others swore to a life by the fly, casting bait-fishing aside. I saw the dreams of doctors crushed under the love for fishing dry flies. Good honest students that become junkies, addicts and bums. Living in squalor to buy the next rod, selling textbooks for waders. Men became fishing guides and leaches on society. Huddled behind vises in dark corners at night. Trying to get a dozen flies tied before the keg'r next door. Ruining relationships to get the next fix. Angering Mom and Dad with the abandonment of classes. Casting girlfriends aside to head south of the equator. These were all great students, the future of America, what happened? Who do you blame?

For the last fourteen years the CU Fly-fishing club has been here through highs and lows working hard to corrupt the minds of young students. It has been a pleasure to be part of it for those years. You know it’s a good run when old friends remind you of stories you’ve completely forgotten. Rafts that busted mid float and holes in boats. All night drives to the Green and the Horn. Sleeping in unfinished houses because we were cheap. Dozens of busted rods and endless big fish. Kitchen tables covered in fly tying material and the countless innovations tested on local streams. Conservation projects with the local TU chapters and volunteering with youth education. The CU club has achieved a ton over these years and has become integral to the Boulder Fly-fishing community.

It’s been an honor to be part of the club for so long. I’ve learned so much from all of you. I cherish the friendships the most that have come from the club. Things were never perfect and I was often busy, but getting to see so many kids grow at fly-fishing was always a pleasure. I can’t thank all of you enough for your time and dedication to the club.

Cheers, Shawn

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