Throughout this week I have learned and discovered many things about the Bahamas, life, and even myself. This week has been the most influential and positive week of my entire life. I have gained so much knowledge about fly fishing, life, and the world that surrounds me. From learning how to make an ideal cast against the wind, to broadening my horizon about the hardships many people face in this country. Along with these skills, we learned about the four main pillars that have shaped fish for change. Education, conservation, exploration, and connection. For me, the pillar of connection has truly stood out to me. In one week, I have never made so many strong connections with so many people in my life. When I first pulled up the lodge, I expected myself to be quiet and just try and catch some fish. Yet, I never thought I would feel so comfortable with a group people that I had never met before. I think the reason we all clicked so well was because we all shared a common interest, fishing. This common addiction has created so many connections between people including myself. But, I have discovered that this life style can create connections with anybody. Never did I think I would hear the story of a young sandbanks boy who has grown up in a one room house with no windows and doors but still manages to smile at just about anything I say. This is a connection I will never forget. Furthermore, we decided to head to a public basketball court to drop some dimes. When we arrived we saw multiple boys already in a pickup game. At first I didn’t really pay attention to them other than their jump shots and jelly layups. And after watching them I started to notice more and more. Multiple boys didn’t have shoes, some were wearing ripped shorts, and string as belts. One of those boys without shoes ended up sitting next to me. I ended up letting him wear my shoes for the rest of the night. I have never had someone so appreciative. This is also a connection that I will always remember. The idea of bonefishing on the flats is what brought me here, I’m leaving this place with a few photos, and many memories outside of the fishery to go along with it.
Jack Wood - San Fran, California