When I first heard about Fish for Change through a Flylords article I was reading in the middle of my Environmental Communication class this past semester, I knew I needed to go on this trip. I remember filling out all the information online, then telling my parents. They thought I was insane that I wanted to go to Guanaja, in the middle of June, alone with a group of kids I had never met before. I didn’t care I was still going. I knew this would be a trip of a lifetime.
I must admit, my first thought about Fish for Change was that this would be an incredible opportunity for me to become a better fly fisherman and have an opportunity to fish for the big three - bonefish, tarpon and the legendary permit. But as my departure date got closer, I realized this week long trip has very little to do about the fishing.
Days before my trip I made a promise to myself that I would take in every second that I have on this Island. Fish for Change for me is about connecting with people who I never would have the opportunity to connect with. It’s about “what can I do for you?” not “what can you do for me?”. Do I want to take unreal shots at trophy tarpon, bonefish and permit? Of course I do, but I am at the age where I realize that it isn’t about that. It’s about taking every moment in and harnessing it as much as you can because nobody knows what my future holds. I have no idea when I will ever be back, or if I even will have the opportunity to come back. When I come back home and try to explain to my family what this trip was like, I will honestly be at a loss for words, my photos won’t give this island justice and my description of the people here won’t even scratch the surface of the relationships that I have built through my love of fly fishing. My one piece of advice for anybody lucky enough to take this trip is take in every second of every day, especially when you aren’t fishing. Yes, fishing is what brings you on this trip, but it opens a door to a way of life and relationships that you will not find anywhere else.
- Tyler Niven 6/20/19