Take Flight Awards - Jack Powell

What did you do for your Take Flight Award? What was the inspiration behind it?

My take flight was a two part endeavor. The first was a deep dive into the art of fly tying. I purchased feathers, furs, hooks, thread and dozens of other materials and learned the ins and outs of tying various dry flies, nymphs and streamers. Once I had amassed a few boxes of flies, I was ready for part 2. In early September, I hopped on a flight to Montana, where I rented a Ford Bronco with a roof top tent, and set out on a fly fishing adventure through Montana and Wyoming. Along the way I fished 8 different rivers, camped in some amazing landscapes, saw national parks, and caught plenty of fish on the flies I had tied.


What were some of the highlights?

Sight fishing for wary cutthroat on Flat Creek.

Catching a 24-inch rainbow trout in a small spring creek in Montana.

Spending time with my brother who came along for part of the trip.

Getting caught in a thunder and hail storm while fishing amongst a herd of buffalo in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park.

Waking up in the rooftop tent to a breathtaking view of the sun rising over the Tetons.

What insights did you take away from the experience?

I find myself happiest when I have creative outlets to explore, and I found a new one in fly tying. It's half science, half art. There's endless opportunity to experiment and tinker. There's an emphasis on aesthetics, but the end product is functional. It's addictive, challenging, and something I'll do for the rest of my life.

I also gained a profound appreciation for the natural beauty of Montana and Wyoming. I got to explore national parks and drive through canyons alongside winding rivers, rolling valleys surrounded by mountains, national forests and serene lakes. I'm in awe of the landscapes I saw and was a part of. The trip instilled in me how important it is to protect these types of places.

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