A graduation of sorts was held this past weekend on the banks of the Deschutes River. The group of Reed College students who had endured 7 weeks of a graying instructor teaching them the Art and Science of Fly Fishing finally got to put their newfound skills to the test. They rose early on Sunday morning, putting aside their much-needed sleep, social calendars, and electronic navigational aids to follow their instincts and a good map to the river.
These dedicated students braved wet highways, towering mountain passes and hurricane force winds to bask in the glow of accomplishment as they made their first casts on the waters of this famous river. They put in practice the skills they learn, finding out that there was still far to go in their education. Tentative steps on slippery rocks slowly became more confident as the day pressed on. Casts reached farther and the smiles grew wider with the realization that this experience was adding to their life resume. No matter what path the future held for them in their academic or business careers, they would forever be known as anglers.