A Reflection on the Cascadia Tour - 2016

Steve Duda shares a story with the crowd in Portland.

Steve Duda shares a story with the crowd in Portland.

For a full week, we saw the best of people.

We saw artists sharing their visions of the world, visions that were funny at times, sad at others. Visions that sometimes included catching fish, but more often included the complicated transactions life gives us when we decide it's time to go fishing. 

We saw organizations sharing their passion for the work that they do. Work for victims of human trafficking; work for the cold water fish habitats of the Pacific Northwest; work that gives immigrant, low-income, and at-risk youth the opportunity to experience wilderness, in some cases for the first time. This is work, of course, that isn't easy. But it is vital, if we are to somehow maintain that vision of the world we hold dear. 

And we saw people coming together. People who wanted to hear stories, people who wanted to drink beer, people who wanted to enjoy a shared sense of community, a shared sense of what it means to care and think deeply about the world. 

That was the mission of the tour. To share stories, certainly. But even more to share visions of the world, of what it is and what it can be. 

In Seattle we raised over $800 in support of YMCA's Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development Programs.

In Seattle we raised over $800 in support of YMCA's Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development Programs.

The Cascadia Tour visited 5 cities. It featured the work of 17 fly fishing writers and 8 fly fishing photographers. It supported the work of 5 non-profit organizations working with youth and the environment. It raised over $3,000 for those organizations, and offered more than 300 individuals the chance to learn more about each organization and what they can do to support their work. 

The Cascadia Tour--and Writers on the Fly in general--is about sharing stories, building community, reminding ourselves that there is good work that needs to be supported. It is artistic work and it is community work; it is work for environmental change and social change. If we aren't giving our best, then we are doing our worst, and that is unacceptable.

For a week, we saw the best in people. Our hope now, in this uncertain world in which we now find ourselves, is that the best is what we continue to see.