The past several months have been so heavy. We've been bombarded by negativity and fear from just about every outlet available.
You can't turn on your radio or tv without hearing something.
You can't open a newspaper (yes, those still exist) without reading it.
You certainly can't get on social media without being smacked in the face with it.
I'm guilty of feeding into it. For me, it's hard to find the line between standing up for what you believe in and becoming a part of the "negativity" plague.
And so, this is my attempt to remedy that.
Shoutout Saturday, my way of talking about people who are doing great, cool, positive things in the fly fishing and outdoors community.
Everything from a badass fly to important organizations, and I couldn't think of a better one to start with than Soul River.
Image Credit: Chad Brown - Soul River Blog
If you aren't acquainted with Soul River Runs Deep, you really should be.
Soul River is a hip, fashion-forward, artistically based fly fishing shop in the heart of Portland, Oregon. It's classic Portland and typical fly shop; grab some original gear, take a trip, meet some cool folks, etc..
What makes Soul River so incredible is Soul River Runs Wild, an outreach program to help "heal" inner city kids and veterans.
Chad Brown, a Navy Veteran, founded Soul River in 2013. He created a way to get these kids into the outdoors and excited about fly fishing and conservation while grabbing up other veterans to be their mentors.
These two different groups of people come together and help each other in a really beautiful way. Kids that are not "supposed" to be in the outdoors are going on camping trips, holding a fly rod and are really excelling at it!
Veterans who have been tormented by PTSD are finding a way to heal in an unconventional way.
Ultimately, the Vets are "teaching" the kids and the kids are providing these Vets with love and hope.
I'm truly inspired by this organization almost daily.
If you'd like to read more about Soul River, check out this article from Outside Magazine.
And watch this video.
And this one.
So, here's to Chad Brown for making a difference and showing us the good in the world!
Jacob is a fly fishing guide with a passion for conservation and brook trout. He is an accomplished rod builder and restorationist.
Jillian is an outdoor photographer and blogger, using her voice for Public Lands and Cold Water Conservation. She specializes in trying to out fish jacob whenever she puts the camera down.