Robert Bouffard
Student Writer

Retrieved from messiahcollegeflyfishingclub.wordpress.com Pictured: Ben Weber

Have you been hoping for a new and unique chance to explore the outdoors around Messiah with other people? The newly formed Messiah College Fly Fishing Club is a way that you could do this.

Ben Weber, a sophomore biology major who established the club, said one of the main reasons that he formed it was to bring together a group of people who all enjoy and want to learn more about the same thing.

He likes that it opens up the opportunity “to have like-minded people that you can just talk to and have them actually know what you’re talking about.”

Fly fishing differs from “regular” fishing because the line is weighted, instead of the lure. This allows you to cast a longer line from your rod. Weber enjoys this distinction because of the fact that you can learn more about fishing and what it takes to be successful at it.

The club is sponsored by Trout Unlimited, “which is a national aquatic conservation association.” Being sponsored by Trout Unlimited lets clubs all around the country get fishing equipment at a discounted price. This would help people who may only have a passing interest in fly fishing get involved without having to pay the amounts of money that fly fishing requires.

Weber emphasized, though, that it doesn’t matter to him whether someone is interested in fly fishing or regular fishing. It’s more about getting outside and experiencing nature and the things around him.

“I enjoy catching fish, but it’s a hike through nature in the water,” Weber said. “If you don’t catch a fish at the end of the day, you’re still walking through the water looking at everything around you. And its sort of my connection to God and Creation, the outdoors, more than a whole lot of other things. It’s where I see God the most.”

Secretary of the club Logan Pagano added a similar sentiment. He said he joined “because of my desire to become part of a faith-based community that I am able to enjoy the outdoors with and be like-minded in our approach to conservation and the responsibility we have towards God’s creation.”

The club plans to meet about once a month at this point. Their hope to have some meetings that are instructional in nature as well as some where they go to places like the Yellow Breeches to just fish. They will also hold conservation and community events throughout the semester and could even partner with other outdoors-based clubs for some events.

Weber will send out emails about future meetings. They could be about anything from casting to knotting to anything else related to fishing.

“Depending on what we do, it could happen in the gym, it could happen on Bittner Beach or it could happen at the creek,” Weber said.

His main focus is that it gets people together to go outside. “Fly fishing is just another way for me to get outside and enjoy [nature],” he said. “I’m excited to see where it goes.”

Pagano shares a vision like this one. He wants people to come, “knowing that they can be comfortable and relax among fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.”

You can find their website here: https://messiahcollegeflyfishingclub.wordpress.com/

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