I used to think I was drawn to fly fishing entirely because I loved the challenge and the rewards that came from my catches. But as time’s passed, and my wisdom has grown, I now view fly fishing and its purpose in my life completely different. I think Herber Hoover hit the nail on the head when he said, “To go fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air. It brings meekness and inspiration, reduces our egoism, soothes our troubles and shames our wickedness. It is discipline in the equality of men–for all men are equal before fish.”
Today, I have the privilege of sharing a story of a good friend of mine, Chad Brown, who’s taken Herbert’s words to heart and put them into action. Chad Brown lives in Portland, OR and is a military veteran who struggles everyday with Post-traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD). Chad claims the introduction to fly fishing by his ex-girlfriend saved his life. “In war I would look up in the sky every chance I got to find my peace and solitude, even if it was just for brief moments. But the darkest hour of my life was not during war, it was my personal struggles of fighting to not kill myself from my battle with PTSD. When I look at the river, I get the same peace, but it’s without the noise of chaos and gunfire ringing in my ears. I’ve learned to channel my battle with PTSD through Art, Design and Fly fishing.”
Chad Brown is a gifted artist, designer and businessman. He recently founded Soul River Runs Deep, LLC, a fly fishing apparel and goods company offering fly fishers fashion minded gear backed with a humanitarian cause. “Soul River is about coming together as one. Celebrating our differences, seeking our solitude and bonding by the journey we take to the river from our busy lives. We all share one thing in common, the river. It passes no judgement and no tolerance of any ignorance. Soul river is heavily vested on the rivers, the surrounding communities, and all who embrace the river and the healing properties of fly fishing”, says Chad Brown.
I have to admit, when I first ran across Soul River Runs Deep, I failed to see the full meaning behind the name and scope of the company. Fly fishing touches all of our souls and I think there’s nothing cooler than a company using the sport of fly fishing to help others in need. It was only after I talked to friends who had volunteered their time with the humanitarian work sponsored by Soul River Runs Deep, LLC, that I was able to fully grasp and appreciate the story, purpose and volunteer work managed by the company. When you purchase Soul River products, you’re not don’t just walking away with a cool piece of clothing or gear, you’re helping to support all the humanitarian causes that the company, it’s partnerships and volunteers are working so hard to grow and keep alive.
In June 2011, the River Ambassador Program was created by Soul River Runs Deep, LLC. It’s a partnership with Northwest Steelheaders Association that holds a multi-day fishing instructional course, offered free of charge to veterans who have recently returned from a war zone. The curriculum is specifically designed to support the participants coping with the stresses involved in reentering the civilian life, and start the healing process. Each participant receives skills and knowledge in river and nautical reading, entomology, and fly fishing techniques for trout, steelhead and salmon. The final day of the program several guides volunteer their time to take each of the attendees out on a guided float fishing trip. The purpose of the program is to show how angling can help participants develop coping skills that helps alleviate stress, find inner peace and achieve a sense of serenity. This is just one of the ways Soul River Runs Deep, LLC gives back from the proceeds of the company’s sales. Check out the video below that showcases the River Ambassador Program in action.
Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to read today’s post about Soul River Runs Deep, LLC. Please visit their Website to learn more about the company, like and follow their social platforms and give back by donating your funds or time if you have the ability to. The uniqueness of Chad Brown and his company don’t come around very often, and when they do, it’s important for us to show our support to ensure companies such as this one can succeed and make a difference with its humanitarian work. I’d like nothing more than to see Soul River prosper and be able to form further partnerships and expand its programs to other regions.
Soul River Runs Deep
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