By Kent Danjanovich
For those of us that fish, the word "Special" takes on a number of meanings. It may be that trip that produced the biggest fish of your life, took you to a place that will be etched in your mind forever or maybe blessed you with a choice memory of family and friends. Yes, fishing is one of those things in life that can bring folks from all walks of life together to enjoy one of the truly great pastimes at our fingertips.
Because fishing tends to bring people together to enjoy all that is involved in the sport, many great organizations have evolved from its far-reaching impacts. One of those groups that have made an impact in my area of the west is the Southern Utah Anglers Association.
Originally created as a chapter of Trout Unlimited back in the early ‘90’s, a group of passionate fishermen that wanted to make a difference for the betterment of the sport, formed a small group that slowly but surely built upon their passion for fishing and everything that it encompasses.
A short list of some of the programs that they have created and are involved in include:
- The Annual St. George Kid’s Fishing Derby
- Host a showing of the Fly Fishing Film Festival
- Organize Winter Fly Tying Classes
- Organize Fly Rod Building Classes
- Help with the Southern Utah Outdoor Expo
- Conduct kid’s events at many of the southern Utah conservation banquets
- Money raising events for support of kid’s events and Urban Fishery Projects
- Provide input to the southern Utah DWR Regulations board
One other event that they hold annually is possibly the grandest of them all, as it brings together some of the most choice and "Special" fisher-boys and girls of the southern Utah area for a day of sharing and caring for those with some special needs. And if you asked any one of the many volunteers that turn out to help at the event each year, it is truly the event that makes all of their efforts worthwhile.
On April 1st, the Sullivan Urban Pond in Washington, Utah was the venue as hundreds of kids, parents and volunteers converged to put on a very special day. School buses could be seen bringing kids to the park throughout the day and volunteers lended a helping hand with donated rods, reels and bait and some technique pointers here and there as they shared with each other the love of the sport. It was truly an honor to be able to mingle with the participants, parents and the many volunteers as wide smiles and hoots and hollers could be seen and heard in every direction.
I could go on and on about this event, but I think you have gotten my message. Fishing is one of those things in life that can bring people together. And when you add that word "Special" to the equation, well need I say more?
Thank you Southern Utah Anglers Association and all of those groups around the country that continue to make the great sport of fishing just that – great!