Urban Youth & the Zen of Fly-fishing

Brian Chou was out fly-fishing one day when he spotted something pretty unusual: A man yelling and running upstream, away from the fish. That man was Chad Brown, and despite all he’d experienced as a veteran of the U.S. Navy, he’d never been up close and personal with a salmon before.

Yeah I ran away from a salmon,” laughs Brown. “How about that? 

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Though that was Brown’s first experience with a salmon, it was far from his last. Thanks in part to a friendship he struck up that day with Chou, Brown discovered a passion for fly-fishing. And as someone who struggles with PTSD, he found healing there as well.

He loves the feeling of fishing on the river so much he’s sharing it with kids in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, who lack access to nature. His company Soul River connects at-risk youth with veterans on fly-fishing trips around the Northwest.  

“I love fly fishing,” Brown says. “This is kind of like my medicine.”  

Interested in fly-fishing with Brown? You can find more information on the Soul River website.