A few of my expeditioning highlights include hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, biking through the Austrian countryside and rafting with hippos and crocodiles on the Zambezi river. I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced such pinnacles in my travels, though, I’ve learned that much of my gratitude is owed to the journey and not the destination. It is my belief that we stand to learn much more from navigating the bumps in the road than we do arriving at any particular stopping place or designated end. Why stop exploring and evolving? My wandering habits are certainly a product of my environment—perhaps the greatest gift ever given to me. But aside from my zeal for travel, my family has also taught me to care for and value our planet.
My appreciation for the natural world was no doubt fostered at a very young age. Born in Minnesota, I was raised a child of the north. I spent my summers biking through marshland, poaching bridge-jumping spots on the surrounding lakes and fishing for sunnies off the end of our dock. The Land of 10,000 Lakes breeds a unique and obligatory admiration for water in its habitants. My fondest memories of home seem to always incorporate a water feature of some kind. Surely, anyone else that has been canoe-camping in the Boundary Waters, hiking on the North Shore or cruising on Lake Minnetonka during Independence Day has to feel the same way I do. My upbringing in Minnesota has no doubt taught me to respect and revere nature. But as I continued to adventure in my home state, I couldn’t help but think what else might be waiting for me in the farther reaches of our planet.
For the last 5 years, I’ve been living in Boulder, Colorado soaking up all the Rockies have to offer. Skiing and mountain biking are my preferred modes of travel, though I’ve also picked up few new hobbies along the way. With a massive network of public trails and more than 2,500 square miles of national forest just through the foothills, Boulder has shown me the undeniable majesty of mountain living. Sure, I’m a flatlander at heart. But I know that I belong in the mountains. Since moving here, I’ve: worked as a ski instructor, survived biblical forest fires and floods, written for Skiing Magazine, competed in a collegiate ski-racing circuit, camped above tree-line more times than necessary, racked more than 1,000 miles on bikes of all sorts, maintained a freebooting backcountry hut at 10,000 feet, found an appreciation for rock climbing, learned to properly cast a fly rod and developed a vice for accumulating—sometimes fabricating—outdoor gear. Almost forgot...I also found some time to get my BA in Communication at the University of Colorado. Needless to say, I’ve managed to keep myself busy since moving out west. My passion for adventure has only grown since then, but I (tragically) haven’t found much time for fishing or hunting the mountainous wildlife of Colorado—two pastimes near and dear to my Minnesota roots. But with the help of Badger Tenkara, I fully intend to change that.
Much of my fishing experience has been on the lake of my childhood home. No larger than 150 acres and only 16 feet at its deepest, Gleason Lake is by no means a premier destination for anglers. But it’s surprisingly well stocked for its unassuming appearance. With boat-launching privileges given only to lakeshore owners, healthy populations of Crappie, Bluegill, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass and Walleye are well maintained by the DNR. Extremely low traffic and a long, narrow shape make for very calm conditions that allow easy transport by canoe or paddle-board, but I was perfectly content to cast for sunnies and catfish right off the dock. I’ve had the pleasure of ice fishing on the legendary and frigid Lake Mille Lacs in subzero temperatures with furious wind. Oddly enough, it’s a ritual I look forward to every winter I go home. Fresh Walleye is really a treat. Other than lake fishing, I haven’t had much other angling experience. A few choice experiences include spear-fishing in the Caribbean and a handful of times fly fishing, but never without borrowing someone else's gear. In all honesty, I am not a truly seasoned fishermen—especially in regards to rivers and streams. I find the quiver of necessary gear a little intimidating and feel like the know-how can be esoteric at times. This is exactly why I am drawn to Tenkara style fishing. With minimalist design and fewer moving parts to complicate things, I believe that Tenkara will beautifully complement my simple, lightweight methods of outdoor travel. Furthermore, the emphasis on technique, not equipment, is an ideal that I can stand behind. I’m thrilled that I have the opportunity to get back into fishing with guidance from Badger Tenkara. It’s about time that I get my feet wet again.
- Rob Woodworth