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The rise to fame of fly fishing


This story was developed through a partnership with WXPR and Rhinelander High School. Student Storytellers is an initiative to amplify youth voices. Support for this project is provided by the Rhinelander Community Foundation.

Fly fishing season has arrived, and experienced fishermen aren’t the only people excited. Thanks to YouTube, the sport is becoming more popular among younger anglers.

“For me, it’s just going out where people don’t like to because you start to realize that people enjoy the things now that are a lot easier to do,” says Colton Leman, who has been fly fishing for about two years.

He originally learned from his younger brother, Tucker Leman, who went to a fly fishing camp.

“Me and my dad, we went up to this cool little place up in Boulder Junction called We Tie It Fly Shop and we started talking about fly fishing a little bit,” says Tucker Leman. “Then (my dad) actually had a class where we started tying flies. I went to that for a few weeks with him and then he entered me into a youth camp to start fly fishing.”

YouTube channels such as Wild Fly Productionshave created a surge in fishermen who want to go out and try the technique.

“People can see that and if they get the enjoyment out of the video, they can take that out to the stream or the lakes and they could do that same thing,” says Tucker Leman. “They could enjoy it themselves, so that could influence them to get out fishing.”

For Colton Leman, fly fishing is a way to enjoy the outdoors.

“Being able to walk a couple miles of stream a day and being able to see things you’ve never seen before and catch fish along the way, which is something I love to do, is just something that really makes it fun for me to enjoy,” he says.

The fly fishing and trout season begin the first Saturday in May and go until late October.

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Bellarene Walkowski is a Rhinelander High School graduate and WXPR Student Storyteller.
Kody Litzen is a Rhinelander High School graduate and WXPR
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