Steven Davis has turned his passion for Fly Fishing into much needed hope for others. Next Thursday, in the beautiful Florentine Building, On River Time will be hosting their annual “Fish On!” fundraiser which will include cocktails, a dinner, and silent auction.
In case you haven’t heard of On River Time, it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that takes abused and neglected children on an incredible two-day fly fishing trip to Lodge at Palisades Creek, located in Swan Valley, Idaho, on the banks of the picturesque Snake River, tucked in the shadows of the beautiful Grand Tetons.
I had a chance to sit down with Steven Davis and talk about On River Time and how the idea came to pass. My first question seemed obvious, “Why fly fishing?” Steve began to tell the story of his background, love of fishing, and what it’s like to spend time fishing on the Snake River.
When he first started taking trips out to The Lodge at Palisades Creek, Steve was amazed at the natural beauty and sense of peace he experienced. Fly Fishing allowed him time to disconnect from a culture that stays connected 24/7 via laptops and smartphones and experience some peaceful introspection. After reflecting on his own childhood, that was far from ideal, Steve had the idea to share this outdoor experience with children who also had survived abuse and neglect in order to change their lives for the better and show them that they are not alone.
I immediately sensed the passion that Steve had for mentoring children and exposing them to the art of fly fishing, the great outdoors, and what most of the kids describe as the best trip of their lives. The kids are chosen through partnerships with organizations like Big Oak Ranch and C Bar V Ranch. Once selected they fly out to Swan Valley, Idaho with a parent or guardian for two days of fishing, camping, and other activities that build their confidence and feeling of self-worth. They share this experience with others that come from similar situations. This allows them to create bonds and new friendships that have a lasting positive impact.
As the conversation drew to a close I was, pardon the pun, hooked on the concept and taken aback by the realization that just two days fly fishing on the Snake River could have a lifelong impact on these kids that have already had to overcome so much. I also wanted to book a flight to Swan Valley for myself especially after seeing some of the amazing photos of the lodge and Snake River.
I encourage you to find out more about On River Time via their website. Steve also tells his story in his book “Picking Butter Beans” which further reveals why he is so passionate about this organization.
We should all be grateful that Steve and the On River Time team work tirelessly to allow these kids to experience a little piece of heaven on earth and, more importantly, some peace in their own hearts and minds.
Tickets are still available for the Fish On! fundraiser and can be found here. If you can’t make the event on Thursday, September 29, 2016, you can still donate through the On River Time website. Please come out and support this wonderful cause!