Today, Arlene Leach checked an item off her bucket list. She took her first fly-fishing class.
"I love nature," the Rochester resident said. "I love water and I love fish and it just brings me closer to a peace I don't have in my professional life."
Leach was among 30 people who turned out at Godfrey's Pond this morning for a free fly-fishing class with instructors Ron Wickings (with Leach, top photo) and Jim Southall (with Leach, second photo).
While Leach had never held a fly rod before, some of the class members have been fly-fishing for years.
"The thing I try to teach is don't ever think you've arrived," said the 54-year-old Wickings, who started fly-fishing the Oatka Creek when he was 12. "Everybody can learn something. That's the fun part of fly-fishing."
The patience and knowledge of her teachers impressed Leach, who picked up the basics of a roll cast quickly.
Asked if she studied fly-fishing at all before coming out today, Leach (who is friends with the Southall family) said she felt intimidated, so she avoided it.
"But I listened and watched and people's love for it was a bit infectious, and people are encouraging me through the learning curve," she said.
Wickings said he was living his dream today -- teaching fly-fishing. He wishes he could find a job where all he did was teach people how to fly-fish.
"I've always enjoyed teaching the most," Wickings said. "I think it's because you get to see someone discover something for the first time and it almost rubs off on you. You can live a little bit vicariously through them."
Jeff Southall, with his sons Harrison and Dominic, hauls in a trout. Southall, son of Tim, learned to fly-fish at Godfrey's 30 years ago.
Ed Burton, from Gates, hooks a trout.
Burton with his catch.
Catch and release.
Harrison and Dominic
Below, the slideshow is all the same photos used in the post, but you can view the photos at full screen. Participants can purchase prints by clicking here.