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The On River Time Story

How years of fly-fishing and one friendship inspired our organization.

 

For 23 years, I’ve been fly-fishing rivers across the U.S and Canada, and I have never had a bad day on the river. The song of the water rippling never fails to lift my spirit.

On my first visit to The Lodge at Palisades Creek in Irwin, Idaho, eleven years ago, I set out to discover new waters and new friends. Neither was a disappointment. There is no better way to make a new friend than casting the cliffs of Canyon Run together or witnessing a bald eagle dive for its lunch.

Stan Klassen, longtime manager and friend at the Lodge at Palisades Creek, a fly fishing lodge on the Snake River in Idaho, passed away in 2011, and I wanted to do something in his memory. As a project in his honor, I began creating a picture book, full of photos and writings about river experiences at the Lodge. The project began simply as a dedication and memorial, but the more I worked on it, the more I felt pulled to create something bigger.

During the summer of 2011, I was lucky. It was one of those summers where I had multiple trips arranged to fly fish at the Lodge, allowing me to think more about what “bigger” actually meant. Stan’s life was about children: He was an English teacher, a swimming instructor and a mentor to kids from around the world.

From this, On River Time, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation was born. The goal is to serve abused and neglected children by offering mentoring and relationship building experiences through the venue of fly-fishing and the beauty of nature. As a child who suffered abuse, I understand the problems and challenges better than most.

I truly believe that there is no other place on earth that demonstrates God’s grace than the cold waters of rivers like the Snake. To listen to the sounds of the river and observe the beauty of a trout rising to the surface soothes all wounds, and the purpose of On River Time is to share that experience with young people who have faced indescribable challenges.

With that in mind, On River Time exists to provide opportunities for children to explore new places and the sport of fly-fishing, empower them to achieve new successes, and to enrich their perspective on life through positive mentorships.

Stan Klassen

3 Office Park Circle, Suite 240, Birmingham, AL 35223  |  205.382.4568