I sat anxiously until I heard the unmistakable beep of the seat belt sign clicking off. Immediately, I jumped up and snagged my rod case out of the overhead bin. I clutched the case and breathed a sigh of relief, (my eternal fear is that I will forget my fly rod on an airplane). I walked off the plane, breezed through customs, grabbed my white duffel bag, (breathed another sigh of relief knowing my luggage made it) and then walked outside. I was greeted by the intense sunlight, hair-frizzing humidity, and the throng of stressed out ‘gringos’ synonymous with Cancun, Mexico.

If three years ago, you told me I would be spending a full week after my college graduation on a fly fishing trip, I probably would have given you a strange look and then asked, “what exactly is fly fishing anyway?” But fast-forward three years and there I was, sitting outside the Cancun airport awaiting an unforgettable adventure.

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Photo by Gracie Baldwin

My serendipitous journey into fly fishing began when, on a whim, I applied to be in the course “The Art of Fly Fishing” for the January term of my sophomore year at Colby College, (a small liberal arts school in Maine). At Colby each January you can take a month long course. The course intrigued me both because of the stunning pictures of Owens Valley, California, where we would be fly fishing, and the fact that I could fulfill my literature requirement. Little did I know that the course would have such a life-changing impact.

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Photo by Gracie Baldwin