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KINGSPORT, Tenn., June 16, 2015 – Many people are hooked on fly fishing. Now, students
at Dobyns-Bennett High School (D-B) in Kingsport, Tenn., are among those intrigued
with the popular sport.
During the spring 2015 semester, King professors Don Michael Hudson, Dan Kreiss, and
Wendy Traynor and her husband, Brian, along with six King students travelled to Dobyns-Bennett
to teach fly fishing to the high school’s sophomore class.
Hudson, who has been fly fishing for 25 years, and Kreiss, who has been fly fishing
for 20 years, had the great idea last spring to create King’s first fly fishing class.
They had minimal expectations when creating the class, but it filled up immediately
and has been a major success since day one.
In October, 2014, King University senior and communications intern Cortnee Young penned
an article about the new class. The story was picked up across the country, and Hudson
began receiving calls about the program from as far away as Grand Junction, Colo.
He also received calls from Wounded Warriors out of Nashville, Tenn., expressing interest
Also interested in collaboration with King’s fly fishing program is Project Health
Waters, an organization that teaches fly fishing to veterans. As a volunteer with
the program, Brian Traynor meets weekly with veterans at the VA Hospital located in
Mountain Home, Tenn. He coordinates fly fishing retreats for the veterans, and teaches
them fly-tying techniques.
Dobyns-Bennett’s Chair of the Health and Wellness Department and Assistant Coach for
the boys basketball program Matt Baker contacted King upon reading a Twitter post
about the program. “I immediately went to King’s website and looked up contact information
for Don Hudson and sent him an email to start the conversation. I asked if he would
be interested in coming out to work with our sophomore class during out outdoor education
Hudson commented, “Matt asked if we would be interested in teaching fly fishing to
250 sophomores. I told him yes. We would make it happen.”
“I knew it was going to be good when Don came out to [D-B] to check out the facilities,
take pictures, and plan,” Baker added.
Together, Hudson, Kreiss, the Traynors, and several members of King’s Fly Fishing
Club hosted the fly fishing class at D-B. Over the course of four periods in two days
the team mentored the sophomores through three workstations consisting of an introduction
to fly fishing, tying flies, and casting techniques. In the end, a contest was held
to see who could cast the best with the winners receiving King merchandise.
“The group came out and did a top-notch job. Our department was very pleased with
the effort, and the attention to detail and the way [the group] worked with our kids.
We were extremely impressed.”
The experience went so well Dobyns-Bennet invited King to return every semester to
share fly fishing with D-B’s students. “Each semester we have a different group of
kids,” said Baker. “God willing, we will have [King] back every semester to work with
our kids and continue the program.”
Though people who fly fish are aware of the world-class fly fishing in the Tri-Cities
region, many who live here, especially the younger generation, are not aware.
“The thing we enjoyed the most out of the experience was not only how they worked
with our kids but also exposing them to something new, something most of them had
never done before,” said Baker. “We had kids with different learning abilities, and
some who are not athletically inclined. With fly fishing, they could compete with
anyone. [All students] were all on an even level. To see the progression and the interest
was a very rewarding experience for our department.”
Wendy Traynor added, “We are hoping to take this program into all of our area high
schools. One thing I love about sharing this program is fly fishing is the type of
outdoor sport that anyone can do, whether you are an athlete or are not athletically
inclined. It is something anyone can do, and King has it.”
“We were [at D-B] doing what King does best – we educate,” commented Hudson. We were
educating high school students. We were educating coaches. We had our students [from
King] out there, and they were educating students. We were all there serving our local
community. It was a tremendous experience for all.”
In addition to King’s fly fishing class, a Fly Fishing Club was established during
the spring 2015 semester. The club is sponsored by the Cherokee Chapter of Trout Unlimited
as part of their Five Rivers Program
For more information about King University’s Fly Fishing class, contact Don Michael
Hudson at email@example.com or 423.652.4154 or Wendy Traynor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423.652.4309.
King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in
1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional
degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health
sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business
administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning
opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA
Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information
about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of
any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University
is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact
the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road,
Richlands, VA 24641.