From the Riffle – Joel La Follette
We’re excited to release an exclusive monthly blog series, From the Riffle. Each month, Casting for Recovery will feature a guest blogger that will share information on who they are, their “home waters” where they fish, how they are connected to CfR and where they would like to see the organization in the next 25 years.
We recently connected with Joel La Follette, a longtime supporter of Casting for Recovery. Read more as Joel talks about his home waters along with the generous and kind things he does to support CfR and the women we serve.
I guess my home water is the Deschutes, but I feel at home in many places. In Oregon, the Metolius, Deschutes, Rogue, North Umpqua, Sandy, and Clackamas get much of my attention, but I love to explore beyond Oregon’s borders. I’ve chased Steelhead in the Skeena country, Tarpon in Florida, Yucatan, and Belize, Bonefish in the Bahamas, Mexico, Venezuela, Christmas Island, and Hawaii, Permit wherever I find them, Makos in San Diego, Redfish in Louisiana, Roosters in Baja, Stripers in Massachusetts and through all that I have learned one thing. It’s not the fish but the people and places that make you feel at home. Lately, my wife and I have scaled- down our tackle and explored the smaller out-of-the-way watersheds in search of the native trout that live there.
I was asked to help arrange gifts for participants and secure donations for the second Southern Oregon retreat 14 years ago. After clearing it with the participants, I was invited to be a stream helper, one of the first “males” allowed. I haven’t missed a retreat since until COVID canceled all gatherings. I continue to volunteer and offer support to the Southern Oregon group.
My mother died from cancer at age 24. I guess that drives me to help where I can. The friendships I’ve made are bittersweet when I think of those no longer with us. I cherish the time we had, and celebrate those who have beaten this terrible disease. One thing I always remember from every retreat is the smiles.
In the next 25 years, I hope there is no need to bring women together for healing from the scars, pain, and suffering breast cancer causes. I pray it becomes a thing of the past in my lifetime. If not, I know the torch will be carried forward by people who care.