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Casting Shadows Foundation reels in a focus of male mentorship through fly fishing

Posted at 10:14 AM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 10:36:38-04

LOLO — As they cast back, Gary Schild and Ben Sharbono also cast forward towards future generations -- paving the way with their fly rods in hand propped up next to a riverbank.

“And to get some kids that out fly fishing, to be honest, and spending the day with their dad that's we just keep it as simple as that,” said Casting Shadows Foundation President, Gary Schild.

“We just feel that that connection is important in any way we can foster that connection between a mentor or dad in their child is what we wanted to foster,” said Casting Shadows Foundation vice president Ben Sharbono.

Three years ago the friends started the Casting Shadows Foundation when they looked around and noticed their fly fishing buddies were gone.

Both families’ kids were grown and Sharbono’s father had passed, so they decided to create a new group to fish with and this group had a purpose.

“And it's really so little about fly fishing and so much about spending time together outside,” said Schild.

These friends used fly fishing as a vehicle to spread their message of the importance of fatherhood, with life lessons and fishing lessons taught along the way.

“Sometimes don't pull too hard," said Sharbono. "You know, I mean anytime you start fishing some smaller flies and teaches you that, you know, maybe a little bit of subtlety it'd be better than a complete tuna hook set.”

The non-profit raises money for eight to 10 fully guided fishing trips a year for one girl or boy who they consider to be a male role model in their life.

“It's teaching young people how to be adults, how to be responsible adults,” said Sharbono.

Schild and Sharbono combined two of their greatest loves together to start a foundation -- being a father and fly fishing. Along with fly fishing, there is fatherly advice, like untying life’s knots.

“Even untying all the knots and there was a lot of knots to untie,” said Schild.

“The knots with some difficulty, but life's not without difficulty, either," said Sharbono. "So it kind of teaches patience.”

The foundation is hosting its main fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Lolo Community Center from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. where they will have a chili feed and a raffle.

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