By TOM KUGLIN, Independent Record
Glancing back over his shoulder at 15 gleaming fly rods, Capital High senior Kreston Stevens told the crowd assembled in the machining shop Tuesday evening that he and the five other rod builders had learned more than just job skills.
“We’ve been part of some really great, amazing projects, but by far this project has outdone anything we’ve ever done both in complexity and meaning,” he said.
The fly rods built by the Capital High machining program will go to Big Hearts Under the Big Sky, a charity dedicated to taking veterans, children with life threatening illnesses and women recovering from breast cancer out fishing and hunting.
Stevens and fellow seniors Keaton Kurokawa, Mike Selva, Pat Severs, Cole Prater and Barron Culver presented the rods and were honored by Sen. Steve Daines and Montana Outfitter and Guides Association executive director Mac Minard at a barbecue Tuesday.
“We see that we’re not taking chips away from some metal, we’re making a difference in people’s lives,” Stevens said. “We tried to make each one as good as we possibly could and we tried to incorporate our work as best we could to make a memory for them and their families. It’s the least we could do.”
The rods were built from blanks with premium cork handles and reel seats decorated with Big Hearts logos and anodized in bright blue and pink. They will go to Big Hearts participants and fundraisers.