ProStaffer of the Month: Justin Powell
By Becca K. Powell
Justin’s Fishing Roots
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, with roots in the west coast of Florida and North Carolina, Justin has over 20 years of fly-fishing experience in both fresh and salt water.
Originally from Destin, Florida, Justin learned to fly-fish in salt water for redfish and speckled sea trout. Later he found a deep passion for freshwater trout and steelhead. He’s fished in many of the country’s premiere steelhead streams, from the east’s beloved Great Lakes tributaries to the famed steelhead streams of the west.
In 2012, Justin found his passion for kayak fly-fishing, He rigged up some old sea kayaks with his daughter and brother to go fishing at night on the dock lights in Destin Harbor. It became a family past-time.
Eventually, Justin started hitting the rivers of North Carolina on a Native Ultimate he had bartered with a buddy for guitar lessons. He was hooked!
Justin the Musician and Filmmaker
Justin isn’t just a die-hard kayak fly-fisherman—he’s also a successful musician. He’s been on numerous records and tours, including a run with the Indigo Girls in 2007. In his current position with the band Simplified, he adds a whole new element to the band’s sound with his bass lines. They’re worth a listen!
Some of his music has made its way into mainstream music and television, too, and in fly-fishing videos and podcasts. You can hear Simplified on episodes of the Orvis podcast with Tom Rosenbauer.
Justin released his short film StoneFLY: The Spiritual Journey of a Fly Fisherman in 2016, which launched his position in the fly fishing industry (watch it here). It was in 2016 at iCAST that Justin found the Bending Branches family.
Justin’s Community and Conservation Involvement
Justin prides himself on passing his love of kayak fly fishing to those in need of what he calls "a spiritual connection.” In his words, kayak fly fishing has truly connected him to our rivers and lakes in the southeast. He says he feels “at one with nature” whenever he gets out on his boat looking for that next big catch—or even just a moment of serenity from his busy life.
But being busy is good for the soul, which is why Justin is very active in the fly fishing community in Georgia. Community is a key word here. He’s passionate about those in the local fishing scene coming together, despite their differences of style and opinion, for a common cause. For him, that common cause is conservation.
Justin is a volunteer with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. He’s helped spearhead the Quality Hooch Campaign, which has raised over $60,000 for water monitoring efforts on the Chattahoochee River over the past three years. What a feat, right? Well it doesn’t stop there…
Justin is very active with Casting for Recovery, as his wife is a breast cancer survivor and activist for the cause.
He continues to ride the local speaker circuit, giving talks on kayak fly fishing to Trout Unlimited chapters, the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club, and at events at Orvis Atlanta where he’s the Fishing Manager.
Justin has made his love of Bending Branches paddles a family affair. He loves to spend time with his wife and daughter kayak fishing on the Chattahoochee River and down in Destin on the harbor.
To follow his fly-fishing journey, you can find Justin on Instagram and Facebook. He also invites you to check out his fly shop on Orvis Atlanta’s Instagram page.
If you’re in the Atlanta area, stop by to see the Orvis Edition Jackson Mayfly and Bending Branches Angler Pro paddle on display, and learn more about fly fishing kayak opportunities on the Chattahoochee River!
Do you have questions about kayak fishing paddles? We want to help! Call or email our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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