Josiah Pleasant
Josiah Pleasant
Monte Vista CO / Everett WA
Current city
Searcy, AR
Favorite paddle
Angler Pro
Favorite paddling spot
Alpine Lakes, Headwaters, Fjords
My passion for kayak & wilderness fishing as family time, lifestyle fitness, team building, & time for personal reflection & contemplation is a part of my DNA. I do not feel whole if I am not on the water fishing at least once a week. I honestly have the same unbridled joy for kayak/wilderness fishing as when my dad put my first rod in my hand as a toddler.
Although my primary work has been the facilitating factor in my being able to travel to amazing fishing locations around the world, I have enthusiastically found a way to get on the water at every destination. My newfound vocational mobility has allowed my wife & I to plan to be on or near epic fishing locations while working remotely in a new season that has us excited for adventurous possibilities. The honor of a regional team role with Bending Branches being a part of this journey has increased our excitement.
My life has been shaped by salmon & trout fishing. I began kayak fishing as a way to more deeply connect with my passion for nature in a sustainable way. My applied understanding of downstream economic development, community development, purposefulness, & adventure have been formed in part through my experiences with friends & family on a kayak & with a rod in hand & pristine water before me. During my childhood, I watched as Washington’s salmon runs collapsed under “business as usual” & an underlying goal in my career has been to be a part of both lasting restoration & conservation of the natural gifts we have been blessed with. My background in tourism development, economic development, & teaching has shaped my world-view in a way that guides me to strive to meet people where they are at when it comes to conservation, translating the complex realities of our impact on the ecosystems we rely on with the goal of bringing about positive change.
As a guide & instructor, I know what it means to depend on pristine natural resources for my income, recreation, & my family’s meals & I have the experience & passion to show that economic development can be achieved in rhythm with our natural resources. After decades of exploration with a rod in hand, I do not take for granted the fact that my formational fishing experiences have taken place in some of the most pristine rivers, lakes, & fjords on the planet. I am passionate about the preservation of this reality & the conservation of the resources that truly set wilderness apart as an enlivening experience in one’s life. I am passionately committed to bringing innovative & creative solutions to the table to create awareness, engage in partnership, & ensure that generations to come will be able to enjoy the experiences & abundance I have been blessed by.
In my role as an Economic Development Strategist, I often get to share my experience in small business development when speaking to small & large groups. These groups range from social entrepreneurs to aspiring entrepreneurs to inquiring university students. My first entrepreneurial experience was partnering to launch a kayaking, SUP, & surfing business, Cove Paddle Fitness, in Southern California.
I helped start the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Minor at Harding University. I specifically teach courses on: Kayaking, Kayak Fishing, & Fly Fishing. These one hour courses have been a blast for me & my students. I have taught courses in the US & abroad. For the first time, I will be kayak fishing in the British Isles & Alps this coming Spring.
I also serve as an ambassador/pro staff with Advanced Elements Kayaks & SUPs, Trout Magnet, Free Sun Shields, & Vintage Gentlemen. I have served as a conservation & fly fishing instructor for Fly Fishers International. I have participated as a volunteer with Trout Unlimited & Salmon Beyond Borders in multiple events. I am honored to share Bending Branches' name & brand at best fit opportunities.
Josiah Pleasant