Wild Keeper Spotlight: Deighan Cherry

Wild Keeper Spotlight: Deighan Cherry
Meet first term Wild Keeper Deighan Cherry! Deighan is based in Texas and is twelve years old. She is the epitome of taking action and using your voice from a young age to make a difference. Deighan is an avid fly fisher who also loves to go kayaking and rock climbing. When we asked her what her preferred way to get outdoors is, she replied, "fly fishing but my dad said “the front door” 🤣"

Deighan has been fly fishing for 5 years and started when she was 4 years old. Her favorite person to fly fish with is her dad and "any girl my age who wants to learn". Deighan founded Fly Girl Global, which, by  the end of 2020/beginning of 2021, has almost 900 followers and an active virtual community that gets together on Zoom regularly to talk and tie, with big hopes to start fishing together in person. Her hopes are to get more girls outdoors, in spaces that aren't predominantly female but deserve it! When I asked her if she's faced any challenges in the outdoor space she reflected, " I’ve been told that fishing is for boys. That girls can’t fish. I guess I’ve shown them."

When sharing about the importance of clean water she expressed, "a
ny trash on the ground will end up in the water if we don’t pick it up first. Fly fishing is most likely done while you are in the water so we see the trash. We step on the trash, we snag our flies on trash, we have rescued birds tangled in trash. Plastics are eaten by animals. I saw a picture of a sea turtle that had  898 pieces of plastic in its stomach. It was only 1 month old".

I have not found a group more caring about clean water than people who fly fish," she says. "When I was 8 I was asked to speak in Atlanta about the future of our rivers. That was when I realized that if I wanted clean water when I grew up then I would need to start fixing it now." The need for caring for our outdoor spaces is not lost on her, "we see all kinds of trash and pollution just here at home where we fish. Some creeks and ponds have day use trash mostly. Some have illegal dumping. Some have treatment plants that need better filters before they dump back into the creek."

          Learn more about Deighan, her wild keeping and fly fishing below! 

Keep Nature Wild: Between mountains, desert or forests, which would you choose?
Deighan: Forests! 
KNW:  What is your favorite adventure snack?
D: Hot soup or cocoa
KNW:  What is an experience that has shaped your relationship with nature/ the outdoors?
D: Catching record size fish on flies I tied myself. And then letting them go.

KNW:  What is one thing you'd love to bring more awareness to in the outdoor space?
D: With fishing I tell everyone to never leave the water with an empty net.
KNW: What is your favorite thing about being a Wild Keeper?
D: Sharing creative ideas on how to get more people to help get trash left behind by others

KNW:  What has picking up trash outdoors done for you? 
D:  Picking up other peoples trash has always been part of fly fishing for me. I guess realizing that not everyone does was an eye opener
KNW: Roughly how many pounds do you think you've picked up since you became a Wild Keeper?
D: 45028 pounds!
KNW:  What goals do you have for this year? (or beyond?)
D: I want to help everyone who is interested in a clean outdoors connect with each other and help get the word out about organized clean ups in their area through KNW, @iseayousea and @fly_girl_global. I want us as humans to see keeping nature wild as being cool, that nature is not a resource to abuse and use up starting with our local communities but knowing that other communities around the world are doing the same thing.

Follow along with her journey and support Fly Girl Global! 

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