Students make memories through shared interest

The group from the Oswego State fishing club that traveled up to the Thousand Islands in February poses with some of the best catches they had.  (Photo provided by Oswego State Fishing Club)
The group from the Oswego State fishing club that traveled up to the Thousand Islands in February poses with some of the best catches they had. (Photo provided by Oswego State Fishing Club)

For more than two years now, Oswego State students that have the passion of casting their lines to reel in a big one have been able to come together and make some memories in the fishing club.

Former President Josh Collette was the one who started it and it soon gathered attention from other students. Senior Phil Jenkins saw a flier for it and quickly wanted to join as he had been fishing ever since he was a little boy.

Jenkins is from Central New York and he did not have the knowledge to fish successfully in the area, but with the knowledge that the other members brought, they started going out on trips to the Oswego River and to the Salmon River in Pulaski. Jenkins enjoyed being in the club right from the start.

“It was cool to meet other people on campus that liked fishing,” Jenkins said.

Fast forward to this year and the club is now run by President Kyle Kelly. According to Jenkins, Kelly is very committed to the club, and with him being a technology education major, he also is a good teacher to those who do not have a strong history of fishing.

Something special about this year is the fact that the club brought in some interest from overseas in international student Eloise Colson, who is a native of Paris, France.

Colson found out about the fishing club at the Student Involvement Fair at the beginning of the year. She had never fished before, so when she saw a club for it, she thought she’d try something new.

At first, Colson was intimidated on her first trip, as she had no idea what she was doing. But with the help of Kelly and the other members, she began to enjoy it.

With going out on the trips with the club, she became the first-ever international student to be actively involved in the club.

The club is, for the most part, run by the students. They pool together gas money to travel to the places and buy their bait. This year was actually the first year they had funding, which they used to buy waders and poles for members who did not have the equipment.

But the club also does have an adviser, Michael Huynh, who helps out when he can. He also works with the Newman Center and other organizations, so he is usually quite busy, but he is also a New York State official fishing guide, so he brings much knowledge to the group.

One of their bigger trips this year was back in February when they went up to the Thousands Islands and stayed at the club’s former Vice President Dan Eggert’s camp. The trip was an ice fishing trip, something they try to do almost every weekend. But getting to go up to different waters is enjoyed by all involved.

Jenkins said this was the third annual trip of this event for the club, but the first time he was a part of it. He said that though the fishing was great, the moments he will remember is hanging out with the rest of the members and frying up some fish.

Those memories are something that make the fishing club so great for all those involved, bringing people together that have the same interests and having some good fun together.

One memory that Jenkins and Colson recalled was one when they were at the Salmon River, where the salmon are several feet long. Colson caught one, but because the river was so fast, it dragged her with it and the entire group had to go and chase it down to bring it in.

Colson, who did not have an interest in fishing before she came to Oswego, said having organizations like these to join is an opportunity that students at her school in France do not get. She was astounded with the experiences Oswego State has to offer.

“I just think it’s amazing what we can do for basically no cost,” Colson said.

For both Colson and Jenkins, their time with the club is coming to an end. Jenkins will be graduating in May, and Colson will head back to France after the semester ends. Jenkins knows he will be fishing for the rest of his life, while Colson thinks she will try to do the best she can with trying to fish in France.

Jenkins also thinks he will come back to join the members of the club one weekend for a day of fun; something that people like Colette and Eggert have done in the past.

Colette, who now goes to a school in Maryland, actually started a fishing club at his new school and even plans to possibly bring them up to Central New York and fish in the very unique bodies of water.

One thing is for sure, no matter how many fish are caught, a lot of memories will be made.

But there are still more memories to be made this year as well with more trips planned in the future. As the weather gets warmer and the ice starts to melt, trout start to come in to the stream. The club also plans to take trips where they will be going after types like carp and bullhead.

The club is always looking for new members and will even have open officer positions next year that anybody can run for.