Damon Bungard is why they invented the term “outdoorsman.” Bungard, who lives in Tennessee and works as the brand manager for Jackson Kayaks, is one of the few people in the world who’s been a professional kayaker, professional angler and professional hunter at different points in his life. These days, the well-rounded athlete spends most of his free time finding ways to combine all of his passions into seamless, self-supported adventures. Sometimes that means embarking on multi-day backpacks in search of white tail deer. Or paddling class V whitewater deep into a Wilderness area to fish holes that have rarely seen a fly line. This April, he’ll star in a show on the Sportsman Channel called “The Orion Chronicles,” that details how Bungard is able to blend adventure with traditional outdoor sports.“I remember teaching whitewater clinics in these pools and watching the trout rise. And nobody was fishing,” Bungard says. “I thought it was ridiculous. I would be on various, multi-day kayaking trips and get into a totally clear eddy and see all these fish. So I started packing a seven-piece rod in my stern. Sometimes I’d just strap it to the outside.”We talked with Bungard about the gear he relies on when he’s seeking elusive brook trout deep in the Southern Appalachians.EXO Mountain Gear K2 2000 ($499)Using gear that’s made in the US is important to me, and it’s hard to find a good pack that’s made here. But EXO makes a great one in Boise, Idaho. The 2000 is an innovative pack system loaded with technical features. I use this for week-long fishing and hunting trips. It’s light and moves well.Simms VaporTread ($179)I like hiking in boots I can fish in. I don’t like carrying different footwear. I wear this boot with a good, wool sock (see below) and a neoprene sock too. It’s a hybrid hiking/wading boot. I want one boot on the trail and river. That’s the key to successful backcountry fishing. Keep your gear versatile and simple.Simms Acklins Jacket ($209)It’s the Southern Appalachians, so there’s a good chance it’s gonna rain when you’re in the backcountry. I like this GORE-TEX jacket from Simms. It’s super packable, but it’s also really comfortable. I can spend all day in this jacket, hiking and fishing, and never get soaked or sweaty.Farm to Feet Slate Mountain ($24)Having good socks is important. These wool socks are really comfortable and they dry superfast. I’ll fish in these all day, moving in and out of the water, then dry them fast by the fire and put them right back on.Bungard’s advice for fishing the backcountry: Keep your gear versatile and simple. And seek out native brook trout, even if you don’t plan on catching them. Brook trout only live in beautiful places. To get where the Brook are, you’re going to get solitude and you’ll be in the cleanest water in the planet.Orvis Superfine ($425)If I’m going after trout, I like a 7’ four-weight Superfine. Orvis has been making quality rods for decades. This one is an ultralight, nimble rod built for tight Appalachian streams. The four-weight is good for getting into bigger, deeper holes, but it’s still flexible and small.
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A question that I get asked quite a bit is “Why are you so weird?”I’m kidding.I mean, kind of.The question is, “How did you start in the Credit Union industry?”That story is exactly why I am so passionate about the CU Movement.At the time, I was working in radio.I spoke about Justin Bieber way too much to feel comfortable with my life, but I enjoyed it.I had fallen on some hard-medical times and my family was suffering because of it.The holiday was coming up and my son was a toddler.I couldn’t fathom not giving him a holiday.I remember driving in the snow to my local bank.Don’t hiss at me.I didn’t know what a credit union was yet!I went into my banker and I asked for a $300 to $500 holiday loan.I explained what was happening in our lives and how it had dinged our credit score, but quickly pointed out that I had never been overdrawn and always had deposits.He did some tapping on him keyboard and excused himself to the central printer where my financial life history was printing out.That wait is excruciating.After what seemed like an eternity, he came back and sat down across from me.He set the papers down, folded his hands neatly on his desk and said;“We won’t be giving you a loan and based on what I see here you probably will never own your own home either.”I remember feeling hot.The warmth crawled up my toes, to my legs, and eventually I could feel my face flush.Without saying a word, I got up and went to the teller line.I asked to pull my funds and close my account.I could feel the lump in my throat like a wad of sand needing to be choked down.I made it to my car before the tears began to fall.I was humiliated.I wanted to wipe all of the items off of his desk and tell him how wrong he was.I wanted to tell him that I didn’t choose my health issues.I wanted to explain a million things to him that he would have never truly heard anyway.I drove down the street to a temporary location of a new credit union in town.I didn’t even know what a credit union was in comparison to a bank.With my son in mind, I just felt desperate.There was such a difference in how I was treated.I was able to see the loan officer right away.When I told her my story, I could see water welling up in her eyes.She was empathizing with my every word.That credit union gave me the loan that day and I was forever changed for it.A few months went by when I saw the ad in the paper for a position at that new credit union.I didn’t even think twice.I applied.I wanted to be that person for someone else.That person that could change someone’s life simply by listening.I worked at that credit union for several years.I was sent to the National Credit Union Foundation’s CUDE (Credit Union Development Educator) program and came out of that a completely ignited ball of energy for the movement.I have been blessed to grow, morph, and become exactly who and where I want to be within this industry.All of that because someone was kind enough to not just listen, but to HEAR me.Two short years later, I did buy my own home.That banker telling me that I would never be able to do that was ringing in my ears.I sent him a personal open house invitation with a note on the bottom.“Not one person in this world has the right to judge someone based on 3 numbers. Not weight. Not credit. Not checkbook amount.”He didn’t show up to the event.More wine for me. 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Nanci Wilson Nanci started her credit union journey due to lack of kindness.That fact is what led her to close her bank account and open up at a credit union.Ultimately … Web: https://www.universityfederalcu.org Details