Top Ambassador of 2012 - Rick Clark
Since launching in late 2009, WFN's Ambassador program has provided a resource for anglers to share their love of fishing by posting blogs, videos and photos. Anglers from across the globe have connected, shared tips and bragged about their trophy catches.
To show our appreciation for the contributions that Ambassadors have made to WFN's website, we have rewarded the top posters each year. 2012 was another greatly successful year for the Ambassador program, and saw many Ambassadors refining their skills and posting on a regular basis. One Ambassador in particular honed his video production skills, posted often, and represented WFN and the sport of fishing in an upstanding manner. Rick Clark from Surrey, BC, has been earned the title of the 2012 Top Ambassador of the Year.
Rick's angling experience started, like with most anglers, fishing with his father. They were, as Rick describes, "ultimate fishing buddies." In late November 2009, Rick found out that his father had cancer and didn't have much time left. He passed shortly after that.
Rick spent most of the next year watching WFN, but he did not get out on the water often. He saw the commercial that promoted the Ambassador program, and figured he would give it a try. "One of my first blog posts was a tribute to my dad. After writing it, posting it, and getting so much heart felt feedback from people, I couldn't help but feel better. So I continued writing. It wasn't long before I realized that the experience of being a WFN Ambassdor wasn't only helping me deal with his loss, but also in some way bringing me closer to him."
Rick's passion for fishing was renewed, and he continued to write regular blog posts. He also posted videos and photo galleries. Recognizing his enthusiasm for blogging and sharing his fishing experiences, his family got him a new camera and microphone as a birthday gift. This greatly improved the quality of his videos, and allowed Rick to better share his passion for fishing with other anglers.
"Soon I started making my way through social networking and meeting many new people" Rick explains. "People that I could have only met because of the Ambassador program." This included local guides who offered to take Rick fishing and give him advice. He filmed his adventures, took photos of his catches and posted it all on WFN's website.
After getting some great advice and knowledge from the pros, Rick demonstrated what a great Ambassador he truly is for the sport of fishing.
"I wanted to get out and share what I'd learned not only through blogging, but in real life, and I started taking people out fishing. The looks on people's faces when they land their first salmon or sturgeon - it's an amazing feeling."
This helped to further fuel Rick's drive to be out on the water as often as possible. He soon found himself fishing up to four days a week.
"I would recall the words of my dad before he passed away, 'Decide what you want to do in life and do it. If you get a chance to go fishing - go fishing.' And I did - with family and friends. It's become my way of life."
"It's meant so much in the past few years being fortunate enough just to be in the program, meeting so many new people from pros to new recreational fishing buddies. Becoming a better angler. It's brought me peace and taught me what is important in life to me. The Top Ambassador honor is just the icing on the cake. But if I could say one thing about winning the honor, it means I can look up and say, 'This one's for you dad.'"