You can take the boy out of Mingo County, but you can’t take the Mingo County out of the boy! Nick Stepp may live in Georgetown, Kentucky now, but “home” will always be Mystery Mountain, near Varney, West Virginia. A 2003 graduate of Burch High School, Nick was once just a casual fisherman but, over the past few years he has stepped up his fishing game. Now he’s started his own fishing podcast aptly called, The Evolving Angler. In his first podcast, he comes back to Mingo County to talk about the Tug Fork River!.
Fishing with Family
Before learning about the new podcast, we wanted to find out how Nick’s love of fishing began. Nick fondly remembers family fishing trips to different streams that his dad fished with his own dad when he was young. To Nick, it didn’t get any better than being on the water with his family and fishing in those streams.
He says, “I have always enjoyed fishing, but I think I enjoyed hanging out with my dad even more. Much like I do with my son, my dad would take me and my brother to the river when we were young. We had such a blast catching an assortment of fish. I think that definitely contributed to my passion for fishing now.”
Over the years, Nick has reflected on these warm family memories and fishing has become a big part of his life. Now, through his podcast, he hopes to share the joy of fishing, encourage beginning fishermen, and share tips and information for fishermen of all levels.
Why The Evolving Angler Podcast?
Nick says there’s many reasons why he wanted to start the podcast, but one main reason is an experience he had while fishing one day. While fishing Nick overheard a guy on a boat belittling a young kid, maybe 15 years old, that was fishing with live bait from the bank.
“I was a rock throw distance down from them, but I overheard the conversation. The guy in the boat was using artificial lures and the kid on the bank had fished maybe 4 times in his life. After the boat left, I walked down and talked to the kid, told him to ignore the guy, gave him some pointers, and wished him the best,” says Nick
Nick says there’s nothing to gain from one person belittling the other about fishing techniques, instead people should be helping each other evolve. From there The Evolving Angler was created. He chose the name The Evolving Angler for his podcast because he says no matter what length of time you’ve spent fishing, if you’re passionate about the sport you’re always learning new techniques and tactics.
Nick notes,” I think the aspect of evolving should also include growing in our conservation mindset by learning to leave nature in a better state than we found it.”
Episode One: Tug Fork River Talk with Pete Runyon
As mentioned earlier, Episode One of The Evolving Angler takes Nick back to the Tug Fork River. His guest on the show is Pete Runyon. Pete is widely known for his work promoting the joys of fishing on the Tug Fork. Pete began a Facebook group page, Friends of the Tug Fork River, a few years ago, and that was some of the influence for Nick to kick off his podcast back home.
“I joined the “Friends of the Tug Fork River” Facebook page a few months ago. The more I saw on the page, the more I absolutely loved how much positivity was coming out of the area. I feel like I got to know more about the Tug Fork River from that page than I did in all my years living near it,” says Nick
Nick says he knew he couldn’t go wrong beginning his podcast by going back to where he grew up and sitting down with someone like Pete Runyon, who is such a huge advocate for the area. During the episode, the pair talk about everything from youth fishing, tips and tricks, and of course some fishing tall tales!
If you love fishing, or just want to hear more about what’s going in the world of fishing, give The Evolving Angler a listen!
Looking for more fishing tips from Nick? Later this week, we will feature Nick’s Top 5 Fishing Tips!
All photos provided by The Evolving Angler.