I first met Jay Leutze, author of Stand Up That Mountain, on a fly fishing trip with world renowned conservationist Sandy Schenck in western North Carolina. First let me say that fly fishing is one of the greatest expressions of human hope and best describes the nature of one of North Carolina’s finest. The sport is a relentless pursuit of a passion that motivates one to become a part of nature. It takes hope and skill to cast a tied fly into a pool of hidden fish and expect first of all that there is a fish in the pool and second that your fly presentation at the end of ones precisely cast thirty feet of line will temp the fish to strike.
Fly fishing requires complete concentration to “read the water” to find potential fish habitat. It is a mastery of navigation in a stream full of slippery rocks to be in the best position for a desired outcome. In his book Jay describes the story of navigating the preservation of a mountain with hope, skill, hard work and mastery of his practice of law. It was a relentless pursuit of a passion.
Jay Leutze’s contributions to conservation in the southern Appalachians go beyond his efforts to save a local mountain. Jay lives a life of hopefulness. If the world of conservation is a stream, Jay is always looking for new pools to cast into, catch and land that proverbial prize trout. He is very, very good at anything he tackles (no pun intended).
I suspect Jay has the ancient soul of the very appalachian mountains he calls home. Thank you Jay.