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Anchored Podcast:


Jay Johnson has a mission of instilling a passion for the outdoors in others. You may have seen Jay Johnson on the Trout Bums diaries, Geo Bass, or most recently, the Fish or Die series on Animal Planet. Jay had a challenging background that molded him into the multifaceted person that he is today. In this episode of Anchored, you’ll hear about Jay’s early life, how he got into fishing, and why he thinks it’s so important to foster a love of the outdoors in others. You won’t want to miss a minute of Jay’s story so grab your headphones and press play now. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:15] Jay had a heavy childhood
  • [7:00] When did he start fishing
  • [14:22] Jay studied string bass in college on a scholarship
  • [17:25] How did he get started fly fishing?
  • [25:12] He got out of the music business
  • [27:44] When did he get into the business of fly fishing
  • [36:25] What is Pig Farm Ink all about?
  • [41:08] How did he get into film
  • [50:24] He’s a farmer too
  • [55:56] He just wants to spread his message

Jay’s rough start in life made him who he is today

Born in Battleground, Washington Jay describes himself as “the brownest kid in town” even though he has a mixed Caucasian and Philipino ancestry. Jay describes his childhood as brutal. His mom left him in the care of his Vietnam veteran father at a young age and then disappeared from his life. His father thought that challenges made a person stronger, so he and his sisters didn’t worry too much about the fact that their home had no electricity, water, or phone. When child services discovered this while he was in 6th grade they quickly stepped in and found a group home for him. You’ll understand more Jay’s eclectic life by taking a peek into his early years so make sure not to miss the beginning of his riveting tale.

How did Jay get into fishing?

Growing up, the only thing that there was to eat in his home was rice and hot dogs, so when his dad asked him if he wanted to go fishing for the first time he jumped at the chance. This rare opportunity also allowed him the possibility to hang out with his dad a bit. He never got to spend a lot of time with his dad so the two times that he spent fishing with his dad created lasting memories. Those two times fishing with his dad and just hanging out at the creek behind his house instilled a love for the outdoors that grew throughout his life.

Fly fishing has changed over time

One of the missions of the Anchored Podcast is to record the history of fly fishing. This sport has changed immensely from the early years. It is a sport that is now accessible to just about anyone. Jay feels like he has been able to be a part of that evolution and he thinks that Trout Bum was at the forefront of that change. One of his life passions is instilling a love for the outdoors and for fly fishing in people who wouldn’t have been otherwise exposed. 

What is Pig Farm Ink and how is it instilling in people a passion for the outdoors?

What do ugly tattoos have to do with fostering a love of the outdoors? One of Jay’s many passion projects is Pig Farm Ink. This community-building project brings people together by looking for the ugliest tattoos. Along with building community, the Pig Farm Ink events then get people outside with community trash pickups, fishing competitions, and fly-tying competitions. Jay Johnson’s story is exciting and inspiring you won’t want to miss it! 

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