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Ranga Perera

Chef, Fly Angler, Environmental Justice Advocate  Image
Hometown Colombo, Sri Lanka
Current Town Bozeman, Montana
Instagram @chefranga.p

Born in Sri Lanka and living in four different countries, Ranga moved to Montana after the first time he landed a West Slope Cutthroat trout on a fly rod. There, he fell in love with the jaw-dropping landscape and the tasty, edible bounty of the rivers and mountains. Ranga's stoke for globally inspired outdoor cooking and his love for the magic of breaking bread at the table accomplishes an unparalleled alchemy. He loves to meditate on a rock next to the river, fishing, foraging and knocking back a tasty flask of tequila with his adventurous friends.

Which of Stio's values personally align to you?

Stio's motto "Let the Outside In" really resonates for me. I go crazy if I don't get outside every single day, I feel out of synch with the world and myself. Nature is incredibly inspiring and grounding to me but as a Person of Color, has also felt off limits due to many experiences of discrimination in my life. Stio has the gear to make me feel safe and secure in my outdoor pursuits, but also advocates for leveling the playing field so that everyone can access the mental and spiritual healing of nature. I like that they have fantastic gear, but I love that they truly want to make the outdoors accessible to everyone.

How do you create balance in your daily life?

I have anxiety and have a hard time sitting down for very long, always wanting to move around. The first thing I do in the morning, before I look at my phone or my daily task list, is go outside for a quick walk. To hear the silence of the snow, to hear sandhill crane calls in the spring, to see the blue skies and incredible allows me to breathe, be mindful, remember that there's a bigger world out there that's perfect just the way it is, and be grateful that I have another day on this beautiful planet. I am also an avid meditator and yoga practitioner, with a minimum daily meditation goal of 3 minutes...3 minutes just for myself, to unplug and just be. And that 3 minutes of breathing deeply with my eyes closed enables me to have a calmer, more grounded and more present cadence to my day.

What is a bucket list activity you have yet to do or a place that you have yet to go?

I spent some of my childhood in the stunning country of Oman, where I remember the most incredible beaches next to massive red cliffs, harvesting ocean crabs with my dad, and enjoying many delicious meals. I haven't been back since I left at the age of 7, and I would love to get back there to eat those fantastic meals and saltwater fly fish for giant trevally and the two different species of permit they have there. It would be so incredible to be back to a place where I have fantastic memories, and create some new ones.

What is your go-to workout music?

I have a varied "Fishing" playlist I listen to during solo wade fishing missions that include Al Green's "Take Me to the River," (and the Talking Heads cover of the tune), Leon Bridges' "The River," Toto's "Hold the Line" (because it's funny and a good reminder), and Total Giovanni's "When We Break," for when I lose a fish and need to remember that a breakup is sometimes a good thing! And of course, there's lots of country music on the same playlist like David Allan Coe and Jerry Jeff Walker...easy songs to sing along to that get me in a good mood and keep me making noise while I'm in bear and moose country!

What is a piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to pursue a life of mountain sports and adventures?

Be authentic and do what fuels you. People are drawn to genuine stoke and passion, for that drive that we all have to be better at the things that really engage us, and to see people who are fully aligned with their soul's calling. And GO DO IT!!! Tomorrow isn't a guarantee, we have NOW to fully live a life that charges our soul, and inspire others to do the same.