No doubt, one of the the reasons why a lot of us fly fish in the first place is to leave business, issues, and politics out of sight and out of mind. But I’ve also found that my association with fly fishing is a platform to get involved with certain causes, from conservation to education. And doing so has only amplified the rewards of being a fly angler.
One of my favorite causes is Project Healing Waters, which is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings. It is an honor to share fishing time with these folks.
I approached one recent outing as a means of trying to “give back” some ultra-micro-nano-percentage of what soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have done for me, my family, community and country by way of their service and sacrifice…but alas, the time shared with new buddies like Michael Bonnette and Nate Stewart only made me feel deeper in debt. The honor was mine. (I’d throw a picture of these guys with mondo fish up here on the site, but that’s against regulations, so this shout-out will have to do for now.) I’m also encouraging others to get involved with Project Healing Waters.
Of course, there are conservation causes that get my attention: I wear my commitment to Trout Unlimited, on my sleeve, as you could see in the “Best Wild Places” stories, as well as coverage I have done on Bristol Bay and the Pebble Mine issue. I think TU’s “Trout in the Classroom” program is a great way to connect youth with rivers, as is the budding Fly Fishing In Schools program.
Do you support these causes? How about the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, and Coastal Conservation Association? Have you found your involvement rewarding? Are there other causes worth calling attention to? The soapbox is yours…