There are times when fly fishing - and blogging - can seem a lonely pursuit. Hey, most of the time I kinda prefer it that way. Sometimes though, we need solidarity; we need one voice. These are the times when we need to all be in the same room at once, finally getting to put names to faces and enjoy the company of people who share our mindset. Such was the occasion on January 8, when I joined many of my fellow fly fishers and conservation enthusiasts in gathering to help support the Bristol Bay protection effort. If you are just hearing about this topic, you can visit these resources, or watch the documentary Red Gold that outlines the impact not only felt by, but to be dealt to, the local ecology and the local people. My position is a little biased of course but I feel like the guys at Felt Soul Media did a great job of trying to portray both sides of the story.
It was great to finally meet Christine Warren, aka Fly Fish Chick and once again run into fly slingers like Amanda of Red's Cottage photography and custom fly tying, Gabriel Langley, Matt Bennet and Chris Johnson of Living Waters Fly Shop, and a host of other comrades who love the woods and water. A special thanks goes to Banning Collins of Class V Outfitters for helping organize and promote this important event.
The raffles were great, the venue was warm and dry on a wet, chilly day, and the networking was fast and furious. A great cause was supported, and even as the specter of utter doom and disaster hangs over one of the most prolific and beautiful areas in the world... a ray of hope shines. We can help, and I ask you now, learn about this issue. Please. If not for yourself, for your grandchildren, and their children's grandchildren. We only get one chance to do this right.
Sportsmen are standing up and drawing a line in the sand, and you and I and all of us can make a difference here. We are in this together - you are not alone.