To survive, our irreplaceable wild fish need clean, undammed rivers undiluted by inferior hatchery stocks, accessible spawning grounds, protected ocean habitat and sustainable fishing practices. To thrive, wild fish need wild fish activists—a lot of them—to protect, advocate and defend them. But what is an angling activist? What does it mean? What do they do? Where do I sign up? Do I have to go to meetings?
For us, the answer is simple. Tomorrow’s fish depend upon what we do today. An angling activist is an informed fly fisher who uses their position within the fly fishing community to simply make things better for wild fish and clean water. As anglers, we protect what we love.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
Patagonia Fly Fish’s Wild Fish Activism campaign seeks to incite, instigate and recruit activists determined to see our wild fish and clean water thrive. That activism comes in many different shapes – everything from simply crushing barbs and keeping fish wet to taking a leadership role in an advocacy group. It all counts, and it’s all valuable. Best yet, the reward is good times on the water, a supportive community and a wild, abundant future. It’s not too late. It’s not too early. It’s every day.
“Activism and fly fishing go hand in hand,” said Matt Millette, Patagonia Fly Fish’s head of marketing and community development. “It’s as much a part of our sport and culture as fly tying, exploring new water or sharing stories. As anglers, we’re all activists. It means we do the little things like keeping fish wet or picking up streamside trash, and it means we stretch higher, too. We vote, we contribute, we show up. It’s our obligation to do all we can for our sport, our fish and our fellow anglers.”
To introduce the campaign, Patagonia created a short, punchy video that illustrates the concept that the joy of wild fish activism is all around us and meant to be celebrated. The video captures the spirit of wild fish activism—a robust and diverse community engaged in protecting the future of wild fish and clean water.
If you’d like to wade in a bit deeper into the waters of wild fish activism, please see our Patagonia Action Works Fly Fishing page where you’ll find a local organization near you doing the work for our water and our fish. They’d love your help.
You’ll also find an archive of our “It’s All Home Water” stories where we talk to the real people doing the real work of fish conservation. These stories range from the Klamath River and the Olympic Peninsula in the West to Florida’s tarpon to Minnesota’s brook trout, with more being added every month.
Finally, if you’d just like to announce to the world that you believe that wild fish and clean waters are excellent ideas, you can download, share and print our “We Stand for the Waters We Stand In” poster.
Thanks for doing your part for our fish and their future. We’ll see you on the water