Trashing Sportsmen: Influence Spurs Smear Campaign

It would appear that the energy and extraction industries are getting tired of the burgeoning influence sportsmen and women are wielding these days in the conservation arena, and they’re spending some money on a clandestine effort to besmirch a handful of nonprofit organizations that help give anglers and hunters a voice in today’s pivotal conservation debate.

And it’s pretty sleazy, honestly.

Roan Plateau
Colorado's Roan Plateau, the site of a collaborative agreement between conservation groups, including TU, and the oil and gas industry. The Bill Barrett Co.--the natural gas lease holder on the Roan--is donating $500,000 to TU and its conservation partners over the next several years for cutthroat trout recovery efforts on the plateau (photo: EcoFlight).

Since last spring, a slew of letters to the editor to dozens of small to mid-sized daily newspapers around the country has appeared from a single author -- one Will Coggin -- describing some of the most influential sportsmen’s conservation groups as left-wing fronts that take money from anti-industry foundations and use that money to stifle everything from natural gas fracking to hard-rock mining.

The Home Flat

The sun begins to shine through the two foot gap I’ve left in our cabana’s curtains somewhere around 6 am. For the first time in months, sleeping in is an option. At least an option. Breakfast is at 7:00 and our guide, Daniel, will be ready by 7:30, but he’s gone out of his way to let us know he’s moving on our schedule -- and so the opportunity to catch another hour or two of rest before hitting the flats is there, even if it’s one we’re decidedly unlikely to seize.

Belize Tailing Bonefish
Bonefish tail on the home flat (photo: Chad Shmukler).

But the Turneffe Atoll’s bonefish have other ideas. Still flat on my back, I squint towards the increasingly confident flood of sunlight, trying to catch a glimpse of the palm trees outside in an effort to determine whether last night’s stiff wind has subsided. Light gleams sharply off the water that slaps against the seawall not more than 40 feet from the cabana’s porch, forcing my still bleary eyes to recoil.

Headwaters Matter: EPA Report Confirms what Anglers Have Known All Along

Last week the EPA released the results of a study that confirms what anglers, thinking humans and other animals with basic common sense have known all along: what goes on in small streams and wetlands affects the larger streams, rivers and other water bodies they flow into.

Small Stream Fly Fishing
Photo: Andreas Olsson

Though it may seem nonsensical to suggest that any measure of investigation was necessary to demonstrate what anyone with a rudimentary understanding of gravity would take to be plain fact, the connectivity between headwaters and wetlands and downstream water bodies has been in dispute since a pair of Supreme Court decisions in the early 2000s claimed there was no proven connection between upstream waters and downstream waters, removing protections for small streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act and making them vulnerable to development.

Allen Fly Fishing Introduces New Exterus Line of Bags and Packs

Allen Fly Fishing introduced last week its new brand, Exterus. The new brand is an extension Allen Fly Fishing that will feature soft goods aimed primarily at anglers. Exterus debuts with 4 new fly fishing packs, including two sling packs, a chest pack and a lumbar pack.

Exterus Sling Packs
The Exterus sling and large sling packs.

According to Exterus, the "started with nothing but a sketch pad and ideas forged through a combined several decades of experience ... each nook and cranny, each subtle feature came together to create four packs that we all agree are the perfect arrangements to complement each style."

Simms Turns Errant Shipment into Cash for Cutthroat Restoration Efforts

What do you do when the big shipment of fishing shirts you were expecting shows up in the wrong color? Send them back? Toss them? If your Simms, you brainstorm a way to turn an unfortunate mistake into financial support for one of the country's most important species restoration efforts.

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout
The native Yellowstone cutthroat trout (photo: Pat Clayton).

"We didn’t want the order to go to waste, but we couldn’t sell the shirts through our catalog because the colors were not what we intended to sell as part of our line,” said Rich Hohne, a marketing official with Simms. “We knew we still had some great shirts, so we called TU and offered to sell the shirts through a special offer, and give 50 percent of the proceeds to fund the telemetry work being done on Yellowstone Lake.”