Be a hardcore angler, stand up for your fishing

This weekend, stand with your fellow anglers in defense of fishing
fly casting
Photo: Justin Hamblin

It’s easy to spot serious anglers. They fish hard, they throw tight loops, and they stay out late. Over the years we’ve added one more criteria to the list. To be a truly hardcore angler, you have to stand up and fight for your fishing. That means taking action on the biggest threat we face: climate change.

Anglers have a front row seat to the consequences of human-induced climate change. Whether it’s closures and fish kills on our western trout streams, or Florida beaches overwhelmed by massive toxic algae blooms, or rising sea levels in the Gulf of Mexico, we are among the first to witness the mounting impacts of climate change.

This Saturday, in cities across the United States, hundreds of thousands of people - fishermen included - will take to the streets and demand that our elected representatives take immediate action on climate change.

Leaders in the angling community are calling on fishermen to participate in Saturday’s march.

Only Anglers Will Stand Up For Fishing

Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited: “If you care about trout and love to fish, you have to care about climate change. Whether you catch brookies in the East or cutthroat in the West, if anglers will not stand up to combat the effects of a changing climate, who do we expect will? And who will lose the most when we lose 90 percent of our southern Appalachian brook trout, or 60 percent of the habitat for cutthroat in the southern Rockies? All anglers need to make their voices heard.”

It’s Time To Act On Climate

Todd Tanner, president of Conservation Hawks: “The good news is that a little foresight and a little common sense can still make a difference. Yes, things are getting tenuous, and yes, the future is looking darker than we’d imagined just a few years ago. But if enough of us stand up to the climate deniers and demand action; if enough of us refuse to sit quietly on the sidelines while one of the biggest threats to ever come down the pipe barrels toward us, then we can still come out of this in one piece. It’s time for anglers to act on climate.”

When Sportsmen Unite, We Win

Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership: “Anglers are already on the front lines of climate change in that we experience the real effects in a very personal way and understand that something must be done. Anglers should join the march because when sportsmen unite, sportsmen win. We’ve seen it time and again.”

To Do Good, You Actually Have to Do Something

Patagonia’s Chris Gaggia—invoking the words of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard: “Whether it’s our western rivers being hammered by low flows and algae blooms or the Everglades being starved of freshwater while the coastal estuaries are flooded by polluted overflow—the impacts of climate change are here. It’s time for anglers and outdoors people of every stripe to not only stand up and be counted, but to organize and work together. What Yvon has said for years has never been more relevant: ‘To do good, you actually have to do something.’”

In Missoula, Montana, where the annual Orvis Guide Rendezvous (OGR) is taking place this week, hundreds of guides and anglers are expected to join the Missoula march. Among them will be Orvis VP Steven Hemkens, who told Hatch Magazine: “At Orvis, we firmly believe that the facts on climate are clear, and the time is now for anglers around the world to rally to the cause of protecting what we cherish for future generations of hunters and anglers. We encourage our customers to educate themselves around the facts on climate change, and take the initiative to participate as citizens. I will be proudly marching in the People's Climate March on Saturday alongside other Orvis employees, guides, shop owners, and other fly fishing industry leaders, and encourage others to do the same in their communities.”

So what do we need to do? It’s simple. Learn the facts, talk to your friends, call your elected officials, and this Saturday, when you’d rather be fishing, show up at your local climate march and make your voice heard. If you love to fish, then show those fish a little love. It’s time to act on climate.