What a weird and difficult year 2020 has been — COVID, wildfires, politics, the list goes on. 2020 both harmed and benefitted fly fishing. Travel and guiding operations took a serious and substantial hit. But on the other hand, more people sought solace and recreation on the water than in recent years. Additionally, the increase in license sales seen across the country directly impacts conservation efforts.
So, as we near 2020’s final month, there is always much to be thankful for. Admittedly, it is easy to focus on the negatives of this year, but think about the positives and make a tangible impact by contributing to these fine, fly fishing related organizations on Giving Tuesday! These groups do so much for our sport, such as by advocating for conservation or responsible laws, getting more people on the water, and restoring our waterways. This list is by no means inclusive, as there are dozens of exemplary nonprofits that do so much for our sport–many of which we have previously highlighted. In any case, here are several awesome organizations to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to this Giving Tuesday!
Let’s be honest, when folks think of fly fishing, they think of rising trout and beautiful coldwater streams. Trout Unlimited is one of the largest and effective national fishing and conservation organizations. TU works, “to conserve, protect and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.” Additionally, TU goes to great lengths to recruit the next generation of fly fishers and conservationists, ensuring our sport survives as well as our fisheries. Support Trout Unlimited by clicking this LINK!
Breast cancer affects every one in eight women, and, currently, 2.3 million women are living with this horrible disease. Casting for Recovery provides women with breast cancer the opportunity to find inspiration, discover a renewed energy for life, and experience healing connections with other women and nature through fly fishing. 10,000 women have benefited from the healing experience of a Casting for Recovery retreat. Unfortunately, COVID derailed the retreats planned for 2020, but the folks at Casting for Recovery are hoping to restart operations in 2021! Click HERE to make a donation.
Striped bass, bluefish, fluke, false albacore, these are some of the iconic species that fuel the East Coast’s vibrant recreational fishing community. However, due to complex and often irresponsible management, these fisheries and the connected economies are hurting. The American Saltwater Guides Association is a coalition of “forward-thinking guides, small business owners and like-minded anglers who understand the value of keeping fish in the water.” They advocate for responsible fishery management across all levels of government to preserve the species for generations to come. Also, The Guides Association, at the beginning of COVID, was on the front lines fighting for assistance for the fishing industry and guides financially hurt by the virus. To learn more about the American Saltwater Guides Association and donate, check out their website!
South Florida is home to some of the most sought after fisheries–the Keys, tarpon, the Everglades, snook, redfish, permit. This region is one of the most diverse fisheries in the country, but it is dying. Years of water mismanagement has blocked nutrient-rich freshwater from reaching the Everglades and the Keys, and the fisheries and ecosystems are feeling the effects. Captains for Clean Water works to restore the natural, southernly flow of water and restore these iconic fisheries to their former glory. To make a tax-deductible donation and help further this great work, click HERE!
Access to public and wild places is one of the many, MANY, amazing opportunities available in the United States of America. However, public lands and waters and our rich outdoor heritage face dynamic threats. “Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers strives to “Keep it Public,” and they will fight at all levels of government to protect our public lands and waters. Donate to Backcountry Hunters & Anglers HERE!
Fly fishing and native fish are inextricably connected, but throughout the country many native fish species are declining. The fish of the Pacific Northwest serve as a great example. Dozens of species of salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest are listed under the Endangered Species Act, and dozens more are at concerning low levels. This is why Native Fish Society exists: “We envision a Pacific Northwest abundant in wild fish, free-flowing rivers, and thriving local communities.” To help further Native Fish Society’s work for the revival and conservation of wild fish in the Pacific Northwest, donate HERE!
To learn more about these organizations and to discover more that weren’t mentioned, check out our “Organization of the Month” series. No matter, which organization you may or may not decide to donate to, just know that these organizations do great things for our sport and need our support. So, however big or small, your donation will make a huge impact for these organizations and all they do!