Appeal to Fly Fishing Guides

american rivers

Hello guides, knowing how many/most of you are committed to protecting the rivers that we love to fish and upon which our businesses depend, I am writing to introduce you to a great river conservation group, American Rivers (, to ask you a favor, and to announce a contest.

Over the past few months, I have learned about American Rivers’ work to protect wild rivers and restore damaged ones, and it’s really impressive. In the past few years, they have begun in earnest to connect with the fishing community, with a mantra of “healthy fish need healthy rivers”.

Their work spans the country from removing outdated old mill dams on the east coast to protecting rivers out west. And whether they are removing dams to give migrating fish renewed access to historic spawning grounds, protecting pristine rivers with “Wild and Scenic” designations (like in 2009 to permanently protect 400 miles of the Snake River and its tributaries to effectively create a “native trout sanctuary”), restoring floodplains and meadows to improve flows and habitat, or working with hydropower companies to improve their dam operations for the benefit of the rivers downstream, virtually all of their work helps the fishing.

This past year, their accomplishments include:

  • Removing 32 outdated dams
  • Restoring 1,627 miles of river through dam removals and numerous negotiations to improve dam operations
  • Protecting 150,618 acres of riverside land
  • Removing 4.2 million pounds of trash through our National River Cleanup program

To give you some specific examples, here’s a link to a report they produce every six months that highlights recent projects to protect and restore important fish habitat.  There are some great stories here, ranging from dam removals (like on the Appomattox River in Virginia that opened 127 miles of spawning grounds for American Shad and herring) to river protections (like blocking a proposed dam on the Teton River in Idaho) to policy wins (such as the Chesapeake Bay Agreement). I hope you’ll enjoy the report and please check out their website at

Here’s the favor: for those of us who believe in conserving the natural state of the rivers that we love to fish and that our businesses depend upon, helping river conservation groups is an important way to give back to the rivers. One of the best ways you can do that is to connect your clients with organizations like American Rivers. Steve White, who runs American Rivers’ fishing initiative called The Anglers Fund, would love to talk with you about how to connect your clients with their work. You can reach him at   If you’d like to check out the Anglers Fund before reaching out to him, please click through to At that site you can learn more about their work that helps fishing as well as find additional contact information for Steve.

Here’s the contest: the guide or guide service that connects Steve with the most clients will be featured as a “conservation champion” in an article on my fishing website, which receives approximately 3,500 hits per day. That’s a lot of people seeing how you’re helping our rivers.

Please take a look at American Rivers and reach out to Steve. For those of us who understand the importance of healthy rivers, it’s on us to make sure they stay that way by supporting groups like American Rivers.

Thanks for your help.

– Tim Harden

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