Donald Trump is Killing Fly Fishing


In a very short amount of time, the Donald Trump Administration has proven an utter disregard for the planet and ecosystems. Trump’s contempt for the environment shouldn’t surprise anyone. Though calling himself an environmentalist, his campaign rhetoric included everything from an embrace of coal to stating that he wants more global warming because it was cold outside at a campaign stop.

If you voted for Donald Trump or if you didn’t vote, you chose to tolerate his approach to the environment. But it doesn’t do any good to go back to the campaign. Now that we’re in the thick of it, it’s time to look at the hell that’s being unleashed and come together for the fight. Frankly, what has unfolded so far couldn’t be much worse for fly fishing and its future.

The hell so far:

  • On the afternoon of the inauguration, the climate page of was promptly removed from the site and promises were issue about deregulation of environmental protections.
  • Northern Dynasty announced it has the support of the Trump administration and will move forward on Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Since then, there have been some ups and downs in the market for Northern Dynasty, but the threat is back. (More here.)
  • Trump has given the green light to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters were removed from the site, and completion of the pipeline is underway. (More here.)
  • Trump has given the green light to the Keystone XL Pipeline. (More here.)
  • The Trump Administration is moving forward on ending the Clean Power Plan. This puts the health and lives of Americans at risk and puts the brakes on any progress and much hope when it comes to a more sustainable future. (More here.)
  • Trump is moving forward on gutting the environmental protections of the Clean Water Rule that formerly safeguarded rivers, streams, and wetlands. (More here.)
  • The GOP in Congress has voted to gut the Endangered Species Act to allow more mining, drilling, and logging. (More here.)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has had grants, projects, and research halted and is now under a gag order preventing communication with the press. (More here.)
  • Trump has killed the Office of Surface Mining’s Stream Protection Rule that keeps coal companies and mines from destroying rivers with pollution and waste. (More here.)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of catastrophic cuts that will put ecosystems and human health at risk. These cuts will end cleanup efforts of of destroyed ecosystems. Often, these efforts come alongside state projects. Now the states will struggle with how to resolve these key needs. (More here.)
  • Critical government research on climate change will lose funding. (More here.)
  • Despite some hope among anglers with Trump’s Interior Secretary pick, the administration overall has no regard for public lands, and Congress and state governors have recognized this and have introduced legislation that strip Americans of public lands or allow drilling, mining, logging, and other destruction of our lands. It is very clear: Trump’s priorities are oil and gas and a dying coal industry over public lands. (More here.)
  • As the world’s sole leader that does not believe in climate change, Trump is likely to disrupt the critical achievements of the Paris Treaty by pulling out of the agreement. Even Bill O’Reilly thinks this is a bad move! To quote Yvon Chouinard, “If you’ve got a politician that’s running for office who thinks he’s smarter than 98% of the world’s climate scientists, they’re crooks or they’re dumbasses.” (More here.)
  • Trump nominated and Congress approved of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is what protects are rivers, streams, lakes, beaches, bays, and wetlands. Of course, the EPA is also what defends public health against corrupt and destructive industries and practices. It would be difficult to find one other person with more contempt for the EPA. While fracking-caused earthquakes destroyed property in the state, Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times and has little regard for the EPA. The climate change denying Pruitt believes that the EPA’s regulation of fossil fuel companies over mercury poisoning go too far. As Attorney General, it was Pruitt’s job to defend the law and the residents of Oklahoma. Instead, he served fossil fuel and chemical companies, even copying and pasting their language from emails and putting it into lawsuits against environmental protections. Though suing the EPA on behalf of polluters, Pruitt never took legal action against the natural gas companies that have greatly impacted the ecosystems and citizens of Oklahoma. Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than California. (More here.)
  • It is expected that next week will bring sweeping cuts to important environmental priorities in the government. We will soon know what this means, but it is anticipated that NOAA will see a 17% budget cut. This will catastrophic to climate change research. (More here.)

We have all seen treasured fisheries decline. We all know how difficult it is to recover an ecosystem that has been impacted by pollution, mining, drilling, or logging. And of course, we are rapidly losing access to rivers and public lands. We might never recover from much of the first two months of the Trump Administration.

While many don’t want fly fishing to be politicized, doing nothing is a political move as well. And with so much under attack, we have no choice.

— Tim Harden

55 thoughts

  1. Keep your liberal progressive views to yourself. These false claims are nothing more than you being a sheep and believing the lying left media. Talk about fly fishing and base your opinions on facts rather than opinion.

    1. Derrick… please learn to read and address the REAL issues at hand. Don’t put your head in the sand.

    2. Nothing about your comment makes any sense. Opinions can be formed in any matter one chooses. They are in fact, opinions and are only bound by ones thoughts and feelings. Certainly not by someone else’s.

    3. You prefer only conservative regressive views be expressed? Apparently you never read the article or are too simple minded to tell the difference between fact and opinion. No surprise really, considering you’re a conservative.

    4. There are bullet pointed facts in the article. They are really simple to follow and indisputable facts. Bullet points are the little black dots before each fact. Also, why should he keep his views to himself? Freedom of expression is a rather fine liberty that we should all exercise. Please keep expressing yourselves, and if I don’t like what you are saying, I can always change the channel. Kudos for a fine article.

    5. Derrick are you going to tell those people in Oklahoma that the earthquakes they’re feeling is all a government lie? Also saying these are lies is kind of dumb considering that a lot these things stated were what republican congressmen and senators as well as President trump said they were going to do. Not to mention just about every news source liberal and conservative announced when trump made another executive order on this matter. Speaking of executive orders didn’t everyone complain about Obama using executive orders simply because he couldn’t do anything otherwise, i have seen executive orders come from trump since day one. maybe you don’t care but when i’m and old person i would like to see everything intact and not destroyed for a couple gallons of oil or some lumber thank you very much.

    6. Aaah! “Freedom of Speech” so politely being asked to walk out the door. So, is this list that Mr. Harden has presented an utter fabrication and complete BS? Let me see the proof that it’s false!

      Seems his list is the same as many social media and press agencies around the world. Of course they must all be full of BS! Flyfishermen around the world will watch this issue with great interest.

    7. Derrick, In the USA (so far), nobody needs to keep their views to themselves (and obviously you aren’t).
      However, if you’re going to make broad-brush claims about the above issues and the so-called “lying left media”, why don’t you offer some credible evidence for your views? The list of information above is based on fact. It is not “progressive views”. Is there some way to interpret it otherwise or are you just parroting the alt-right anti-anything that might be “liberal”? If there are any benefits for the environment, particularly our rivers and lakes and the future of fishing, deriving from the actions of the present administration, I’d like to hear about them. Given the tone of your comment, I’m expecting either more vitriol or “crickets”, but I’d be happy to be wrong about that.

      As for the “lying left media”, we all know you didn’t come up with that idea or that phrase by yourself. You heard it from the alt-right propaganda machine so maybe you should think some more about who the sheep are.

  2. Keep up the good work! Those in denial will eventually realize what’s going on and that they’ve been conned by people who don’t care about our waters and the creatures that live in them.

  3. Its such a shame!!!…living in the Netherlands it is hard to follow this stupid shit happening…also opening the doors to this stupidity in other parts of the world… #DUTHELECTIONS

  4. Thanks for pointing the blame squarely where it belongs – at Trump and his cohorts – and for sharing such a cogent, comprehensive list of the issues. If sportsmen don’t push back soon, and hard, we’re going to lose the places we fish and we will consign our children and grandchildren to a world we’d never, ever want for ourselves.

  5. Thanks for educating those that can’t seem to connect the dots. The “SCROTUS”, is gonna leave some deep scars before he’s gone unfortunately.

  6. Media makes things out worse then they really are. Has anyone seen what mess at dakota access was left behind. They were worried about pollution yet that’s what those pigs were doing “protesting”. In my opinion people need to get facts straight. Media people are morons and would write anything for a $$$.

    1. first off they were NOT given time to clean up second off , what they did was burn what could not be taken, all you can do is sit back in your high and mighty chair and throw blame at others , what are you doing to try and protect water ‘ uh ? nothing I guess your another one of those that can take a can of oil and drink it down with a chaser of beer , yep goes to show how much intelligent your daddy put in that blooming flower pot before you blossomed into the blooming idiot that called others morons !!!!!!

  7. A fine job of political hackery. Your article fails to address the long needed, but new-to-DC approach to government agencies; They must now proof that they are in fact necessary or necessary at their current size and cost. Any rational, unbiased person who has been paying attention knows that our federal agencies are packed with incompetence, redundancy, weak leadership, poor hiring decisions, lack of accountability and corruption. And your naivety about scientist is not a failing that Trump shares. Having been married to a PhD research scientist for 29 years I know that In the real world, scientist are vulnerable to corruption due to direct conflicts of interest. Most researchers are funded via grants. They must produce results that help them to obtain grants, otherwise they get no paycheck. Also, their is an inferiority complex within the science community. They work longer and harder to obtain their degrees than do most MDs. Compared to the brains and effort required to earn science PhD, a JD is a walk in the park. However, the PhD earns low wages and receives little credit for their accomplishments. Many of them envy MD’s and JD’s and will jump at the chance to “be somebody.” I have answered my home phone and had a US Senator ask to speak to my wife. She refused the Senator’s request. However, few people have her unflinching character. If a grant approval is riding on an outcome desired by powerful people, then guess what? So please get your head out of your ass. I notice that you did not mention the HUGE amount of pollution that the pipeline “protesters” left behind?? This does not bode well for your credibility. Our nation is in the most deplorable state that it has been in in my 55 years. The EPA is rank with corruption as are many federal offices. It is time for a non-politician, beholding to no one, to clean house.

    1. Rob,
      I’ve never seen someone make an appeal to authority on such vague, non specified credentials that their spouse may or may not actually possess. Nicely done!

      Just about every talking point you listed about scientists seems topically plausible. How do I know this? Because Fox & Breitbart tell us so. And it’s not like the have any axes to grind for the massive inferiority complex they display daily when stacked against far more reputable & centrist sources. Besides, we all know the Big Willy lifestyle(s) belong to the lobbyists who spend billions besmirching & discrediting those fancy free-wheeling scientists.😋

      One final thought. Fly fisherman as whole tend to be a tad more educated than the rest of the angling public. Most of us have taken college level Plilosophy &/or debate courses and could spot fallacious arguments even if we were in a Ben Carson induced coma.

      So in the future, when you make truth claims…It would behoove you to back them up with verified facts. Not second hand spousal supposition or partisanly biased anecdotal nonsense. And it would be aces if you could also scale back the appeals to emotion & ad hominems.

      Thanks bud!

    2. “poor hiring decisions”…you mean like bending over backwards to give unqualified veterans a preference in federal hiring?

  8. For Mr Trump, I quote a wise old sage professor when, while working on my Ecotoxicolgy degree, “Anxiety driven obession always results in failure”. “If an argument between the environment and a politician arise,, believe the environment”. He was right and his name is Aldo Leopold.

  9. Donald Trump’s America. Set your time machine back 100 years to the bad old days of polluted rivers and air and endangered species. It’s tragic. But let’s not just “take it”. BE VOCAL! Call your do-nothing Congressmen and demand they protect our environment! Demand that they investigate the BIG NARCISSIST Trump and his clown car cabinet of millionaire climate deniers for links to Russia. We can’t let this stand! The consequences are too dear!

  10. President Trump will look to nearly wipe out a federal Great Lakes cleanup fund.

    A document from the National Association of Clean Air Agencies says the White House is considering a 97 percent reduction in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding for Great Lakes restoration. The program — currently a $300 million account — would receive only $10 million under the proposed budget, Michigan Live reported Friday.

    This will be devastating to the Great Lakes Region. Lake Erie as well as the rest of the Great Lakes face many issues from contamination to invasive species. This money is needed to help protect the greatest collection of fresh water in the world. Stand and fight for what we have or loose it.

  11. I don’t follow your blog for your political opinions. Keep it up and I am gone.

    1. Do you think that the public lands issue could effect our sport or are they mutually exclusive topics? Dialogue welcome…

  12. Both sides are to blame, we can have both ecology and economy,in my business I do my best to recycle reuse,and conserve, but the more regulations I have to deal with, I have less to spend on the ecology and the needy. There are so many lazy people out there sucking the life out of our economy. The more you give them the more that they suck, Dems it is time to make them work, and Republicans and Dems to quit your childish bickering and start to cut regulations, taxes, and handouts. Pretty soon there won’t be enough of us to pay the bills, and tax the rich and poor and the middle all the same. Tax the rich more and they leave the country and take their money with them. Did you also notice how many millionaires there are in congress, I rest my case

  13. Are you so short sided that you truly believe that a vote for Clinton would have changed anything? While you may not be happy with the results, don’t blame this administration so quickly.

    1. Yes – NO DOUBT that the environment will always be better with a liberal administration. Just look at the League of Conservation Voters scorecard. ALL of the 100% scores are liberals…ALL of the zero scores are conservatives. Don’t blame the administration? Are you kidding – who do you think is responsible for the current rollbacks in environmental protections – McGruff the Crime Dog? All they want to do is to make sure Uday & Qusay have exotic game ranches where they can go blast sub-Saharan Bambi.

  14. We are not losing fly fishing. Trump is pro-sportsman. His son has his own hunting show. He isn’t taking away fly fishing you stupid liberals😂😂 Talk shit about Trump all you want but he his your president. And a hell of a lot better than Hillary

    1. Trump’s boys aren’t sportsmen, they are killers. They know nothing about the animals they slaughter. They do not hunt, track, stalk or locate their quarry. They pay professional guides to do that. All they do is pull the trigger and pose for photos. A true outdoorsman is someone who is intimately familiar with wilderness not the polished surfaces of board rooms, penthouses and private jets. Indoors or out, better men than Trump and his sons could be carved out of three boiled yams.

  15. I think it’s amusing the the guys giving Tim the most grief for his “opinions ” are conveniently not paying attention to the actual facts that he refers to. Not surprising from folks who think New York Times is fake news and Fox us real news

  16. Here is a way to get involved and make your voices heard on several of these issues. You can easily send messages to your members of Congress and the President: Calling congressional offices is easy and it works. We are also leading lobby visits to state capitals and the nation’s Capitol. Republican or Democrat; whether you agree with this blog or not; every angler needs to make their voices heard to ensure we have things like clean water, access to public lands, and funding for conservation. Apathy is the enemy!

  17. The de-regulation of the water act is just to combat government over reach. It allows them to regulate what kind of water you can use on your own property. Before you couldn’t even “legally” collect rain water for use. That could go as far as saying you can’t use water out of your wells. As far as the pipelines, look at the mess the “environmental” protesters left to be cleaned up.

  18. I think the trash from a protestor is easier to clean up than an oil spill. Probably not a fair comparison.

  19. This is the problem that I’ve seen with republicans, any view or opinion that doesn’t agree with what they believe should just be kept to yourself- how is caring about our land have anything to do with your political beliefs??? This article was great- if it was an article saying ‘I love trump but what he’s going to do to the EPA isn’t right’ then would you have actually read it???
    Side note I did not vote for the fool and I am fully disgusted with the lack of respect the clown has our fragile Mother Earth.. definitely afraid to see the outcome of our clean water and work towards clean renewable energy..

  20. So far Trump isn’t doing anything that Teddy Roosevelt didn’t do. For those who have not read up on Roosevelt while taking actions to ensure access and preservation to the outdoors Roosevelt found a balance with massive reclamation projects and various things that made America strong and provided the common outdoorsmen with the economic means of enjoying the outdoors. Today elitism has hit in so deeply there are those who just don’t care about that any more.

  21. Poppycock!

    Trump or no President is killing fly fishing or anything else. He may be implementing policy that threatens environmental issues but you know what that’s our responsibility and problem….. not his. If you want to protect the Enviroment then now its time to step up and do what you and I can do to make sure things don’t get out of control and demand the Enviroment continues to be adequately protected. If Fly Fishing is ever going to be ruined it will be directly yours, mine and the communities fault from lack of action.

    ”Ask not what you country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”!

  22. We needed some more of this before and during the campaign, but it’s never too late to call a spade a spade.

    I encourage people to talk to climate scientists and people associated with the work. To suggest that they are in the bag, all in cahoots, across multiple displines, and sectors is absurd at best. What is baffling is that this seems to be the only subject that people dispute all of the experts, and the only happen to live in the one country that has a dedicated effort to dispute and obfuscate the fact.

    1. Anthony you might ought to follow your own advice because of the topic of climate there is no consensus that action needs to be taken regarding climate.

      1. Yeah, no consensus, Only like 98% of the world’s scientists. We have the idiot Trump saying global warming is all a hoax started by China to hurt US businesses . But China is planning a major investment in renewable energy development within the next 4 years. I guess that is all part of their elaborate hoax. lol.

  23. I guess we should let the EPA continue to pollute / destroy rivers as in CO. I guess we should continue to believe what multiple Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, APS presidents have called a hoax and that is supported by only corrupt temp readings from East Angelia, NOAA, NASA. I guess Hillary turning America into Venezuela would be preferable for fly fishermen – probably the only way to feed oneself after Prog policies really take hold.

    1. Sources? (or to put it in the vernacular: where do you get this bullshit?)

      Mulitple Nobel laureates? Exactly 1 – Ivar Giaever in 2011. In 2015, 65 Nobel laureates gathered in Germany along with 650 scientists from 88 countries to issue a call to action on global warming.

      IPCC scientists? The Intergovernmental Panel on CLIMATE CHANGE overwhelmingly agrees there is no hoax about human climate change.

      APS presidents? None. In 2010 one member resigned over his dispute with American Physical Society position on CC. A Breibart article spun this way to the right as usual. “The official position of the APS supports the theory that man’s actions have inexorably led to the warming of the planet, through increased emissions of carbon dioxide.”

      Corrupt temps? The East Anglia incident was an isolated incident that has been repeated ad nauseum. Even smart people do stupid things now and then.You can find a few rogue blogs disputing the claims of NASA and NOAA as opposed to hundreds of legitimate organizations that back them up.

      As for the percentages often quoted (between 84 and 97%), they are only an indicator and the issue is much more complicated but the percentages do suggest that dismissing the problem as a liberal hoax is extremely dangerous. The verifiable global changes over the last several decades should cause anyone resonable concern. When I was fishing commercially in Alaska 50 years ago, I took a hike on Columbia Glacier and the places I hiked are now 3 or 4 miles away from the nearest ice. The situation is far worst in parts of the Arctic. Check Youtube for some sobering videos of what’s happening around the world. The decade-long famine in Syria was a direct result of global climate change and a direct cause of the present refugee situation. Etc. etc… There are more reliable sources for this data than Breitbart and Fox News.

      Try or one of the other fact checking sites some time. I know, I can hear the tired line about how all the online fact checkers are liberal-biased (especially Snopes) but FYI, here is an article that reviews all the online fact checkers. This is from a very conservative newspaper in Florida that endorsed Trump during the campaign.

  24. The sky is falling !!! The sky is falling !!…….. I gotta go dig up some liberal worms to use with my 5wt sterling silver overlaid reel (made it myself), custom 4wt. Winston rod( late Barry Bono made)…… Where did I put my old handmade orange cork bobber with the sterling silver peg ?

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