Meet some great conservation and non-profit fly fishing organizations worth supporting
Although we're a small shop, we love supporting conservation groups that work hard to protect the fisheries and the sport that we care about. If you are interested in doing your part please consider supporting one of the great conservation or non-profit organizations listed below.
Atlantic Salmon Conservation
Atlantic Salmon Federation
The Atlantic Salmon Federation is the foremost conservation group dedicated to protecting and conserving atlantic salmon. They take a science-based and advocacy approach to their work and we wouldn't have healthy salmon rivers without them. If you love atlantic salmon please consider becoming a member.
One of the linchpins of atlantic salmon conservation has been the buyout of commercial salmon fisheries. Developed by visionary Iceland conservationist Orri Vigfusson in 1996, NASF has saved an estimated 10 million salmon. Please consider supporting NASF with a contribution.
The Miramichi is the largest atlantic salmon watershed in North America, but it also faces the most serious challenges, including thermal rises and striped bass predation. Many conservations will tell you that "As goes the Miramichi, so goes North American salmon" which means that the MSA needs all hands on deck in terms of support. Please consider becoming a member to support this critical organization.
The Margaree is the gateway salmon river for many anglers, including us. It's unique, public access can make it crowded but the community here has a strong conservation ethic and sense of camaraderie. The MSA is a fantastic organization that protects this beautiful and unique river and if you fish the Margaree, please consider becoming a member.
Most salmon hatcheries have been met with healthy skepticism during the last decade, but we love what the folks at the Downeast Salmon Federation are doing in their East Machias, Maine facility. By borrowing a highly-successful technique pioneered in the UK, they focus on generating quality over quantity, developing "little athletes" that are right at home in their native waters. The hope is that DSF can save the last viable atlantic salmon runs in the United States. Please support them if you can.
Since 2000, the Wild Steelhead Coalition has been dedicated to increasing the return of wild steelhead to the waters of the west coast. They advocate on a variety of steelhead related conservation issues including hatchery reform, habitat restoration, habitat preservation, dam removal, and steelhead harvest.
Since 2008, the Native Fish Society has been a science-based advocacy organization focused on promoting the health of wild fish in wild rivers in the pacific northwest. They support a network of River Stewards that act as eyes and ears on the water, and advocate for hatchery reform and harvest regulation.
As one of the oldest and largest coldwater conservation groups in North America, Trout Unlimited needs no introduction. Founded in 1959, it now boasts 300,000 members who are connected to local chapters throughout the United States and Canada. TU has been a science-based advocate for clean water and healthy fisheries and have fought (and won) many major legislative and policy battles. They also take a bottom-up approach to river restoration and support many on-the-ground projects as well. If you're not a TU member, you should be!
We love our local TU chapter here in Western Massachusetts which has led the charge on a number of critical issues facing the Deerfield River. Whether it's dam relicensing or conducting critical spawning studies, we're proud to call this our local chapter. If you fish the Deerfield please consider joining or making a donation to support this critical work.
The Catskills are the birthplace of fly fishing in America, and since 1981 the CFFCM has been promoting the preservation of this important history. Not only is it a great repository of angling history, but the CFFCM has been a particularly strong supporter of the craft of bamboo fly rods and currently has the Everett Garrison rod shop among its many exhibits. If you love classic fly tackle and find yourself in the Catskills, this is a must-visit.
The American Museum of Fly Fishing was established in 1968 in Manchester, Vermont, and houses the worlds largest collection of angling and angling-related items (numbering in the thousands). The museum also puts out an excellent journal The American Fly Fisher, which is a must read for any student of the sport and its history.
Fly Fishers International is one of the oldest and largest fly fishing organizations in the world. Started in 1964 it has a broadly defined goal built around conservation, education, and community, and has been one of the biggest advocates for the promotion and evolution of fly fishing. Many anglers may also know it as the group which runs the casting certification program designed to promote and support casting fundamentals to new and experienced anglers alike.