Goats, Weeds, & Sustainability in Fly Fishing

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Mark Harbaugh explains proper grazing practices along Idaho's Falls River.

A few of the Silver Creek Outfitters crew were fortunate enough to meet with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and company this last week at Mark Harbaugh’s Goat Mountain Ranch in Ashton, Id. The agenda for the meeting was not only Patagonia’s 2012 product line, but also discussions about the heart and soul of fly fishing and perspectives of limiting impact and waste.  From noxious weed-devouring goats to the monetary cost and effects of hatchery steelhead, the conversations wandered throughout various fascinating topics and issues.

Yvon prepares a big bowl of treasure.

Fly fishing itself is an activity that rewards those who carefully observe the things going on around them. From the crusty old leather-necked veteran, to the sporty young kids, the anglers who are really sharp and catching fish are usually the one’s who are paying very close attention to the surroundings. Any person can claim to be “Green” or savvy of the ways of the world. But as anglers who spend time in and around the waters that are so often disputed, strained, and monetized, we are the stewards and the voice of what the rivers tell us. Nothing beats first hand knowledge, and the time invested in “stream research” sure beats sitting in front of that computer!

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