The Craft Lager That’s Saving Our Rivers

The Craft Lager That’s Saving Our Rivers

Why a brewer of fine beers is fighting to keep our water sparkling, our trout frisky, and our brews crisp.

Way back when, about 11 years ago, long before quality craft beer in a can was much of a thing, Upslope co-founder Henry Wood was catching up with his old NOLS instructor colleague and pal Tom Reed—Trout Unlimited’s Angler Conservation Program Director—over a beer. Reed wanted to take the conservation group’s 1% For Rivers program national. And Wood was gearing up to do the same with their new Colorado born Craft Lager. If you’re envisioning some affirmative head-nodding you have the right idea. The gist of it? Buy a Craft Lager and one percent of the gross sales goes to the Trout Unlimited chapter in the state where you bought it. That’s “gross” not “net,” which translates to no small sum. Since just 2015, Upslope has donated $60,000 to the cause. “Beer and trout have a lot in common,” says Reed. “They both depend on clean water.”

Fishing and Craft Lager, A Great Pairing

What you drink matters. That’s true regardless of your passions, but if you’re into fly fishing, it’s especially relevant. Why wouldn’t you buy a beer that helps restore and protect rivers? Also, Craft Lager comes in cans, which are the perfect vessels for your vessel. Cans are lighter to ship, reducing the carbon footprint, and they’re easier to recycle than glass. There’s almost no waste: If Americans recycled every can, 96 percent of that aluminum would get repurposed. As for pairing, it doesn’t hurt that this crisp, straw-colored lager is sessionable. “It’s an easy drinking, 4.8 percent alcohol, American made all grain lager,” says Wood. “It’s tough to crush higher alcohol IPAs and steer a driftboat.”

The Upslope Crew Walks the Talk

Just as it’s hard to find a mountain biker or hiker that doesn’t see the value of spending an afternoon standing in a cold stream with a rod in hand, it’s hard to find an Upslope employee that isn’t willing to wade into river conservation work. “Beyond our donations to Trout Unlimited, we’ve physically done stream restoration as a company for years,” says Wood. “We coordinate with Rocky Mountain Anglers here in Boulder on Boulder Creek, and on South Boulder Creek in Eldorado Canyon State Park pulling out weeds and rebuilding banks. Our employees get two paid days off a year to donate their time to nonprofit work.”

The Smith River Thanks You

Like the Grand Canyon is to whitewater boaters, the Smith River in Central Montana is to fly fishers—one of the crown jewels. As such, it’s the only float in the nation that requires a permit—which you draw for much like choice elk habitat. To call that float “coveted” would be an understatement. But now a proposed hard rock copper mine on Sheep Creek near the put-in for the Smith is jeopardizing that storied waterway. With money that comes in part from Craft Lager sales, Trout Unlimited is paying lawyers to fight the Australian company pushing the mine and hiring an educator to travel the state singing the virtues of the Smith. “There’s a checkered history of hard rock mining in the state of Montana,” says Reed. “But even though Montana’s mining laws are friendly to international corporations we’ve given them a good fight. We don’t think that’s an appropriate place for a mine. And we aren’t alone. We have good grounds for a lawsuit. I’m hopeful that with continued support t we’ll win.”

Upslope’s Commitment Has Only Grown

Upslope is now one of only two certified B Corp breweries in Colorado, and one of only about 30 worldwide. What’s that mean for the average fly fisher in search of malted beverages? A lot actually. B Corp status depends on a commitment to three overarching promises to take care of employees, the community that the business touches, and the environment. Because Upslope has been committed to such goals since day one, it earned B Corp certification on the first bid. Now the challenge is to constantly improve to meet B Corp’s evermore exacting standards. Much of that challenge falls on Upslope Sustainability Coordinator Elizabeth Waters—who started out at the brewery in the tasting room as a bartender with an environmental degree. “Our biggest blind spot was our supply chain,” says Waters. “Unlike employee benefits and environmental initiatives, we didn’t have any set policy around how we source materials. Now we’re chipping away at it vigorously. It’s the little things that add up. And those little actionable initiatives get identified by our employees. Like when a hops supplier recently switched from non-recyclable paper bags lined with plastic to full paper. That simple move keeps tons of waste from the landfill. We hope to be 85 percent to our zero waste soon.”

Check Out Upslope Brewing

2020 Fly Fishing Film Tour Virtual Event

2020 Fly Fishing Film Tour Virtual Event

How does the 2020 Virtual F3T work?

Go to https://flyfilmtour.com/buy-tickets/ and find an event closest to your geographic location. Tickets will be available starting August 3rd. The event will start on August 27th at 7:00 PM (EST). After purchasing a ticket you will be able to watch the film for up to one week after purchase. In addition to the 2020 films we will also be announcing some free content that comes along with your purchase around mid-August. You won’t be disappointed.

National Tour Events

There will be over 50 sponsor raffles prizes given away for the national tour shows with a total value exceeding $50,000. If you choose to purchase your ticket to a national tour event, a limited number of F3T hats and buffs will be available for you to pick up from the fly shops listed on the event page. You can also find links on these pages to support raffles or donate to local conservation and non-profit groups.

Independently Promoted Events

The independently promoted events will have separate fundraisers and raffles to support local conservation and non-profit organizations. Each promoter has an opportunity to customize their event page so they will all look different. More than a dozen groups will be raising funds for important fly fishing based non-profit projects. Even if you purchase a ticket to a national tour event, make sure you support their raffles.

The Show

Once you have purchased your ticket you will have access to a special 10 minute waiting room video before the event begins! If you manage to watch the entire video you will have an opportunity to put your name into the raffle twice. This is a special offer. Included in the waiting room is a description of all the sponsor prizes, special giveaways, a digital Stonefly Magazine, and trailers to get your excited for the films. This is the first time ever we are giving audience members an opportunity to put their name into the raffle twice! Don’t miss out.

Films

The show will kick off around 6:30 PM (EST) with a walk-in slide show. Featuring behind the scenes pictures from the film, fun music and fresh content it will keep you entertained. It will be the perfect opportunity to crack a beer and wait for the kick off. Similar to a live event, the show will be cohosted and have an introduction, intermission and conclusion. Our lineup this year is a perfect split between freshwater, saltwater, domestic and international films. We’ve had tremendous feedback on our line-up so far, and we are sure you will enjoy it.

Prizes

Simms Dry Creek Z Backpack

Hopper Flip 18 YETI Cooler

Costa Sunglasses

Colorado LT, Animas and Gunnison Ross Reels

Amplitude Scientific Angler Fly Lines

Thomas & Thomas Fly Rods

Oskar Blue Bar Lights

A trip to the Seychelles courtesy of Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures & Alphonse fishing lodge.

Special Prizes

Simms Fishing Products

The men’s package includes a pair of G4Z Waders, G4 Pro Jacket, G4 Pro Boots, Extreme Bi-comp Hoody, Solar Flex Plus Hoody, and featured hats. The women’s package includes a pair of G3Z Waders, G3 Jacket, Fly Weight Boots, Mid Current Jacket, Solar Flex Hoody, and featured hats.

YETI Coolers

The package includes the new Trailhead Camp Chair, new Roadie Cooler, new Loadout Go Box, New Day Trip Lunch Box, Stackable 10 oz Mugs, Stackable 12 oz Pint, 25 oz Rambler with a Chug Cap, 1 Gallon Rambler, Custom F3T 12 oz Yeti Rambler with Hot Shot Lid, Yeti Rambler Straw Cap, Tie-Down Kit and featured hats.

Costa Sunglasses

The package includes a pair of sunglasses of your frame and lens choice for a man and woman. Featuring new all the new models! The package also includes a 45 L Duffle, Sunglass Retainers, Cleaning Cloth’s, and featured hats.

Don’t forget those tickets! https://flyfilmtour.com/buy-tickets/

 

Time Tested: YETI Tocayo Backpack

Time Tested: YETI Tocayo Backpack

We’ve always been a fan of YETI products and the first thing you see when this pack arrives is its durability. This pack has been floating around the back of a small Cessna, bottom of a boat, back of a pick-up and quite honestly dragged through the dessert more than once. When all was said and done the “Stand-up Construction” still stood up.

In part because of the shell which includes a water-repellant coating, a PU-backed 1000D nylon face, and 210D ripstop backer. Which means its rugged and will stand up to some of the harshest critics when it comes to durability.

The second standing point for this pack is its functionality. We like simple and the multi-use functionality easily allowed us to go from board room to back woods without skipping a beat. Fly Fishing gear, sunglasses, and even a shelter for your laptop if for some reason work comes calling during the pursuit.

Our one gripe was size, at times it did seem overkill for the short-trip but the side handle is key when needing to carry it more like a brief case or duffle than a pack.

With it all said and done this pack withstood the test of time and its two main features speak loudly, durable and functional. What more could you want in a pack.

 

Hidden Values of Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Hidden Values of Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Words by Joe Starinchak

Today, outdoor recreation is a big business that includes multiple activities, different sectors and an annual contribution of $889 billion to the country’s economy.  However, in spite of the sector’s size and diversity, the government is only involved in a few of these activities through licensing and registration processes.  More specifically, participants in hunting, fishing and boating either are required to buy licenses or submit annual registrations to government agencies.

What is interesting about government-run licensing and registration processes is that not much has changed over time.  Today, hunters, anglers and boaters can do much of the same things needed to get their licenses or registration online through agency websites; however, the perception of having to endure a bureaucratic process still exists.  Additionally, the unspoken values that a customer gets in return for purchasing a license or registering his or her watercraft remain vastly under promoted.  Besides securing the legal right to hunt, fish and harvest an animal or to use your watercraft, anglers, hunters and boaters also receive a bundle of lesser known rights, values and responsibilities – we call this bundle the hidden values of a hunting, fishing and boating.  Unfortunately, these agencies have not effectively communicated about these values, which helps to create an ethically driven culture compelled by conservation behaviors that protect the environment, species and habitat.

Hunting and fishing all create impacts to the environment and the licensing/registration processes represent a critical part of a longstanding user-pay model that has funded conservation for over eighty years to help offset these various impacts.  This federal-state-industry partnership has been a very powerful collaborative conservation model. 

When hunters, anglers and boaters engage in a transaction with a state fish & wildlife agency, they exchange money to secure a legal right to hunt, fish or boat and harvest an animal or fish.  Included within this right is the basic acknowledgement of a state’s authority to manage fish, wildlife and waterways and to abide by the various regulations that govern these activities.  While this partnership has been very successful over the past eight decades, a lot has changed and now is the time to improve the partnership and maximize the hidden values of these activities to help elevate conservation.

The impacts that hunting, fishing and boating all create, their foundations are grounded in an ethical framework.  While the framework differs between activities, the overall focus is on safety and conserving the environment.  Unfortunately, with today’s culture of busyness and a lack of time; these processes have been reduced to financial transactions and the ethical conservation frameworks have become an afterthought. 

Regardless of this reality, obtaining a license or registration is still key touchpoint to engage prospective customers in conservation.  With the transaction’s exchange of legal rights for money, this specific interaction represents an ideal opportunity to promote conservation’s ethical framework.  At the end of the day, these licensing and registration processes not only generate money, they also provide a critical opportunity to communicate with customers – in essence, these bureaucratic processes have an embedded communications platform that can be maximized to promote conservation. 

Since we are now living in the age of internet, information has become much more accessible and technologies like smartphones have changed how we consume information and interact with one another.  The federal-state-industry partnership that has been so successful in funding conservation needs to adapt and use this new technology to sell licenses, promote boater registrations and elevate the ethical culture that is so important to these activities.

Fortunately, a forward-thinking company, Pursuit has focused on these processes and has developed a refined smartphone application that allows state agencies to sell licenses, promote boater registrations while also elevating conservation’s ethical framework.  Besides helping the states, the Pursuit also helps hunters, anglers and boaters by simplifying the licensing and registration processes with an organized license utility and real-time field-mapping program for mobile devices.

This new smartphone technology makes these processes much more accessible and the Pursuit app’s multi-purpose functionality and its communication capabilities can be leveraged as a targeted conservation messaging platform that helps sportsmen remember their obligations and ethics while in the field or on the water.  Research shows that when organizations deliver repetitive messages at key points, the receiver is more likely to answer the call to action.  With technology being part of our everyday lives, now is the time to take advantage of smartphone technology to help with the licensing and registration processes and elevate the ethical foundation for interacting with nature by pushing out the critical conservation messages.   

Besides registering your boat and buying your license, hunting, fishing and boating all have specific and important conservation principles that influence these activities.  Fair Chase, an ethical approach to hunting big game animals where the animals are wild and free-ranging, and not confined by artificial barriers is one of the more influential principles for hunting.  In a similar vein, the practice of catch & release influences anglers to use this conservation practice to unhook and return to the fish to water.  This maintains healthy fish populations and allows anglers to catch fish again.  With boating, stopping aquatic hitchhikers is another influential conservation practice.  Boats can inadvertently move non-native species to other waters, so it is important for boaters to clean, drain and dry their equipment and prevent the spread of these harmful species.  Ultimately, with a growing population and interest in the outdoors, these ethics must be practiced vigilantly to help conserve game species and their habitat. 

In addition to the conservation-driven values, a host of other values and benefits exist that a person gains access to when they purchase a hunting or fishing license or register their boat with their respective state agency.  To effectively position this communications platform and to elevate the conservation ethics, it is important to highlight these other features.  Below is listing of some of the other values and benefits that people can access when they buy a license or register their boat.

  • Access to awe – Nature is incredible and by purchasing a license or registering watercraft, people purposefully choose to access the outdoors, whether it’s the mountains, rivers, open space or wildlife populations.  This choice gives us access to Nature, its beauty, healing powers and connectivity.
  • Improved mental and physical health – Whether you fish, hunt or boat, these activities require you to be fit and skillful in your engagement of Nature.  Also, with incredible therapeutic value, Nature gets us out of our heads and into a world where we are part of something larger.  Harvard and other research institutions show that Nature interactions are very beneficial to our mental health and hunting, fishing and boating get us into Nature and create connections to life all around us.
  • Stronger family and friend relationships – One of the best things about choosing to engage in hunting, fishing and boating are the relationships we have and the value that these experiences can create for them. With Nature, we see each from a different perspective and strengthen our relationships with each other.
  • An escape from everyday life – Modern day life is hectic and chaotic.  We are under pressure to make money to feed our families and pay our mortgages.  These pressures mount and create undue amounts of stress.  By engaging in Nature, we can escape this chaos and rejuvenate ourselves with our escape from modern society.
  • A spiritual connection with other living things – Activities like hunting and fishing require concentration and skill.  Once this mental stamina is built and the skills are realized, hunters and anglers begin to notice things around them, like the rise of a trout sipping a mayfly, the majesty of a moose in the wild or the wind whispering through the aspens.  These experiences help you to appreciate Nature, it’s vibrancy and all of its creatures and it makes you want to share these experiences with others, because you begin to realize what is truly important.
Where it all Started – 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour

Where it all Started – 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour

 

Where It All Started

Karlie Roland learned to fish on the Henry’s Fork river in Idaho. Her family has a cabin in Island Park and they’ve been going there since the early 80s. Last fall she took a job at Trouthunter Lodge and returned to the river where it all started. The new gig and her move back to Island Park represents a homecoming of sorts for Karlie. She’ll be the first to tell you that the Henry’s Fork feels like home.

About a month before her job officially started she made a trip to Island Park to meet up with her family for a few days of fishing. She got to guide her dad and grandpa. Grandma was there too, but she let the boys and Karlie have at it. Local guide Keegan Barrett also joined the crew. What followed was four days of Idaho fly fishing at it’s best. The Henry’s Fork is sacred water and for good reason. The river is full of healthy fish, the surroundings are postcard-perfect and the fly fishing culture is as rich as it gets. Simply put: Island Park is a trout bum’s paradise. That’s why Karlie decided to move there.

Karlie has spent the last three years in West Seattle working for Emerald Water Anglers. And while her time in the NW has served as a jumping off point and offered up countless sea-run fish to catch, Karlie’s heart is in the Rocky Mountains. So, she traded the urban apartment for a cabin in the woods.

Where It All Started offers a glimpse into the fishing lives of Karlie and the rest of the Roland family. Four generations of Rolands have fished the Henry’s Fork and now Karlie is continuing the tradition.