Anglers love gear almost as much as their favorite fishing hole. If you want to hit the water and leverage your dollars, consider a few buys that give back.
Fish bums are a curious bunch. We tell ourselves we’re saving cash by tying our own flies, then buy enough feathers and flash to bedazzle our tying desk like the Vegas strip. We sleep in our trucks near the Henry’s Fork because we won’t spring for a hotel, but we’ll drop the same amount that night at the Last Chance Bar.
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to buy great fly fishing gear from brands that give back to worthy causes. This fishing season, check out these products from brands that align with non-profits.
Public Land Owner Shirt ($25)
This land is your land. And with fishable water constantly at risk of being sold to the highest bidder, anglers can wear their support of public lands on their sleeve. Funds from shirt sales go to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ mission: Preventing the sale of federally protected land. This cotton/poly blend v-neck shirt comes in styles for men and women with “Public Land Owner” on the front and “Keep Public Lands in Public Hands” on the back.
Ah yes, back to that net upgrade. The Fishpond Nomad net, sporting the Trout Unlimited logo, is made with carbon fiber material and coated with a tough finish. With a fish-friendly basket, the net is lightweight, durable, UV-protected, and won’t sink. The custom skin and Trout Unlimited logo reminds anglers that their purchase offers a boost to coldwater fisheries — 89-percent of your donation goes toward conservation initiatives.
Costa Kick Plastic Tote ($12)
While fly fishers may be recycling more than ever, we’re also creating more trash than ever, according to sunglasses brand Costa. This means our oceans are choked by plastic bags, bottles, and other harmful garbage. In fact, more than two-thirds of ocean fish now test positive for plastics. And more than one million seabirds die from consuming plastic each year. Costa’s Kick Plastic campaign encourages fishermen to ditch single-use water bottles and plastic bags.
Washington state residents can drive home the importance of conserving native steelhead populations with an endangered wildlife license plate, featuring artwork by Derek DeYoung. The plate raises money for the 21st Century Salmon & Steelhead Initiative to retool hatchery operations, create sustainable fisheries, and support wild fish recovery. You can also gift a plate by clicking here.
Other states, like Colorado, have similar plates. Check your local DMV to see if an option is available.
CfR Sightline Cuff ($50)
If you don’t already have a Sightline leather cuff adorning your wrist, you’re probably planning to get one. (Or aggressively dropping hints to a loved one.)
Best of all, when you buy a Sightline limited edition cuff from Casting for Recovery, your purchase helps sponsor a breast-cancer survivor to attend a remarkable fly-fishing retreat. CfR offers women inspiration and healing connections with other women and nature through fly fishing.
Looking for a YETI full of good ideas? The Bonefish Tarpon Trust (BTT) custom-logo YETI Tundra 45 has all the cooler brand’s muscle with a conscience. Anglers can keep drinks cold and showcase support for BTT’s mission to conserve and restore bonefish, tarpon, and permit fisheries and habitats through research, stewardship, and advocacy.
–Hilary Hutcheson is a professional angler and guide.