Last spring, I stumbled on a blog post by a Midwesterner describing her experience in the Rocky Mountain Flyathlon and realized that I had found my ideal event! (Thank you Heidi!) Finding the Driftless Flyathlon page brought the event even closer to home.
I haven't been fly fishing that many years, and I had not been running much either, so when the 2020 Socially Distant Flyathlon Challenge was announced, it was the perfect excuse to work on both my fishing and running as we navigated the first summer of COVID. I picked a really hot and humid day in the MN Driftless to run my challenge, and had so much fun that I decided to write a blog post about it. Running Rivers Blog - First Flyathlon, Best Flyathlon
I am really excited to have the opportunity to participate in person this year. Competition and fly fishing are not something that I really like to combine, but this event seems like a great chance to fish some new water, meet some new people, push myself a little bit, and raise some funds for a good cause.
Event Fundraising Goal: $10,000 Campaign
Tax ID: 81-1625829
At Running Rivers, we firmly believe that the best way to ensure the preservation, protection, and maintenance of our irreplaceable public lands and waters is to develop and foster the stewards who will stand up in their defense. Our programs create unique opportunities for people to experience public lands and waters in novel and fun ways, to expand their depth of understanding of the importance of healthy functioning freshwater ecosystems, and to invest in their time, money, and sweat through on-the-ground stewardship projects. The Driftless Flyathlon is a unique, conservation-minded race event that integrates three of the world's greatest activities; trail running, fly-fishing, and craft beer. The premise is simple...
run. fish. beer.
Most importantly, the Driftless Flyathlon is a fundraising event for coldwater conservation projects, with a focus on native trout in Iowa. We will be raising money through our 501(c)(3) organization, Running Rivers. Since 2014, our Flyathlon races have raised more than $250,000 for native trout related projects in Iowa and Colorado, completed through our diverse conservation partners, including Iowa Trout Unlimited, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Trout Unlimited, the Western Native Trout Initiative, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
And while we are a Colorado-based 501(c)(3), rest assured that all funds raised through the Driftless Flyathlon will be spent on projects in Iowa!!! These are a couple of the projects that were taken on in 2018 with funds raised through past Driftless Flyathlon events:
- We have committed $25,000 to support a large-scale water quality improvement / bank stabilization effort within the Yellow River State Forest.
- We partnered with Iowa DNR to resurface the trails in the Yellow River State Forest to prevent erosion into the creeks and to make the trails more functional for recreation.
- We funded the construction of an educational kiosk in the Yellow River State Forest that will educate visitors about the importance of this ecosystem and the native brook trout that reside within.
- We funded a study that sampled a wild population of Iowa native brook trout for the collection and subsequent genetic analysis of fin clips to assess genetic uniqueness and purity of this population.
To see more projects that have been completed with Flyathlon funds in Colorado and Iowa over the past 5 years, please visit: http://runningrivers.org/projects/
Now is a critical time to invest in the preservation of our public lands and waters. Because Running Rivers is a recognized 501c3 organization, your donations are tax deductible. run. fish. beer. donate!