No fishing trip

In spite of all announcements and reporting, there are still people thinking that the “Intercontinental Trout Masterclass” was … an excuse for going fishing. We did fish, maybe not as much as some had hoped for, but this activity was merely to stress that we wish to connect the world of science, conservationists and the flyfishing community. The plea hereunder should explain once more?

“Nature, in all diversity and complexity, has fascinated me since childhood. I have fished longer than I can remember and started fly fishing at the age of ten or eleven. In a grail-like quest to find pristine rivers with wild, indigenous trout I experienced an ever increasing abuse of patrimony and resources all over. Having been involved, indirectly, in conservancy initiatives before, I felt like taking action myself. I established the Continental Trout Conservation Fund and got started.

My objective was and is to mobilize and connect those who have a heart for the trout. Why trout? On top of being all beauty and mystery, trout are the flagship species for coldwater ecosystems. Advocating for the wild and native trout means labouring for genetic diversity, richness of biodiversity, and environmental quality. These trout are the living manifestation of our rivers, and a key part of our natural heritage—if not the very soul of it. Ask any scientist, any conservationist, any (fly)fisherman.

We live in an era of unprecedented environmental challenges. Our waters, and the vital resources and natural heritage they possess, have been dredged, drained, diverted, polluted, overharvested, and neglected to the point that future generations may never get to experience the joy of free flowing rivers full of life. CTFC’s mission is to change that and reverse the tide, aiming at the sustainable preservation of watersheds, therewith safeguarding fauna and flora, the landscape, water, soils, air, and other natural resources. We do not want to do this by excluding people from the picture; on the contrary, we believe that conservation must occur in an economically and socially viable fashion as we are all part of the ecosystem.

My plea, in brief, is for so much more than for ‘just the trout’…”

René Beaumont