by April Acher, SaraBella Fishing CEO
At SaraBella Fishing, we commit to making the fly fishing world a more inclusive and welcoming place, which includes the protection of precious natural resources—fisheries and fish—for all generations of all anglers to come. Here in the Western U.S., our nostrils full of wildfire smoke, the threat of climate change seems palpable—but smoke or no smoke, the pressures of climate change are affecting fish and humans all over the world. That’s why we’re partnering with the Fly Fishing Climate Alliance to team up with others in the fly fishing industry to fight and protect our fisheries, wildlife, and humanity for decades to come.
Freshwater fish species are already struggling against the challenges of a warmer planet, and these challenges are only worsening: more pervasive and damaging wildfires, longer droughts, low flows, more extreme weather and flooding, higher air and water temps, and reduced snowpack, which means less cold water for fish across the heat of the summer. In our oceans, increased acidification, rising water levels and temps, and other climate-induced changes are wreaking havoc on our saltwater ecosystems and species. Across much of the U.S., these changes aren’t only affecting our rivers, lakes, and fish. They’re also seriously affecting our economies and the many individuals—the guides, fly shop owners and staff, etc.—who depend on outdoor recreation and tourism to make their living.
For these reasons, we at SaraBella Fishing have been committed to the fight against climate change since day one. Every custom SaraBella rod features a reel seat made locally out of reclaimed Colorado hardwood, as well as a cork grip made without the use of toxic chemicals. Beyond our use of sustainable, locally-sourced materials whenever possible, we’ve been operating under a remote work model since our company’s founding. Each of our rods has been hand-wrapped at our employees’ workshops across Colorado, significantly reducing our team’s annual carbon footprint. But our passion for conservation and our desire to be an industry leader in the fight against climate change is driving us to do more. We believe we’re stronger when we band together, and that’s why we’ve joined the Fly Fishing Climate Alliance, a collective of prominent guides, shops, lodges, and brands that have committed to going carbon neutral by 2030. Working together with other teams across the fly fishing community, we’re excited to continue to play a leading role in the push for positive change.
Personally, my family has witnessed the drought in Colorado in Wyoming. The flows are extremely low, the tinder is extremely dry, and the fish are showing signs of strife. While in Wyoming over Labor Day weekend, we didn’t fish the rivers; temps were too high and flows were too low. Living in Erie, Colorado, we can see the plumes of smoke from the nearby Mullen, Cameron Peak, CalWood, and Left Hand fires. In the time of a pandemic when the outdoors has been our respite, the air quality is currently dangerous to our lungs.
The waters and the fish we love can’t speak for themselves. Please join SaraBella Fishing and other members of the Fly Fishing Climate Alliance who are dedicated to giving them a voice. Contact your elected officials and urge them to support climate change and other conservation legislation. Vote this November. Support organizations like SaraBella that are using their resources to make impact in climate change and in other important areas. If you’d like more ideas for how you can help us protect our waters and fish, please reach out to us and stay tuned on Fly Fishing Climate Alliance initiatives.