While on our River Ramble through Montana, we had the honor and pleasure of sitting on the banks of the Bitterroot River with Andy Carlson, owner/head guide, Bitterroot Anglers. We covered a variety of topics with Andy including his introduction to fly fishing in Colorado , the ecosystem of the Bitterroot River and fly tying (including Andy’s famous Purple Haze). Most importantly, Andy shared his experiences in conservation, advocacy and activism beginning with that first creek in CO where he learned to fish. That work has continued throughout Andy’s life, connecting him with other legends of fly fishing and conservation including Dan Bailey and Bud Lilly working to protect waters throughout the area. Andy was the leader in supporting the Bitterroot as a wild trout fishery vs. a stocked trout fishery. He detailed how he and other conservationists worked to make the Bitterroot the world class fishery it is today.
At the end of the interview, I asked Andy what we could all do to continue this stewardship of our rivers and streams. His response really connected with us both, as I hope it will connect with you, as you watch his interview. He responded, “hands on work with the kids” as they are the next to carry this mantle of conservation. Barb and I both agreed, as soon as we can, we want to get our grandkids out to meet and learn from Andy Carlson.
We know you’ll enjoy this interview with Andy, but as importantly, we hope it will spur you to get involved, however you can, in protecting our nations rivers and streams.