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How many times have you brought a friend or client to a favorite area to fish and it’s been recently trashed? Empty coffee cups, beer cans, styrofoam worm containers, household trash, appliances, tires are what I see often.

It’s very disappointing to see that folks don’t care or take the time to properly put trash or recycling where it belongs.

I often have a few small grocery bags with me and full sized garbage bags in my vehicle. It only takes a few minutes to pick up a few things every time you fish or go for a hike. I think it’s good fish karma and if people see someone cleaning up an area they tend to do the same. Many clients have commented that they liked that we took a few minutes to grab some garbage along the way. I’ll fill up my net if we are on foot as well.

One of the clubs I belong to called the New Haven River Anglers puts on a river clean up every May on Green Up Vt Day. We hit over a dozen popular fishing pull offs along the river and fill at least one pickup truck with garbage. We may start doing one in the Fall as well to put the river to bed clean just as the Trout season closes.

The Otter Creek Classic last year gave a garbage bag with every entry and you got extra points on the scorecard if you filled it up. Almost everyone did! That’s over 100 folks in a catch and release, fly fishing tournament cleaning up the river at the same time.

Pig Farm Ink throws river cleans ups all over the US called Get Trashed. They are part fishing tournaments and you get points for garbage as well. Last year I used my Big Rig to move at least 7 tires and it was still stable enough to stand up and paddle! Every team must have at least people including one person who has never fly fished. Generally each fish caught is one point except the first timer they get 75 points per fish. Tires and big items that can’t fit in a trash bag are 75 points. Every full garbage bag is 50 points. Every beer you shotgun is worth 25 points.

I would suggest getting involved with a group that does some kind of river clean up or start one. If we don’t do it who will? It’s important to give back to nature as we get so much out of it. Plus as I said I think it’s good fish karma.