Celebrating Rivers on National Hunting and Fishing Day

Healthy rivers play a vital part to celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Steve White fishing on the Gunnison River with his son, Luke. | Steve White

There’s an old saying, “You can’t catch fish in a dry pond.” That wisdom applies to a lot more than fishing, and it also applies to more than dry ponds.  Specifically, it applies to fishing in healthy rivers. So as we celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day, it seems to make sense to invite our nation’s rivers to the party.

Though I hunted some a long time ago, this holiday for me is all about fishing. And like two tributaries that come together to make a bigger river, my love of rivers is completely mixed together with my love of fishing.

Greybull River, Montana | Steve White
Greybull River, Montana | Steve White

Discovering new rivers: When I get a chance to explore and fish a new river, the feeling is like that of throwing a birthday party. Every new run or pool is like opening a different wrapped gift – each one unique, but all part of one wonderful celebration.

Revisiting familiar rivers: Having gotten to know some rivers well enough to be considered “home waters” at various points in my life, when I have a chance to revisit them, it’s like a homecoming celebration. It’s a familiar place, and with any luck, I might get a chance to visit with some old friends (both those fishing with me and those at the other end of the line).

The similarity between these different types of parties is that they both depend on having a healthy river to fish in. You’d never serve a birthday cake on a cesspool, and you’d never throw a homecoming party at the city dump. You’d never go fishing in an algae bloom, and you wouldn’t cast your line into a polluted stream.

That’s why it’s so important to protect wild rivers, restore damaged ones, and fight for all of them. Imagine the look on a 5-year-old’s face when he opens a new present or when she catches her first fish. It’s the same look, the same experience, the same joy.

On this National Hunting and Fishing Day, please join us in making sure that we can keep the celebration going throughout the year and for years to come by joining American Rivers and by visiting our Anglers Fund website.

Enjoy the holiday and all your time on the river.


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