There was a time when the steelhead fisheries of the upper Midwest ran red with pollution. When stripers were nearly fished out. When cane rods and silk lines had relegated fly fishing to a shrinking, elitist niche.
We know, because we’ve been around for 100 years. We were there, working to clean up those streams, improve those fisheries and advance equipment in ways that attracted more anglers and embraced more types of fishing. Here we are, decades later, facing similar battles — giant, proposed gold mines, dying coral and a turning away from angling for adrenaline sports.
As we pondered our Centennial next year, we decided that instead of celebrating the last 100 years, why not better toast the next 100 years? This would require that we support efforts to increase the number of anglers while working to protect our fisheries and their natural habitats. And with this, The Next 100 Years of Fishing was born.
At its core, this program will donate a percentage of line sales to select projects dedicated to the future of fishing through conservation, education and innovation. So, with every Cortland line you buy, you improve fishing for yourself and for future generations.
In other words, at age 100, we remember the good old days. But frankly we’d rather brag about the good new ones.
Our Conservation Partners include three longtime icons of protection and restoration.
Trout Unlimited: Specifically, we’ll be working to support and build TU’s Embrace a Stream program. Funds will help TU build its membership and attract more anglers to the work this significant program is doing right in their own back yards. We encourage you to learn more about this program and join Trout Unlimited. Also, we encourage you to follow our efforts in the coming year through this very blog and on our social media outlets.
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust: BTT is doing fantastic work — specifically in regard to habitat needed for juvenile fish, including some important projects in the mangroves of South Florida. Proceeds from line purchases will go to support these types of projects. In addition, we’ll be closely following the work of BTT and sharing its accomplishments through social media. Again, we encourage you to learn more about Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and become a member.
Coastal Conservation Association: CCA’s mission is focused on coastal resources along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. The organization has more than 200 chapters, nationwide. Projects our program will support include resource restoration, such as the building of artificial reefs, and resource protection, such as bycatch reduction regulations. If you fish along any of the U.S. coasts, you owe it to yourself to learn about CCA’s work and become a member.
For Education, we’re partnering with the National Fishing in Schools Program. It works with state fish and wildlife agencies to teach fishing in schools at all levels, and does terrific work. Our belief is that its work can connect young people to the joy of fishing — the places, friendships, challenges and fish. The future of the sport and of the resource depends on it. We encourage you to learn more and consider getting involved directly as a volunteer, too.
Lastly, the Next 100 Years of Fishing is a call for innovation that’s meaningful to anglers.
Our new heat-tempered HTx coating (available on select lines in 2015) is a great example. It doesn’t just make the line slicker — it actually seals the line in a way that maintains that slickness over time. Meaning, an HTx-coated line like the new Trout BossTM HTx will provide “out of the box” performance longer than other lines. But that’s just the beginning. In 2015, look for more announcements on new products, opportunities to post your ideas on how we can improve your fishing and even a chance to join our line test team.
At Cortland, we know you have lots of choices when it comes to fishing lines — fly and sport. But there’s only one line that’s guaranteed to be good for 100 years from the day you buy it. That’s the one giving back to the future of the sport. That’s Cortland.