Responsible Recreation Featured

And the #ResponsibleRecreation winner is ...

RepYourWater on the Colorado River.

Congratulations to Ron Rhodes of South Pomfret, Vt., for winning the grand prize in the Trout Unlimited #ResponsibleRecreation contest. His name was selected randomly from hundreds of social posts that tagged @TroutUnlimited and used #ResponsibleRecreation hashtag.

For participating and winning the random drawing, Ron, who posted on Twitter, is the lucky recipient of the grand-prize package. Here’s what he’ll get in the mail in the coming weeks:

  • A 9ft 4p 5wt Sage X rod
  • Sage Spectrum Reel
  • Rio fly line
  • TU/Rep Your Water beanie
Ron Rhode’s wild brook trout he caught while practicing #ResponsibleRecreation.

Two other winners will also receive prize packages for their social posts. Elden Aguilar of New Mexico is our second-place winner for his post on Instagram. Gabriella Hoffman, who did a podcast on #ResponsibleRecreation is our third-place winner. Each will receive prize packages in the mail in the coming weeks.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have taken solace in being on the water while social distancing with all but the trout I’ve caught and released back into the river,” Ron said. “As stay-at-home orders relaxed, I was able to enjoy these outings with a few friends, while wearing our masks and staying at least six feet apart. Getting out on the streams has been good for my soul; it always is, but especially so now.” 

Just because the #ResponsibleRecreation contest has concluded doesn’t mean the need to practice responsible recreation has gone away. In fact, with many states seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases as the country continues to “reopen,” the need is greater now more than ever. Nobody wants to be the angler who unknowingly spreads the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, so it’s important that, as an angling community, we remain aware of the risks and act accordingly.

As a reminder, here’s what that looks like:

  • Stay a rod-length apart from your fellow anglers.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when you’re in close proximity to others, particularly on a boat.
  • Drive to your destination alone, or with someone you with whom you are self-isolating.
  • Fish alone, so long as it’s safe.
  • Consider fishing close to home — some rural “destination” communities may not have the health-care infrastructure in place to handle a new outbreak.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer as often as you can.

Above all, be smart and considerate. Fishing can be a great way to practice social distancing, and those of us who fish know that time on the water is rejuvenating.

Thanks again to all who participated in the #ResponsibleRecreation social media event. Stay diligent and stay safe.