Join us “behind the fin” with Emma Brown, student, angler and intern of the Greenbacks, the non-profit organization dedicated to promoting native fish, and engaging the next generation of anglers.
How long have you been a TU member?
I have been a TU member for 2 years and have loved every second of it!
Why did you become a member and what chapter are you involved with?
I have always loved fly fishing, and grew up playing in the river next to my father as he fly fished. When I was 16, I started thinking about a project that is required to graduate- which consisted of 120 hours of work with professionals in the community. I based my project off of fly fishing and river/trout conservation. In an effort to reach out to local groups, I saw an ad for the Greenbacks in a Trout Unlimited magazine that my grandpa had given me, and emailed them that day to start getting involved and volunteering. The next week I was driving down to Colorado Springs as a volunteer to teach other high school kids how to fly fish. It was and still is one of the best experiences I’ve had.
What made you want to be involved with TU?
It is very important to engage young anglers in conservation projects so they know not to take our beautiful rivers and lands for granted. Not only this but I was very privileged to learn fly fishing at a young age, and have gear passed down from my father and grandfather. Trout Unlimited and the Greenbacks had a wonderful opportunity to be able to share this with other kids my age. Not only this, but the conservation opportunities that I saw members participating in were something that I needed to participate in.
What is your favorite activity or project you have done with TU?
Every year our group puts on an event to engage inner-city school kids from Denver, through Big Brother Big Sister, in fishing. We spend the whole day with these kids, and eventually, they walk away with a handful of fishing supplies. There is nothing like helping someone catch their first fish, and seeing their huge smiles and excitement. I want to give back more than anything, and Trout Unlimited has helped me do just that.
I know you won’t tell me your favorite spot, but what is your second favorite place to fish or favorite fishing story?
When I go fishing I love to go as far as I can from people and end up in the backcountry. There is nothing more satisfying than hiking for two hours to get to a high mountain trout stream and catch beautiful native fish on a fly rod. These places tend to be in the backcountry of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, fishing streams that trickle down from melting glaciers. I absolutely love Rocky Mountain National Park and the Big Thompson, as well as the South St. Vrain and Boulder Creek.
What does being a part of TU mean to you?
As a member of Trout Unlimited, it is very important for me to give back to the community and the beautiful lands that we recreate on. I want these wild places healthy and available for centuries to come for future anglers to enjoy. I also think involving inner-city school kids and people who have never fly fished before is essential. Not only this but working with veterans and first responders who use fly fishing as a healing method of therapy is also very important to me. Fly fishing is important in a very large variety of ways that I want to share it with everyone.
What else do you do in your spare time or work?
I like to keep myself very busy! I am currently a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder with my eyes on medical school. I am an EMT/Firefighter, and absolutely love helping others. I grew up on a ranch working horses and teaching lessons, so I love working with and riding my horses. I also love film and photography and love taking photos of all the adventures I go on. I hope to use this and social media to make an impact on the fly fishing world and to inspire others to be leaders in their communities.