I learned to fly fish in the waters of Arkansas from my father-in-law Jim Russell, and have loved it ever since. And I’ve always been drawn to running through the trees and over the rocks. This summer I am fortunate to be able to combine these passions when I participate in the 3rd Annual Middle Creek Flyathlon. The Flyathlon is a new multi-sport event that integrates three activities that are currently surging in popularity in the Western U.S.; trail-running, fly fishing, and craft beer. The 3rd Annual Middle Creek Flyathlon is a fundraising event for coldwater conservation projects, with a focus on native trout, and protecting Colorado’s water quality. The money raised in previous races has been used by Colorado Trout Unlimited to advance coldwater conservation statewide. A significant percentage of funds raised through each Rocky Mountain Flyathlon event is specifically targeted towards river and trail improvement projects within the watershed in which the individual event itself is held. Partnering with Colorado Trout Unlimited, more than half of the $6,600 raised through the 2014 Flyathlon event has been spent on projects near the town of Saguache, and the other half of the money raised was used by Colorado Trout Unlimited to advance coldwater conservation statewide. In 2015, this event raised more than $20,000 for projects with a focus on native trout. That money was used for a variety of conservation efforts including partnering with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado to rehab the trails in the Middle Creek drainage to make it safer and more accessible for anglers to find and catch a Rio Grande Cutthroat. Thanks for considering a donation in my name to protect Colorado’s cold water and beautiful trout. The Flyathlon’s 2016 501(c)(3) partners for this event are Colorado Trout Unlimited, Western Native Trout Initiative, and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.