Anyone who remotely knows me, knows that fly fishing is a huge part of my life. Running, not so much. Can I run? Yes. Do I enjoy it. No, not really. But when I was introduced to the concept of the Flyathalon, where you run, catch (and release) a few fish, then are rewarded for your efforts with beer, all while doing it in an effort to raise money for the native fish I love, I was in for life. In 2015 I had the opportunity to catch a few new species (to me) of Cutthroat Trout in their native watersheds, which opened my eyes to just how incredible these fish are. The fact that they were here before men, and in most cases have managed to survive and sustain reproducing populations even with all of man's meddling is amazing to me. While I do enjoy catching & releasing all fish, I find Cutthroat Trout to be the most beautiful of all Trout, and my desire to catch them isn't about the fight, but about getting to see their incredible red, orange and green hues, and all the various spot configurations that go along with it. They are truly magical creatures. This is why I am running in the 2016 Flyathalon and am looking for the support of others to help raise money for these beautiful creatures. Stocking of other species such as brown trout and rainbow trout (what are essentially invasive species) has literally taken away habitat from these native fish, which has drastically reduced their range and numbers over the years. They essentially get out-competed by all the stocked fish for prime water, food and spawning areas. Money that is raised will be put to work directly in Colorado to conserve, protect, restore and recover native trout and char species through partnerships with the Western Native Trout Initiative as well as Colorado Trout Unlimited. A day when we see certain watersheds that contain only native species is something I would like to see in my lifetime.