TThe Driftless Area Flyathlon is a unique event combining trail running, fly fishing, and craft beer, returning to NE Iowa on October 13, 2018. The Flyathlon got its start in Colorado and is operated through Running Rivers, a nonprofit with the desire to link individuals to public lands and waters through inventive means.
Participants in 2018 will complete a 4.4 mile trail run in the heart of Yellow River State Forest or a new challenging 6.4 mile course that will take them up to a an abandoned FireTower and back, attempting to catch a trout along the route; if successful, they are awarded with a time deduction. Once the run is completed, craft beer is shared with fellow Flyathletes while reminiscing of the day’s experience. Although it is all volunteer-driven, it still takes a lot of resources to put on: communication, permits, supplies, and more.
Part of the event is fundraising, and participants are asked to reach out to their friends, families, and community members to consider pitching in to conserve our valuable outdoor resources we have right here in Iowa. Funds raised for the Driftless Flyathlon go to coldwater conservation projects in Iowa. The inaugural event in 2016 raised $1745 that was used toward conservation projects at Waterloo Creek. In 2017, nearly $7000 was raised that will 1) help construct a kiosk at Yellow River State Forest that will inform guests about native trout species and the park, and 2) create a stream access path at YRSF.
Our goal is $10,000 this year. Can you help us get there? With conservation partner Trout Unlimited, we look forward to exploring more coldwater conservation needs in the future that will help trout habitat and fishing in the state. Please consider donating to this worthy cause!