INTRODUCTION TO–AND BACKGROUND IN–FLY FISHING:
Brett learned to love fishing while accompanying his dad around Wasatch Front creeks and lakes in the Uinta Mountains. It wasn’t until late in high school that he picked up a fly rod and quickly decided it was his favorite way to fish. A close group of friends helped Brett hone his fly-fishing skills in his early days.
Brett worked as the outdoors reporter, outdoors editor, and environmental writer at the Salt Lake Tribune for 25 years before becoming the Intermountain Communications Director for Trout Unlimited through 2022. He wrote a fishing column and managed a fishing blog at the Tribune. He produced a series of wildlife and fishing videos with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and won two Emmy Awards producing, directing and hosting a television show called The Utah Bucket List on KUED television. Fly fishing was featured as part of the show.
TEACHING, SHARING, AND CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES:
Brett spoke to numerous fishing clubs and groups interested in fishing across the state during his time at the Tribune. His coverage of fishing and fly fishing helped people get started in the sport and learn how to be better anglers. His stories encouraged people to get involved with issues that impacted fishing opportunities in Utah.
Brett has produced stories for several regional and national fly-fishing magazines and for the Utah Office of Tourism.
Brett has been the only host for the annual Utah Reel Recovery fund-raiser since it started in 2006. He now serves as president of the national Reel Recovery board of directors. Reel Recovery provides free fly-fishing retreats for men with cancer.
Brett authored a book, Fishing Utah (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008) that helps Utah fly fishers (and others) choose where to go fishing.
In his job with Trout Unlimited, Brett partnered with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to start the popular Utah Cutthroat Slam to raise awareness of native trout, fund conservation projects, and encourage anglers to explore new waters.
Brett has volunteered since 2015 to help teachers receive tanks and participate in the Trout in the Classroom program, and he publicizes the program.
Brett’s coverage of the plan to auction off SITLA land across from the Little Hole boat ramps on the Green River motivated anglers to get involved and ended up keeping the landscape along the Green free of development. His stories on stream access issues in Utah brought the issue to light and helped unite anglers to engage in the battle to protect access.
Brett currently is the Chair of the Board of the Utah Wildlife Federation but most people know him from the his role with the Utah Cutthroat Slam.
HONORS AND AWARDS:
- Gean Snow Conservation Award from the Stonefly Society Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
- Bob Trowbridge Award from organizers of the Wasatch Fly Fishing Expo.
- Emmy awards for TV fishing shows.
- Numerous writing awards for fly fishing stories from the Outdoor Writers Association of America, of which he is the past president.