Darren Calhoun of Wind River Canyon is here to share the story of creating the movie Tribal Waters and working with Patagonia and Teton Gravity Research. We find out how the Wind River reservation and some other groups actually sued the federal government and won the case to protect their water rights.

We also find out about the fishing the Wind River Canyon and what makes this part of the country so unique. This is a pretty huge episode so I hope you get the chance to connect with Darren down the line and show your support for all the stuff they have going on.

Click below and listen to the Podcast about Wind River Canyon with Darren Calhoun:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Wind River Canyon

Wind River Canyon Show Notes with Darren Calhoun

00:03:50 – Darren talks about when he learned how to fly fish from their then neighbor, Gordon Eastman, who used to make wildlife films in the ’60s.

Photo via: https://blog.eastmans.com/gordon-eastman-inducted-into-the-wyoming-outdoor-hall-of-fame/

00:05:33 – He shares the struggle of hiring tribal members as guides.

00:06:45 – We talk about the poverty and unemployment rate in the reservations, but also the increasing number of tribal members who take up post-secondary education.

00:10:02 – He discusses the unique political relationship between the American Indian tribes and the US government.

00:12:36 – We dig into the film, Tribal Waters, how it came to be and what it means to him. He takes us to when he pitched the idea to Patagonia of including environmental justice in the film.

Wind River Canyon
Photo via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMRvzniRZnM

00:15:16 – He shares how the Tribal Waters film encouraged some people to reach out and ask what they can do, and their plan on creating a foundation to raise and manage funds for getting tribal lands back.

00:18:42 – Darren gives his perspective on working with Patagonia and Teton Gravity Research for the Tribal Waters film. In episode 345, we had Ted Manning on the show which took us behind the scenes of Patagonia.

00:19:55 – He commends Patagonia for their conscious practice of contributing to environmental conservation and Yvon Chouinard for giving away his company to fight climate change.

Photo via: https://www.patagonia.com/ownership/

00:20:39 – We talk about Gordon Eastman and his movies. He was the biggest influence to him on fly fishing. We also dig into what influenced his passion for conservation started.

00:24:54 – He takes us to Wind River Canyon and gives tips on access to the area.

Wind River Canyon
Photo via: https://www.windrivercanyon.com/float

00:31:10 – We talk about how people taking water from the river and dams affects the trout population and other issues they encountered when they tried to pass a tribal water code they developed.

00:36:50 – He talks about how getting everybody involved to preserve the tribal lands and the environment is a challenge.

00:39:30 – He tells listeners how to learn more and help out for the cause. He encourages people to educate themselves on the history of the relationship between the American Indian tribes and the US government. He further clarifies this and the concept of tribal sovereignty and stereotyping American Indians.

00:42:45 – We talk about the movie Dances with Wolves and its effect on how people see American Indians.

Wind River Canyon
Photo via: https://www.amazon.ca/Dances-With-Wolves-Import-anglais/dp/B002KAIVKY

00:45:41 – We discuss the other indigenous issues across the world and the fact that indigenous peoples are now being recognized.

00:47:05 – He talks about this poster that shows if humans go extinct. He also shares how scarcity pushed their community to establish a game code for hunting and the controversy that surrounded it.

Wind River Canyon
Photo via: https://yujiearthman.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/if-bees-go-extinct-and-if-humans-go-extinct/

00:52:50 – He recommends the best times to fish depending on what type of fishing you want to do and the species you’ll get per season. He also shares the challenges in fishing in Wind Canyon for dry fly season.

00:58:40 – He tells what people can do in the Wind River Canyon during the summer.

Wind River Canyon
Photo via: https://www.windrivercanyon.com/float

1:03:35 – He tells more about their organization, Indifly, and how they are fulfilling their mission to create ecotourism and fly fishing businesses for indigenous populations and reconnect the younger generation with the outdoors. Matt Shilling, Indifly Executive Director, also guested in the show in episode 342.

Wind River Canyon
Photo via: https://www.indifly.org/all-about-indifly

1:06:03 – We talk about other big rivers and activities like fishing and hiking that people can do down in the Wind River Canyon area. I mention our episode with Grant Breidenbach wherein he gave us the ultralight backpacking gear list.

1:11:04 – He shares what’s the most important business tip for him for those who are thinking about starting a business.

1:13:50 – He talks about his plans for retirement and his business.

You can find Wind River Canyon on Instagram @windrivercanyon

Facebook at Wind River Canyon Fly Fishing

Visit their website at WindRiverCanyon.com

Wind River Canyon

Videos Noted in the Show

Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 345 – Patagonia the Company with Ted Manning – Conservation, Home Planet, Yvon Chouinard

WFS 342 – Indifly with Matt Shilling – Wind River Fly Fishing, Ecotourism, Native Guide Academy

WFS 387B – Ultralight Backpacking Gear List with Grant Breidenbach – Bear Vault, Lightning Strike, Fly Fishing

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

Wind River Canyon

Conclusion with Darren Calhoun and Wind River Canyon

That was Darren Calhoun shedding light on tribal lands, indigenous populations, and environment preservation.

I hope this episode encouraged you to educate yourselves about our history; find ways to help in protecting the reservations and preserving our environment and resources for the next generations.

Again in Darren’s words, we’re all here for such a short time. Why would you want to have a negative impact on the environment when you could do just the opposite?