Home Waters Work
Alaska and Boundary Waters (MN) / Play: Central America
My parents were great about taking my younger brother and me on vacations around much of the USA. That instilled a sense of adventure and love of the outdoors that is big part of who I am. I’ve been an angler as long as I can remember, with humble beginnings as a kid catching panfish, bullheads, and carp in the lake near our Minnesota home. It was my conservation work that introduced me to fly fishing, something that I enjoy despite the fact that I’m still very much a novice. (Ask any number of guides I’ve fished with!) Through my work, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many terrific people and fish in some pretty incredible places (Alaska, the Rockies, Belize, Baja, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Guatemala to name a few). I enjoy fishing of all varieties and don’t consider myself to be purely a fly angler. From all the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit to all the places I still want to go…fishing is a great connector. Fish are found in all types of places, from urban lakes and rivers to remote, sparsely populated hinterlands, and the deep blue sea. The world’s a big place, and I hope I get to see and fish a lot of it!
Scott Hed lives in Nicaragua with his wife Nicki and their four-legged kids (two rescued Labrador retrievers). They enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, snorkeling, and traveling to tropical destinations.
What conservation issue do people need to know about in your back yard?
I have worked on protection of amazing public lands in Alaska for the past 16 years, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Tongass National Forest. More recently, I helped launch an effort to engage sportsmen and women in the campaign to protect Minnesota’s famed Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from mining threats. However, for the past dozen years I have mainly focused on bringing the angling and hunting communities into the fight to protect the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska from the proposed Pebble Mine. Bristol Bay is the world’s most productive wild salmon fishery and a sporting destination of global renown.
What Fishpond products do you always have with you?
We have a pair of the large Westwater Rolling Duffels that have seen a lot of air miles – they’re great for hauling big loads. For day fishing excursions, the Thunderhead Submersible Backpack is always in use. My laptop goes on work trips safely stashed in the Boulder Briefcase. The Blizzard Soft Cooler keeps our cervezas cold in the boat or by the pool. And, my shorts would be falling off me if it weren’t for my Jacquard Webbing Belts.
You walk into a gas station – what two items do you come out with?
Peanut M&Ms and a Coke Zero.
What makes for a #perfectday in your eyes?
Spending quality time, and doing something in the outdoors with family, friends, and our dogs. Good food, cold beverages, good music. Bonus: Catching my first rooster fish would probably make such a day really difficult to top!
Who are your heroes or mentors?
To do this type of work, being an optimist is a prerequisite. I’m inspired every day by the people of Bristol Bay and my colleagues in the fight to protect that incredible place. There are also a great young crop of conservation leaders in the hook and bullet world, including ambassadors for a number of fishing and hunting brands who are willing to stand up for our lands and waters. If everyone works together, despite our differences on some issues, we can protect that which we value in common – public lands, fish and wildlife, recreation opportunities, and the outdoor economy.
Favorite quote or one liner?
Never tell me the odds. – Han Solo