Introducing “An Upstream Journey”

Written by: Paul Moinester


Paul Moinester has given up his suit and tie for a six-mounth, 20,000-mile trip
exploring the upstream battle to protect wild fish and their habitat.

photo courtesy Paul Moinester

I spent the last four and a half years hunched over a government computer in Washington D.C. wearing Macy’s suits and Calvin Klein ties. I never left home without my blackberry, watched more C-SPAN than anyone ever should, and read multiple newspapers every day.

Now I don’t have a home, a blackberry, or a job for that matter. However, I still spend an inordinate amount of time hunched over a computer, albeit in a slightly different setting. I’m typing this now from my tent, which is pitched just feet away from a canal in the Florida Keys, where my train of thought is constantly being interrupted by jumping fish.

After four and a half years in Washington D.C. fighting to protect critical environmental laws and our natural treasures, I resigned from my job as a Senior Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives to launch a new conservation project called An Upstream Journey. I stashed my suits and ties in the depths of my closet at my parent’s house in Memphis, packed all of my fishing and camping gear into my car, and hit the road.


First fish of the trip! Also my first ladyfish on the fly.

photo courtesy Paul Moinester

For the next six months, I will be traversing the United States and Canada – from the salt flats of the Keys to the Kenai Peninsula’s glacial rivers – exploring the upstream battle to protect wild fish and their habitat. Armed with an assortment of Orvis fly-fishing rods, my laptop, a handful of cameras, and a trusty (hopefully) automobile, I will be fishing in locations with threatened fish populations, utilizing writing and photography to heighten awareness about the need to preserve these irreplaceable resources.

With the support of Orvis and numerous conservation organizations, I will be meeting and fishing with individuals throughout the United States and Canada who have dedicated their lives to protecting these fish and their environs. By sharing their stories and giving voice to their heartfelt calls for preservation, I hope to invigorate our collective consciousness and inspire people to join the upstream battle to protect these invaluable resources.

Orvis has graciously agreed to make my tales and photos from the road a regular feature on this blog. I hope you follow along as I share critical conservation stories from some of our continent’s most ecologically significant waters while putting 20,000 miles of road under my tires and hundreds of miles of water underneath my Orvis boots. For more information on me and my journey, you can check out my website and Facebook page.


My first seatrout on the fly.

photo courtesy Paul Moinester

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4 thoughts on “Introducing “An Upstream Journey”

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