Brown Folks Fishing Launches the Angling for All Pledge, with Orvis as the First Signee

In the spring of 2018, Tracy Nguyen-Chung founded Brown Folks Fishing (BFF), an organization dedicated to cultivating the visibility, representation, and inclusion of people of color in fishing and its industry. Orvis began forging a relationship with the organization later that year and has continued to work with them ever since. Last year, Nguyen-Chung received the 2019 Orvis Breaking Barriers Award at the Orvis Guide Rendezvous in Missoula, Montana.

Today, BFF launches the Angling for All Pledge, aimed at companies in the fishing industry. The Pledge establishes a commitment to addressing racism and inequality throughout a pledgee’s internal culture, consumer-facing behaviors, and broader community. At its core is a curriculum that provides education and resources for brands and organizations to enhance equity and diversity across staff, executive teams, athletes, ambassadors, guides, and throughout the organization’s media and marketing.

Tracy Nguyen-Chung fishes on Oregon’s Nehalem River.
Photo by Matty Wong

Orvis will be the first company to take the pledge.  

“We are honored and grateful to have such a strong partnership with Tracy and the team at Brown Folks Fishing,” says Simon Perkins, Orvis president. “Their mission to build capacity, access, resources, visibility, and a solid community for anglers of color makes the sport stronger, and we are excited to sign the pledge as an acknowledgment of our commitment to this critical work. This is an opportunity for us to explore our own blind spots and unconscious biases and an important step forward in Orvis’s history of passion and commitment to access, inclusion, and stewardship in fly fishing.”

Click here to learn more about today’s announcement.

Click here for the Angling for All Pledge page at Brown Folks Fishing.

35 thoughts on “Brown Folks Fishing Launches the Angling for All Pledge, with Orvis as the First Signee”

    1. I concur!!!!!! Now you just literally separated it!!! there’s no color in fishing!!! You just purposely added a color? Brown? Black? Green? White, off white, JUST STOP!!!!!!! Are you kidding me!!!!!

      How about Human Kind Fishing!!!
      Burning all my Orvis gear with video!
      Done with this company!

      Think BIG!! Get your head out of the sand!!!!
      Done with your products!!

  1. Excited that this is happening. It’s fantastic that or is is leading the charge to make sure inclusion and conservation work hand in hand. Looks like my next gear will definitely be from orvis.

  2. If you single out people of color with programs and organizations like this, it must make them feel like they didn’t belong to the brothers and sisters of the angle in the first place. I really don’t care what color you are, if you’re out fishing, you’re a friend of mine. I’m mostly Italian with scattered bits of other ethnicities mixed in. If I saw a group called “Italian Folks Fishing”, to be more inclusive of me, I’ld be pissed.
    But if PC groups like this ease your conscience and make you feel better, have at it.
    Come to think of it, I wonder how many folks of color are offended by this?
    Would love to hear their thoughts!

    Remember, it’s not about YOU or ME, it’s about the fish!

  3. This is a crock. All your doing is adding fuel to fire that never should have been burning in the first place.
    Your using race to sell rods

  4. I think you all missed the part that says “Angling for All”. Go visit the social accounts and catalogs of your favorite fishing brands and let me know how much diversity you see.

    I give credit to Orvis for standing up and taking heat from people like the nearsighted folks commenting here instead of sitting on their hands like many other companies are.

    1. I don’t own any fly fishing companies and I don’t have any control over how they run their business. So if you want to have brown folks fishing with brown folks then by all means separate yourselves I fly fish and have always shared the water with anyone who fishes, I don’t care what , race , religion , or equipment you use. if you fish that’s fine by me.

  5. There is no racial bigotry in fishing we are all equally worthless. spending our hard-earned money traveling just to catch fish. Give me a break now you’re making fishing racial you need to stop. I will never buy an orvis product again can you do all my friends. Stop creating issues when there is none in fishing

  6. I’m so glad to see that this is happening! The clear stance that Orvis has taken in support of black and brown people (surely knowing that many long term customers would storm off to their white supremacist support groups) has made me a life long customer.

    If anyone is blind to the privilege implicit in a white man feeling safe, let alone having access to the resources, to spend a day idly fishing on the river, that person needs to educate themselves quickly and thoroughly. The bigots on here throwing a fit are probably the same ones who glare and make derisive comments when they see POC or women on the river. Those white men (’cause we know thats who they are) need to grow up and take some responsibility for the centuries of oppression that they benefit from daily.

    As I loyal customer, I would love to see more from orvis about how I can make the sport that I am so privileged to enjoy safe and available to everyone. I will definitely support BFF.

    1. Andy M,
      What are you talking about?
      There is nothing stopping ANYONE from picking up a fly rod or spinning rod and going fishing!
      It is not a “WHITE” sport! It’s a sport, a passion, a love for the outdoors. What is wrong with you and people like you. How dare you say you are privileged because of the color of your skin that you cant enjoy a sport that is meant for everyone? So very sad! Stop spewing hate!

    2. You called me a bigot . You don’t know a thing about me. Yet you stand there in judgement of anyone with a different option then your selfish view. Your the bigot.
      Please explain the difference between black and brown folks
      Now who’s a racist

    3. Andy M,

      White privilege. Wow! Learn to work hard. Grew up in a foster home where my next meal was never guaranteed. Worked my ass off. Life is great now. Stop making excuses and work. Everyone has the same ability to work hard and change there lives. Stop making excuses and blaming others.

  7. White privilege is BS. It’s made to separate people and divide, it’s working well. I can’t believe Orvis bought into this. I was brought up not see see someone by the color of their skin, we are all humans. Take a kid fishing and enjoy the outdoors. Btw, i don’t believe in white supremacy, go ahead and rip on me because I’m sure you know me better than myself. Peace.

  8. While this is a good thing, I prefer equality instead of equity. Equity is a Socialist movement. If you look at certain cities or universities that incorporate Diversity, Inclusiveness and Equity, it’s because they want “equality of outcome” not “equality of opportunity”. It’s basically asking for placement of people based on ethnicity instead of placement of an individual’s traits. If Orvis is an EOE, that’s the code to follow. This in my opinion, is part of Woke or PC culture. They definitely could make improvements and changes such as you never see a minority in the catalogs. I don’t even know what the corporate offices look like. But when you talk “equity” you bring in Identity Politics.

  9. For those who are choosing to ignore the issue and crank on Orvis, please provide 1-2 examples of the last time you fished with a person of color. And then provide 2-3 examples of when you have encountered people of color fly fishing like you in the past year. My guess is you have zero examples and, hence, you are ignoring the problem. And btw, Orvis didn’t create this pledge. People of color who recognize the issue and want to make a difference created it. Are you hating on them too? At the end of the day, every complaint about here smacks of hate. If you don’t think so, then go look in the mirror for a change.

    1. Questions
      Have you been denied the ability to purchase equipment?
      Have you been denied the ability to fish with a group of others? (And if they have to be of your background isnt that supporting the same agenda you’re fighting)
      As far as non whites which I assume your referring to fishing – when was that last time you looked at any lake, bayou, jetty, or beach. Seems like it’s pretty diverse.
      As far as “fly Fishing” goes – Ironic how golf is a so called white mans sport but the world has stopped, prayed and changed their clothes to respect someone who did it on their own. Might want to follow his lead.

      1. You seem to assume that the only kinds of barriers that exist are ones in which someone is “denied” access outright. That’s not the case. Here are three examples, from people of color, of experiences they’ve had:

  10. When all the conservation work , the fight for native fish, the planting of shrubs and trees, water rights and so on where were all the concerned brown folks then. I didnt see any of you helping. Your organization is a joke

    1. As a conservation biologist, who is a person of color, with a MSc in Marine Biology and a lifelong fisherman who has dedicated their whole life to conservation of recreational fisheries that comment is insulting and shows that you are misinformed. There’s not very many of us but we are doing amazing work in both freshwater and saltwater fisheries to make sure people like you are able to go out and continue to catch fish.

  11. I am disappointed with Orvis’s decision to inject politics and race into fly fishing. But I understand that companies today either get woke or get dead so I won’t get too exercised about this.

    Let me just say that the “brown” trout on the Bighorn weren’t concerned about the color of my skin when they took my scud patterns, nor were the Steelhead on Elk Creek when they rejected my sucker spawn.

  12. So excited to see this! Brown Folks Fishing is a great group I’ve been following on Instagram. Time for everyone to be represented. Bravo, Orvis!

  13. As a conservation biologist, who is a person of color, with a MSc in Marine Biology and a lifelong fisherman who has dedicated their whole life to conservation of recreational fisheries that comment is insulting and shows that you are misinformed. There’s not very many of us but we are doing amazing work in both freshwater and saltwater fisheries to make sure people like you are able to go out and continue to catch fish.

  14. My wife was made me very happy a few days ago when she told me she wanted to learn to fly fish, a sport that Ive been passionate about for over 20 years. I went out immediately to buy her a beginners combo, initially to my local fly shop, who is sold out of entry-level combos for the next month or so, so I then went to Orvis, specifically because of this program. Let’s face it fly fishing may not be an inherently racist pursuit, but the invitation is nice. Thank you Orvis for working towards inclusion. I look forward to untangling many casts and eventually on my wife’s new encounter and eventually watching my wife land larger trout than me (she beat me n her first 1/2 marathon too).

  15. Ok Orvis, seems like the oppressed have been excluded from fishing which based on any jetty, lake, beach, or bayou I would have a hard debate with you. But since you feel like there is systemic exclusion. Let’s see you price your gear so the oppressed can afford it like Walmart does. Or are you going to tell me I need a $750 pole to catch a fish. Funny how you brand yourself – do me a favor and tell me your in-store employee minority %. Based on previous comments looks like you took a community of humans that loved that what they did and just made a divisive decision that didn’t need to be made and lost a bunch of people that can catch the same fish with gear from Bass Pro, Walmart, or their local shop.

  16. Another company injects faux racism into an area it has never existed. Orvis boldly kicks down open doors. Most sane people are getting really weary of all this posturing.
    What a joke.

  17. I’m very disappointed in Orvis. No group should be separated and elevated over any other. This is racial pandering to divisive leftists. Who would have ever thought fly-fishing is racist? Is basketball racist? How about poker? Or cycling?
    Also, Brown Folks Fishing is allied with other leftist groups including some that encourage youths to identify as LGBTQ. They are part of the alliance of the sick and deceived.

  18. Yes, it’s always the woke, left that is promoting diversity and inclusion. Well I guess I’ll be wide awake and always walking on the left side the rest of my life.
    Sounds like a lot of clueless, insecure men making comments on this page. Why do you even care so much about Orvis making this pledge? Please do the world a favor and get over yourselves.

  19. Been an Orvis loyalist for 25 years. I aspired to be able to afford an Orvis rod. I now can buy any rod I want, if my wife doesn’t know, and I chose Orvis. I have the Orvis sticker on my work laptop, etc. not only brand loyalty, but advocacy.
    I won’t support Orvis anymore with this racist drivel! There are ZERO barriers, except the price of your equipment and clothing! Nice you donated $15,000 of equipment to BFF… why? They can’t work and save up? They’re not as capable? Orvis IS Racist! BFF IS racist. I’m not supporting that!

  20. An old friend of mine, knowing how much I love to flyfish, emailed me the link to Brown Folks Fishing. We’re both “Brown,” and were both active in leftist Chicano causes during the 70’s. He remained in the cities. I moved to California’s Eastern Sierra over 30 years ago. I opened the link to Brown Folks Fishing and began to read. I immediately found it amusing, because I thought it was a parody of the fatuous, delusional notions that often bubble up out of the heads of persons desperate to polish their credentials as “woke” individuals. I really thought it was a send-up of the inane, fashionable posturing seen among academicians and politicians who are locked into the liberal paradigm. I even found myself laughing out loud. However, as I read on, it dawned on me: these people are saying this shit in earnest… They are actually serious. I continued reading, right down through the “Angling for All Pledge,” which I found especially hilarious. Again, I had to wonder: what planet do y’all live on? I don’t know that I’ve ever read more ridiculous, pretentious gobbledygook.

    I am a Mexican-American, the son of immigrants. Flyfishing was not part of my heritage, but that did not stop me, some forty years ago, from buying a flyrod and learning to tie flies. I found myself innately attracted to flyfishing because I expected to find it more enjoyable than bait or lure fishing, and no white person anywhere – merchant, angler or conservationist – has ever discouraged me from pursuing this sport. Most of the Raza that I know – fellow Mexicans or Chicanos – who have watched me or accompanied me while I flyfished, have shown little interest in learning my kind of angling. When I describe to them the pleasures of hiking up into the high country, and of catch-and-release, I usually get a deer-in-the-headlights look. But in the end, who am I to insist they convert? More importantly, who am I to claim that white society has denied them the choice to flyfish? I refuse to give any merit to such an inane myth.

    I quote here just one of the gems from the text in the Brown Folks Fishing website: “The framework of conservation as it exists is deeply rooted in white supremacy, erasure, and colonialism.” This could only have been written by politically or financially motivated opportunists, intent on exploiting the unexamined assumptions of pin-heads who are slaves to radical chic. Like, yeah, I’ll pay you $250, so I can say I’ve been knighted under the Angling for All Pledge and expound on the evils of white conservationism to my as yet un-woke friends…

    The country is going through a crisis of distrust and disunity – the kind of crisis where self-serving politicians and entrepreneurs have a field day. There are great numbers of white folk in our country who may not have great sympathy for so-called “liberal” or “liberation” political causes, but who would be quite willing to live with a sane, anti-racist agenda that truly promotes diversity– one by which they are not ideologically vilified by careerist, virtue-signaling academicians and politicians. When people see more and more of the kind of pretentious, divisive rhetoric that you are using, they become prejudiced against, and scornful of, anything that even smells progressive or “liberal,” especially when it floats on a rationale that generalizes them as villains. Some people finally feel so fed-up and disrespected, that they will do something as desperately stupid as vote for a racist, ignorant, grotesquely narcissistic demagogue like Donald Trump.

    Your pretentious, virtue-signaling foolishness does nothing for the common good, and most of the people you claim to speak for would only wonder at your presumptuousness.

    – Gerardo Ramos
    Bishop, CA

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