HARTSEL, Colo. (KDVR) — The calendar read late June, but the mountain peaks surrounding Antero Reservoir in Park County were still capped with snow. Rolling fields of green grass made for a spectacular backdrop as fly fishing guide Landon Mayer slowly worked his way into the water.

“For me, the goal was really just to make a difference. Be honest, work hard, give back,” Landon Mayer said in a moment of reflection.

Mayer is, without question, one of the biggest names in the Colorado fly fishing industry. He has written books and appeared in instructional videos. But his passion for the sport goes beyond catching fish.

“It means a lot for me to have my name recognized to where it’s not just a guide or an angler, but someone who really does protect the resource and give back,” Mayer added proudly.

Annual river cleanup set for August

Mayer prides himself as a fly-fishing ambassador and conservationist, which is why this Colorado native helped spearhead an annual event at the Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area also known as the “Dream Stream.”

“It’s not the biggest trout you catch that day, it’s the biggest mound of trash we gather that day,” Mayer quipped.

“Clean the Dream,” an annual one-day cleanup of the Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area, was founded by Mayer’s friend Brandon Kramer seven years ago. Together, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, they’ve removed tons of trash.

“[Clean the Dream] started out with nine of us,” Mayer recalled. “It’s grown to 275 volunteers last year. Our goal this year is to hit 300.”

What started as a one-day garbage extravaganza at the Dream Stream has spread out to include all the fisheries in South Park.

“It’s cool to pick up trash, whether you’re 15 years old or you’re in your early 30s, or you’ve been doing this for 50 years. Everybody takes pride in the fact that every piece of trash counts,” Mayer said.

“[Afterwards] we all gather around and take our celebration photo. And then you leave inspired, knowing that your (fishing) net becomes a trash bag. It’s a chance for you to really make a difference,” Mayer said.

So that future generations can enjoy the incredible resources Colorado has to offer.

The seventh annual “Clean the Dream” South Platte River cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27, at 8 a.m. For more information, visit Landon Mayer’s website.