Bri Dostie

Photo by Ben Macri

Bri Dostie, Founder of Confluence Collective, Maine Guide, Illustrator + Writer

By Rachel Hurn

The mission of Bri Dostie’s social enterprise, Confluence Collective, is to create a space for fly-fishers who don’t match the traditional archetype: straight, white, male, able-bodied. “We do this through experiences, advocacy, and education,” says Dostie, who founded the group in 2019. In the past year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Dostie has deepened local connections and formed new collaborations with Maine outdoor entities like the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center and the Nature Based Education Consortium, as well as with Portland-based social groups. “I’m proud we could leverage education and art-based learning in new ways that ultimately will improve how we approach our work from now on,” she says. This meant instead of learning stations at outdoor events, Confluence Collective brought learning into the home, through shareable coloring pages and virtual learning series, for example. “It also meant being really flexible and thoughtful about what people needed,” Dostie says, “and leaving lots of space for emotionality and pain, and normalizing all of it—well beyond the typical ‘feel good’ fishing vibes.” Dostie believes that Maine has played an important historical role in expanding fly-fishing as a way for people to connect with nature. “Unfortunately, fly-fishing remains predominantly white and male, despite a growing diversity in identities that call Maine home,” she says. “I think our past uniquely positions us to be a part of defining more expansive and inclusive possibilities for the future of fly-fishing.”

Share The Inspiration