The Kea C. Hause – River, Riparian and Restoration Fund (R3)

kea fund logo2The Kea c. Hause – river, riparian and restoration fund (R3)

Donations to the Kea C. Hause River, Riparian and Restoration Fund (R3) will be used for river restoration and habitat improvement, protection of riparian areas, preservation of natural aquatic characteristics, and the promotion of the ethical use of our rivers.

The goal is to promote the health of local rivers and riparian ecosystems. Fund proceeds are dedicated exclusively to projects on Kea’s home rivers – the Roaring Fork and Crystal River – at the foot of the Elk Mountains in Central Colorado.

Funding Considerations for Potential Projects

1. Protect or enhance trout habitat and/or riparian areas
2. Maintain or enhance river ecosystems
3. Provide mitigation to impacts on fisheries
4. Responsibly manage human river access in favor of riparian area protection
5. Provide public education focused on outdoor etiquette and ethical use of waterways
5. No increase in the potential damaging impacts of commercial uses
6. No undue placement of infrastructure, industrial uses, or other non-compatible uses

aspen valley land trust: water/Riparian conservation efforts

Since 1967, AVLT has worked to permanently conserve the open spaces that make our central Rocky Mountain area special. During that time, AVLT has protected more than 60 miles of river and stream frontage that maintains natural riparian areas, clean water, and healthy rivers. AVLT continues to embark on projects that protect and restore river systems for fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, and to provide a natural outdoor educational experience that promotes learning and respect for our rivers.

*Funding of projects is subject to the approval of AVLT and a
representative of the Kea C. Hause – River, Riparian, and Restoration Fund (R3)*


Kea Caldwell Hause

kea book cover

An intimate look at Kea’s philosophy for how he fished and how he lived is featured in “Castwork – Reflections of Fly Fishing Guides and the American West” published 2002 by Willow Creek Press. Written by Kirk D. Deeter and Andrew W. Steketee, photographs by Liz Steketee. Excerpt provided by Andrew Steketee.

Click here to read about Kea’s life, the R3 fund and the July 11th memorial service – Post Independent article 7/10/15.

about kea

2 March 1961 to 22 March 2015

Kea C. Hause was named after Mauna Kea; rising 33,000 feet from the ocean floor, this Hawaiian marvel earns its reputation as the world’s largest volcano- a fitting name for this iconic man.  His mother Adele, who still resides in Carbondale, chose his name while climbing the volcano when 7 months pregnant with Kea.  In 1962, Kea moved to Carbondale with his parents and siblings, spending summers in the Rockies, Wind Rivers, and Pacific coast- as far North or South as the family VW bus would take them.  He learned to live off the land with trout as a primary source of protein and summertime clams, mussels and berries a happy addition to the menu.

Kea grew up amidst a legendary group of skiers, mountaineers, boaters, artists, ranchers, hunters and fly fishermen who all played a part in forming the unique man Kea became.  The stories of pioneer recreational adventurers strongly influenced Kea’s same passions for river running and skiing.  Additionally, Kea spent hours watching his artistic father Ken, at work and became an artist in his own right, crafting cartoons with his childhood friend Scott Stricker for the young Valley Journal- Carbondale’s first newspaper.  He became a prolific graphic artist and many of his logos still inhabit the valley.

A long time Coloradoan, Kea fished and made a living by first starting a worm farm, then tying flies, and later as a ‘Shop Rat’.  His grandfather worked for Grainger and designed the machine that mechanized the process of splitting cane.  Accordingly, Kea fished Grainger Specials, often with a live hopper, red wiggler or live stonefly.  He spent his life including people on his varied outdoor pursuits and started adventuring commercially as a full-time fishing guide in 1980, working with Taylor Creek, Roaring Fork Anglers and Alpine Angling.  Kea amassed more hours on the oars than most guides and, in combination with wade guiding, ranked among the top guides in the US.  Guiding was his gift; ethics and etiquette were his passion.  Respect for the rivers was his primary pitch to anyone who would listen.  Kea’s clients included everyone from his younger brother Ian to Hollywood Icons and accomplished outdoorsmen.  It was imperative to Kea to be properly prepared and ten minutes early to meet clients for whom he provided memorable lifetime experiences while promoting a deep respect for the rivers, his mentors and his peers.

Kea started his own fly fishing business in 2012 and surrounded himself with a small crew of guides who he taught the value of bringing the ethics of continued care for our rivers and streams back into guiding. His western heritage framed his focus on a quality fishing experience for his following where he imparted his passion for the valley he loved; number of fish caught was a secondary goal.  Any time off the river was spent skiing, camping, hiking and playing in our Elk Mountains and surfing on the Pacific Coast.

Kea regarded himself as having been fortunate to guide and to have been guided by the old and new masters of the fly-fishing industry.  He had strong beliefs about paying it forward and happily donated time and trips to worthy causes, encouraging his peers to do the same.  In essence, Kea was a very humble man whose renowned reputation was forged largely by teaching the importance of preserving our rivers and helping others find fulfillment in their own lives and fly fishing experiences.



From Kea’s family, friends, and all of us at AVLT, we’d like to
thank everyone who contributed to Kea’s R3 Fund:

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