Excerpt from Upstream Downstream, written by Merrill Mahaffey circa 1974:
"In 1970 two friends and I coined the term Southern Colorado Long-Haired Trout Fisherman's Association. This was a cover for our summer fishing trips to the high lakes of Southern Colorado. Using this folksy title, we began to exchange small works of art as envelope designs and letters. As such the Southern Colorado Long-Haired Trout Fisherman's Association was formalized as correspondence art with the issue of our first Trout Certificate postcard. This Act Acknowledged our naturalist tendencies as artists and began my declared bond with my country roots.
My grandfather was a fast-talking, honest sheepman in Western Colorado. As an Oklahoma bred immigrant pioneer rancher, through homesteads and tax sales, he was able to build a large ranch business before his death in 1940. My father became a professional conservationist and as an amateur photographer, he guided me into appreciating the western people and countryside. To tourists the West is just more scenery; to those who live in the West it is their environment and source of income. At age 37, I am just beginning to understand the inevitability of my present artistic concerns."