Friday, December 24, 2010

The Bigger Picture

It's a given that we all love fly fishing. If you are reading this blog you have to love fly fishing at least a little or you wouldn't waste your time reading my mindless drivel would you? Well it's the same for me also. The joy I get from casting a fly to a trout or steelhead is hard to measure. I fear my sanity would suffer greatly if I could not get out on a river on a semi-regular basis.
All that aside though I believe that there is something larger than our angling pleasures....namely the effort to save what wild salmon, trout and steelhead we have left. We cannot sit idly by and just expect the wild salmonids in our river to always be there because that has never worked with anything in the past and our endangered cold water fisheries are on the brink.
We have to ask ourselves just how important is our passion for these things. Can you set aside your desire to have some excellent fly fishing in order to save a few wild trout or steelhead...can you? I am not putting myself or my conservation efforts above those of any of you that are reading this but I can assure that I would give up fishing a river like the Deschutes if I thought I could make a difference in the survival of a wild species like the redside rainbows. I could set aside fishing on the Metolius if it meant that the Bull trout would survive and I could quit tossing flies at coastal cutthroat trout on my favorite coastal river if the survival of these trout hung in the balance.
We cannot pin our hopes that state fish and wildlife agencies or the federal government to do what is necessary to make sure wild fish survive because their track record is piss poor.
Here we sit on the eve of a new year and still our wild cold water fisheries are in grave danger because of greed and mismangment and a lack of imagination of our fish and wildlife agencies. So I am hoping that each of you have a wonderful 2011 out on the river and I ask you to consider just one thing as you hold that beautiful trout or steelhead oout the water for your hero shot. Think about what it takes for that fish and other wild salmonids like it to survive and perpetuate their species. What could you sacrifice in 2011 to make that happen.
2011 will mark the fifth year I have shared my thoughts with you on this blog and I wanted to take the time to thank all of you who stop by the Quiet Pool for putting with my ranting and poor punctuation. Your feedback is what keeps it going.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my fly fishing friends out there.

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