Friday, March 30, 2012

The Earth Does Not Belong To Us.....

....But we think it does!
I spend a lot of time outdoors and the outdoors is a beautiful place to be sure. The rivers, the forest, the high desert of Central and Eastern Oregon are a marvel of beauty.
We do not own it, however, and never have. We are just passing through and what counts most is what we do with our time here on earth.
We are not very good tenants of this planet, our home. If there is some sort of cosmic landlord he would probably kick us out with out refunding our cleaning deposit. We have certainly made a mess of things here on our rental "home"
We have polluted the water by dumping everything from raw sewage to toxic chemicals into it. We have over harvested almost every natural resource that has been given to us. We have gouged the earth with our greed for riches and over populated it to it's breaking point.
It was just our generation either! Our parents,grand parents and every generation before has done the same. Our generation has the technological resources to dig deeper and pollute more than the generations of our forefathers. We also have the technology to try to reverse at least a little of the damage humans have done as far back into history as we can go.
Global warming? Well according to most scientists this is real and man made. Why then has it become such a political football? Are we so arrogant as to think our presence has left no footprint on our planet?
What kind of earth are we leaving the next generation of tenants? A better one I hope but this "Mother Earth" of ours does have a breaking point. How many more species need to go extinct for us to understand? How many more metric tons of pollution do we need to pump into the air? How many wild rivers do we need to dam or forest we need to cut down? We are certainly slow learners in the proper way to take care of our home aren't we? So if I am called an environmental wacko or tree hugger or wild fish hugger by the soulless and greedy I will wear that handle with pride because it is the least I can do for my home.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ted Rhea and Dean Marsh,Farewell My Friends...... One Year Later

I posted this a year ago today. Some say "life goes on" and it indeed does but on this cold and wet first day of spring I'm thinking of these two friends and the families and friends they left behind one year ago. Death is a part of life but that does not make losing a loved one any easier. So this is for the families and friends of Ted Rhea and Dean Marsh and for all who grieve for a loved one or dear friend who left too soon. Time might make things a bit easier but time does not fill that empty place in our hearts. It is an open wound that does not never will.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Is It Too Much To Ask?

Observations from the winter steelhead season just past.

I have been fishing in the Pacific northwest for almost 40 years. I have seen or experienced nearly everything a steelhead fisherman can experience. In all those years I have never seen or experienced the behavior I have seen from my fellow anglers as I have witnessed this winter. I am disheartened and disgusted!
Is it too much to expect simple, common courtesy? Sometimes this stuff happens and it is just part of the game but almost every trip? Rude, drunk river guides fishing through the water I am fishing? Garbage like I have never seen before? Over crowding and boorish behavior by other fly fishermen? This is just plain crazy.
I've come to the point in my fishing life to where all I want from a fishing trip is peace and enjoyment! Is that too much to ask?
I have caught a lot of fish over the years. Big ones and small ones. Some on a fly others with conventional gear and even bait!. I enjoy catching fish like any angler would but I have arrived at the point to where catching a fish just isn't the whole ball game for me. Fishing in peace where I can swing my fly in water undisturbed by morons and assholes is enough to make my day a success. I can't even seem to get that on storied waters like the Deschutes! If this post sounds like I am whining then absolutely I am. I also realize that most who read this are not the type of slobs I am talking about either but I also know that some indeed are who I am talking about....some are even fly fishermen!
I have to wonder why it has become like this. Is it hatchery programs that are not well thought out like maybe the steelhead broodstock program? Yes without a doubt that contributes but you know guys each of us is responsible for our own behavior and even though we can look at hatchery programs as contributing to this mess we should know that we can still be good stewards out on the river.
So for you guys that are good stewards then I tip my fisherman's cap to you and thank you for your good stewardship of the resource.
To those of you that are only interested in putting up big numbers while spoiling the enjoyment that comes from fishing for others then shame on you. I assume you know what doing the right thing means so dammit DO IT!