A friend of mine is part of a large family that owns a ridiculous amount of land. That land is host to some water that produces decent fish. Unfortunately in recent times they have had a spike in trespassing and poaching. For the first time ever you can find the occasional piece of trash in what has previously been untouched territory. The combination of increased family use, illegal pressure, and some lontra joining the local ecology has resulted in a decline of the fishing experience.
We made the most of a recent run to these waters. The weather didn’t help…inside of an hour we had blue skies, torrential downpour, snow, and vicious hail. In between flurries it was obvious that the trout were slurping something off the surface. Without a good supply of dries I had to stick with my chironomids and stuck a few fish.
As much as I love urban fishing, there will never be any substitute for silent solitude on the water, miles from structures and pavement.
Without completely kicking the hornet’s nest…I’ve been having repeated conversations wrapped around the harm in drawing too much attention to waters that are currently not trashed or already “overcrowded”.
Most can respect the fact that they have convictions different that your own, others not so much. Some say that the increase in human presence is inevitable so get over it, or even monetize it. Others blacklist you for posting a picture anywhere other than your own fridge. Most of us land somewhere in the middle.
While I completely understand that we humans have a proven track record to abuse and misuse whatever we touch, I also know that I wouldn’t enjoy fly fishing today if everyone I encountered had taken the, “I’m not going to let you in on the secret someone else let me in on”. I’ve made some great actual friends (as in real people you enjoy and spend time with) through various social media “friends” (a cheap and trite digital bit of nothingness) and a shared love for the sport.
In the ten years I’ve been fishing the river, pressure is up. I have also gained an education in proper etiquette and conservation on the river because of those that weren’t afraid to spill the beans. Not sure how it all fits together. I’m going to modify my approach slightly moving forward. For now.
Trash the treble hooks. Get a good net. Stash your trash. Catch and release. Over and out.