Most will not agree with me on this, but
a few might so here I go... again. I tend
to live my life today based on the values
I acquired over the past seventy years. Not
much choice, I suppose, about all I have to
work with. During that time many things have
changed here in my USA, and most have been,
I think, for the good. But there are some I
am suspect of and that is where some of you
younger folks may butt heads with me. In fact,
I am torn between some of them myself. Sometimes
I have two principles which seem going in opposite
directions. Like this for example.
Who would argue that it is not a good idea
to get guys into fly fishing so that as they
grow with it they develop a deeper sense of
the environment and do things to help keep
it nice. Things like voting for more open
space rather than a new sub-division. But
the more we invite people into fly-fishing
the more pressure on the streams, and that
is not such a great idea. Heck, I want to
do both. There is this too.
You want your kid to get into fly-fishing
so you give him a nice fly-rod combo when
he is about twelve or so. Would he respect
it more if he had to work at odd jobs and
save up for it? Probably. Would it take
longer to get the gear? Probably. Would he
respect it more if he had to buy it himself?
Would he feel it was his to do with whatever
he wanted to and not take good care of it?
Don't know. If it was a gift from dad which
way would he think of it? Always questions.
Remember getting an orange in your Christmas
stocking? Not you youngsters here, I'm talking
to your dads now. Why was that? Remember. They
were only available then. A big deal, the
Christmas Orange. So, is it a 'good thing'
that I can buy an orange any month of the
year now? I suppose it is, but some of the
magic is gone for me now.
Hunting. There were seasons openers. Wow,
the times I had with them. All of the
anticipation and the hunting itself. Ducks
and Pheasants were our big thing. Each fall
we 'gave it to 'em.' Back then we had a
refrigerator with a tiny area to make
ice-cubes. A few years later we did get
a freezer, much later. When ducks were
in season, we ate duck. When pheasants
were open, we ate pheasant. When yellow
perch were available, we ate them too.
Each thing in it's own season. If it
wasn't available... we didn't have it.
In the spring we went to 'the lake,'
Silver Lake actually, in Michigan's
lower peninsula. Bass, walleye, panfish.
We knew which ones were 'biting' and when.
There were better times and seasons for
each. Now I see I can fish for almost any
fish I want at any time of year if I am
willing to pay enough. Lakes stuffed full
of big bucket mouth, or rainbow, or just
about any thing I might want. Planters.
Stockers. Put-and-take. What is this all
Recreational man hours. The government
taxes me so it can spend money hatching,
growing and planting fish for you to fish
for in a lake or stream by you that will
not sustain it's own fishery. Good thing?
Well, you like it. And then you pay for
some things they probably do out here, like
maybe feed some elk that might not be here
if they were not artificially controlled.
Good thing? Perhaps.
Then again, I am not so sure. Let's say
there is a lake by you that 'might' handle
some pan fish. They kill it off and stock
trout. The trout die every year, but they
stock more so you and your boy can fish for
them. That gets your son into fishing and
perhaps even fly-fishing. I guess that's a
good thing, but would it have more value if
you had to drive two hundred miles to fish
for some real ones? Where does one draw the
line and make the call. Which, if you had to
vote on it right there at home, way would
you vote? To stock in your lake or improve
conditions on a stream you could only get
to a few times a year...but catch wild trout?
Now we have something else that troubles me.
They are 'inventing' fish. That's right.
Mixing them up and making new fish. Fish
like a Saugeye, (front half a Sauger and
the tail is a walleye) no..., just kidding,
they mix the genes to do it. It lives places
neither one likes, but the Saugeye loves it.
They have done it with some Rainbows too.
They get huge but don't reproduce.
I think I am not for this stuff. Like I said,
most will not agree with me here, but so be
it. I have been raised with seasons, those
of weather and those of game, and sure as
heck of specie.
I am sure soon I will read about some other
newly invented fish of some sort. There is
this old story of the guys who crossed a
jelly-fish with a yellow perch to get a
They got a bony jellyfish instead. ~ JC