My apologies to those of you who like kayaks. I have nothing
against you or your little boatetts; one or two place, sit-in
or sit-on. They are cute. I watched one in Elliot Bay
(Seattle, WA) go like hell as the monstrous car ferry I was
on tried to run over him. Apparently dozing off in one is
not recommended, and especially drifting out into the boating
channel. I gained a bit of respect for the speed of the things
and the fortitude of those who power them under emergencies.
The blowing of the horn on my vessel was an added touch to
the event. It seemed to urge the little paddler to greater
and greater efforts.
But enough of one of my brighter days. By now I have angered
a few thousand of you needlessly but, I just could not resist.
Your minions do it to the fly-fishers everyday. Most also
seem not to give a hoot about it either. And then there
those of you/us who fly fish out of the things. But that's
not what I am writing about. I am writing about the Au Sable
River in Michigan.
For years I have been fishing that river; the Main Stream,
the South Branch and the North Branch. The Au Sable is one
of the Premier, Blue Ribbon, Pristine, Catch & Release, No
limit, No Daily Possession, No Bait, No Nothing, No Kidding
Rivers. It is intimately wadeable. But, alas that is what
makes it so attractive to those wanting the ultimate outdoor
experience. Drifting lazily down a virginal stream
unencumbered by anything but Bambi and her little buddies.
If you get smashed and fall out of a canoe it's not big deal.
You can crawl to shore.
This is of course not what is recommended by those who
make a living and have for many years renting aluminum
canoes to the masses for just such trips. Some time ago
I reconciled myself that the name Grumman was famous and
therefor should be allowed to make canoes and that some
folks should be allowed to rent them out, slide them into
the river, and the owners drive downstream and fetch them
back home again at the end of the day.
So what that many of them were tied together and the
occupants would not pass the basics of driving tests.
The fishing during hours they bobbled about on the
river was actually rather poor anyway. Mostly during
the daytime, bright sun and such. For the most part
the canoes didn't show up until noon and usually quit
offending by dusk, just before the good fishing started.
So, although a nuisance, they didn't actually interfere
a lot. I accepted the aluminum flotilla, mostly.
But, this is too much. I see no good reason that they
can not continue to rent canoes instead of kayaks. Canoes
are at lease aesthetic, well somewhat anyway. So today's
canoes are not birch-bark, I can live with that. But,
why do we need to put some wobbly-bobbly boatetts from
the frozen arctic on this river? Watching them just
destroys the image. Jumping out of the way really does.
The warm-and-fuzzy of the day astream dissolves right
before ones eyes. The magic of the moment is shot.
I just think that there are enough ways to float the river,
we do not need yet another convenient conveyance. Don't
give me the 'rights' argument either. I pay for a license
to use the river. It's called a fishing license. They pay
nothing to the state for the use of the river.
However, I will continue to share. But with kayaks? Gimme a break! ~ JC