September 17th, 2007

By James Castwell

Fall is not the time for this type of column but as you know by now, things like that don't slow me down much. I just feel like bringing it up again. There has been a fair amount of the subject on the bulletin board lately too. Funny, mostly folks get all fired up about conservation and stewardship in the spring, but they are still talking about it. If so, I will add what I can to it too.

Here is a picture of one of the most widely read books about being a 'good guy' when you are outdoors. If you haven't read it yet, do so. It is a great one and you will be richer for your effort. A pleasant read, no soap-box, no yellin', just plain talk and sensible ideas. I first got my copy from a close friend as a gift. Since then I have given away perhaps a dozen or so. Not expensive, paperback is $12.95 and they really do make a thoughtful present.

Over the years I have tried to be pretty good most of the time about keeping my campsite clean and even picking up stuff left by others, especially things left in a stream, bottles, cans, tires, pieces of clothing, plastic six-pack thingies and just plain junk. I think we all have tired to do our part, it seems to be one of the things that happens when we take up the long rod in place of just fishing. A sense of responsibility and ownership actually. These places become partly ours, and we get protective and concerned for them. We watch over some of them as a mother hen might. Pickin' and clucking as we go along, doing this and that. Get darn right fussy, we do. And that does separate us from some. At least I think it does.

Not that it makes me any better, no, not that at all, just different. Things are different for me. I look at nature in a different light than in past years. A type of maturity perhaps. As much as I would like to claim fidelity in the great scheme of things I can not with any degree of honesty. But, mostly I did my best with what I had to work with.

Where I get confused is some of the other folks. The ones that just don't seem to get 'it' Whatever 'it' is. I don't think any amount of complaining will do much good either. It's not information that is required, it's education. There is a big difference I think. All the ads in sporting goods and fly fishing magazines and even on here won't do much good. The ones with the problems don't read them and don't come here. They aren't really bad folks, just for some reason they don't look at outdoor stuff like, at least, I do.

Okay, they leave soda and beer cans around, pitch them overboard, "pack it in and leave it where ever they drop it," and all sorts of other littering, but how do you explain this. They come around to the idea that they should not do things like that. They change how they do things. They quit tossin' garbage around and start packing out the stuff they pack in. Pretty soon, they are picking up stuff from others. So, who are these guys?

Well, maybe guys just like me. And you may know some too. I can't point to anyone with any blame. We all grow and grow up, at least, most of us do. Then, as we age we do more and more and write things and talk about conservation and stewardship and the world goes on and on. I think that is the way it will continue to be. Some will 'get it' sooner than others. Some will grasp responsibility with fervor and a grin and enjoy the trip. Others will come later and in a mellow mood just keep the game rolling along. But, in the end, it all gets done. Every thing works out. The winds of change keep blowing. Nature happens and we happen right along with it. Enjoy the ride, even though at times, it may seem to be a one way street, uphill and not always paved. All roads lead to the same place. I'm trying really hard to make it a great trip. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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