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October 18th, 1999

By James Castwell

Perception........ How one thinks he see's things. Often wrong, but never the less valid. By valid I mean, perhaps right or wrong, he is dictated by his beliefs. I am often wrong. But I still have them. And . . .mine are, 'Things would be a lot better if other recreations did not overlap into mine,' and 'We ain't got no fish!" Well, at least compared to what we used to have.

I read the state of Washington sold 200,000 less fishing licenses in 1998 than it did in 1997. I will be anxious to see what happened in 1999. Gee, no fish = no license sales = no revenue? Things are not too good here in Washington state. I do not think the state has done a very good job of managing the resource. Please don't get it all wrong. We still have some trout, bass, steelhead, and a few salmon; just not as many as we had. It looks like the United States and Canada have quit squabbling and are going to try to work out some method of managing the fishery they share out here too. Hope it works out.

I am also watching something going on in one of the mid-western states, Michigan. They have a great 'Blue-ribbon' trout stream with some canoe rentals along it. Now they also run kayaks, special 'racing' canoes for an annual marathon, and classic 'Au Sable River Boats.' The canoes are for sight-seers, the racing canoes need to practice, the river-boats want to fly fish, and some fly fishermen would just like to wade the river. They are considering some odd-even method so everyone can have their turn on the stream. I bet that will make everyone happy. I expect someone to coin 'River-Rage,' soon to describe the conditions there.

'Multi-use' it's called. Same principle that says I can pitch horse-shoes while you play tennis. Guess we should all try to get along. Myself, I think some hydro-plane races might be nice on that river, or perhaps those jet-ski's just to liven up the region.

Again, I have no answers, just the questions. Like when my hobby interferes with yours, how do we settle it? I stand in the river fly-fishing and am in the way of your racing-canoe. You have put down the trout I was working on, and I have nearly upset you as you went screaming by. I don't own the river, nor do you; I suppose the state does. But, wait; aren't you and I the 'State?' I think so.

I suppose if I could get ten thousand fly-fishers to fish the river every day; the racers and kayaks and canoes would give up and leave the river to us. Then again, if there were ten thousand canoes we might tend to stay out of the water. Just too many good folks all wanting to enjoy a great stream, each seeing in it their own perspective.

Funny how many of us have a slightly different perception of how things are, or should be, or could be; if only all the other recreationists would get the hell out of our territory. ~ J Castwell

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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