This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

March 24th, 2003

Show Goodies

I picked up some goodies at the recent sportsman show in Seattle from the Washington Dept. of Fish and Game's booth. They had some excellent information for kids and fishing. (we've posted a schedule of Kids Fishing Days in Washington on the Bulletin Board - and if your state or community has these events please post them too.) One of the 'handouts' was a little booklet, Youth Sportfishing in Washington which contains lots of good information, including pictures of fish, fishing methods, (showing all the various lures, spoons, jigs and even artificial flies), explanations of rods and reels and hooks, with a hook chart, knots, where to fish, and even what to do if the fish aren't biting. This really is a dandy little book. The booklet is part of the Go Play Outside program and receives financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Pure Fishing. A tip of the FAOL hat for a job well done!

Bumper Sticker

There is always some area in fly fishing where one could start a bar fight. One of the areas where there is almost always an argument of one kind or another is about leaders, tippets - not just which is better, stronger, more invisible (can that be?) but the newer fluorocarbon stuff in particular seems to be a detriment to the environment. Well, that's not exactly true.

Another goodie I picked up is a litter bag, again part of the Go Play Outside program. The graphics on the bag speak for themselves.


Here are some typical times for materials to decay, or "biodegrade."

    Paper . . .2-4 months

    Orange Peel . . .6 months

    Wool Sock . . .1-5 years

    Waxed Paper Cup . . .5 years

    Cigarette Filter . . .10-12 years

    Disposable Diaper . . .10-20 years

    Leather Shoe . . .25-40 years

    Nylon Fabric . . .30-40 years

    Sneaker Sole . . .50-80 years

    Tin Can . . .80-100 years

    Aluminum Can, Tab . . .200-400 years

    Plastic Six-Pack Holder . . .450 years

    Glass Bottle . . .1 million years

    Monofilament Fishing Line . . .Indefinite

    Styrofoam . . .Indefinite

    Plastic Bottle . . .Indefinite

So if monofilament lasts "indefinitely," and fluorocarbon lasts "forever" the message seems to be don't be careless with either. There simply isn't any excuse for leaving anything behind.

Sometimes it takes a little reminder to all of us. Cut off pieces of tippet go in a pocket. As a smoker, cigarette butts go in my pocket until I get home and can dispose of them properly. If we pack it in for whatever reason, we pack it out. No excuses.

It is absolutely disgusting to see the amount of garbage and litter left everywhere in this country. It's not just on the streams. It's in our cities and parks and highways. It is a glorious example of what some Americans think of their country. No doubt the same Americans who blame everyone else for their problems and behavior. 'Not my fault' and 'I'm not responsible' is their battle cry. It's a lie.

If you see it happening, say something. No, you aren't responsible for their behavior either - BUT you can help stop it. Lastly, take a litter bag with you when you travel and when you fish. On your way back to your vehicle, get the bag out, and pick up what you can. If there isn't a trash container where you've parked, take it home and dispose of it properly.

Thanks to the folks at the Washington Department of Fish and Game booth for the goodies and the reminders. See, it even got to everyone on FAOL! ~ The LadyFisher

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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