I was at a meeting where use of the lake,
where I fish at noon, was being
discussed. We had several people there
with various interests. Funny how a
body of water can have so many people
determined that their use of the water
is the very best and everything else is
a waste of time.
We had people who wanted no motors used on
the lake; people who wanted to use any size
motor and at any speed; people who want to
water ski; people who want to use jet skies;
people who want only fishing; people who want
fishing banned from the lake. Out of this
group was supposed to come some
sort of use plan for the lake.
The main idea was to open up part of the lake
for people to water ski. There would be no
"Jet Skis" allowed on the lake. This would keep some
tourist dollars in the area as several folks
go to other lakes to do this. One part of
the proposal was that the water skiing would
be from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. This would leave
early morning and late evening for the fisherman
to use. This is the area where most of the
walleye are during the summer.
The jet ski folks went ballistic. The only
thing that helped was that it would take
another application to get that done on this
lake. The other thing was that the area being
opened up was not really large enough to allow
both of these things.
The fishermen were not totally appeased, but
were happier to know that rip rap along the
shore was part of this deal. Also that there
are times that they could fish in this area.
The no fishing folks were not happy with anything
that had to do with fishing. They were trying to
take the meeting over. They wanted fishing
banned. I finally got frustrated and told them to
go to the State Legislature and get a law passed.
Nothing that we did there could have any
effect. Here is where the rub started.
They yelled at me because I fish. I told them I
had a licence in my pocket that gave the privilege
of doing that. Fishing, in that case, was a legal
activity. Yelling at me was not going to do any
Then one of the fisherman said that I was being
snobbish because I fly fished. Why did I do that?
Fly rods were for trout fishing. I asked him
why he did not. I enjoy fly fishing and that
is why I do it. I also pointed out that fly
fishing had a much longer history that spin casting and
bait casting. I don't think that I convinced him
of anything. It is hard to get various groups to
come together for how to use the water.
It did cause me to think some about this and
where I stand on all of the issues. I did come
to a few conclusions.
The first is obvious, not everyone is going
to be happy about what is done.
Second, I don't apologize for fishing. If you
don't like it it's your problem, but leave me
Third, I like to fly fish and I do it. If it
is not your bag, then fine. Don't hassle me
for it. There is room for all of us to fish
the way that we want to.
I will not apologize for fishing. I will not
apologize for fishing the way that I do, or
for working to make conditions better for fishing.
I do not get into discussions if fish feel pain.
I do not discuss the morality of fishing.
We all need to enjoy the time that we can have
on the water. As fishermen we need to recognize
that ours is not the only use of the water. I have
decided to take the pro-active stance.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick