Welcome to Fly Fishing The Salt! If you are just discovering the joys of fly fishing the salt (or salt chuck as some call it) here you will find information to steer you in the right direction. Tips on what equipment to use, why, where and how to fish. And we will try to include a little inspiration to get you going. For the experienced salt water angler, there will be personal stories about real fishermen and their experiences, tips on what flies for which fish and techniques that work. Your stories and articles are also most welcome.
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Four Rabbits And The Baseball Players
By Old Rupe
Captain Doug Sinclair put in a request for this one, it appeared
in our "Old Flies" section a year ago. Doug didn't want the
saltwater readers to miss it. ~ dlb
When "Old Rupe" was young I asked my
Dad why he didn't really follow the game laws that our
state had set down. I got an education. I have never
forgot the response.
He said, "Son, some of the law
makers have never seen a rabbit, but they set bag limits
on how many you can shoot. A sportsman should not
only know how to hunt or fish, but he should realize the
limits that are inherent within the system. A law that says
that you can kill four rabbits sounds fine, but if
there are only three rabbits you are in trouble. Some areas
can stand a four rabbit harvest and some can't."
"A sportsman has an obligation not
only to understand the limits of the system but to act so
that his responses don't diminish it for others. Some areas
are a six rabbit harvest and some are a two. There are areas
that none should be harvested. The state is not the keeper of
the resource, you are. Who knows the field better? The law
maker that has never seen a rabbit, or the person that has
hunted 4-5 days a week in the field during the season. Some
areas should sustain no harvest and some should sustain more."
"If over hunting kills the rabbits then over fishing
surely kills the trout population. Some areas require
a larger harvest than others. Some areas should have a lesser
harvest, or none at all. If your hunting or fishing practices kill
the resource, you do without. The government doesn't have the
obligation to maintain the resource, you as the sportsman do. If
catch and release is ruining your resource then ban it. If you kill
ten trout in the course of catching and releasing twenty trout then
realize, that's the way it is."
"Limits are set by 'dum-dums' in the legislature.
If you adhere to their limits then you have no one to blame but
yourself if the resource dies around you. Some congressmen can't
even spell rabbit or trout. If you ask them about the resource you
will find that they don't even know the animal. Now you understand
the resultant fish and game laws. Some have never owned a fishing
rod or a gun, but they make the laws that govern our sport.
Like my Dad said, "Trout, rabbits and quail can't vote
so they will always be at the low end of the totem pole."
Anything that is detrimental to the resource
should be banned. Congress will vote in any bill that is backed
by the right money. The individual sportsman has an obligation
to the sport to be knowledgeable enough to accept or reject their
laws. A five fish limit is appropriate in some areas, but not in others.
Catch and release with its accompanying
mortality should be recognized for what it is. It is a bag limit
that is determined by the skill of the fisher. A good fisher releases
more than a bad one, and consequently kills more. It's really a
sliding scale bag limit. The better fisher gets to kill as many as he
can. Some even carry mechanical counters to "keep score." My
Dad would not have believed modern catch and release. He would
have called it a perversion on the sport. An attack on the basic
principals of resource management.
My Dad once told me,"If you kill all the baseball players
you just don't get to watch baseball." How
come he was so smart? ~ "Old Rupe"
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