COVID Distress

The pandemic has been distressing to say the least for a multitude of reasons. On one hand, I am glad that people have rediscovered the great outdoors. It has helped procure more business for me and given people a reason to learn fly fishing. However, this rediscovery has shown it’s ugly side and how the pandemic has also hurt the environment.

Today I fished a local TMA. I know it has been stocked several times since last year. I also know that it has been poached heavily. For the life of me, I can’t understand people’s mindset when it comes to illegal fishing, breaking the rules, and outright destroying a fishery. Why do you have to litter as well ?

Clearly, bait fisherman have been in the Fly Fishing Only section of this river. The pictures are damning evidence.

Everywhere I turned, there was evidence of this. I don’t have anything against anyone who wishes to fish conventional tackle and bait. My son still prefers his spinning rod over the fly rod and I embrace that but, when you constantly see trash left behind by careless individuals with no regard for anything, it kind of gets your blood boiling.

The larger early stone flies were out and in sufficient numbers to get trout looking up, yet run after run, pool after pool, very few fish were caught and released. I was wet fly fishing and covered a lot of water, I should have hooked up more than I did !

I did manage to catch a few stockers so I am not completely disheartened but it took some work and covering a lot of water !

Another stocked brown fell to a pair of wet flies.

Three stocked fish for the entire day on a river that could and should have been much better. It has improved in water quality over the years and as a result, improved hatches. You know the water quality has recovered when you have hatches of stone flies, Quill Gordons and Hendricksons !

Somehow, I don’t think this year’s Quill Gordon or Hendrickson is going to be fun and rewarding. In fact, everywhere I have fished, I have seen evidence of damage to streams, increased litter and depletion of trout populations, especially on TMA’s and wild trout streams.

I’m sorry to post such a distressing blog this time. I try and stay positive and encouraging with them, but today was a bit of a bummer ! I’ve seen the destruction of lives, families, and our economy from COVID-19 on my career side. Now I am seeing the devastating effects on the environment. It was present last year as well but I feel it has been compounded even more this year. I hope things turn around. I pray that it does.

Please, please, become stewards of our environment and join Trout Unlimited or some other conservation group and help protect and restore an already damaged and fragile resource even before the pandemic started.

When you are fishing, pick up after yourself. Bring a garbage bag with you and pick up what others have not. Catch and release more fish safely. And, call out poachers and those who openly and wantonly disregard regulations.

My bitching is done for now. Opening Day is this weekend. I hope that it is a fun and rewarding day for everyone. It will be if we all do our part. Good Luck & happy fishing !

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