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Archive for the ‘Perpetual Hope’ Category

No PebbleIs it worth the risk?  Hell NO!  In some places you just have to say NO.  Look at what just happened in Japan.  A quake like that will happen again and it could easily happen in the zone of the proposed Pebble Mine project.  You would have to be living in a cave not to know about Pebble Mine and most likely, you have seen this Red Gold trailer.  Its worth a look again so the cause is not forgotten.  These Pebble Folks will hang around for a long long time, because they have lots and lots of money invested and plenty more to use.  There is actually some hope right now that  positive choices will be made, but our voices must continue to be heard.

Save Bristol Bay

Excerpts from TUs most recent Press Release…

“The EPA has the tools to protect Bristol Bay, where more than 40 million salmon migrated last year,” said Paul Greenberg, an author and recreational fisherman. “This is one of our last remaining watersheds for healthy, wild salmon. Even trace amounts of toxic metals from mine waste can interfere with salmon’s ability to navigate and spawn, endangering their survival and the future of this fishery.”

There are now tens of thousands of individuals and thousands of organizations and businesses who represent Alaska Natives, anglers, outdoor equipment manufacturers, commercial fishermen, jewelers, chefs, restaurant owners and people of faith who are asking for the federal agency to protect Bristol Bay from Pebble Mine.

The EPA took the first step toward protecting the Bristol Bay watershed in southwest Alaska on Feb. 7, when the agency announced plans to initiate a scientific study of the Bristol Bay watershed to better understand how future large-scale development projects could affect Bristol Bay’s water quality, fisheries, and communities.

“We are confident that after the science and other public input are considered, the EPA and the Obama Administration will join Alaska Natives, commercial and sport fishermen, chefs, restaurant owners, and outdoor enthusiasts to protect Bristol Bay, its fisheries, resources and jobs,” said former Alaska State Senate President Rick Halford.

TU makes it really easy to Take Action, so please do.

Take Action: Alaska Residents // Save Bristol Bay

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In the past 24 hours, I have had five people make reference to my great lifestyle.  While I could create an entire post listing the trade offs, that would be no fun.  I am a happy guy most of the time and thankful for all the wonderful experiences and fish I have seen in Alaska and other wild and fishy places.  On Tuesday, I was actually fishing Montana in 50 degree weather and exercising a bunch of trout and maybe gloating a bit.  But right now, its 3 degrees and its been snowing since Wednesday.  My buddy captain Eric Lund is using his new smart phone like a voodoo doll and poking me with pictures from Islamorada where he says its a bit chilly at 79 degrees.  Then we have these guys…frankly Frank (and Felt Soul guys), I am envious.  (I have also encountered Big Foot and have a story for another time.)

On another track, I read an interesting opinion post yesterday from Fly Fish Ohio called the Extinction Event.  Joe writes about The Fly Fishing Industry’s Headlong Rush Into Irrelevance And How It Might Be Able To Save Itself… The fly fishing industry is missing the mark for generating more participation. The number of fly fishing anglers is spiraling down.  The number of fly fishing days per capita spent on the water has increased dramatically and the amount of money spent on high end goods by a shrinking number of dedicated and financially solvent people is keeping us going for now, but for how long?  The future of our sport is about to nose dive, unless we can make some changes.

Despite what we say about fly fishing not being an elitist sport, videos showing anglers flying around in helicopters and casting $1000+ fly rods are just not helping our cause.  Sorry Felt Soul guys…we still want to be you, it’s just that most kids will never grow up to do what you are doing.  The problem we need to face is getting young people off the couch by showing them opportunities at home.  There are many good fly fishable waters and species to chase throughout our country that don’t require a helicopter, only a little knowledge and an inexpensive fly rod.  So here is my thought.  Beyond the industry offering lower priced tackle, fly fishermen need to begin recycling.  How many first generation fly rods are out there gathering dust?  Will you ever actually fish that 5wt DS now that you have an XP, ZAxis and TCX?  Even if the answer is yes, how valuable would it be to pass it on to a young angler who just needs some spark and some tackle to begin the lifelong quest we are all passionate about; to become someone who will grow up to support the industry and care about preserving his local waters.

A couple years ago, I pulled a modest fly rod from the Kenai River.  While there was nothing wrong with it, I had no need for such a rod.  Several days later, I had a father and son on a guided trip who wanted to try fly fishing.  They loved it, but the father said that after the cost of the trip, he could not see spending $500 bucks to get his son started fly fishing at home.  After fishing, we drove back to my cabin and I presented him with the rod and dug out an old reel and fly line to make it work. He has since landed many fish on that outfit in Florida and his dad is bringing him back to Alaska for their third trip this summer.

This spring, with some help from our fly fishing club (MRF) I am planning a free fly casting class for kids from the Great Falls schools.  We will pull in as many donation rods as we can get and send as many kids home with a rod and a dream as we can.  Its grass roots time people.  We need to save our sport.

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