You Can Save A Stream

Guest Blogger: Jim Murphy, Neenah WI, long-time J Stockard customer and avid fly tyer

Some days it’s wet, some days rainy, some days hot, some days cold. But on the appointed day, usually a Saturday, on a small trout stream, or perhaps what was once a trout stream, they gather. If the willows have formed a canopy over the stream they brush it out, if the meander has become a bow that has spread to a point that the water is just too slow they narrow the flow with brush bundles. If the main channel has become too wide and shallow they install “lunker structures” or fortify the bank with rip-rap.

Some of these men and women belong to the local chapter of Trout Unlimited, some are members of nearby chapters, and some, like I was a while back, are simply concerned volunteers. On this year’s last Stream Workday, September 6th, over 30 of these dedicated individuals, under the direction of the local DNR “Fish Manager”, bundled and brushed a section of the nearby Pine River to convert a stretch of several hundred yards into the place I now want to fish. Although there are other portions of the stream that give up sizable Browns this particular section has been pretty much “barren” according to a few locals.

Continue reading → You Can Save A Stream

Fly Fishing in Paradise, Part Three

Figure 9 - Merced thru ForestGuest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, Fly Fisher & Author, FreeFlight Publishing

We’ve discussed what happened to Yosemite’s “sister valley,” Hetch Hetchy, less than a century ago, and how today no one even mourns that irreversible and immeasurable loss. So many voting Californians were born in other parts of the world and some still may not “get” our New World priorities of crowdlessness, individual freedom to roam and pristine wilderness in which to do it…and many more did originate here but are too far removed from our rural “fiercely independent” roots to feel the difference; they consider shivering too dear a price to pay for seeing nature sans manicure, and they tweet instead of explore, valuing cell service far above unspoiled terrain. When the question arises as to what valleys and streams to dam up next, how do you think they’ll vote? When asked to go easy on wild places–stick soda cans in pockets and protect the lives of little things like fish and plants–how much inconvenience will they accept?

Continue reading → Fly Fishing in Paradise, Part Three