Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life Changes

It is amazing how the days have gone by. This weekend my brother Joe was in town due to my niece playing in a softball tournament in Salem, Oregon. She is almost a teenager now and I remember like it was yesterday him telling me the news. We were driving through West Glacier while on a fishing excursion when he told me. Though a parent myself now, back then I could only imagine what was going through his mind. Thinking about it, I am grateful that he was able to spend time away with me to think and talk about what was going on.

Life is a weird thing, it is amazing how many times I can think back about both the good and bad things that have occurred and how fishing or just getting out on the water helped to get me through it. There were even those times when significant life changes occurred on days that I was fishing.  I do not know if it was my brother who taught me to use fishing as a coping mechanism or just coincidence, but what I do know is he was the one who got me interested in fly fishing in general. Sure we both came from The River Runs Through It era of fly fishing, but it was he who took me out on the Yuba River in California while in college and showed me how to swing flies for shad. Hell, I even hooked one and from then on this sickness I now call a way of life has manifested into who I am.

With time and life, things have changed significantly. My brother who was taught how to cast at the Golden Gate fishing club seldom gets the chance to spend anytime on the water and seldom touches his fly rods except when he visits. Now a husband and father of two, he spends most of his time with his family and the different activities involved with his kids like coaching softball. He does this while traveling across the country and world several times a year for work.

This cannot help but make me think about how much I will change in order to be a better parent. Will I become some kind of soccer dad? Or will I become the parent of a Junior US Fly Fishing Team member? Only time will tell, but I like me odds. A few hours ago my daughter talked me into waking up early to go fishing. This brings me to why the hell am I typing this because we plan on getting up in four hours.

Hmm, I am thinking the Echo Gecko and my new Echo 3 are gonna see some skater time in the morning.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Alaska Gold on Frontline

Watch Alaska Gold Preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

The Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska is home to the last great wild sockeye salmon fishery in the world. It’s also home to enormous mineral deposits—copper, gold, molybdenum—estimated to be worth over $300 billion. Now, two foreign mining companies are proposing to extract this mineral wealth by digging one of North America’s largest open-pit mines, the “Pebble Mine,” at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. FRONTLINE travels to Alaska to probe the fault lines of a growing battle between those who depend on this extraordinary fishery for a living, the mining companies who are pushing for Pebble, and the political framework that will ultimately decide the outcome.

Watch it July 24th on Frontline. 

Fish Pass Condit Dam

Well for the first time in centuries, anadramous fish are passing where Condit Dam once stood on the White Salmon River in Washington. It is believed that these fish are of hatchery origin, but regardless, it is a milestone. Although it is not believed that Spring Chinook have crossed above this section of river, there is hope for Fall Chinook that should return in good numbers this year. I for one and looking forward to the future of this river. Read more courtesy of The Daily News and The Columbian.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Shark Bait

This one is everywhere, but I had to post it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Help TU Protect Bristol Bay, Alaska

The future of Bristol Bay, its 40 million sockeye salmon, 14,000 fishing jobs, abundant wildlife and a Native way of life is now in the hands of President Obama and the EPA. Its up to you to convince them to stop the Pebble mine. After a year and a half, the EPA's draft Watershed Assessment is out and the evidence is overwhelming. Pebble mine is a threat to Bristol Bay's fish, jobs and fish and wildlife habitat. Now its up to you. If built, Pebble Mine would produce up to 10 billion tons of toxic waste requiring treatment and storage forever. The mine threatens Bristol Bay's $600 million commercial and sport fishery and 14,000 fishing jobs. Please tell President Obama and the EPA that you support EPA's science review and there is not doubt that Bristol Bay must be protected immediately. (Courtesy of Trout Unlimited)

Write you letter here.

Gillnet Ban on the Columbia

A Summer from a few years past that got tangled in a gillnet. 

Though this has nothing to do with tribal netting in the Columbia, enough signatures have been gathered in Oregon to propose a November ballot. This is great news! This old school indiscriminate form of fishing has been killing the same native fish we are spending millions of dollars each year to protect. It is nice to see people getting together to solve this issue.

It is my belief that gillnets in the Lower Columbia and overharvest decades ago has led to the loss of genetic stability that produced the once 20 pound winter steelhead that swam into Southwest Washington streams. Spring netting coincided the same time as when these legendary steelhead returned to their native streams. Though there are other obvious reasons for the demise of these legendary fish, this is one factor that obviously affected those fish. Though they disregard today's bycatch as marginal, back when the runs were more healthy, I am sure the impact was much more significant.

Read more via Oregon Live.