The news release we have been waiting for, Puget Sound water open to fishing again.
Hopefully everyone has had a chance to hit up some of their favorite water for the first time this season. If not, turn off your computer, get out there, and finish reading this later.
Part of the enjoyment of fishing for me is the preparation. Tying flies to replenish fly boxes brings back memories of fish caught, learning new ways to cast so more fish will be "in range", reminds me of fish rising just out of reach, making sure leaders are still flexible brings back the one that got away. All things I enjoy, but a rather myopic approach.
The continued loss of fishing opportunities in the Puget Sound, highlighted by this years North of Falcon fiasco, following last years drought closures, following the loss of winter steelheading on the Skagit in 2010, have driven the point home to me that conservation needs to be part of my preparation.
There is an old greek proverb, or at least internet memes give credit to an old greek proverb, stating that a society grows when old men plant trees who's shade they will never sit in While I strive to be that altruistic, conservation efforts on the Smith, South Fork Eel, and the Situk rivers give me hope that we can recover and enjoy wild steelhead fishing on the Nooksack, Stillaguamish, and Skagit rivers long before I am an old man.
The first step for me was telling Wild Steelheaders United they could count on me to do my part to rebuild wild steelhead and sustain the unparalleled fishing opportunity they provide. The second step was helping get the North Sound chapter of TU off the ground. As the third step develops into specific conservation projects, I am optimistic that I will have memories of successful conservation efforts as I head out to fish in the future.