A Good Reason Why Fishing Should Return.
One of the most therapeutical things we can do to empty our minds and offer ourselves a platform for planning, thinking and relaxation, is simply listening to the sound of a river. Being close to running water, breathing fresh non polluted air, somewhat forgotten in the urban controlled and influenced 21st century, is actually paramount to man's well-being and one of the main reasons every sizable settlement/town was built by a flowing river in the first place." Copied from: Speyonline by Ian Gordon.
The two pictures above were taken 05/18/08 at the Sandy River Spey Clave, a day after the river went from its normal 3,000cfs to 11,000cfs. The top picture is of Ian Gordon, a champion British Spey distance caster & gillie who had journeyed all the way from UK to put on an exhibition at the Clave. The river had risen so much that our normal presentation area, Instruction Beach was under several feet of fast moving water. We adapted by moving all the sound system, presenters and attendees several hundred yards upstream to the boat ramp. Everyone maintained a stiff upper lip and the show went on.
Anglers are used to adapting to changes in the natural world. It is the changes in the man-made world we may not be as good at. The Fly Fishing Shop, established in 1981 had grown steadily through 2003. Between then and May of 2008 this same shop had experienced solid explosive growth over the next five years. Little did we realize that in September of that same year the U.S. economy would be in free fall, and one year later all of that five years of growth would be gone. Over the next twelve years local fish runs would explode, then fizzle to some of the lowest in recorded history. Our great seventeen year relationship with Metro at Oxbow Park and the World renowned Sandy River Spey Clave would become untenable and dissolve. In the end all of our frustration in trying to resuscitate the situation was for not. If we had been able to meet the incompatible financial obligation, the coronavirus ended the Clave anyway. The adventure of living is always uncertain. That is what makes life interesting.
For most of us Covid-19 will be just another bump in the road. According to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” The English playwright, William Shakespeare advises us that, "This too shall pass."
I do agree with Ian Gordon, that no matter how well tested, and strong, many people need to be next to moving water, at least at times, to maintain their center. Closing off some people from contact from water in a natural environment is contradictory to maintaining their health. I am one of those, and if you are reading this, you probably are too.
The situation relevant to the local area:
- From what I hear Washington State is totally shut down, and it is illegal to fish anywhere in the state. Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, publicly announced April 27 that he would start to open up that State's water on May 5.
- In Oregon it has been somewhat different. In Oregon residents can still go fishing, as long as the water is open to fish, and as long as we are practicing social distancing. Non-residents are not allowed to fish here. However, many parks and boat launches are closed to everyone. A consortium of fishing guides herein Oregon sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown, BLM, ODFW and OSMB, asking that when Oregon starts to lower restrictions, that our outdoor resources are some of the first to open. As CEO of The Fly Fishing Shop, and after much deliberation, I signed the letter. Oregon will start to open as well.
- All boat launches and parks on the Clackamas River are closed. However, if you can get to the river, water levels are perfect.
- Oxbow Park on the Sandy is open for fishing and the boat launch is open, but restrooms are closed. The water level is perfect.
- The Lower 100-miles of the Deschutes is open, except for the Warm Springs reservation. The Reservation is on lock-down.
- Warm Springs to Trout Creek on the east side of the river is open for hiking and fishing. No boating and no rest rooms. Water conditions are perfect, and it is the best fly fishing in the State.
- I asked my contact at BLM, why not open the restrooms and stock hand sanitizer? The rely was that the BLM tried that, but someone continually stole the sanitizers and toilet paper as soon as it was stocked. A present, sanitizer is nearly unavailable.
See you all when we get past this obnoxious virus,