The Bug answers questions on Skunks and Dry Me a River.
A Stonefly nymph, accidently transported under the Rockies through the Moffat Tunnel answers questions about avoiding getting skunked and sucking the Fraser dry.
From Stephanie the Birder –
Dear Bug, I’ve just taken a job with a trout outfit but I really haven’t caught many trout. It seems so hard. I just fish and fish, but I always get skunked.
I know I can help you enjoy this sport. You’ve got to learn to recount your skunks. If you listen in on your co-workers recounting their adventures on trout streams you’ll hear these count categories:
Looks, hits, refusals, takes, hook-ups, runs, break-offs, jumps, throws, and in-stream releases.
All of these indicate a direct connection with a trout but none of them resulted in what you probably think of as a catch. They practice catch and release, but mostly they practice release. In 1653, Izaac Walton thought that bringing a fish “to hand” would prove he’d been master over the fish. Neanderthals are still among your species that believe that you’ve got to kill a fish to really catch it. Today’s fly fishers are far beyond.
If you want to have more fun and not even worry about being “skunked”, develop the ability to count these other categories. They all indicate that, for at least a few moments, you’ve fooled a very evolved animal with 56 million years more experience than yourself. Eventually you’ll get all the pieces together to be able to actually photograph your fish before you release it unharmed.
From Shauna the Highland Mommie
Dear Bug, What is with Denver Water? They publish all this conservation stuff, gave us rebates on a new toilet, and supply water at rates a young mother can afford but they want to dry up the Fraser River. I thought everyone and every company in Colorado believed in the great outdoors and the enjoyment of healthy rivers.
Dear Shauna in Shock,
Denver Water is not necessarily the bad guy here. They do know that water conservation is cheaper than building new pipelines and reservoirs but your new neighbors have been demanding more and more cheap water to do stupid things; like over-watering kentucky bluegrass on a semi-arid plain so you could have a “real Colorado” house. Denver Water supplies half their water for landscaping. Have your neighbors check out their website for ideas on Xeriscaping, gardening, and replanting with native grasses and let them know they’re not in Kentucky anymore.
But you are right-on about the Fraser River. The antiquated water laws in the West were focused on “using” water, not watching it flow by in the river. After 150 years it has become evident that using it all up and drying up rivers is not a good idea, even if it is legal. Take action on that. Taking 75% of the flow of the Fraser just because it is convenient and legal is not a good enough reason to do it. An expanded Gross Reservoir can be filled in more gentle ways.