Fly Fishing Reality 2014
“And see the
children sport upon the shore. And hear the mighty waters
If long gone Willy
Wordsworth had ridden shotgun on a recent pre- opening day tour
of Northern California’s famed Trout/Salmon water’s tears would
Only one missing piece
has changed the plans and dreams for those who carry fly rods!
Lack of water. According to those who study historical north
American water history speculate this current water crisis may
be cyclical occurring roughly every 900 years or so! This dry
period of the last few years crept up on all of us hard core fly
fishers until this year when California water ran out. Coastal
rivers and streams closed, waters migrating salmon use closed,
closed! Fly fisher’s from Alaska down into San Diego report the
same hard reality. Alaska is warmer now then its been in human
memory, Arctic glaciers melting faster then anyone could predict
have caused flooding and hastened changes in the natural order
from fish migration to rules for sportsmen. Alaskan King Salmon
season impacted and controlled as are the other fish stocks. In
my fly life Alaska changes have been the most disturbing, warmer
weather and historic fish counts down in the last 30 years.
All of the major
California water sanctuaries are low below 40%, many farmers
have been told no water allotments this year impacting both our
food source and migrating waterfowl numbers. In my fly life this
drastic decline in water is unprecedented. Sadly many blame this
on either too many people sucking up precious resource or
Biblical Devine Intervention! Could be all the above. It is
sobering to actually see the history of North American Water in
the growth rings of ancient tree’s. Clearly mankind has endured
many dry periods in the last thousands of years. Now
contemporary Fly Fisher sportsmen face the ugly truth, our sport
the Canary in the coal mine saw this monster looming
unstoppable. Sad to drive by streams and creeks bone dry, sadder
to see the old high water marks on canyon walls.
What Can Be Done?
Those concerned have
taken action in two significant actions applauded in local
Press. Migrating Salmon stocks are being trucked past areas too
shallow to navigate such as fish ladders and dam’s, outstanding
hard work indeed. This time consuming relentless work is being
done up and down California.
Water managers and
farmers are building new water towers and busy digging new
retention lakes to store attempt beating the odds with strict
new restrictions for allowing thousands of acres to go fallow
until this situation changes. Many counties and cities issued
restrictions as lack of water becomes critical. All sportsmen
are affected from water fowlers to little kids trying to catch
the first trout. For me life long flyman whose eyes have stared
at running water almost 70 years around the world. Sight of dry
favorite rivers, streams, creeks sobering.
Wolf Water Crystal Ball?
No Brainer sportsfans if
my friends in climatology are any where near the truth?
We in California could
be in for ten years or longer of radical water loss. If the gang
screaming, “ Global warming! The sky is Falling Chicken little!
“ are on target? Perhaps only the uber wealthy will be carrying
fly rods to either far off aqua blessed lands or local private
property owners cashing in on desperate fly fishers needing a
fix! Sport could get rare and expensive fast. Then again if
regular seasonal rain begins to fall again we will quickly
forget dry rivers and dry lines. My friends in Ireland have been
getting too much water of late? Perhaps they could grossly
improve their financial picture by selling us the new Gold,
Great civilizations have
come and vanished over lack of water. Humans may have started on
this little Blue Marble because of collisions with space rocks
full of water? Water, water, the new Gold... fellow Fly Fishers
say a prayer.
By Dan Fallon