Fish and Wade Local - by Greg McMillan
I confess. I’m sitting here in a small sea of self-pity. I was supposed to be heading out in April on a bucket trip to the Florida Keys. There are two friends of mine in the Keys who are former guides there. I’d been invited to come spend time on each of their boats fishing for all of the usual species with big game rods and reels.
But my own river, my home river, is taking precedence. Our DRA science plan will be kicking into gear soon, there are logistics to resolve, fundraising to be done, and someone has to be floating the lower Deschutes starting in April to keep an eye on the infamous algae as well as the aquatic insect hatches.
It made me think though about locavores. You know, those folks who by choice and inclination prefer to eat locally or regionally grown and prepared food. Locavores are more intimately tied to season and geographic place by the food they eat.
So it should be with fishing. I believe we should always have a preference for fishing our local waters. It makes us more aware of the passing of seasons. By the water we fish being a constant we eliminate a lot of variables by turning unknowns into known entities and hence learn subtleties we would never learn by fishing new waters constantly. We spend more time catching fish because we know where the fish are (sometimes) and what hatches to expect (hopefully). We also learn to sense change in our home waters.
And so it is with the lower Deschutes. Starting three years ago a number of us who spend large amounts of time on the lower river sensed and observed change. Without the lower Deschutes being our locavore river, we wouldn’t have noticed. If we hadn’t noticed, we wouldn’t be figuring out what has gone wrong.
As much as I love travel and exploring new places and fishing for different species, I will never complain about fishing my home river, the Deschutes. I can’t get enough of the Deschutes. I guess that makes me kind of like a locavore. And my sea of pity for not going to the Florida Keys seems to be greatly diminished at this moment.