• Chris O'Byrne

Overheard…around fishing

As fly anglers, many paths intersect ours. Other people from other times and places impacted the environments we love, and influence our prospects of finding the fish we crave. Too often, past actions had negative impacts on today’s fisheries.

To direct our own stewardship of the resources we use today, consider these comments overheard…


…at a home which backs up to a formerly good fishing lake:

“Thanks Jim. I’m so proud at how green my lawn is. I fertilize right down to the water!”


…a bait shop:

“Yeah, bluegill are tough to find these days. So, I just use a cast net.”


…when an angler pointed out to a person taking her limit of fish, that the estuary is a delicate resource:

“It’s ok. There’s plenty of fish in the sea…”


…after one angler asked the other, “Any luck?”:

"Lot’s! I'm taking home ten! Hope your luck is just as good."


…sung by a woman dragging a foul smelling, full stringer of weakly struggling fish:

“It’s the circle of life…”


… at the pier:

“Just throw the bodies down here. They’ll rot, and we need to get home before the fillets go bad.”


…at an outdoor show:

“Yeah I catch and release. Catch and release into a pan full of grease!”


…at a restaurant serving hot breakfasts to hasty fishermen:

“Hurry up and eat! We need to get there early, so we can get as many fish as we can. Before someone else does.”


…on an internet forum posted in south Florida:

“I’ve got a new boat. Can someone suggest a way to sharpen the propeller so it cuts through this damn grass.”


…from a suburban homeowner:

“Son, shove those grass clippings down the storm drain so we can go fishin.”


…in the small talk at a party:

“We ripped out 19 in about three hours, this morning.”


…while fishing on the beach:

“Don’t know why you can’t find snook. We used to cast net so many, we’d grind ‘em up for fertilizer.”


We can learn from these examples of shortsighted attitudes which create the conditions that leave fish without habitat and us without fish. What words of ours will future generations repeat, as they hunt for the great sportfish that we enjoy today?

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All material Copyright 2019, C. O'Byrne                                        All Rights Reserved