IN PLAIN SIGHT — “Secret” streams and the philosophy that protects them
By Peter Brigg

A SHORT while ago I came across this quote by the late Mel Krieger and the truth of it resonated with me: “I don’t know why I fish or why others never fish except that we like it and that it makes us think and feel. But I also know if it were not for the strong, quick life of rivers, for the sparkle in the sunshine, for the cold greyness of them under rain and the feel of them about my legs as I set my feet hard down on rocks, or sand or gravel, I should fish less often. A river is never quite silent, it can never of its very nature be quite still. It is never quite the same from one day to the next. It has its own life and its own beauty and the creatures it nourishes are alive and beautiful also. Perhaps fishing is for me only an excuse to be near rivers — so I’m glad I thought of it.”

I have spent many an evening pouring over maps, and now we have Google Earth in virtual reality, dropping us into hidden valleys and streams, following the thin blue lines into the mountains to where the contours are tightly drawn — the feeder streams to known waterways, far from named pools and worn paths. The gradients are steep and the cold water, like liquid crystal, rushes quickly, cascading through pockets and, where there is a wrinkle in the earth, the occasional deep slot. The small trout are wild, heavily spotted and on nervous fins disappear at a hint of anything weird.

Adrenaline rushes at the thought of adventure, of the unknown and the prospect of the fishing far from human settlement and where the only means of getting there is leg power, carrying a backpack with all one needs for a few days.

We have no right to claim them as our own; we have no right to challenge others fishing them, but we do have a responsibility to protect and conserve these places. If size and the number of fish are your measure, don’t waste the energy — avoid the disappointment.

Read the full story at https://issuu.com/sheenacarnie/docs/flyfishing_201802
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