Before Sam and I drive through “Big Buck alley” on the mornings I pick him up down in town, we stop and pick up the local papers in front of the Eagle Pharmacy. We have been doing it 3 days a week for 7 months but it wasn’t until this morning that I looked down and noticed the storm sewer had a fish on it. On further inspection I noticed in proud, bold, raised India steel, the words “no dumping” and “flows to river” flanking that fish. I wonder how many other people haven’t noticed that? I’m thinking some paint would make it stand out more. Most trout fisherman understand we have some challenges that face our sport, they don’t need a storm drain to tell them that surface run off is BAD. It’s everyday Daryl I wonder about. My wonder grows from experience with road and river clean ups. If you look from someplace other than a car window traveling 65 miles an hour you will see most people are pigs. Fish counts in reliable historical area’s have been dropping steady when shocking is performed directly downstream of society and it’s storm sewers. The “old” problems like mines, golf corses and sewage treatment are not issues like they used to be, thanks to people. While we have been congratulating ourselves for a justifiable job well done, a new problem has been silently working over places like Arrowhead, thanks to people. I guess Daryl look's at all of the fancy treatment plants and assumes we are doing everything within our power so he lobs a cigarette butt or some chewing gum out of the car window. I once listened to a biologist describe exactly what was in a sample of foam from I-70 and it was sickening. More Klingon than human. The newspaper box is only about 2 miles from my house but it’s probably 500 ft below it. There are several fancy steel grates with the fish on them before the road goes dirt and mother nature takes over. I began to think about shit flowing down hill and the unfortunate and often taken for granted fact, that there is a trout stream at the bottom of it. I look at my dirt road and it's "mother nature engineering" and it makes me think; things were bumpy but better before concrete. If I was to dump a 5 gallon bucket of nuclear waste up here, it would take Sam's lifetime to register (dont worry i used what i had already). Mother natures filtering system seems infinately larger and a whole lot more efficient than these slip and slides the municipalities love so much. I think we should paint those grates chartreuse. At least someone who may not know any better will notice them when they stop to get the paper.
As for the fishing: The weather and the fishing remain hot. We guided a few trips over Thanksgiving but the crowds are light while the fishing remains stellar. Nymphing is the rule and small is king. Baetis, Midge and eggs hung under what else? A Bobber.