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Drawing the Line


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Ronan's report

Sunday November 11th, 2007

I've been blowing off about land-based wind farms again. I realise I'm being a bore about it, but hotrods post about urban fishing made me think how lucky I am to have relatively unspoiled country to fish in. And that it's maybe important to be a boring crank about some things.

John Wyatt on the Oldman, which unlike a lot of Alberta hasn't changed much in the fifty years I've been fishing it.

The thing is, we probably all agree that fly fishing is about more than catching fish, but catching fish is a big part of it, right? You have to ask yourself just how important the environment is to your fishing. I lived in Scotland for many years, another really beautiful country where there's no need to fish the put and take reservoirs, although many of those Scottish reservoirs are very beautiful. Thousands of English fly fishers have to settle for finding a place on the edge of a concrete bowl and I guess I'd be there with them if I lived there. Some of these reservoirs provide great trout fishing and they may not be beautiful but I bet you'd love them despite their homeliness. Thousands more British coarse fishermen spend most of their time on the banks of old industrial canals and certainly seem to enjoy themselves. I fished Scotland's River Leven for years and got to love fishing for sea trout below the old ruined dye works and warehouses. Watching out for marauding gangs of neds was part of the mix. When I was a kid I did most of my fishing on the Bow in east Calgary's industrial area, right down by the old Burns meat packers, oil refineries and the sewage treatment plant. So I'm wondering just where I would draw the line and quit. I probably wouldn't.

It's just that I've seen a lot of fabulous wild country disappear, and because it's been in countries that have had the luxury of small populations it has always been assumed that there was plenty of good country left. In old countries like England, people put a very high value on the landscape and will fight to keep it beautiful. They know what they've got to lose. In counties like Canada and New Zealand, where unspoiled country has always seemed unlimited, industrial development has sort of sneaked up on us. We just have to keep our eye on what we've got left to lose, and decide where to draw the line.


Pic Of Day

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