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Restoration in Progress


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Monday: Paul Arden
Tuesday: Harps
Wednesday: Bernd Ziesche
Thursday: Mr T.
Friday: Ray
Saturday: Viking Lars
Sunday: Bruce Richards

Ronan's report

Sunday 28th February, 2010

Last week Lars wrote, "...many rivers were destroyed in the 1930-ies and onwards. Rivers were dug out and straightened out to drain farm land..."

Then Thursday Harps followed, "One of the worst kicks to the river occurred in the 20’s when the locals decided to straighten a long section of river to “relieve” flooding."

I'm sure we can all point to a piece of water that's been changed. The lower section of my local was hit in 1962, but in about 2004 some of that damage began to be restored thanks to The Nature Conservancy with additional funding from several local and federal entities. It's been amazing to watch and tantalizing to see the changes.

Much of the water in the lower river has/had the steep banks, slow water, and a silty bottom that would suck your boots off. Basically a brushy trench, certainly not scenic. The lower river really never got any respect. There's a power plant, a landfill, explosives factory, wrecking yards and more famously the brothels. Ever heard of Mustang Ranch? Right there. Not exactly what'd you call a wilderness paradise, but by the same rate it had access and didn't get turned into luxury water front homes with no trespassing signs.

Growing up here, I fished this water as a kid pecking at bits of it with balls of fire on a gold hooks. Looking back, my favorite spots were always where the water had something interesting, bends or boulders. It was passed to me to avoid the "ditchy" parts. I was blind to it then but now, especially after the education and experiences that fly fishing has brought to me, these altered sections stand out like a sore thumb. It's exciting for me to think that kids will have more favorite spots than I ever did. Of course, I'm looking forward to seeing it grow and develop as well. You'd be surprised how fast fish move back into these restored stretches!


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