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October 23rd, 2000

Changing Times
By James Castwell

There is a situation involving the future of fly fishing in our country these days. I have recently read two reports outlining how, with many families holding down two jobs, extra-curricular activities available for today's youth, electronic entertainment and the invention of modern 'toys,' the kids of this generation are not utilizing hunting and fishing to the degree they did in past years.

By now you are aware I feel today's children are the future fly-fishers and stewards of our fly-fishing community. It is in their hands we shall leave total control of our environment. Those who are exposed to our sport now are the leaders of tomorrow in the fight to maintain the delicate eco-system we have for so many decades attempted to build and maintain.

With families having to take separate vacations due to work schedules, summer recreation promoted for our youth and a changing society we are finding less involvement in the traditional family-group activities which most often also promote fishing and lead many times into fly-fishing. In our present atmosphere it is not often possible for a family to eat dinner together, let alone participate in collective family outings.

It is not for me to attempt to cast blame, if indeed there is any blame to be cast; only to note the changes of time and culture. If you and I value that which we have enjoyed and wish to leave something, anything, for posterity, we need to be aware of these changes and attempt to make what progress we can to help insure a continued future for fly-fishing and the general welfare of our environment.

I have no answers as to how to accomplish this; perhaps a suggestion or two, but no answers. Those are up to you. The 'toys' of our youth today are mountain bikes, skate-boards, mountain-boards, snow-boards, surf-boards, scooters, in-line skates, ATV's, game-boys and a myriad of other attention grabbing gadgets. When was the last time you saw a boy with a cane-pole on the edge of a stream? Camping has gone 'high-tech' and if you can't afford the 'high-dollar' of all the gear, you don't go.

We have managed, and in some cases mis-managed, our resources and our society/culture is in flux. Progress and change are inevitable. Is there anything we can do? Is there anything we should do? Not easy questions. Is there too much to do? Perhaps. Or is it we have lost a bit of perspective on the values we were taught and have not had time to pass on. Just something to think about. Time will tell. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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