Welcome to Just Old Flies

Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of methods and flies that used-to-be. These flies were tied with the only materials available. Long before the advent of 'modern' tying materials, they were created and improved upon at a far slower pace than todays modern counterparts; limited by materials available and the tiers imagination.

Most books, and yes, even we here, bring 'new and improved' designs; however, in days long gone, fish readily accepted these creations; there existed a 'fraternity' of anglers who felt an obligation to use only the 'standard' patterns of the day. We hope to bring a bit of nostalgia to these pages and to you. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish them. Perhaps . . .

Part Thirteen

Four Rabbits And The Baseball Players

By "Old Rupe"

When "old rupe" was young I asked my Dad why he didn't really follow the game laws that our state had set down. I got an education. I have never forgot the response.

He said, "Son, some of the law makers have never seen a rabbit, but they set bag limits on how many you can shoot. A sportsman should not only know how to hunt or fish, but he should realize the limits that are inherent within the system. A law that says that you can kill four rabbits sounds fine, but if there are only three rabbits you are in trouble. Some areas can stand a four rabbit harvest and some can't."

"A sportsman has an obligation not only to understand the limits of the system but to act so that his responses don't diminish it for others. Some areas are a six rabbit harvest and some are a two. There are areas that none should be harvested. The state is not the keeper of the resource, you are. Who knows the field better? The law maker that has never seen a rabbit, or the person that has hunted 4-5 days a week in the field during the season. Some areas should sustain no harvest and some should sustain more."

"If over hunting kills the rabbits then over fishing surely kills the trout population. Some areas require a larger harvest than others. Some areas should have a lesser harvest, or none at all. If your hunting or fishing practices kill the resource, you do without. The government doesn't have the obligation to maintain the resource, you as the sportsman do. If catch and release is ruining your resource then ban it. If you kill ten trout in the course of catching and releasing twenty trout then realize, "that's the way it is."

"Limits are set by 'dum-dums' in the legislature. If you adhere to their limits then you have no one to blame but yourself if the resource dies around you. Some congressmen can't even spell rabbit or trout. If you ask them about the resource you will find that they don't even know the animal. Now you understand the resultant fish and game laws. Some have never owned a fishing rod or a gun, but they make the laws that govern our sport.

Like my Dad said, "Trout, rabbits and quail can't vote so they will always be at the low end of the totem pole."

Anything that is detrimental to the resource should be banned. Congress will vote in any bill that is backed by the right money. The individual sportsman has an obligation to the sport to be knowledgeable enough to accept or reject their laws. A five fish limit is appropriate in some areas, but not in others.

Catch and release with its accompanying mortality should be recognized for what it is. It is a bag limit that is determined by the skill of the fisher. A good fisher releases more than a bad one, and consequently kills more. It's really a sliding scale bag limit. The better fisher gets to kill as many as he can. Some even carry mechanical counters to "keep score." My Dad would not have believed modern catch and release. He would have called it a perversion on the sport. An attack on the basic principals of resource management.

My Dad once told me,"If you kill all the baseball players you just don't get to watch baseball." How come he was so smart? ~ "Old Rupe"

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