Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
August 21st, 2000

2000Fires,
(a plot conceived by the wives of fishermen and hunters)

By Don Cianca (U.D.)

We are in the middle of August when dry fly fishing should be like free booze to an alcoholic. But instead of being on our streams or fishing our lakes, we are somewhat, "confined to quarters".

First, a winter that delivered below average snowpack, and then a spring that was abnormally dry, found Montana Rivers flowing at rates well below average. Add to that record breaking temperatures, and fishing conditions became marginal at best. Stream flows dropped so low that the upper portion of the Big Hole River was closed to all fishing. The primary purpose was to protect the Grayling population, which is sensitive to warm temperatures. The strain of Grayling in the Big Hole River is the only one of it's kind in the lower USA and much has already taken place to protect it.

Continuing decreased flows in the river, and additional section of river was closed. This time to protect trout as well as Grayling. Fish were beginning to crowd pools of deeper waters and the subsequent stress was doing them no favors. Fishermen were asked to fish early in the morning or later in the day when the water temperature would be coolest and minimize the stress on caught and released fish. Then, earlier this week, the entire river was closed to all fishing.

Dry conditions produced ideal conditions for fires. News of the huge forest fires raging across Montana and Idaho has been the lead item in all the news media of late. While the drought conditions set the stage for the fires, somehow I have the feeling my wife, along with hundreds (if not thousands) of others have been "fanning" those fires. Since I have been "Confined to quarters," the jobs and projects around the house have been, and are staring me in the face. I suppose the time I would normally spend fishing can now be put to use by repairing the leaky toilet, or finishing to strip the paint on the doorframe that I started two years ago, or clean out the garage, or take my wife to dinner, or travel to somewhere she has wanted to go, or . . .

Hey! do you suppose there is a conspiracy here? ~ Don Cianca

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