Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stimulus for Fishermen

Soon President Obama will plan to sign the much debated trillion dollar stimulus passage and many in the fishing world on the west coast can get excited. The plan has a proposed $45 million dollar package to remove fish barriers, in the form of dams, to allow salmon and steelhead trout to migrate up rivers and spawn uninterrupted as they once did.

Currently the west coast salmon fishery is shut down, losing $100 million annually. The fishing is not allowed because of the abysmal salmon population as a direct result of the dams in place on those western rivers they migrate up to lay their eggs.

The stimulus plan in the aspect allows those fish to return to where hey once thrived during the spawning season providing anglers opportunities to fish for huge numbers of migrating salmon and steelhead.

When the fish are caught by anglers and kept, many people pay top dollar for the fish for uses like food and fertilizer for crops. The way in which it directly affects us anglers is by giving us a once revered fishing destination a face lift. There will most definitely be a resurgence in guides and fly shops in those areas as well as all types of businesses needed to support fisherman traveling to that particular river to fish.

Bob "Bamboo Bob" Clay said, "If you want to have the wonderful resource around forever then drastic measures must be done. Stocking farm raised stealhead disrupts the genetic code of the wild fish, so that is not the answer. The only answer is by developing the wild stock of fish to a sustainable level and removing certain dams does that."

All of these areas will be stimulated by the new proposed bill and will stand to see good salmon production in the future as a result keeping in mind commercial and recreational fisherman obey daily bag limits and regulations on how many fish are legally harvested.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Must We Fish?

To first begin the blog I am catering to those, like myself, who live in a rather flat and dry area of the country not conducive to trout fishing. Living in Oklahoma for the past 4 years of college has driven me to seek out fishing opportunities that are often a significant distance away. Before we venture to other more well known and glamorous trout rivers we must first examine what is close to home.

Beaver's Bend State Park in south eastern Oklahoma is home to the Lower Mountain Fork River. Oklahoma plus trout fishing is not a proper equation in most people's mind so prepare to stand corrected. The river emerges from the dam keeping back Broken Bow Lake as a tailwater with cold clear water, an ideal environment for trout to live. The Oklahoma Game and Fish Department stocks nearly 4000 trout every other Thursday, which is surprising to most people.
The river had something even bigger happen recently. The Dallas Fly Fishers Club raised $10,000 to donate for stream improvement which consists of placing boulders, stones, and other objects in the river to increase the level of oxygen in the water, which trout need to live.
With the river about a three hour drive from Oklahoma City as well as the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area the river sees a substantial amount of pressure. Do not be discouraged. The average fish stocked tends to be about 10-14 inches with some larger fish being the exception.

An avid Oklahoma fly fisherman, Patrick Gilbert, said, "I've always had a great time at the LMF. To catch trout in this part of the country is a treat!"

With all of this new found knowledge fly fisherman in this region can prepare for great weekend trips throughout the year. Located just outside Broken Bow, Okla. the Lower Mountain Fork is an excellent place to "wet a line."

Just ask the folks in Beavers Bend Fly Shop or at Three Rivers Fly Shop. Pack a 4 or 5 weight rod and all other essential gear. Make sure to bring an assortment of flies including pheasant tails, San Juan worms, egg patterns, wooley buggers, and some parachute adams if dry flies are your thing. All flies should be in the size 18-14 range.