I have spent the entirety of the year 2010 without fishing the “Meyers Stretch” of the South Platte River, a.k.a the Dream Stream, and will without doubt finish the year not touching its banks once.
I may never fish it again either, unless there are some changes. The reasoning is simple.
I was once one of those jackasses who spent the fall months slinging egg sucking leaches, followed by egg patterns, followed by bead-headed midges, across those waters as the browns moved up to make whoopie in the willows. Then I realized that unlike those fish, we humans get it on for fun and games. They are moving on instinct, to replicate the species. Period.
I then asked myself this: with the mortality rate already built into catch and release fishing (which probably runs at least 35% percent, based on my half-assed research on the matter), how many of those majestic fish would actual survive being caught multiple times a season? Counting the vehicles in the lots, I subsequently puked all over my leaky $500 waders. (Side note: I’ll never wear a pair of waders that cost that much ever again).
The previous few summers I caught some bonafide pigs at Meyers on streamers and dries, and then skipped the spawning season out of pure satisfaction. The fish I bagged were healthy and bright, unlike those I’d caught previous autumns with multiple copper johns hanging out of their snouts. I haven’t been back since August ’09.
Modesty and Twelve Gauges
Let’s turn the Dream Stream into a permit-only water. Draw for days, just like elk hunting season. And pay dearly just the same. No poaching, no guiding, and no cheating. Guns drawn and off to jail with you if you disobey.
Think of the fees it could generate for protecting those fish. Imagine how those fish might behave with significantly less pressure on their poor souls. $50 per day to park in the lot between May 1st and August 31st. And then, say, a $150 per person rod fee during the spawns – February 1st through April 31st and September 1st through October 31st – would allow those fin finned friends to breed without undue harassment. I suspect the populations would explode, and the need for stocking would be significantly reduced too.
Catching wild fish on an extraordinary stretch of water. One now named after a luminary lost. What would Charlie think about this?
By the way, the same could be said for the Taylor, Frying Pan, and probably a few other sections of water too. Raking the reds with a three fly nymph rig for a digital hero shot? I think you should pay out-the-ass for such guilty pleasures.
How do you feel?
MG signing off (to avoid catching trophy fish while they are trying to make more trophy fish)