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Antidote Quotation

Mike G

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Note: The quote is from a Fly Fisherman, but I think it has general appeal.


For some time now, fishing tackle manufacturers, Boat manufacturers, their dealers, their magazines, and anyone else, that they can get to listen, have been bemoaning the fact that the percentage of anglers in the population is declining. I found the following quotation a pleasant antidote to that jabbering. It is even more interesting to note the author and the year it was published. First the quotation:


“The profound disdain with which some of the trout and salmon anglers regard the black bass has always been a sore point with me—at least it used to be. Recently, as I find my old bass fishing haunts more and more encumbered by other fishermen, I begin to feel grateful that all anglers do not prize the black bass as highly as I do. No longer do I exhort the dry fly enthusiasts to have a try at the black bass. Let them be content with their trout and their salmon. Our good bass waters already are too crowded.”


And the source: John Alden Knight, The Theory and Technique of Fresh Water Angling, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1940, p. 151.

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As long as groups like the ISA continue to educate and mentor, our future anglers will be the kind that choose to preserve rather than take from the resource.


As for "numbers" of anglers fishing "our spots"- that is a completely different issue.


If the outdoors industry is in trouble, governmental units are not able to do their jobs efficiently as the funding dries up (taxes earmarked for conservation).

Add to this the fact that license sales are declining and you have no money to enforce the laws on the books.

A watershed needs protection, it doesn't clean itself as a natural process when there is human interaction on a consistent basis.


As I see it, division among outdoors enthusiasts continues to be one of the major hurdles when its all said and done. This threatens the outdoors experience for all groups, not just specific classes. Not to mention clean drinking water and a sustainable, healthy environment.

There are hikers that look unfavorably at anglers, just as some look at hunting as a questionable sport.

As long as this continues to be the case, our local waters will never be represented by the ones that need to be standing up for them as a cohesive unit.

This means everyone.


Back to John Alden Knight.

He was an interesting character in the annals of fishing history.

He "invented" what we know today as Solunar Tables.

True fact.

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Your response is like a star. It points in 5 different directions. The one I think is most important is fishing's lack of political clout in Illinois. As you point out, it is the result of divisions that run very deep like the one between C&R and C&Kill. Even more interesting is the fact that Illinois Trout Unlimited chapters do all their volunteer work in other states having written off Illinois as "not having any potential for wild trout." That is where they choose to concentrate their "limited resources." What can you do when a lot of money and muscle is siphoned off to another state?


Fishing is a powerful industry in Wisconsin politics; it is a homeless begger in Illinois politics. ISA is working on it. You have your events. The Mayor has Bob Long Jr.'s efforts. But, though I hope I am wrong, I do not expect to see funding for the DNR and Conservation efforts becoming major campaign issues in Illinois. The candidate's positions on gay marriage and abortion will hold front and center along with the usual hot button issues (E.g. tax cuts) aimed at collecting one issue voters. Like Ronald Regan said,"How many trees do you need to look at."

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//Your response is like a star. It points in 5 different directions.//


My mind works that way sometimes.

I'm looking for an end to the means before fully digesting all the good stuff in the middle.


My response goes off in different directions from one common center-

the state of angling in our locale, though it probably belongs in the other thread when I think about it.


Great points you bring up, BTW.

We currently have a governor from the liberal side of politics and our natural resources are in a state of utter neglect to the point of perhaps not recovering for a very long time.

I have tried these past few years to take the optimistic slant, but there is nothing good about any of it right now and the foreseeable future is bleak.

This comes from those in the business speaking off-the-record.


Your original post kind of confuses me, as I'm not sure what you mean by "antidote" to the outdoors industry war cries, coupled with your response in a previous thread that less anglers could be a good thing. My point above is that less people means less money.

Where that money actually goes is also a burning topic and needs to be brought to light.


I wish I could find a story from a few years ago where a gentleman held his little piece of paradise to himself for so long that when it came time to rally the troops to protect it, there was (needless to say), nobody there.


//What can you do when a lot of money and muscle is siphoned off to another state?//

Answer: Work harder.

The ISA is going to become a serious force to be reckoned with in the coming years with our grant program and partnerships with those charged in managing the watersheds.

Groups like Prairie Rivers work from a legislative/administrative/take-em-to-court perspective.

We work from the ground up (grass roots).

You hit the nail on the head, Mike.

The government is not going to save us, and that is why it is so important for groups like us to step in and raise the money, create awareness and stress that it is not a matter of if but when our sport and fisheries will suffer or worse yet crash altogether.

Read a site like American Rivers- it happens all too often in America.

A great debate here in itself that causes people to communicate about the problems without the usual "my river sucks and someone needs to fix it" mentality.

A breath of fresh air.


As for the "Trout vs. Bass" debate- someone correct me if I'm off the mark on this....but doesn't it essentially stem from the fact that bass were/are stocked into their streams that previously did not support them?

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