I read somewhere that our New Year’s pledges to become better individuals and improve personal relationships were to do lists for the first few weeks of January. Don’t let that happen. Also do not let 2013 end without passing along your passion to fish and respect for the beautiful places fish live.
Most likely you are already doing something. Most anglers cannot contain themselves after a great day on the river and want to tell everyone about it. That enthusiasm is infectious and makes folks interested. Here are a few simple things that you can do to engage the people you know.
Take someone fishing – preferably a kid. After all, who will take care of the river when you are long gone? The best way to get someone to care about the river is to take them to the river.
Speak up. Be a good steward of the river. When asked to call or send an email to one of your elected representatives about an important coldwater conservation issue, do so. You would be surprised of the impact that a few contacts from constituents makes. Senators, representatives and mayors need to learn about the river too.
Get involved. Stream projects and clean-ups are very satisfying. Work ranges from strenuous, moving rocks and logs around the forest, to the less arduous, water quality monitoring.
Join. If you are not already a member of Trout Unlimited, you have to ask yourself – “Why not?” Trout Unlimited is out there, locally and nationally, protecting the places you love the most. Besides, Trout Unlimited members are some of the finest people you will meet and make great fishing buddies. If you are already a member, invite a friend.
Take care of yourself. Get fired up. One of the best gifts you can give to yourself is to catch a wild, native fish. The vibrant colors of wild fish are indescribable and catching one on its home water is connecting to the ages. Besides, you find them in the most beautiful places.
These are not new ideas. Kirk Deeter outlined them in his TU Blog – Five Resolutions. You may have a few ideas of your own.
See you on the stream.
Kevin McGrath is Georgia Trout Unlimited’s Advocacy Chairman.