Five things to consider as you head into the weekend:
1)Late last week, U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger handed down a decision that could–if all of us with a vested interest in public lands management are paying attention–set the stage for truly responsible development of the West’s oil and natural gas resources. Krieger ruled that the federal Bureau of Land Management failed to properly assess the environmental assets of Colorado’s Roan Plateau before it was leased in 2008 in what became the most lucrative inland natural gas auction in the nation’s history.
The message? Our public lands have many uses, and giving one use precedence over another isn’t acceptable–not to sportsmen, and not to the courts.
This ruling gives TU and our partners in the effort to protect the Roan a chance do it right. We have no problem with responsible natural gas development of the Roan, and we believe it can be done if all parties are willing to compromise. The Roan is but 1 percent of the vast Piceance natural gas field, and it’s above-ground resources–it’s native fish and trophy deer and elk herds–need intact, untarnished habitat to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, habitat like this is becoming a rare commodity in the region. By using the latest directional drilling technology, the bulk of the Roan’s natural gas can be recovered and that irreplaceable habitat can be protected.
And the fishing and hunting resources atop the plateau can be handed down to a new generation anglers and hunters.
2) If you haven’t already, it’s time to register for TU’s annual meeting, planned Sept. 12-16 in Asheville, N.C. This is where volunteers from across the country gather with select TU staffers and discuss the state of the organization, help determine its direction and meet others who want to help TU protect, reconnect, restore and sustain our country’s trout and salmon fisheries. If you’ve never been to an annual meeting, you’re missing out.
3) It seems like the Rockies are on fire, and things look dire, given forecasts for record heat in the region. And trout and warm water … they don’t go together very well. Remember, once water temperatures climb into the 60s, trout feel stress. Temps 70 and above can be fatal to trout.
Hooking trout in warm water can be a death sentence for the fish. It’s best to avoid fishing at all when the water warms up. The solution? Head to the high country, where the water’s cooler, and where you might find some brookies just waiting for a fly (and, for those who live in the Rockies, a visit to the fying pan).
4) Rod wars. Version 2013. We’ve seen a little Internet chatter recently about some new rods coming from Sage, maned the “Response,” “Approach” and “Circa.” Circa is perhaps generating the most buzz, because it is billed as a soft action fly rod. In this day and age of fast rods dominating the market, Sage seems to be banking on the hope that dry fly purists will appreciate the old-school action created with new-age materials (price will be north of $700). The rod does reportedly have a slim profile, but we’ll have to see it to know more details.
One rod we have seen (and cast) is the prototype of the next generation Orvis high end model. We’ll save the details until the official announcement from the company, but we will say that this rod is an absolute stunner.
5) Mouse mayhem in Michigan. As we get into those dog days of summer in the upper Midwest, and the mayflies are memories of, well, May, fear not. The “main course” is on the dish. It’s just served fashionably late. If you haven’t tried casting along the banks of rivers like Michigan’s Pere Marquette after dark with a mouse pattern, you might give it a try. If nothing else, it will disprove your frustrated theory that nothing longer than 15 inches could possibly swim in those currents. The big boys eat big things, and usually in the middle of the night.