Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chapter 58 Day 32 - Trout Season

River Keepers - River Warriors - Fighting The Good Fight

It's always good to hear stories about people who care about our fishing water and water in general. 

I don't know if there are any awards given to people who make an extra effort to protect our fishing streams and rivers.  Awards like River Keeper, or maybe River Warrior, or maybe the Fighting The Good Fight For Water award.  But, if there are... I would nominate some gentlemen today. 

McTage is a good fellow in Colorado that seems to have this terrible addiction to fly fishing in general.  Then, when it comes to the pursuit of carp by fly, his addiction only heightens. 

It seems, that recently, McTage was on an expedition in pursuit of his favored carp and he was somewhere near the confluence of Sand Creek and the Denver South Platte in Colorado.  As he reports it, he knew something was wrong almost as soon as he entered Sand Creek.  McTage smelled petroleum. 

With further investigation, McTage found an oily sheen on the creek and that's when he decided to take action.  A call was made to, I believe, the Colorado Public Health and Environmental Authority.  McTage explained what he had found, but, the response he got was somewhat lackadaisical.  McTage grew frustrated rather quickly, but, didn't abandoned his effort. 

Although this event would start at 9 a.m., McTage would pursue help until late mid-afternoon, but there was little results.

That evening he decided to take to writing about what he found on his blog Fly Carpin.  Not knowing how effective his blog would be, McTage published the post and that got things going.

In Idaho is a fellow fly fisher named Gregg and he quickly picked up on McTage's blog post.  From Idaho, Gregg called Bruce Finley at the Denver Post.  Bruce, upon learning of McTage's story called the EPA.... and things really got rolling then. 

Long story short is that a threatening environmental situation was stopped from getting worse because several men cared. 

You can read the whole account by visiting McTage's blog at Fly Carpin.

To me, McTage, Gregg, and Bruce are all heroes and if there was a River Keeper, River Warrior, or Fighting The Good Fight For Water award, I would nominate these guys right now. 

Keep up the good fight guys.

Here in Oklahoma, I expect to see more water heroes come forth.  I'm talking about the plight of the Lower Illinois River - Oklahoma's first year round trout fishery. 

It makes no sense to me, that with all the massive amount of water in Lake Tenkiller there has never been a single drop of water allocated for the Lower Illinois River. 

To me it's a no-brainer - if the Upper Illinois River supplies Lake Tenkiller, then Lake Tenkiller should supply the Lower Illinois River.  It's like someone said, "Let's build this big reservoir and screw the downstream side of it." 

Oklahoma's Trout Unlimited, the Oklahoma Wildlife Department, and concerned individuals are making efforts to find a permanent solution to the problems this lovely little trout stream has. 

I do believe there will be heroes emerge in the process and this story will have a happy ending.


Unknown said...

You are too gracious. Our TU chapters throughout the West have had some major battles to insure minumum streamflows, that includes my home river, the Lower Boise River. It has them but also other problems we are always working to correct. Problem is, non anglers would not notice silt build up, decresed insect life, less large trout than in recent years,storm drain run off, as to most folks the River looks beautiful and it is, but problems lurk. I have known of The Illinois in Oklahoma, through my love of reading everything angling, but not of these problems that concern you, anglers and should all people. Maybe this sort of exchange will bring exposure and help for you. I hope so.

Barry said...


As always, thank you for your wonderful insight.