Mutual Respect

Evan - Denver, Colorado
Entered on March 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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As a fifth generation Colorado native I am an avid fly fisherman. I have grown up on the banks of the Roaring Fork, the Frying Pan, and the Eagle River just to list a few. Fly-fishing has shaped my personality as well as shaped the way I live my life. It has showed me that catching the fish is only half the experience; the other half is the way at which you decide to catch the fish.

Catching a beautiful trout is always rewarding. The multi-hour drive to the river, the multiple tangles, and a lost fish, is always forgotten once you finally catch a fish. With patience, and skill you will catch a fish. Whether it takes ten minutes or three hours, your reward will easily outweigh the work needed to catch the fish.

The experience of watching a fish eat the fly on the end of the line gives me a jolt of energy. I reel the line in and carefully handle the fish. I know that this fish has had a very difficult life. It had to survive as an extremely small animal while living in sub-freezing temperatures when food was scarce. This is why I believe in respecting the fish.

The fish has had more hardships than many animals have in this world. Much of its habitat is being eaten away by humans. It is difficult for it survive in the polluted waters since it is one of the most sensitive fish there are. It has to work extremely hard to find the invertebrates it eats, such as stoneflies, dragon flies, and mayflies. I know that the fish has seen difficulties but no matter what, it stands by its species tradition and spawns to created new trout.

It may seem disrespectful to the fish and even hypocritical for me to say I believe in respecting the fish; however fly fishermen are huge supporters of keeping nature clean from humans. I hope that there is a mutual respect between the fish and I because the fish may not realize it, but I am trying to keep it safe. I’m not asking the fish to forgive me for hooking it in the lip because I know from personal experience that it does not feel good; however I hope it knows that I respect it enough to write a paper about it.