Ahhhh, wilderness! (?)
The reasons we go fishing are many and varied. I’m sure your reasons may differ from mine, but I’ll bet high up on the list may be to ‘get away from it all’....especially for trout fishermen. I’ve heard and read that trout live in beautiful places. Well, fishing for said trout takes you to those places. While this is generally true, on many streams you can unfortunately see houses tight along the banks as well as litter, sediment and other evidences of people and their “footprints” on the land. Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoy fishing in all kinds of places. But I’d rather be on a stream that at least seems wild and unspoiled. Fishing wild places does more to help me relax; it’s more refreshing.
A quick Google search tells me that there’s over 307 Million folks living in the U.S., and almost 9.4 Million of them in my home state. That is a mind-boggling number, budget numbers thrown around by the Federal government notwithstanding (exactly what is a quadrillion?), and all those people have to live somewhere. My point is that it’s getting harder to find places where there’s even a feeling of remoteness. The sad truth is that there’s not much actual wilderness left, especially in our part of the country. Plus, to get to streams that are fairly remote usually takes time, effort, and of course money. I’m thinking at least along the lines of a multi-day trip to the Smokies and backpacking in to some stream for a few days of fishing. Even then you may very well run into others in the backwoods who are there to ‘get away from it all’ themselves. The good news is that there are still some streams….not far from home even…..that can give you that feeling of solitude and of being in a wild place.
Our faithful treasurer Bob Pearson and I fished in just such a place the other day. There we were, virtually in the midst of dense population centers, major thoroughfares and shopping for about anything one might want. And yet, no houses, just a small amount of litter washed downstream and stuck at the high water mark, and not another human being in sight the whole time. Due to the wonders of mountain topography the only reminder that we were not in a truly wild place was an infrequent sound of a vehicle passing by above far us. It reminded me quite a lot of being in a place like the Smokies and, in a way it was better since we didn’t drive 4 hours or even have to hike in. Oh, and there were trout too! Quite a few wild specimens were brought to hand in fact. We had a great and relaxing day in a little piece of ‘wilderness’. The point is that there are such places still out there, even some fairly close to home. You just have to get out, ride the roads, explore and find them. Sometimes just hunting for them is a big part of the fun too!