River Trash: Big Problems, Small Solutions
Don’t be trash, pick it up instead!
The growing issue of trash in and around our waterways was brought to my attention in force a few weeks back while I was fishing with a buddy in the Kremmling area. We locked down a beautiful run, and began the conquest for a big trout with snow on the peaks behind us. The river, shoreline, and surrounding area were absolutely pristine. I tied on a size 22 red and black Juju Baetis that I had rushed off the vise late the night before, and looked for the first piece of promising water. In that moment I really couldn’t find anything wrong with my situation. The day actually got better when the fishing turned out to be incredible. Just after losing a toad of a rainbow, a few guys walking down river stopped to talk to us. We exchanged the normal passer by on the river conversation, and they were on their way. They both seemed nice as they could be, and even offered us a beer! The day came to a close, we hiked out, went through photos, tied plenty of bugs, and headed for bed. We were determined to be the first people on the water so we would be able to hike all the way to the public/private boundary without interruption. Snow was falling, as the smell of coffee brewing filled up my nose and woke me up. We quickly threw what more or less resembled a sandwich into a bag, and headed for the river. We booked it down river from the parking spot to the property boundary while the sun crested the canyon. The fishing was mediocre at best, it was a frigid cold morning. I decided it was a good call to have an early lunch, and then hightail it up river to water that had fished well in days prior. I got nearly halfway through my lunch as I glanced to my right and saw a mix of Budweiser and Coors cans crushed and stuffed at the base of a bush. As I went to pick them up it occurred to me that the guys we had talked to the day before were describing a spot exactly like the one I sat down to eat lunch in, and that one of them was drinking a Budweiser while the other one sipped a Coors. Come on guys! Not cool!
Listing all the threats to our waterways and the ecosystems that surround them would fill up the next few pages at least, so I’ll just get to the specific threat at hand. Waste in our water is an easily solvable issue, and not a single person that utilizes our resources is exempt from helping out. If you take trash in, take it out, and then throw it away or recycle it in the correct place. Being good stewards of the public land and water that we all enjoy should be on the forefront of any fly fisherman’s mind. New problems regarding our watersheds and the fish that inhabit them are popping up each and every day. Few threats are as easy to combat as this one. Do your part in keeping these places wild and pristine. Even just picking up a few beer cans makes a difference.
One thing to always remember; the proper place to dispose of trash when you’re on a trip with our guide Jimmy Largent is in any dry storage area on his boat, or the seat back pockets in his pickup.