I’ve been a longtime reader of this forum as a resident of edmonton. Never before has there been an issue so dear to me to warrant becoming a forum member in order to voice my opinion as this above stated post.
Let me qualify my stance.
Just because you can afford a flyrod,reel,waders and some flies does not make you a fly-fisherman. There is a vast difference between a fly-fisherman and a person that fishes with a fly rod.
The common term would be “paying your dues”. Experience and understanding gained through trial and error. A simple example would be: do you flop out 30 feet of line and splash it down onto the water with your fly landing,somewhere? Or can you lay out 30 feet of line and leader on the side of a run with your tippet and fly alight in the adjacent current the fish is feeding in?
The idea of clearing the natural surroundings,ie.willows,from a pristine piece of water in order for novices to assault a stream is ludicrous.There are many negative results for providing access to areas that a novice fly-fisherman would not normally venture to.
Stauffer creek has been 1 of 3 of my “home waters” for many years.My first few trips,so long ago,were both dis-heartening and passion enducing. It seemed at those beginning trips I was fishing more for caterpillars than trout with the number of flies I had landing in the willows and trees.Yes I was a novice. Not yet a fly-fisherman but a man with a flyrod.
I cast a line on many rivers many times before becoming proficient of intention.Laying my line and fly exactly where it was needed.Understanding why my line had to be here and my fly had to be there.
My first trip to the Bow river was a lesson in perseverance. Walking the banks with some knowledge accrued from a few books from the local library I was a full fledged fly fisherman. Or so I thought. So many casts with more time spent undoing haystack leader and tippet tangles than seeing my fly as it was suppose to be. Finally I saw a rising fish at the head of a riffle and told myself he’s mine. It was at least 20 minutes of casts going nowhere near anywhere he was going to see that fly. As many minutes,it seemed, of undoing so many tangled casts. The fish was still feeding away oblivious to this novice with a fly rod standing 40 feet behind him. To this day I know it was not my skill but the pity of the “fly fishing gods” that had that fish eat my fly. My reward was a beautiful brown trout buck of 19 3/4 inches.
Experience and understanding is what makes the owner of a fly rod a fly-fisherman.To degrade a river in order for individuals to by-pass the learning that comes with experience is detrimental to the overall quality of what we do and where we do it.
No good has ever come from mans interference with a natural environment. There are many examples of this from John Williamson-The British Angler (1740) through to Rev.Henry Newland-The Erne It’s Legends and It’s FlyFishing (1851).
I am completely against the clearing of a living ecology for the ease of access.
I do support the step over ladders and would gladly volunteer my labours to accomplish said task.