Monday, February 17, 2014

Diaper Clams

I got back from Thailand with my guts wrought with cholera…that's right cholera.  That hideous parasite that hooks itself into your intestines and multiplies causing a purging of your body fluids.  Basically drains you to the point of complete dehydration and leaves you bound to the proximity of a bathroom for days.

I first went to visit Bali two years ago and was quite charmed by some of the places I visited particularly Ubud and the many little villages along the Bukit Peninsula's surf breaks.  Pretty amazing little island with some really lovely people.  Flash forward 2 years and the veneer is rapidly peeling.  Swimming in the ocean now includes wrapping your bare flesh in plastic, not just in the popular beach ghetto of Kuta but almost everywhere we went.  I was snorkelling in the waters of Blue Lagoon near Padang Bai and I was a bit put off when I first entered the water as I saw quite a bit of suspended plastic throughout the water column.  But there was coral and quite a few colourful fish around so I got over it and began my ocean viewing.

Nature has a way of making colour that no petroleum bi-product could replicate.  The iridescence and brightness of these fish are truly magical, they are a testament to the perfection of nature.  Has I lost myself in the visual paradise I slowed down over a part of the coral bed where the it was a bit deeper and recognized the curved shaped lips of a giant clam.

Old Curly Lips

Ive always loved the shape of these overgrown scallops, they almost look like they're smiling at you when you stare at them for a while.  I felt a strong urge to get closer to my recent discovery so I took a deep breath and dove down towards the coral bed.  As I approached it began to occur to me that the "clam" was not as well formed as I thought and when I came within three feet of it I then realized my great discovery.  There stuck amongst the coral lying there peacefully with ridged leg wraps, was nothing other than a sick old bag of poo.  That's right, the shitsack, a diaper!!!

You may wonder how I perceived a diaper as being a giant clam and hopefully the coral reef your diving or snorkelling on  isn't concealing these non biodegradable discards but I was initially fooled.  After that first one, I began spotting a few more and by the end of the session, Diaper spottings outnumbered giant clam sightings 4 to 0.  BUMMER!!   HAH!

Really not funny at all and quite sad in the overall picture for this little tropical paradise.   It's not news to anyone that the ocean is full of plastic but in parts of Bali you are really swimming in it and it really takes away the pleasure of floating in a tropical paradise.  The problem stems around excessive tourism with excessive development and a complete disregard by the folks with the $$$ which includes the Indo government to back an infrastructure program that deals with the trash.  The locals love plastic too so that really doesn't help.  In fact most SE Asian countries are purveyors of 'fine' plastics.  They have a bag for everything in every shape.  I bought a couple of bubble teas (I have a weakness for them) and they handed me a bag specifically designed to carry two large plastic a double bagger.  This is when you realize that education is paramount if people are to change their habits and we in the Western world really do make an effort to reduce or use of plastic bags.  That being said we also consume a grossly disproportionate amount of energy and over our indulgent lives we amass an empire of wicked shit that includes thousands of plastic and metal parts that break down and get tossed....somewhere.

Your probably wondering why the *$@! I'm going on about this.  This blog is supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of trout and other finned creatures yet the last two blog entries have gone into depth on the life of cockroaches and sea garbage.  What the hell is wrong with me!!!  These non-sequetor entries need to stop.....Shit!

SO let's talk angling already!!!!  Snowpacks are about average despite a real lack of snow lately, that's mainly due to the quick start we had this year.  I'm done prognosticating what's the best time to come to fish the Fernie area so snow pack or not I'm steering people away from booking there until the third week of July and suggesting the Columbia or Southwestern Alberta.  We have a few new ideas on how to make things work in both destinations.

I'm currently shopping for a jon boat with a jet engine (or not) and will be using that to navigate the huge water in the Columbia.  It will give us the ability to get back up on runs that are producing well. It will also allow us to hit both sides of the river as well as getting a little further downstream into the Genelle braids and beyond.  Will also be checking out the Pend O'reille River for it's smallmouth bass fishery; apparently there's some 4 to 5 pound fish swimming around in there and it would be nice to get back to my fishing roots by stalking bass....except this time around with a fly rod.

A Healthy Smallmouth Hanging Down Low
For the Fernie and SW Alberta region we'll be looking at more remote waters to fish and are going to spend the first few weeks of the season doing some recon on some of those waters which includes some new floats on some different rivers.  Will keep you posted on how that goes after mid June, we've look forward to introducing you to some new waters aside from the Elk which will still remain a large part of our program but I think a lot of you who have been coming to the Elk Valley will be more than willing to check out something new and productive.

Looks like we're getting some new launches put in on the Elk and we're pushing for some more along the mid-runs on the river to spread out some traffic a little bit as well as some others on the upper floats.  We also have had some reno's on the existing launches so it won't seem like a work of fine geometry to back the trailers in and out of the river.

Looking forward to a good season and some angling on the coast in the next few months.