Tag Archives: tastes like chicken

Hopefully it tastes like Chicken

I suppose it’s a study on trade imbalances and deficits, but California may lead the nation in Sushi consumption –  yet is dead last in angler participation.

According to the U.S. Census, 10% of California’s population fished in 2001, tied for the 46th place in participation. Ten years later, California’s fishing participation rate plummeted to just 6% and ranks dead last in the nationCalifornia Sportfishing League

The California Sportfishing League points to the high cost of fishing licenses coupled with our license’s validity being based on the calendar year versus 12 months from the date of purchase like other states.


But I’m not so sure.

My casual contact with non-sportsmen suggest blood sports are on the way out. The evening news points to every gun owner shooting up his workplace, and fishermen killing what they can, and the uninitiated lack balance and counterpoint to this steady barrage of mis-information.

Television and the Internet don’t seem to be aiding us much. Most of the angling available to general broadcast channels feature commercial tuna and Alaskan King Crab boats – and everything coming aboard is stuffed below decks immediately.

Angling organizations and clubs have lamented for at least a decade on our inability to appeal to youth, and us longtime practitioners dwindle as age and frailty catches up with us.

Waters are polluted and wild fish don’t come snuggled in antiseptic Saran Wrap, and despite doctors urging us to consume anything with fins, non-anglers are wary and unlikely to replace a hamburger and fries with farm-raised Tilapia.

Now that we’re fixated on Invasive species and fish farming, from the public’s perspective it may reinforce the notion that GMO, tanker bilges, and salmon lice merely prove we’re as inept at breeding as we are at long term conservation.

Fly fishing hasn’t helped with our dogged insistence that the buy-in of gear, outer wear, and titanium vest fodder requires us to dump $5000 before we can learn to cast.

… and don’t forget the “end game” for all that capital investment is a 10” trout that was fed dog kibble prior to being shat into the creek for your pleasure. Five Grand for a wriggling fish you’d as soon toe into the underbrush in not a compelling proposition.

Add into this mix a half dozen agribusiness-friendly Governors and their attendant legislatures, a Fish and Wildlife organization reeling from declining anglers and dwindling license revenue, and the systematic extinction of every species worth catching. Add four years of drought, the high cost of lodging and gasoline, and a 50% reduction in home prices, and you’ve a better reason why the recent economic swoon has rid us of 40% of our numbers.

Since 1980, when annual licenses were sold for as little as $5.00, California’s annual fishing license sales have dropped by more than 55% (1980: 2.26 million; 2014: 990k), while our state’s population has increased by nearly 60%. In 2014, 40,000 fewer annual fishing licenses were sold compared to 2013.

If the 35-year trend remains constant, annual fishing license sales could fall below 500,000 by 2027, or another 49% over the next 12 years. Should this occur, between 1980 and 2027, annual license sales will have dropped 78%. This downward trend could accelerate if fees are increased substantially, or new regulations are imposed that increase costs or barriers to fishing.

The 2014  population of California was 38 million, which is a net increase of about 50% over the self same period wherein we lost or disenfranchised 40% of our fellow anglers. That is damning evidence that the high cost of licenses is only part of something much worse.

By 2027 I’ll be telling fish stories instead of fishing, so my being inconsequential will sting less then folks recently introduced to the sport. Our lack of voting clout will mean dark days for our conservation ideals and organizations.

Figure 1-2 percent of anglers are fly fishermen, and if the overall numbers drop to 500,000 as above – that suggests we’ll be in rarified company …

… and fishing for Pikeminnow.

And like everything else we hold dear, we’ll screw this up mightily

PictureScience suggests that with most arable land under cultivation and with the world’s oceans under duress, the only unexploited source of food remaining is insects.

By 2050 meat production will have to increase by 50 percent. Considering that we already use one third of croplands for the production of animal feed, we will have to look for alternative food sources and alternative ways of growing it," she said. Her suggestion for alternatives is in the form of a domestic appliance that can make protein food out of black soldier flies.

Which for fly fishermen should evoke mixed emotions; we’ll eventually find issue with wanton over-harvesting of Ephemera Guttulata, and we’ll insist on drone strikes on the fleet of Asian factory ships perched off the Columbia, Mississippi, or other local waterway …

But not before spawning a bevy of neo-prophets insisting we, “ …think like the trout, eat like a trout, BE the trout.”

… which will drive an outpouring of wellness-centric, nouveau cuisine,  dry fly recipe books where someone insists, “ … and with a hint of garlic and white wine, Baetis Burger is reminiscent of Chicken …”

The best part being all those YouTube videos we’ll watch featuring well known anglers postulating why a #16 Adams is the “go-to” dry fly … “Well Bob, if you were a fish which would you prefer, that Olive damselfly which tastes like a Chevron station urinal cake – or the Hex – which sucks up all those toxins while it spends a couple of years in mud? ..”

…  and like everything else we hold dear – we’ll screw this up mightily.

First we’re liable to turn our nose up at anything other than “wild bugs”  – which we’ll loosely define as “any insect clinging to a turd so long as its host dries above 7000 feet in elevation” (the notion of Pristine Bug).

Secondly, as all fishermen hate the taste of fish we’ll throw that same blanket over most of the six-legged stuff we currently mash into the gravel underfoot. Opting instead for large fries and some unknown buglike substance served in a greasy wrapper by some pimply teen at the drive thru.

Lastly, like the caste system of India we’ll have the Untouchable’s; any insect that was used as bait back when steaks were plentiful. This’ll ensure maggots, grasshoppers, and meal worms aren’t likely to make our sandwich anytime this century …

… just ask a fellow fisherman if he wants to split a can of sardines with you, note the involuntary shudder.

Of course there will be the occasional off-putting variant. Likely something on sale your wife brings home, so you can discover that Rhyacophilidae needs to be deveined – and even then tastes like chicken liver with a side of beach sand.

Bold New World coming, practice your smutting rise …