Bassin’ Blogosphere: The Good Old Days?
Dec 29th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Dec 29th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
With a new year just days away, I’ve been thinking about all of the good times I’ve had fishing this past year. The most outstanding for me were a couple of spring outings on the flooded Fox River with my two daughters. We waded through the mud to attempt to hook a few smallies. We succeeded, but there was just so much more to the trip than simply catching a few bass.
The life that is now in this river is amazing to me. When I was a young boy, the Fox River in Illinois was a wasteland. During the 1970’s, the river was known as a low oxygen carp and bullhead creek. Nobody really wanted to fish there. Now on any given weekend you’ll see folks chasing smallies, walleyes, muskies and giant catfish. Times sure have changed.
This got me to thinking about the “good old days” of my youth. Was the fishing better then or is it better now? For me, the memories of the chase are vivid, but the reality is that right now are the “good old days” for some fisheries like the Fox River in Illinois and many other fisheries throughout the country.
I truly believe that the concept of the “good old days” is simply relative. While some anglers complain of too many folks crowding their favorite stream (I have to admit guilt regarding that), the numbers nationally show a steep decline in fishing license purchases over the last decade or so.
While some anglers complain that there were bigger fish to be caught years ago before all of the anglers had been outfitted with such effective gear, electronics and rapid flow of information thanks to the Internet, the anglers taking advantage of the new gear and technology are regaling all of us with their stories of success thanks to all of the new innovations.
Surely we can’t be living in the “good old days”, can we? Maybe, but maybe not. One thing is for sure, the concept is subjective and certainly an individual one. For me, I want to keep my time with my children and wife tucked away in my mind. I want to savor every moment. I never intend on looking back on them as the “good old days”. For me the “good old days” are always with me thanks to the incredible efforts put forth by the various sport fishing organizations, DNRs and conservation groups that are helping preserve and proliferate sport fishing throughout North America. The “good old days” are in the past, present and future. You just need to go out and make positive fishing memories for yourself. I resolve to do just that in 2009 and beyond.