Re: The Fishery
I have read your post a numner of ties and still swilling it around to give you a good answer. First, let me say, I completely agree with all of you points.
As a guide, and this diatribe is mine only and does not reflect any official stance from dad, or the lodge, I toe a fine line between outdoorsman and conservationist. I have had a few friends and clients tell me I am on the cutting edge as a Texas guide with my philosophies and appraoches to the fisheries; however, I would like to say I am more or less what my generation of guides SHOULD be.
Your allusion to the, what I call evolution of a fisherman, growth of an angler from catching their first fish and so on is not necassarily something I experienced. As one can imagine, I never knew a point in my life without fishing. Instead of a silver spoon, I was born with a rod in my hand and raised by someone receptive to conservation methods before they were popular. If anyone was on the cutting edge, I would have to say it was the old man. I will admit ,as I grew up with dad's tutelage and the subsequent conversations as we have grown as outdoorsmen, true stewards of the environment, and active conservation voices on the Texas coast, dad and I mended our philosophies to more reflect the old camping adage; if you pack it in, pack it out.
Although we have been accused of being elitist in our environmental and conservation methods, Dad and I truly believe with the face, voice, and reputations we have built for our selves it is our duty and responsibility to teach folks about the LLM, the fisheries, and the issues affecting the Texas coast. Together we have created a pretty good message. The message starts with our attitudes and words we use with our clients. The most important, as a guide, is not teaching the client if we do not limit out it was a bad day. Luckily with my fly fishing clientele, they get it, and realize stalking and attacking a singular fish with precision and stealth is more rewarding than fan casting a top water to find the one fish in your casting plane and ending the day with 10 trout and 3 reds. I limit my clients to 5 trout and 2 reds. Just doing my part. I feel my job is done if my client learns something about the LLM, how to 'see' fish, and leave with a greater appreciation of what our fisheries mean to the ecological beauty of the LLM, and the Texas Coast as a whole.
Call me a tree hugger, granola eater, birkenstock wearer, greenie, I wear them all with pride. If I anger 4 people and wake 1 up, I have done my job. The 4 I angered are angry because the still adhere to the Kill it and grill it mentality. One day though, they will wake up and realize the fishery is not a take only fishery….you have to give back