Angler’s column presents unfounded observations

A reader responds to a recent column by angler Rob Brown

Dear Sir:

I do not know Skeena Angler Rob Brown’s character “Bill” in his column First class fishing, in the Oct. 9 edition of The Terrace Standard.

Mr. Brown’s “Bill” is a foreign angler, just like myself, and Mr. Brown’s column presents unfounded observations.

I don’t know if Mr. Brown was making a cut at me because I have countered his commentary in the past.

If that is his attempt, more wrong about me he could not be and I would like to counter his mythical demonization of “Bill.”

I can sum up Mr. Brown’s fantasy of Bill’s fishing financial feasibility study with one word – Alaska. Also know that Canadians enjoy unfettered access to Florida and Texas gulf coast habitat to hugely greater numbers than his Region 5 Skeena.

Also, Mr. Brown knows guided fishing is just not my style and I am all but certain this is a view that Mr. Brown too shares. There is nothing wrong with guided fishing but it is just not my approach, but each to their own.

His dig about having money while my countrymen suffer is only because my depression-era parents instilled a strict foundation of waste-not-want-not. I have saved but do not have enough to waste.

I have never profited on the back of anyone as he so paints. Rather, wherever employed, I have added value and been compensated accordingly. I have always worked in private enterprise and never within government organizations.

I’ll not stoop to judge the source of Mr. Brown’s compensation(s), pension or otherwise. Such demonization has little to do with the root sources of Mr. Brown’s irritation. His irritation is that he does not have his river to fish the way he wants to fish it at any given moment of his desire.

If foreign anglers were not in his way, local gear fishermen would be. In time each will be sidelined and demonized until his goal is achieved. After his river is declared fly fishing only, he will then take further umbrage with their use of skagit line and/or weighted flys. Eventually he will have his river almost to himself with no new friends to be made.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent several days as a search and rescue volunteer for the two young men who were lost from your community. Other foreign anglers were involved as well. This was time that could have been spent fishing but I felt the immediate needs of their family and the Terrace community trumped fishing without consideration.

I have made many friends in your community. It does not matter to me how they fish or if they fish. My hand of friendship is always extended to Mr Brown.  In my world, agreement is not a condition of friendship, but honest, factual un-bigoted demeanor is. Mr. Brown, you are only segregating yourself from future riverside friendships that will never be enjoyed. May I suggest that you reconsider this to be the reason that you go fishing? Maybe you will find more enjoyment and catch more fish too? Steelhead can sense tension on the line.

Jim Benson

San Carlos, California