Monday, March 23, 2009

More than Big Fish

We need your help to protect a ranch adjacent to Silver Creek Preserve. Every donation helps!

People come from all over the world to visit Silver Creek. What draws them here?

An easy answer might be: Big trout.

And certainly Silver Creek has plenty of big trout. But is that why people really visit?
After all, if big trout was the only goal, there are places where they can be caught much more easily. It has become an increasingly common practice for “outfitters” to have trophy trout ponds—and even trophy trout streams—were fish are fed a steady diet of protein-rich pellets.

You can catch the biggest fish of your life on such waters.

The largest freshwater fish on earth are right now caught in urban ponds of Bangkok managed specifically for trophy fishing. Mekong giant catfish, Asian carp, barramundi, giant snakehead, pacu—a weird menagerie of fish from around the globe, fed constantly so that they attain world-record sizes.

The angler sits in a pavilion and is served Thai food and beer while waiting for a bite from a fish that can be six feet long.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that such fishing would hold no appeal.
Because the big fish, after all, are not the point of Silver Creek, but rather are just a nice bonus. If big fish were the only goal, you could do that in a concrete ditch.

At Silver Creek, you can fish for big trout in one of the prettiest streams in the country. There’s the mule deer splashing across the stream at daybreak, the mink stealthily hunting along the banks, the clouds of mayflies, the haunting cries of sandhill cranes. The evening light. The clouds of mayflies. The open spaces.

Silver Creek would not be Silver Creek with houses lining its banks.

Nor would it be the same if houses lined the edge of the preserve. You have the chance, today, to make sure that doesn’t happen. Please consider helping us protect one of the last remaining ranches along the preserve. Your support matters.

Let’s keep Silver Creek one of the best trout streams in the country—for its big trout, yes, but also for the ranchland and the mule deer and the open space. --Matt Miller
First, second and fourth photos by Kirk Keogh; second photo by Ryan Urie.

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