eating fish- some food for thought

an interview with oceanographer Sylvia Earle via TED

i’ll admit it, i’m biased. i love fish and that’s why i don’t eat them.
add to that that since i was a child the slightest taste of some semi-cleverly hiddden-within-the-meal fish flesh would bring an instant gag reflex and copious spewing… the decision for me to not kill or eat them was a no brainer but that’s just me.
in matters like today’s topic it’s always very difficult to convey an important message and plea for action or in this case restraint without sounding like an alarmist or other end-of-the-world nitwit but i believe that Sylvia’s message is clear, honest, simple and straightforward and it all makes sense.

don’t take it as an order but as information and an invitation for thought. here’s a few extracts.

“for most people, eating fish is a choice, not a necessity. Some people believe that the sole purpose of fish is for us to eat them. They are seen as commodities. Yet wild fish, like wild birds, have a place in the natural ecosystem which outweighs their value as food. They’re part of the systems that make the planet function in our favor, and we should be protecting them because of their importance to the ocean. They are carbon-based units, conduits for nutrients, and critical elements in ocean food webs. If people really understood the methods being used to capture wild fish, they might think about choosing whether to eat them at all, because the methods are so destructive and wasteful. It isn’t just a matter of caring about the fish or the corals, but also about all the things that are destroyed in the process of capturing ocean wildlife.”

should_we_stop_eating_fish_

“I’m not saying that you have to stop eating meat, but think about what it takes to make a plant compared to what it takes to make a plant-eater, like a cow, chicken or pig. Even carnivores on land are lower on the food chain than most fish. Think of a tiger or lion or a snow leopard. They eat plant-eating animals. They eat rabbits or deer. So, food chains on land tend to be fairly short. Over 10,000 years, we have come to understand that it’s far more efficient not to eat carnivores. We eat grazers, the ones that we choose to raise, such as cows and pigs. Perversely, many of the animals that are natural grazers, we are force feeding wild fish. We’re taking large quantities of ocean wildlife, grinding them up, and turning them into chicken food or cow food or pig food — or even into fish food.”

click the image for the complete interview.

Creating a detached body mayfly

a super-sweet step-by-step by tutorial Barry Ord Clarke

cdc-may-fly BOC 1

we’ve already seen several variations of detached-bodied flies and here’s another simple to make version yielding adaptable, resistant and  gorgeous results.

extended cdc mayfly BOC 2
very well explained and photographed, what may at first seem a little daunting to the neophyte, “This is a simple but but effective mayfly pattern that fly tiers of any level can tie with a little practice. Once you have mastered this technique all you have to do is change the size and colour to match most mayfly hatches.

The chioce of colours and sizes of fly to be used when tying this pattern is determined by what mayfly you intend to imitate and under what conditions.  In still water fishing, trout can be extremly sellective when feeding on mayflies, they have good time to check them out before sucking them in.”

we’ll note that although this tutorial is intended for mayflies, the same basic technique enables us to create extended bodies for any other insect by simply changing or mixing colors, dubbing types, proportions, adding tails or not. we can even add legs in the same manner we’d place rubber or feather-fibre legs in between the dubbing wraps. the possibilities are pretty much endless.

on a personal note, i hope these step by steps will encourage tiers to delve back into the realm of  creating flies instead of assembling the increasingly popular ‘ikea-style’ fast-food flies from pre-made, paint-by-number kits. not only are they generally more realistic/enticing to the fish (as opposed to what the angler might think a bug looks like and behaves) but allow greater variances to fit one’s specific needs (matching the specific bugs where you fish instead of some bugs from the other side of the globe), they’re a whole heck of a lot cheaper and most importantly, increase the angler’s satisfaction of successfully creating something oneself worthy enough to trick our slimy friends.

click either pic to access this great tutorial. enjoy !

extended cdc mayfly BOC 3
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