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24 April 2017

There Are Rainbows Everywhere (or, Trout Fishing in America)

While on vacation to the Pacific Northwest recently, I read a couple of books by Keith McCafferty (doing our April Reading Challenge -- starting a new series!). His series is about a New Englander who enjoys trout fishing and with no direction after his divorce, he drove himself and his worldly possessions out to Montana to fish.  The titles of the books in the series are all names of tied flies.  If you are a serious fly fisher, you tie your own flies as well as know the history of fly-tying, heard of where all the best trout fishing is around the world and basically throw back everything you catch.


And, you would know that it's possible to cut a notch into the adipose fin without hurting the fish or its ability to survive.  You might know this little fact before or after visiting the Bonneville Dam before or after reading The Royal Wulff Murders.  By reading this first title in the series, you will also learn more than you may ever want to know about whirling disease and how it might spread to trouts in other waters far, far away, or how a real trout fishing aficionado might want to find, breed and populate the rivers with a super-trout.  (You would also have learned that steelheads are rainbow trout that spend part of their lives in the ocean water!)

Whirling disease is one decimator of salmonids in general, but it appears that the mingling of two different species of fish with "trout" in their names can decimate the lesser one, as reported on NPR's Morning Edition.  It's interesting when they say that rainbow trout can be found all over the world (ahem, especially if they're being introduced into streams and lakes), but cutthroat trouts are native and can survive in very few places, like the cold, streams of northern Montana, and can be defeated by non-natives, climate change and more.  Apparently (and unfortunately), they're not as "cutthroat" as they sound.



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