August 31, 2013

Allen Afield: Attempting to catch bluefish with fly rod? Try a little cleverness

By Ken Allen

(Continued from page 1)

We go to great lengths to complicate fishing, hunting and team sports with regulations, reminding me of a conversation in college that showed my ignorance of a basketball rule. It also illustrated the complexity of sport regs.

In high school, I played basketball but did not know a regulation (since changed), involving backboards. If the ball hit the edge of a rectangular backboard back then, it was out of bounds, but the edge of a fan-shaped backboard was in bounds -- such a picky, rarely used regulation that I was unaware of it. Sports are full of such odd regs.

In the same token, in outdoor sports, we go to great lengths to complicate everything in the spirit of saving the resource, reminding me of a New England bulletin board. The posters routinely fish with live bait and sinkers but go berserk at fly rodders for using weighted flies in general-fishing regulations waters. Go figure.

Rules and regulations for hunting and fishing should address one issue: Can the resource withstand a certain technique without permanently decreasing the targeted game or fish populations?

Bear baiting in Maine offers a perfect example. Hunters here have baited bear big time for decades, and the herd continues to increase, while rural hamlets reap economic benefits from bear hunting over man-placed baits -- a win-win situation -- but naysayers still complain about baiting.

Ken Allen, of Belgrade Lakes, a writer, editor and photographer, may be reached at:


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