In shoals the hours their constant numbers bring Like insects waking to th’ advancing spring; Which take their rise from grubs obscene that lie In shallow pools, or thence ascend the sky: Such are these base ephemeras, so born To die before the next revolving morn. — George Crabbe, “The Newspaper”, 1785
Mayflies are totally prehistoric, with their distinctive wing profile. More than 3,000 species make up the Ephemeroptera, a wonderful word I first read just recently in an old British tome about bugs on the water. If you have spent any time at your vise during the pandemic, I’ll bet you’ve tied more than a few dries, as well as imitations of the rest of their life cycle, which is mostly spent as a nymph.
In the latest episode of Zac Efron’s “Off the Grid” Youtube Series, he is joined by Matus Sobolic of @CaliCarpin, and his brother Dylan Efron. The trio then hit the famous LA River on the hunt for urban carp on the fly. The LA River offers an amazing escape from the urban spread of Los Angeles. Follow along as the group fly fishes, skates and explores this unique fishery. (From Flylords Magazine)
In 2010, after falling in love with the LA River, I got worked up about plastic bags and was mostly happy to start carrying my own to the grocery store. There was a howl of protest as the plastic consumer noose tightened, first with California cities creating a patchwork of regulation, then counties, and finally voters approved a statewide ban in 2016. Now, if you want a bag at the store, it will cost you 10 cents.
Back then, I wrote: As a fly fisherman, you know you’re sick and tired of seeing trash in the Glendale Narrows, especially after a storm. So it should be worth it to either take your friggin’ bags with you on grocery runs, or pony up the dime that grocery stores will be able to charge for green bags.
Next up, single-use plastic straws. Yesterday, the LA City Council voted 12-0 to move forward to ban them by 2021. Reversing the earlier governmental patchwork plastic bag trend, the city council action comes before a statewide ban goes into effect Jan. 1, one in which you’ll have to ask for that straw. In what could be a game changer, and will incur the wrath of the fast-food industry, the Los Angeles ban could include fast food outlets, which, incredibly, are currently exempted by the upcoming state law
Then there’s the microplastics issue, in which fish digest small amounts of plastic that then never leave their bodies, causing a host of problems, including organ damage and reproduction. And, if you eat fish, you may also be eating plastics.
As a fly fisher who has walked our river in hope of a better future, I know we can do better.