Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Henry's Fork Motors: Is the Saga Drawing to a Close (and has individual delusion reached a new level)?

It looks as the though the Fremont County Commisioners have come up with a plan, and while it is better than nothing, its still not a perfect scenario.

The proposed ordinance would allow motors up to 10 horespower on several sections of the river, including the very popular stretch of the lower river below Vernon Bridge and the stretch upstream from Mack's Inn. While this proposed ordinance would protect The Ranch and Box Canyon, anglers will have to hope the effect on these other important sections of river will be minimal.

Perhaps even more disconcerting is this line from the story:
Commissioner Skip Hurt said he doubted a Henry’s Fork Foundation study of the economic benefits the sport of fly-fishing brings to the county.
I remember the quote that spawned this line. Hurt questioned the validity of the study after Trafton and the other HFF folks had left the meeting.

This is the kind of attitude I have often encountered in Eastern Idaho (unfortunately). Many folks fail to recognize they live near one of the most iconic, beloved, and famous trout streams in North America. For many visiting anglers, the Henry's Fork is Mecca, the spiritual center of fly fishing in the West. For many locals, they'd rather be fishing the South Fork.

I remember reading stories about the Henry's Fork as a kid in Jack Dennis Fly Tying Manuals. I spent my youth dreaming of fishing the famous flat water and ridiculous hatches that are the river's trademark. Living near the river was a major reason I moved here. And yet Skip Hurt thinks the HFF is making up numbers, even though you can hardly read a book about fly fishing and not be hammered with allusions to The Fork. The people are coming Skip, they have been coming for decades. And they bring their wallets and charge cards with them.

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