I first heard about it where any astute armchair meteorologist would get their news: Facebook. My God Daughter alerted me to a developing Tropical Storm with this message:
[Updated 10:45 p.m. ET] Tropical Depression 11 rapidly intensified Tuesday evening and became the 11th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Kirk, the National Hurricane Center said. Kirk is located in the middle Atlantic and is not likely to become a threat to land.
Oh, it’s Tropical Storm Kirk, not Kurt. My bad, easy mistake.
I wasn’t aware until then that the authorities had named a storm after me. Humbled by the gesture, I immediately set out to learn more. Googling “Tropical Storm Kirk” turns up a whole slough of weather maps such as the one above. I was slightly troubled that this image also appeared high in the search results:
It appears that Kirk isn’t going to hit land and will remain just another offshore blowhard, responsible for little more than a few harmless wind knots at best. Kirk is expected to peter out once he encounters cold waters of the North Atlantic. Watch the media reports carefully. They’re likely to screw up and refer to it as Tropial Storm Kurt. Happens all the time.
Anyone who reads the Unaccomplished Angler with any sort of regularity knows that we here in the editorial office don’t take ourselves too seriously. We rarely tackle any subject matter that deals with significant and important issues. But when we do, you can rest assured it’s for good reason. And so when a report from the Outdoor Industry Association came across the newswires, we couldn’t let it fade into internet obscurity without giving it some attention.
Those of us who recreate outdoors, be it hiking, camping, boating, hunting, fishing, etc, understand the value of being able to do so. But most of us don’t look beyond the social importance of outdoor recreation and consider the economical value, unless we somehow work in the outdoor industry. Outdoor recreation is big business.
Direct consumer spending in the outdoor recreation industry is $646 billion (a figure that would blow Dr. Evil’s mind). That’s more than Pharmaceuticals ($331B); Motor Vehicles and parts ($340B); Gas and other fuels ($345B); Household utilities ($309B).
There are more than 6 million jobs directly dependent on outdoor recreation. That’s greater than Real Estate/Rentals & Leasing (2M). Bigger than Oil & Gas (2.1M). Information (2.5M). Education (3.5M). Transportation and Warehousing (4.3M). Construction (5.5M). Finance and Insurance (5.8M). That’s a whole lotta people earning a living in the outdoor industry.
You get the point. Outdoor recreation is huge. So, all is peachy keen in the industry, right? Not so fast. Economic activity in the outdoor industry is directly tied to habitat. Without habitat there is no opportunity for said recreation. Starting to make sense now? As a passionate fly anglerman, I understand the importance of having a a healthy river system to support the very fish that I persue; the availability of having a place to go wave my stick. Without either of those two components, we anglers wouldn’t be anglers.
We need local, state and federal publics lands and waters. This is a network that is as important to the economical health of our country as other public works infrastructure such as schools, water treatment, roads and airports that we all depend on. Outdoor recreation is not a boutique industry.
So, what about all this? What does it mean for you? Tom Sandler says it best on the Middle River Dispatch:
When the policy makers and politicians demean our public lands they show either their ignorance (to be charitable) or there political bigotry (more likely). While politicians can be expected to say what they think will get them elected, ignorance has no place in policy making. This report is a powerful, factual tool that should be part of every debate on the value of our public lands and the importance of conservation of those resources.
Thanks to Tom (AKA Wyatt Earp), for providing a lot of this information that was paraphrased here, and for fighting the good fight and bringing this matter to the forefront of the blogasphere.
Recreational venues in our nation, such as seashores, forests, parks, and wilderness, must be recognized for the important role they play in the economy. These public venues form the foundation of a national outdoor recreation system. Our policy makers should invest more, not less in these important assets to our nation’s economy.
This new report arms us with facts that must be used to show our elected officials just how important outdoor recreation is to our economy. These are undeniable economic, social and health benefits that are no longer “nice to have,” they are a “must have.”
I’m just helping to spread the word. You can help by emailing the report (here’s the link) to your elected officials. Just tell them: “Outdoor recreation means business, read this!”
Thank you. As you were.
As much as I try my darnedest to segregate endeavors, I would be remiss if I didn’t announce the availability of my recently-launched apps for iPad: Olive the Woolly Bugger and Chuckin’ Bugs.
Olive the Woolly Bugger is an interactive book app based on my print book series. In addition to the entertaining and educational story, there are several interactive pop-up screens that describe certain aspects of fly fishing: fly patterns, insects, fish, water currents, etc. Additionally there are a bunch of fun animations to further entertain young readers. Speaking of young readers, there are two modes for reading the app. Those old enough to read on their own can do so, while younger kids can have the story read to them thanks to recorded narration.
There is also a bonus feature included in the Olive app: Chuckin’ Bugs. This is a simple yet challenging game in which kids (and big kids) help Lefty Crayfish toss buzzing bugs to feeding fish. This game is also available as a standalone app.
Rather than tell you all about the apps, this video does a much better job of showing you.
An article was recently brought to my attention by a friend who golfs, but does not fly fish. The opening sentence mentions sheep dung and fly fishing, so it was with great curiosity and intrigue that I kept reading.
While shepherds were whacking bits of dried sheep dung around the spongy coastline of eastern Scotland in golf’s formative days, in the late 15th century, sportsmen and women to the south, in England, were tinkering with the use of artificial baits in what would come to be known as fly-fishing.
Read the full New York Times story HERE.
OK, so it’s another article drawing similarities between g#lf (a four-letter word) and fly fishing (either a 3-letter word and a 7-letter word, a hyphenated combination of the two words, or sometimes even one, 10-letter word). We’ve all heard mention of certain similarities before, and I’ll admit there is some truth to be found in the article:
The two sports share more than their ancestry. Both tend to appeal to those with contemplative, even analytic, temperaments. Both can arouse a powerful, even obsessive, fascination among the faithful, as well as a never-ending accumulation of gear.
Never-ending accumulation of gear. Check. Contemplative, even analytic temperaments? Not so much, at least in my case. I’m much more of a dreamer than a rational thinker. I don’t often write anything that would ever be taken too seriously, certainly not by the likes of the editors of the NY Times.
Or, perhaps I’m underestimating myself.
Maybe I should submit my take on the similarities between golf and fly fishing, posted here a couple of years ago. You be the judge: do you like my article, titled Fly fishing and golf: Kindred spirits, or do you prefer the article in the NY Times, titled For Golfers, a Change of Scenery, and of Pace?
Regardless, the author of the Times article, Chris Santella, undoubtedly earned a better fee for his work.
Many months ago—actually as far back as a year—when I started penciling in events for late summer 2012, this was looking to be a rather exciting period of a few weeks. Let’s examine how the calendar would have looked:
August 16-18, IFTD. That’s right, the International Fly Tackle Dealer show, in Reno for 2012. I’ve wanted to go for the past few years, and decided that this year I would finally make it happen, funds be damned. I didn’t want to go just for giggles, but to meet a lot of people in the fly fishing industry with whom I’ve corresponded. To meet and make friends. Rub elbows. Maybe put some deals together. After all, I have products to promote: Olive books, fly box by Montana Fly Company, and my very-soon-to-be-released iPad apps: Olive the Woolly Bugger and Chuckin’ Bugs. I should be there. I’m not.
Next year, for sure.
August 24-26, Casting 4 A Cure. I was there last year with my buddy Marck. We represented Team Olive for a great cause. Met a lot of amazing people. Had an absolutely great time. Planned on going back this year. Well, that wasn’t in the cards. Marck is going, and he’s being joined by the Firehole Rookie Ranger. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they could go. Just really bummed that I couldn’t.
Next year, without a doubt.
August 30-September 1, River X. I was invited to partake of a very special opportunity not only to fish with a bunch of great folks who I’ve wanted to meet in person for a long time, but to witness the filming of a new film that looks to be incredible: A Deliberate Life, produced by Matt Smythe of the Fishing Poet blog. As recently as three weeks ago I spoke with Matt and expressed how badly I was jonesin’ to meet up with he and the others. In that time, life got very chaotic, and I am sick with remorse that I won’t be able to make the trip.
There won’t be another opportunity quite like this.
So yes, I would like some cheese with my whine, thanks.