The evolution of an angler to fly fisherman often includes embracing the concept of the ‘catch and release’ ethic — along the lines of Lee Wulff’s assertion that “The fish you release is your gift to another angler and remember, it may have been someone’s similar gift to you.” Conservation is part of our credo. In more recent years that credo has grown to adopt the concept that the survival of native fish is preferable.
Now Trout Unlimited and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have crafted a cash-for-rainbow program in the hope that the almighty dollar can sway fly fishermen to revert to the hunter/gather mentality to harvest the nonnative rainbows in the South Fork of the Snake River.
Seeking to thin out the competition for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the blue ribbon fishery, Woodard’s organization, Trout Unlimited, has partnered with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to place a bounty on rainbows.
Fish and Game has inserted tiny, invisible tags in the noses of 571 South Fork rainbows with corresponding monetary awards ranging from $5 to $1,000.”
With any luck, maybe this fly fishing habit can pay off.