fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

new fishing license; origami encouraged


California 2011 Fishing License of 22.25 Inches

At 22¼'' it’d be a very nice trout.

One of the more common discussions these days among Golden State fly fishermen these days, besides whether a bead head nymph can be called a fly, is the new fishing licenses. For those who don’t know, it’s likely that California’s fishing and hunting licensing system finally matches something your state was using 10 or more years ago.

My permanent annual license was kicked out by the Automated License Data System and it arrived the other day (a temporary was printed from the computer). Attached to the dollar-bill-sized basic sport fishing license is a required report card for the steelhead I’ll never hook.

I measured it. It’s sad when the license is longer than most of the trout that end up in my net. …Sad that the license is so long; I’m perfectly happy with smaller wild fish. Folks who add sturgeon report cards, hunting licenses or are lucky enough to have a lifetime licenses have reported lengths of 10 feet or more.

(I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the license I purchased in Washington state last year and recently returned with fat zeros on the catch record card measured just about as long as my new California license.)

There’s an upside. It’s no longer a requirement to visibly display your license. I thought about putting mine in my wallet, giving it a girth not seen in many years.

That, on the other hand, may not be a great idea.

These licenses are printed on waterproof thermal paper. Waterproof good; thermal paper bad. Leave it exposed to heat source and you’ll be making a trip to get a new one.

However, a swipe of your driver’s license your local vendor can retrieve your current license data, and for a small fee, print a duplicate. Applying circular reasoning, maybe the boys in Sacramento, short on revenue, did know what they were doing all along…

P.S. Sometime after this post goes up I should be applying epoxy to a certain 4 wt fly rod.


4 thoughts on “new fishing license; origami encouraged

  1. Do I understand you correctly in that California anglers have had to display their licenses in full public view in the past? Wow, given the influence that Hollywood has on the world I’m surprised that such a fashion faux pas was ever tolerated. I mean, what if you’re wearing an outfit that clashes with the license? Outrageous. Recommendation: take the cardboard roll that carries TP and wrap your license around that. At the end of the season, wipe your…never mind.

  2. Hey Patrick. I’m glad we don’t have to show the licenses any more, but I still wear mine in the plastic case around my neck because my clippers are attached to it. Just makes it easier. Don’t feel bad about all the zeros on your Steelhead card. Mine goes back to them in January the same way. Oh yeh, putting your license in your wallet, you might get mugged by someone thinking you’ve got a bunch of bucks there. Wouldn’t they be surprised.


  3. I’m not sure it’s that way now, but PA used to have the “display” law. In Georgia we order our license online, print it out and carry it with us. My NC license is the same. You get a “real” license sent to you in the mail. both are no larger than a credit card. No offense to anyone living in CA or buying a CA license, but ….leave it to CA to figure out a way to print out the longest (and undoubtedly most expensive) license imaginable. And I thought those west coast folks were all about “saving trees” and that sort of thing….


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