SI Vault
Edited by Ed Zern and Tom Lineaweaver
July 02, 1956
In trout streams the May fly's life is short but can be fun, no mercy without a stamp in Louisiana, and in Oregon two lads bottle toward degrees
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July 02, 1956

The Outdoor Week

In trout streams the May fly's life is short but can be fun, no mercy without a stamp in Louisiana, and in Oregon two lads bottle toward degrees

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Based on regular weekly dispatches from SI bureaus and special correspondents in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and overseas; and on reports from fish and game commissions of the 48 states and Alaska

Neither trout nor angler could long survive without the May fly, that fragile insect which comes to winged adulthood on our streams each spring. To the trout it is bread. To the angler it is an indispensable element in the ritual of his venerable sport. Fly-fishing would be a barren pastime indeed if he couldn't match that hatch of Quill Gordons or Hendricksons with an artfully tied hair-and-feather imitation and draw a rise from some sleek and stream-wise trout. Yet, sometimes the angler must reflect on the seemingly dull and certainly fleeting life of the May fly. For a year or two it lies in its nymphal stage at the bottom of a stream, beetle-or slug-like, with no hint of the metamorphosis to come. But come it does, and in accordance with nature's mysterious timetable the case is shucked and a fly emerges. It bobbles on the water until its young wings are dry. At this stage it is called a disk, and if no marauding trout happens along it flies away to rest in streamside trees. Shortly after, it mates, lays its eggs in the water and, with the species secure for another generation, dies. Such a tragically short span, the angler may muse, is hardly worth the candle, but he could be wrong. He could look at it from W. H. Canaway's point of view. Mr. Canaway writes in England's venerable Fishing Gazette, and for the May fly's sedentary years under water and its frantically enjoyable few hours above it he offers a comforting rationale. "Thus Mr. So-and-So," observes Canaway, "lives a humdrum life as a bank clerk for many years. Suddenly, however, he sees the error of his ways, helps himself to a few hundred thousand, hops off to South America and blues the lot in a few riotous months of private yachts, high-powered actresses and high-octane whisky. He then cashes in his checks with no regrets and a hob nailed liver. Is it all worth it? Ask any May fly."

Ontario's uranium rush seems to have fevered beavers as well as prospectors. Last week at Silver Mountain four beavers nosed down an old mine shaft, found water at the bottom and staked out a claim. All was well until they realized that going down an 18-foot shaft was simple, going up impossible. Three game wardens from Port Arthur finally retrieved the furry prospectors, none of whom reported a uranium strike.


When federal game agents arrived, Andrew Freeman of Berwick, Louisiana, was standing in his rice field with a shotgun and a dead wild goose but without the federal stamp necessary for legal wildfowling. Explained Freeman when he faced U.S. Commissioner R. H. Carter Jr. in New Orleans: "I took my gun to chase hunters out of the field. Then I saw this crippled goose. I wanted to put it out of its misery, so I sneaked up on it and strangled it."

Commissioner Carter informed Freeman that despite his commendable motives a federal stamp is required even for bare-handed goose hunting, placed him under $500 bond pending trial.


SO—season opened (or opens); SC-Season closed (or closes).
C—clear water; D—water dirty or roily; M—water muddy.
N—water at normal height; SH—slightly high; H—high; VH—very high; L—low; R—rising; F—falling. WT50—water temperature 50�.
FG—fishing good; FF—fishing fair; FP—fishing poor; OVG—outlook very good; OG—outlook good; OF—outlook fair; OP—outlook poor

TROUT: NEW MEXICO: Chama and Brazos area streams C, L and OG. Upper Pecos C and just right. Bull and Cow creeks L, FP and OP until rains raise levels.

COLORADO: FG in most waters hut state is red-faced as 20 conservation officers manned a round-the-clock road block in Gunnison River area, stopped 586 cars, collared 61 anglers with over-the-limit catches and confiscated 1,174 trout. Fines so far have totaled $2,341 with 11 cases still to be tried. Local agent reports several culprits thanked judge and admitted it was about time something was done about their transgressions, which had spanned several years.

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