Gone Fishing

March 3 2020
From Amanda’s Messy Desk…

Time to Reel It In

I just completed taking Fly Fishing 101 at College of Marin. May seem a bit out of left field, but not really. When I was a kid, growing up in Washington state, I did a lot of fishing with my dad. He was an avid fly fisher. Also in my junior high school I took a class on fly tying in a January session called “winterim.”


These flies have survived since 1980. Teacher said I could still catch a fish on them!  photo: Amanda E.

When I graduated from college, a boyfriend gave me a graphite fly rod and a decent reel. It is finally seeing the light of day, all these years later.

Throughout the class we learned a great deal from Larry Lack, a retired high school biology and physics teacher, swim coach, and lifelong fly fisher. He did a great job putting context to what we would be doing in order to catch fish. Ten percent of people fly fishing catch 90 percent of the fish, and the trick is understanding what fish do, and where they like to hang out. As usual, facts and context are critical. As well as biology, not just of the fish, but of the food that they eat – bugs.

What I liked about Larry’s teaching was that it was based in fact and science. And it made sense. Not only is Larry an expert on fishing, but he belongs to several organizations that work hard (as fisher people) to help ensure that the environment for the fish is protected. As West Marin residents, we know how protected the salmon and steelhead are. You won’t see me fishing in any creeks around here.

Larry also urged us to not go out and buy a bunch of gear until we really know what we will need, including where we will be fishing, how frequently, still water, salt or fresh, creek and rivers, etc. Don’t rush into anything and risk being wasteful.

I woke up Monday morning to an email suggesting that KWMR might do broadcasting about the COVID-19 virus. We have. Jim Fazackerley interviewed Dr. Lisa Santora from Marin County Department of Public Health and will do so again on March 10th. HERE is where you can read local updates from the County. Here is a LINK to the archive of the first program.

Like anything, you want to be sure the information that you pursue is vetted, and based on fact and science. There is a lot of information out there. Be cautious about taking information from social media unless you can verify the source.

I would not want to head out to fish with the wrong flies, or incorrect weight of tippet. I want to know about the area that I am fishing. I need to be sure to know the regulations for the body of water, and whether I can “take” any of the fish that I catch, or should I release them all back to the environment. I would also do some practical things like wear sunblock and eye protection, and if wading, use caution so as to not fall in the water.

A few thing that you can do from my perspective (and I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on the radio).

  • If you are sick with anything that might be contagious. Stay home.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Cough into your bent elbow or a tissue. Cover your mouth.
  • Eat healthy nutritious foods, and get plenty of rest, and stay hydrated.
  • If you feel really sick and especially if you have difficulty breathing, contact your health provider.

In the case of fishing, I would be trying to catch fish. Having the correct information will increase the likelihood of me actually catching a fish. There are a lot of things that I could do to not catch fish. It’s my choice to be informed and hopefully increase the likelihood that my fishing behavior results in my own desired outcome. The inverse of this is true about getting sick. You can reduce the risk of contracting a virus by your actions and knowledge.

Health professionals are still learning about how this virus spreads, how long it lives after it leaves your body, what the symptoms are, and how likely it is to make someone sick, staying informed with the facts is critical.

My 2 cents only.

Today is Super Tuesday. Thank you for voting if you have already done so. If you have not, you still have a few hours (from the sending of this e-news) to exercise your right to vote! VOTER INFO HERE!

In the future if I say that I have “gone fishing,” the likelihood is high that it just might be true! Be well, and know the facts.

All the best,
Amanda Eichstaedt
Station Manager and Executive Director

p.s. I got some good emails from folks who were separated by 1 degree from Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Meade hosted a great fundraiser for KWMR at the Papermill Creek Saloon. Thank you Kevin!


Kevin Meade and Highway One at the Papermill Creek Saloon.   photo: Amanda Eichstaedt

p.p.s. Any fly fishers that fish in Tomales Bay? Send me an email.