Merwin: Less Money, More Fishing

A report by the Reuters news service that I found courtesy of [MidCurrent](http://midcurrent.com/ news/) last week indicates that people tend to fish more when economic times get tough. Fishing--at least fishing locally--it turns out can be less expensive than going to the movies or playing a round of golf. At a time when many families are pinching pennies, fishing can also put food on the table.

This does not just mean those subsistence anglers who crowd bridges and jetties with cane poles and plastic buckets. It is hundreds if not thousands of dollars cheaper for me to fish a local trout stream than if I were to fly out to Montana for a few days of guided fishing. And even for those who still have steady jobs and good incomes, the daily barrage of bad financial news at the very least puts a damper on spending. The entire country, it seems, is in hunker-down mode.

That's going to be bad news for destination-based tackle shops, resorts, and fishing guides this summer, which is very unfortunate. For anglers, though, fishing locally doesn't necessarily mean fishing less. This season I'll be fishing as much if not more than I usually do. But I'll be fishing the closest river or hauling my boat to the nearest lake instead of driving for several hours, paying for a motel, and so on.

Different people will handle this in different ways, of course. Are you going to rack up your rods when times get tough, and stay home to watch television? Or maybe you'll take another look at the creek just down the road....