Best One Yet
So most of you that read this have already heard the gamut on last Saturday’s limestone sand bucket brigade to Middle Fork of Williams. I won’t rehash the details. Actually, you may have noticed that if I post any fishing reports on WVAngler.com, The Drake, Itinerant Angler, Clark’s Bamboo Forum or such that I normally don’t rewrite the whole thing again on here. Just kind of redundant. But this last Saturday is worth as many revisits as it can get.
First I want to say that as the week led up to the event I was getting pretty pissed off. Volunteers who had gave me their word were dropping like flies. I understand attrition to some degree, but it was getting suspicious that folks just weren’t interested and that infuriated me. After all, it is no trouble getting 60 folks out to pick up trash on Elkhorn or stock trout in the Elk River. I’m sure it’d be no trouble to get 60 folks together for a rally to promote meaningless Catch and Release Regulations for brook trout. Since Lee Orr and I got the Back The Brookie thing going back in 2004 people have came out of the woodwork to volunteer for the cause of brook trout. When the rubber finally met the road and we got our first MAJOR project to essentially restore a major watershed I got a grand total of thirteen people to volunteer. Yes, thirteen freaking people. In June. Not a holiday. No other TU activity that weekend. The Mountaineers weren’t playing anywhere. Hank Jr. wasn’t in town. Carpooling was readily available. Thirteen freaking people. I was pissed.
So Larry Orr and I rode up together to save on gas and as we pulled into the parking lot at the Cranberry Visitor’s Center I was shocked to see folks standing everywhere. You see, the weekend before I had thirteen people volunteer to help me stock Arbuckle Creek, seven showed up. That’s about what I expected to find Saturday, but the heavens smiled down and twentyfive people showed up. Abso-freaking-lutely amazing. To say my pessimism was quenched is an understatement. I regained faith in the organization and had no complaints at all.
Then to make things even better, John Rebinski (who also brought two other DNR employees, his two kids and had recruited one summer US Forest Service intern) had the whole operation greased up like a well oiled machine. A low boy was already on site with a big pile o’ sand and he had flagging hung from the trees along the trail to mark each volunteer’s beat. So every person knew how far they had to carry buckets along the bucket brigade. It wasn’t far. Despite hearing a few petty whinings about the work, most were happy. Those that thought that was hard work need to volunteer to help stock Arbuckle Creek…whimps. We moved six tons of sand using less than 400 bucket fulls in about three hours of work. To a guy who would put that much work in on the farm growing up before breakfast it was nothing. Chump change considering what we pulled off.
So next year’s limestone bucket brigade is already in the planning. If you want to get involved in a project that makes you beat your chest at the end of the day and say “I really did something positive for trout” then make plans now to attend the 2009 Middle Fork of Williams Bucket Brigade.