Angling Trade Magazine
March 2010

For years, the real estate world has been driven by an adage that the three things that matter most are location, location, and location.

As for fly fishing (or all fishing, for that matter) the long-term success of any body of water, in terms of its ecological viability and/or, (dare I say it) economic value—sport fishery, commercial fishery, whatever—can be boiled down to a similar mantra. When all is said and done, its about habitat, habitat, and habitat.

There are arguably few species so revered by fly anglers, and yet so susceptible to the devastating effects of ruined habitat, than trout and salmon. But some of us are just now waking up as to the habitat protection efforts that can and should be applied in order to keep us all in business, 20 years down the road.

Interestingly, most of the habitat-driven efforts in the fly/trout world right now revolve around protecting the God-given public resources we collectively enjoy. Enlisting on behalf of these causes to save and preserve public trout habitat is a darn good thing, for the retailer, the manufacturer, the guide, and otherwise.

But there’s also an aspect of habitat cultivation that has been woefully undertapped by both public and private interests. The truth is, it’s possible to take a trout-unfriendly environment, make some changes, and create a fly fishery. More likely, it is possible to take marginal water, and make a great fishery. And that’s exactly what Ecological Resource Consultants (ERC), an Evergreen and Boulder, Colorado-based consulting firm does.

ERC is quick to point out, however, that there’s far more to stream restoration and improvement than dropping a few rocks in the river and using a backhoe to dig deep pools.

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