I freely admit it. I am an old gray back, in gorilla terms. But, as far as I can tell, I am not brain dead...yet. Earlier today I had a phone call from someone who was upset about a column I have running next week. It is a column regarding the Caney Fork River and the crowding. I listened politely and then informed my caller he was 100% dead wrong in his conception of my views.

I know the CF will never be the river I knew 30 years ago. Im not sure I would want it to be. But I am also sure that river is not there for those of us that fish. It is not our river, set aside for our fishing pleasure. That river is OUR river. It belongs to all of us, fishermen, canoe paddlers, what have you. It belongs equally to all of us. Yes, the payment plan is skewed.
That should be corrected. But still, we fishermen don't have control of that body of water.

In close proximity to Nashville, it provides a taste, a look at what the outdoors can offer. The fact that it is a superb fishery does not negate the fact that it provides a superb outdoor experience. Which is of more import?

I recently learned of possible plans to build some weekend retreat cabins on the CF. I will say right now, I am for that. In fact, put me down for the first weekday opening, despite the fact I live less than 40 minutes from the dam.

My problem with what is happening is quite simple. It is a matter of safety. The number of canoes and kayaks doesnt concern me at all. The lack of experience of the people doing the paddling does. And Ill quickly admit the skill level of some of the fishermen running gas engines on that river concerns me, too. It is not a one-way street.

That 26-mile ditch is not a sanctuary for fly fishermen or for trout fishermen. It is there for the use of all of US. Now we can holler and scream all we want...

But we might just well rail against the wind. What wed better do is learn to adapt and get along. Does that mean give up any ideas or concerns? No. It means understand each coin has two sides.

Constipation has ruined many a good day. Not as many as stupidity, though.