Monday, December 2, 2013

The water's fine

There is a rumor that access to Milesnick's spring creeks (Benhart and Thompson) are closing to public access beginning January 1 (which really means November 30 since they close with the Montana general season). The fishing pages on Milesnick's website are down, and the phone number to Milesnick Recreation Company has been disconnected.

C'mon in - the water's fine. 
The Milesnick's are a great family and our community is better off for having them around, no doubt. They have been great stewards of the land and fisheries, and are extremely warm and generous people.
But this is potentially good news for anglers, in my opinion. This does not mean that the creeks are inaccessible - quite the contrary. For whatever reason, when landowners put a rod fee and limit rods on their property, anglers are expected to respect their right to economic opportunity, and not "poach" that otherwise legally accessible water. But if they're discontinuing the rod fees, it de-taboos the idea of hiking to and up them, within the high-water marks. They won't be legally open again until late May.
If you do go, it's of the utmost importance to show the waters the same respect afforded by the Milesnick family. Absolutely stay within the high-water marks (as with anywhere else on private land), treat the fish well, and do your best to leave the resource better than you found it. It's the least we as anglers can do, when afforded such access.
See you there (but not if I see you first!).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you think out of state interests forcibly taking over the MZ Ranch is a good thing, then please go back to wherever you came from.

Joshua Bergan said...

I don't think that. Forcibly? Have you heard that the military is taking over MZ Ranch? Maybe you know more than I do about this situation, but I'm under the impression it's other family members. And you believe I should go back to wherever I came from because I believe in the public's right to access Montana's fisheries? I don't understand. Please go on the record and explain further.