Love fishing? The Bookworm of Edwards is bringing author Matthew L. Miller to talk about fishing and conservation in the 21st century
IF YOU GO
What: Matthew L. Miller at the Bookworm of Edwards.
When: 6 p.m. Bookworm Thursday
Where: Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk at Edwards.
More information: Call 970-926-7323, or visit bookwormofedwards.com.
Fishing can be a moment of mindfulness by the water, an excuse to get some sun — and even an exciting family activity. But to anglers and conservationists like Matthew L. Miller, the sport has some far-reaching implications that cannot be ignored.
Join author, angler and conservationist Matthew L. Miller at The Bookworm of Edwards for a discussion of his new book, “Fishing Through the Apocalypse,” which looks at the state of fishing in the 21st century; its joys as well as its environmental impact; and where we go from here.
Miller has been in love with nature for as long as he can remember.
“I was drawn to wild animals and nature before I could talk,” he said. “As a kid, I loved exploring woodlots and creeks, tracking animals, reading outdoor magazines and field guides, and doing just about anything related to wildlife.”
So, it’s no surprise that his childhood love of the outdoors translated into a passion for conserving our native landscapes. Growing up as a boy playing in fields, he soon saw those fields developed and watched the trickle of the biologically dead stream that ran through his backyard.
“In elementary school, I wrote a story where a pack of Bigfoots saw a new development and decided to trash it,” Miller said. “I hope my conservation writing has developed since then, but I still like to take a creative look at my problems.”
Today, he writes about conservation on behalf on the Nature Conservancy, for its blog titled “Cool Green Science.” This career lines up nicely with his passion for fishing and what he perceives as one of an angler’s greatest challenges: being honest about their impact on the environment.
“You need clean water and a healthy habitat for quality fishing,” Miller said. “You can fish in an apocalypse, but it’s a pale comparison to fishing in a wild river with native fish.”
“Fishing through the Apocalypse,” paints a picture of contemporary fishing culture. Miller has fished in rivers filled with excrement and paid $25 to catch giant fish who have first names. All of that, he argues, is a part of the angler experience in the 21st century. “I wanted to share stories of what fishing is really like today,” Miller explains,” and what it can be if we value it enough.”
Despite the “pretty gnarly and unromantic places” where Miller has found himself, it was important to him that the narrative of the book remain positive overall. “I am not motivated by the doom-and-gloom environmental narrative,” Miller states. “I think we still have to appreciate and enjoy the world as it is and work to protect it. I do that with a fishing rod — and yes, I returned to that biologically dead stream of my youth and tried to catch a fish in it. That is the last chapter of my book. I won’t tell you how it turns out.”