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To the editor and staff at The River Reporter:
It has been an honor to write the column “The Incompleat Angler” for The River Reporter. The editorial and production staff have been a privilege to work with. Today, I write to thank The River Reporter for giving me the opportunity to share my cause with my readers. I so thank my readers especially, for lending an ear.
Throughout my columns, I sought to express the importance of being good stewards of our waters and fisheries. We humans have not been kind to our natural resources, and we have a rather dismal track record of subjecting our environment to any number of ecological insults. This is why I always want to encourage the next generation to “try fishing” as a means to learn about our natural world and to become better caretakers of those gifts.
I think of our fisheries as the “canaries in the mine”—an early warning system. When we derogate and destroy our pure waters, we are but sowing the seeds of untold negative health and social/economic repercussions. As Pogo said long ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The health of our planet has never been under such assault as it is today.
Most of my columns were written as a message to my own children, and I always shared an early draft with my son Josh. I received worthwhile comments back from him and he helped me include the message to be a “water warrior” in every single “fish story.”
Unimaginably, my dear son Josh was taken from us on January 7, 2017, and I now am adrift and without the strength to write the “letters to Josh” that were my columns.
Josh Boyar was destined to become an avid “water warrior” as he was a master angler and wrote beautifully on the subject. “Pass it on” is a beautiful sentiment. My Dad, Albert Boyar, taught me to fish, passing his love of nature to me as I did to Josh.
A few days ago Josh’s son, Layton, caught his first bass at age three. I dug out a photo of Josh at the same age with his first bass. The resemblance is uncanny. Layton is destined to be a caretaker of our planet as was his father. So—take your kids or grandkids fishing. “Pass it on.”