The Carp Fishery Sustainability Act (C.F.S.A.), Devon Tsuno
In the 1990’s I was probably the only 11-year old kid tying flies and fly fishing at parks in Los Angeles. I imagine for the locals of Baldwin Hills and Echo Park the sight of a small Japanese-American boy fly fishing in 1991 was about as strange as it was for me to seeing brightly colored kayaks adventuring down the LA River in 2013.
It wasn’t until fifteen years later I began to meet others who were quietly doing the same, catching and releasing fish at the most unlikely bodies of water in LA. Fly fisherman are similar to artists…creative people who tend to value both solitude and community. They chase an obsession to decode the relationship between their environment and their art.
Carp are an invasive species in most ecosystems, but here in the recycled water oasis of the Los Angeles Watershed they are the perfect game fish. Hardy, fast growing, smart and can adapt to almost any water condition. Like many Angelinos they are immigrant survivors and because of this they should be valued and protected. These fish must be caught-and-released so future generations can enjoy the outdoors and learn to respect the value of recycled water in Los Angeles.
As I began to tie the first flies for my new project the Carp Fishery Sustainability Act (C.F.S.A.), I was excited to learn that the LA carp fishery has inspired more new innovations in fly tying than I was aware of! These beauties are patterns dreamed up by a local fanatic Jeff Hernandez. I found them in a small box at a local fishing shop and was excited to tie up a few on the Renzetti vice my father gave me almost 25 years ago. I’m am very excited to try these flies on the water and equally excited to track down Jeff to talk to him about his experiences catching and releasing carp.
These words are the first of four entries I will contribute to this blog to document my new C.F.S.A. project made possible by the SPArt Community Grant. Thanks for reading!