TRCP’s “In the Arena” series highlights the individual voices of hunters and anglers who, as Theodore Roosevelt so famously said, strive valiantly in the worthy cause of conservation.
Hometown: Chester Springs, Pa.
Occupation: Writer, photographer, and retired Villanova University professor of classical studies
Conservation credentials: First recipient of the Izaak Walton Award, presented by the American Museum of Fly Fishing
Not only has Ed Jaworowski been teaching casting and fly fishing for more than 30 years, he has shared his passion and skills with countless readers as the author of four fishing books and a featured expert in 200 articles since 1977. He was the first individual to be honored with the Izaak Walton Award by the American Museum of Fly Fishing, for living by Walton’s Compleat Angler philosophy, providing inspiration to others, and promoting a legacy of leadership.
Here is his story.
I was born in 1942, and most of my earliest childhood memories relate to frequent fishing trips.
With my uncle, who had recently returned from World War II, I fished mostly local streams for sunfish in the Philadelphia area. Within a decade, we were making regular trips to lakes in New Jersey, primarily for pickerel, and I also started fishing for stocked trout in local streams. Through the late 1950s, my father periodically took me to the Jersey Shore to drift for fluke in the bays.
In the more than 60 years since, I have had so many experiences on the water that I am hard-pressed to single out any one that I could designate as my most memorable. And I feel fortunate that I can’t narrow down my choices and select one favorite species or top destination. I love to visit remote and exotic venues, but am equally excited about local waters. Each provides different, but equally rewarding experiences.
I gained broad experience with all sorts of tackle in freshwater and saltwater, eventually traveling from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of South America. Fly fishing eventually eclipsed all other forms, and I’ve been fortunate to have caught more than 100 species on a fly rod. Fly fishing has expanded my awareness of entomology, physics, chemistry, biology, mechanics, limnology, and countless other fields of study.
None of my experiences would have been possible if these oceans, lakes, and streams were polluted or incapable of supporting sportfish. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, in rivers from Alaska to Iceland, from mountain streams in Pennsylvania to the Chesapeake Bay, Idaho, and all the rest, my sport would simply not exist without clean water.
This is why conservation of these resources is vital.
In the densely populated mid-Atlantic region where I live, irresponsible commercial and residential development is the greatest challenge to conservation of our environment. I believe education and thoughtful planning are the answer. We can see that the needs of society are met, but with the understanding that those needs include clean water, woodlands, and riparian and littoral zones that are part of the entire natural complex.
Preserving our waters and their surrounding habitats, like forests and shorelines, is the only way to ensure that these places—and the activities associated with them—survive for those who come after me. I am indebted to those who came before me for my experiences and memories. As a writer, photographer, and flyfishing instructor and coach, I want people in turn to have the same opportunities to create their own memories.
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