Dead zone

The margins of modern Russian society live one day …

Birch forests gilded, maples turned red, and a red leaf fell on the still, icy water, blue from the same blue sky, even cold in appearance. In the morning, the grass turns gray from brittle frost, but with the kindling sun it thaws and becomes covered with tears.

The current years are not in a hurry for the winter. Just in the morning everything has become ossified in a frosty haze, and you already assume that tomorrow quiet waters will seize with thin ice at first. And with gambling impatience you begin to sort out winter tackles and uniforms. But the day will come, and everything will be repeated all over again: an icy matinee in gray hoarfrost, frozen water in an old barrel covered with a dead leaf, and … a warm, almost summer day.

In the morning I was on a suburban river. I sipped the water alone with tried-and-true spoons and wobblers. On one casting and reeling, the line suddenly stopped, and the wobbler became heavier many times over. It seemed that he had hooked the grass mane with tees, but the grass went to the side, and soon a puppy twitched resiliently on the line, quite decent for a small river. After that, no matter how much he whipped the water with a wide variety of baits, there were no grabs. Apparently, the reason for the rare pike outings is the small number in these places, even if not of a large pike. Again I come to the places where I was electrocuted. It is not difficult for any car to get to the water on the hard roads of so far dry meadows. And where there are entrances to the water – they will knock out all living things! .. The margins of modern Russian society live one day … Recently I received a call from a reader of my new book Walking with Leshim. He introduced himself as Sergey. After warm words pleasant to any author, he offered to meet and, perhaps, go fishing together. But about the places familiar to me from childhood on Bolshaya Kokshag, he said simply: dead river… He climbed in his motor boat from Starozhilsk all the way to Markitan – everything was knocked out … The purest and most beautiful river of the Volga region, once rich in the most diverse and beautiful fish, now just a flowing reservoir with chika-verkhovka, bleak and track, at best – from the palm of your hand … And a year or two ago, I used to catch good bream here for the “ringing”. The only hope is that with freeze-up, it will come from the bottom, a steep and golden seasoned bream, since nature does not tolerate emptiness, and sometimes it happens here to get on a bream fat over the March ice. Only ice saves fish from two-legged predators. In the meantime, a beautiful and dead river serves for drunken gulbis with barbecue and women, ideally for tourist rafting and landscape photography. As an example, there is a magnificent meadow on the site of the former Sabanakovo forest area, which has become a dead zone due to an empty river. It happens, and some “athletes” do not lag behind. You can often see photos, in particular – on the Internet, in which well-fed snobs with expensive advanced gear pose imposingly against the background of a pile of pikes and pike perch. Probably, the village old man, who lives by the water and is forced to buy blue whiting in the selmag, has never caught so many fish with a couple or two nets in his entire life … He, an old man, on his native river will never close the spawning grounds tightly with kilometers of nets, like a contract. At least they did so until recently. And he will take as much as is required for food, and will not pour poison into the water, pouring tons of tons into rivers from enterprises and ships, especially under the ice. He will not pull the bait, as some fishermen, for a hundred or two small fish that have not spawned yet, but will take some marketable fish for the heat. But he is still a criminal, a poacher! – yell the rich on the boat, dragging a dozen baits with them by “trolling” … And at least a piece of paper, a license to give grandfather, so that in old age he would not break the law and not be thrown by rusty shop capelin. Observing the same dates and catch rates, he will bring no more damage with his netting than an amateur angler or an athlete.

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In today’s Russia, people can shit without a twinge of conscience where they live, throwing garbage on the streets, littering the banks of beautiful rivers and lakes, knocking out all living things that are left with an electric current. And this is not the first time I hear that it is not homeless people and the unemployed who are electrocuted, but rather well-to-do people, often bosses, for whom it costs nothing to buy any delicious fish in a store. They beat for pleasure, but for their life, they say, that’s enough … This is such a dead zone.

Alexander Tokarev and

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