SFR: Gas Prices and Fishing Trips

David Loy

Senior Moment
I would be interested in a hybrid truck, or maybe a diesel. Diesel now though is no price break over gas (little if any). For some reason (big oil?) these options are not being offered in the US. Yet at least.

My latest plan is to keep the truck purely as a once a month hauler, since I'll likely get very little trade in on a 16 year old Toyota. I'd then buy a hybrid people car (likely an Accord) and take over my wife's Pilot. Later, when a decent truck option comes up, I shuffle the deck again. I don't really want to end up with 4 cars (I have a young driver needing a car in the fall).

FWIW - Spoke with a Toyota mechanic a while back who had just serviced a Land Cruiser purchased in England (or Spain) with a TDI engine. The owner is on a round the world drive apparently. He claimed that driving across Canada he was often getting 60 MPG. Seems like a lot of mass per gallon but I hope it's true.
I drive a Jeep Liberty CRD, a little-known diesel that Chrysler sold in the US for 2 years (2005-2006). They have sold them (and continue to sell them) all over the world, but have not wanted to invest in bringing them up to US 2007 clean air standards. It gets roughly 20 mpg or so in the city, 28 mpg on the highway. We got it for the fuel efficiency (our old 4Runner was lucky to get 15 and 20.)

Folks telling you diesel pick ups will get 40+ mpg don't know what they are talking about. Lightweight, highly aerodynamic Volkswagen Jetta diesel's average 40-45 mpg on the highway. A small pickup like a Ranger would be lucky to hit 30-35, and a full size like and F150 could maybe hit 25-30. Diesels are more efficient, but they are not magic.

We all (meaning American's collectively) got ourselves into this mess. We believed the marketing saying we needed 5000 pound vehicles to take our kids back and forth to school, otherwise we would die in a fiery crash. We believed the politicians who said Amtrak and rail travel and transport were pure socialism and we needed to invest in more roads and highways instead. We believed that cities were for poor people, criminals and minorities, and American's who "made it" moved out to the 'burbs. We believed that if our cars didn't have 250+ hp, we'd never get laid.

Now the chickens are coming home to roost. I get frustrated that instead of dealing with the real problem (we've built an economy around cheap fuel, leading to one of the least efficient transportation infrastructures in the world), we Americans are looking around for the next thing that will magically make it cheap to drive again. McCain's 18 cent a gallon gas tax waiver, Clinton and Obama's desire to throw more $$ at US automakers to develop the "next big thing" that will make the problem go away.

To get out of this mess, we need to stop looking down our noses at our friends in Japan and Europe, with their hippy ideas about high speed rail transport, urban transit such as light rail (and even bicycles), less sprawling communities. There is a big opportunity for America to re-invent itself (and make a lot of good capitalists rich in the process), but only if we are willing to make big changes. Hopping in the car on the weekend to go fishing should always be an American pastime. But hopping in a 12 mpg rig to drive to the grocery or drop Jimmy off at soccer makes no sense.

I fear the we as a society are no longer capable of making these kinds of changes. Invest in rail transit? Watch the trucking industry bust out the TV ads saying your taxes will go through the roof. Tighten up development rules to discourage sprawl? Here comes the PR campaign from the realtors and homebuilders about communist politicians trying to tell you what to do.

Sorry for the rant, but watching the news on this stuff is depressing. At a time when we should be looking ahead to a future where we don't have to worry about fuel prices, we seem stuck looking in the rearview mirror, wondering how we can bring back the good old days.


Active Member
some of you must be so young you don't remember how this country used to operate. so lets do a quick review.

gas and oil refining used to be carried out by the brands we all know about today as well as a large number of independent refineries. these independents understood that for their capital investement to actually produce a profit, the refinery had to operate at 100% capacity all of the time.

along came deregulation and the independents were undercut or bought out by the industries largest. now some say that is how its supposed to work. i tend to look at this as the elimination of competition. that is the net effect of deregulation of all of the industries you can name.

so how do you go about manipulating pricing? pretty straight forward, actually. now keep in mind that the actual cost of finding, producing, transporting and refining the product has only changed by pennies over the course of the last 20 years or so.

what we now have is a limited product in the pipeline, step one to manipulation, limit the availability of your product even though demand continues. second step, shut your refineries down at critical times of the year claiming 'maintenance.' those two simple steps have let the gas and oil industry continue to rape the consumer while posting hundeds of billions in profits each quarter.

now lets throw in the corporate owned media. same scenario as the deregulated gas and oil folks. fewer and fewer owners with more and wider control of the daily flow of information. flood the print and broadcast media with stories about china, india, and anyone else, and you simply deflect the attention away from the root cause of the pain at the pump.

profit is good. that is not what we are seeing with the gas and oil industry. regulation of the product is the one and only way to reign this in on behalf of you and me.


"Ride'n Dirty."
2 totally random, on topic things;
1. I guess toyota is coming out with a wagon Hybrid of some kind soon.:thumb:...not the camary wagon, I'm being told.
2. I guess desiel just across the boarder in Mexico is 2 dollars a gallon....just saw that on t.v. today.


Active Member
It won't be long until diesel half ton trucks are on the road. Ford has just shown it's 4.4 liter V-8 diesel that will develop 330 hp and 420# of torque. But any idea that this is an economy move is just nonsense. They promise a 20% fuel economy increase over the current 5.4 liter gas engine. But 20% of Abysmal Mileage is still Not Very Good Mileage and for this meager gain be prepared to spend a several thousand dollar premium over the gas engine. I think the current premium for a Power Stroke in a Super Duty is around $5K. Even at today's prices that will buy around 1250 gallons of fuel that will take you about 19,000 miles. This engine will require urea injection so there is a another fluid tank that will have to be topped off. More expense. Bottom line is this will be a very complex and expensive engine to maintain and the whole concept is counter to what diesels were originally-simple easy to maintain engines that got good economy. And seldom broke.

To that add the fact that the current F-150 weighs about 5500# and the diesel model will weigh more. Simple physics demands that every pound of weight added to a vehicle has to reduce mileage and these modern luxo-trucks are very, very heavy. It is likely that trucks will begin to migrate back to where they came from-used only by the people that really need them instead of inner-city drugstore cowboys that buy them simply to put more ass in their pants.

It's not that a sensible diesel truck can't be built either. In Europe Ford sells Ranger trucks with either a 2.5 or 3.0 liter TDI engine that gets 28mpg. They have plenty of torque to tow a small trailer or boat and would be more than adequate for many of our fishing adventures.

But if a truck just doesn't make good sense anymore maybe there is an alternative. The Honda Pilot-already a decent rig-is getting a lot better next year. It will have one feature that especially appeals to me. It can carry 4 x 8 sheet goods inside on a perfectly flat floor, dry and out of the weather. That puts the Utility in SUV. And it doesn't have that ridiculous sloping back or squinty little windows that so severely limit capacity and visibility on many of the competitors. In other words it is a proper SUV and not a styling exercise and as such will carry a mountain of gear, sleep two in comfort and haul the grandparents and kids to the mall in comfort. Mileage looks to be in the low to mid 20s. Not great but a lot better than the 3/4 ton Crew Cab lots of people are using to do the same job.

So is the price of gas going to affect my fishing trips this year? You bet but the local fish are going to be worse for it. With almost 50 lakes in an hour's drive I won't have too much trouble finding water. And Catch and Release? Well, it's going to be Catch and Grill, Catch and Fry or Catch and Smoke. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Ive


Be the guide...
So is the price of gas going to affect my fishing trips this year? You bet but the local fish are going to be worse for it. With almost 50 lakes in an hour's drive I won't have too much trouble finding water. And Catch and Release? Well, it's going to be Catch and Grill, Catch and Fry or Catch and Smoke. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Ive
Yep, i'll be sticking close to home as well, but fishing just about as much.

Within an hour's drive? Add to that 50 lakes about a dozen rivers and streams and some nice Puget Sound beaches, and I'm not going cry over it too much.

As for carpooling to fishing? Not for me. I ride a vanpool to work most days, or work from home. I chose to live where I do so I can be minutes away from some of my favorite salmon and steelhead water at a moments notice (as in when the rivers drop in shape and fresh fish have just moved in).
GT - As a whole, the airline industry hasn't made money since deregulation. The cause of this? Competition. The only way deregulation hinders competition is when a monopoly or in some cases an oligopoly is formed. You can not tell me that is the case yet in the oil industry. As soon as the goverment comes in to regulate the oil industry the innovation currently being seen toward alternative fuels is going to be gone. It will feel good for us for a little while... but it will hurt like hell when the world's oil supply is really dwindling and we don't have any alternatives. Also, what reason do the oil companies have to pump out oil at full capacity now when they know the supply is limited and the price is probably going to go up? That would be like you and me being forced to sell all of our investments when we feel like they are underpriced and we are pretty certain they will be going up in value.

I think 10 years from the the options we will have for driving to our favorite fishing spots will make us look back and laugh at hoping we could get 30mpg. We will be far beyond that.


Active Member
innovation in alternative forms of energy is NOT going to happen courtesy of the gas and oil industry, no matter what you see on TV. its going to take a government funded program, similar to the original space program, to get us moving onto alternative energy.

airlines USED to compete before they were deregulated. they were profitable, flew on time, cared about the customer and most of the time were very responsive to a travellers needs. today, there is NO competition, only a few big corporations who don't compete as they have all chopped the market place apart to protect their most profitable routes.

then there were the telephone companies who actually would come out to your home and install, without additional expense, an operator you could chat with and ask questions of, without additional charge, and the list goes on and on........

deregulation of key industries has not produced competition or increase services. any industry that is crucial to the entire population of this country needs careful government operated supervision to keep what is going on right now, that is greed, from occurring at the consumers expense.

you'all can thank ronald rayguy for this down hill slide and all the others who followed him for doing not a damn thing on behalf of the ordinary citizens in this country.


"Chasing Riseforms"
I've been putting off making my own biodiesel, but may go for it soon. Another option is buying a motorscooter. Ha. But, it sure would make sense if one lane on the freeways could be designated for electric cars, scooters, mopeds, and bicycles. I guarantee they would fill up fast. How many times have you seen some program on TV showing some foreign country downtown streets jam packed with them? The good life is over as far as pleasure driving is concerned. I'll still take a few trips to Idaho fly fishing my heart out until it kills me I suppose... Big Oil and corporations are going to bleed us to the end. They will continue to "kill" the electric car as long as possible because there is "too much money" to be make selling AUTOPARTS! Big Business! Air filters, gas filters, hoses, spark plugs, on and on......Big Bucks! The big auto makers are not going to jump too quickly at producing electric cars as far as I see.
Just talked to my buddy in diesel school (Wyotech). He confirmed there will be a twin turbo diesel F-150 in a year or two getting about 47 mpg. That's what happens when you put big motors in small things.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
If I don't remember right, but didn't the Government have a lid on the cost of gasoline back in the 70's. They took the lid off at the request of the oil companys and the price of gas has been skyrocketing ever since.

Or was this just one of my pipe dreams.


Jake Bannon

nymphs for steelhead....
I can already tell that gas prices will be affecting the amount of time I fish this summer and winter. The only places where I travel to fish are for steelhead and salmon and we are hauling a 17ft aluminum Koffler with a motorcycle on the back, and that brings our milage down quite a bit. Too bad theres not many really local places to fish aroud where I live, looks like I will have to start exploring.:( One would really invest in steelheading if they bought a smaller pontoon and strapped it to the top of a car that gets a good 40miles per gallon.


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