Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fly In the Eye

I am not going to post a picture of this because it is pretty gross. Check out this video of an ophthalmologist removing what appears to be about size 14-16 pheasant tail nymph from the eye of a fisherman. This will remind us that polarized sunglasses are good for other things besides just seeing the fish. Click here to view the video. The faint of heart need not apply.

Thanks to Alistair: at for digging this up.

Ollie Smith - Fishing Guide: NC & TN

I wanted to take a minute to give a shout out to area fishing guide Ollie Smith of Blue Ridge Anglers. We have known about Ollie since his days at the Foscoe, NC O*v#s store. Ollie is the fishing guide that snagged and returned our contributing editor Zugbug's britches when he lost them on a recent float down the Watauga. You can read all about it at

The thing that I like about Ollie is that he has always been a nice guy. He never hesitates to give you a hint about what fly they are hitting even when you happen to be sharing the water with him and his paying customers. He even let us use his boat pump once so that we could inflate our personal pontoon boats quicker than our small hand pumps would allow. In an era where everyone is trying to climb over everyone else to get to the water first this is very refreshing. We all know there are good guides and bad guides and I would have to say that Ollie is a quality guy and worth a call if you are in his area and want to fish.

Smoky Mountain Custom Fly Rods by Marshall Hall.

The Daily Times of Maryville, TN repots on the creations of custom rod builder Marshall Hall. Mr. Hall is the owner of Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing and Custom Rods. He is known for totally custom rods, allowing the buyer to select every part of the rod to their liking. ``Twenty-five years behind a desk was enough,'' Hall said. ``Now my office is in a river or on a boat.''

The Fly Shop of Tennessee offers a look inside everyday life at The Flyshop of Tennessee. I wonder how you get that designation? I guess you register it first at the Secretary of State's Office. I think I want to be the Fly Fishing Blog of North Carolina... but I digress... The shop is co-owned by Ben Walters and local legend Eddie Wyatt. No doubt if you have visited this area and spoken with Eddie about fly fishing you would remember it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Four Super Bowl Rings and a Fly Rod

In the on going pursuit of letting you know which famous people out there enjoy the sport of fly fishing as much as we do, we are proud to announce that former Pittsburgh Steeler QB, and the guy who regularly pesters Jillian Barberie on Fox Sports, Terry Bradshaw, is an avid fisherman.

"He cut his fishing teeth with a fly rod he bought with money earned mowing yards and doing other chores." Hey TB, how does wearing four super bowl rings affect your casting? Here is a link to a story at all about it.

Photo courtesy of

New Digs for NCWRC

The News & Observer website has a good article about the North Carolina Wildlife Resources commission's new office building. The 13.5 million dollar building will be open to the public and contain a museum and education center. Article Excerpt follows:

"For the other "green" part of the project -- the money -- the commission also took a conservative approach. Rather than using tax money, the $13.5 million project was funded through a bond that the commission purchased from the state treasurer.
Hamilton said the commission had been paying $300,000 in rent each year for three buildings. That rent money now will be used to pay off this debt and to operate the new building.
"So we're paying about $2 million a year on debt reduction," Hamilton said. "And that's not going to divert any money from our ongoing programs. "
"We expect to save money in the long term."

Two Days And Counting Down...

Only two days and counting until the 18 North Carolina Delayed Harvest fisheries reopen under catch and release, artificial lures only rules! October 1st means that North Carolina fly fishermen will no longer have to battle our bait fishing brethren for trout.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission reports that during this years delayed harvest season they plan to stock these 18 bodies of water with 225,000 trout. Hip Hip Hip waders Hooray!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Long Lost Staffer?

If this big fellow were not fishing with a spinning reel, I would swear that I have seen him hanging around the headquarters of I think I will send a request in for them to teach him to roll cast with a fly rod next. If you have not seen this video check out this link. Just for kicks if you can think up a funny caption for this picture leave a comment. I will pick the best one and send the author a fly that caught fish on our recent trip to Arkansas.

The Jumping Trout of Dry Run Creek

Here is a photo, albeit a pretty bad photo, of a trout jumping up a water fall on Dry Run Creek just below the Norfork Dam. Dry Run Creek is limited to Kids under age 16 fishing with artificial lures and flies. It is absolutely loaded with large trout. If you look closely in the center of the photo you can see the trout attempting to take things to the next level. Sorry for the quality of the picture. I had to quit carrying my good camera on these trips since I keep dropping it in the water and that gets expensive. You would think someone with a fishing website could do better! You have no idea how hard it was to click the button at the precise time the fish jumped so I do deserve some credit.

Fishing on the Norfork River

Hooking some trout on the Norfork River on one of the less crowded days of our trip.

A Rainbow Surrenders.

Arkansas Trip Pics

Here is a map of where we went to fish the famous White and Norfork rivers in Arkansas. Unlike others who went before us we went to Arkansas for the fishing not to get a truck load of Coors Beer with our friend "Bandit" in his Trans-Am.

Paisley and the trusty Toyota Corolla that carried us to Arkansas. Note the luxury accommodations in the background. The vehicle is not the Dodge Ram Paisley usually drives us around in but it sure made the gas bill cheaper.

Zugbug looking sunny and pleased at the thoughts of having his picture made. He got the honor of riding in the back seat all week. It would have been kind of like being chauffeured in a limo if Toyota Corollas were bigger.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Back From Arkansas - Lessons Learned

Well the guys from have returned safe and sound from last week's trip to fish the White and Norfork Rivers in Arkansas. We managed to escape the state just ahead of the rain from hurricane Rita. We caught a lot of fish and had several adventures that I am sure you will be hearing about in the near future.

Lessons learned from this trip:

We learned just how much stuff a Toyota Corolla can hold and still carry three people thousands of miles.

We learned not to eat at the McDonald's that was under renovation with the porta johns outside unless you get the keys to the car from Paisley so you can make a hasty retreat to the restrooms later.

We learned that pretty much every fisherman in the free world fishes the same mile of river in Arkansas at the same time. (The really cool thing is that you can still catch fish standing shoulder to shoulder if you know what to do. ) Luckily Paisley knows what to do. He calls it "Combat Fly Fishing."

We learned that Rim Shoals has some big fish AND big snakes.

We learned that people in canoes sing show tunes and sometimes others call fishermen rednecks as they paddle through the middle of the fishing hole in front of you. (it was all Zugbug could do to keep from bouncing a size 8 woolly bugger off the guys head).

We learned that spending a total of 35 hours in the car driving, fishing from daylight to dark, and sleeping in a tent in 90 degree heat, makes you tired....but in a good way.

We learned the hard way that Armadillos will sneak into camp and steal your beer while you sleep.

The hits of the trip fly wise were the red bead head midge nymph and grey sowbug. Probably 90% of the fish we caught were on some variation of these flies.

More to come .....stay tuned.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Arkansas Here We Come

I have spent this evening getting my gear ready to go to Arkansas for a few days of fishing on the White River and the Little Red River. As you can see I have entirely too much stuff to take and this is even after deciding to leave the tying box at home to conserve trunk space. There will most likely be little or no blogging for the next few days as the entire staff ( Me, Paisley & Zug) of Flyfishmagazine will be waist deep in some rivers between here and Mountain Home, Arkansas. I plan on taking many pictures and our resulting adventures should be blog fodder for many months to come. Note the glow of my shiny sneakers!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Breathable Waders by Patagonia

In celebration of Sierra Trading Post accepting us into the fold as an affiliate, I have decided to share yet another great deal with you. Anyone who has ever hiked a few miles wearing neoprene on a hot summer day will tell you that breathable waders can make a real difference in your comfort and we all know that an uncomfortable fisherman is an unhappy fisherman. If you can wear size XL this is the deal for you! Click the picture link to take advantage of this great deal!

Patagonia Breathable Stocking Foot Waders (For Men)
Item #82762
Sale Price: $159.96
Price: $199.95
Reg: $335.00
Save: 52%

Built for toughness, these lightweight SST+ waders from Patagonia won't let you down. Waist-mounted suspenders allow bib to fold down in warm weather. Anatomically curved knees and modified crotch keep you moving easily.
Adjustable wading belt and gravel-guard cuffs
Factory tested for waterproofness
Mesh carry sack: 17x9x5"
Weight: 2 lb. 10 oz.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Deal of the Night - Simms Freestone Vest: $31.96

Finally tonight here is a Simms Freestone Fly Fishing Vest for only $31.96. That is a hefty discount off the $79.95 regular price. Only sizes L and up are available. Leave it to our friends at Sierra Trading Post to have the "zesty fly fishing deal goodness" going on tonight. I wish they had an affiliate program or would shoot me a free hat or something (hint, hint)
***Update*** they do have an affiliate program and guess who just got accepted!
Check out the 35-70% savings on hunting & fishing gear and clothing at Sierra Trading Post

Fishing DeNile

Ok I have got to tag along with Dad on one of his trips to Africa....

Ophelia...Get thee to a Nunnery

Just in case you have been under a rock tying flies and didn't know it, the North Carolina coastal fishery is taking a beating from Hurricane Ophelia. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our fellow anglers and friends in the path of the storm. Sorry for the somewhat vague Shakespearian reference but I couldn't help myself.

Eighteen Million Dollars

Here is one take on the Coastal Resource Fishing License and the revenue that it will create for the state of North Carolina. The cost will be $15 per year for residents and $30 a year for non-residents or you can get a 10 day permit for $10 and $15 respectively. "If 79% of all anglers purchase the annual license and 7.4% purchased the one-week license, $18 million in new revenues would be available to fund fisheries management programs." FYI - Until now, North Carolina was the only state on the South East coast not to have a recreational salt water license.

NC Salt Water Fishing License a Done Deal

Just in case you didn't know it already, the NC General Assembly has passed the Salt Water Fishing License Bill. Stay tuned for more info.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bitch Creek - A Fly Fishing Mystery

William G. Tapply, a mystery author who combines his love of fly fishing with his love of murder, has released a new book aptly titled "Bitch Creek" in which he introduces us to amateur detective Stony Calhoun. Here is how Publisher's Weekly describes the sleuth:

"Stoney Calhoun, "a man without a history," lost his memory in a lightning strike five years earlier. Soon after the accident, Stoney left a rehab hospital in Virginia with a $25,000 check in his pocket from an insurance settlement, drove "Downeast" to live in seclusion along the eponymous creek of the title and began work at Kate Balaban's bait and tackle shop. One morning he foists an unsavory customer planning a wilderness trip onto Lyle McMahan, a local college student and fellow guide, and neither is seen again until Stoney finds Lyle's body floating in an alder swamp with a bullet in his belly. "

Volcanoes - Bad for Fishing

MSNBC reports that an overlfow of volcanic material from an Alaska mountain might be the cause of the lack of salmon in the King Salmon River. It seems the increased acidity of the water makes it impossible for the salmon to recognize the smell of home. Another side effect is that if they did show up it would also kill them. "I think if there were fish in there when the event happened, they got toasted," said state commercial fishing biologist Paul Salomone. (I promise I did not make up his last name)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Shrinking NC Trout Waters

I can think of at least one place that I used to trout fish that is now posted land. The NCDWR website has an interesting answer to the question "it seems that many streams are now closed to public access and I'm having a hard time finding a good place to go fishing. What's going on?"

Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge Winner

Gallatin, Tenn native Scot Marcin has taken top honors in the first annual Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge. The competition was only open to professional outdoors guides with five or more years experience and included proficiencies in several outdoor events such as animal calling, fly casting and shooting.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Czech Nymphing

The Sierra Sun has an interesting take on why the USA keeps getting beat in European Fly Fishing competitions. First they don't allow strike indicators and split shot and they Nymph differently than us, fishing three flies off of a short line. This technique is called Czech Nymphing.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

On the Road Again...

The day job requires that I hit the road again. This time I will be visiting Chesapeake, VA. If I have any spare time I will try to check out the local fly shop scene etc. However, it seems on these trips I rarely have time for anything but work and driving.

Here is the top down view of the area I will be visiting.,+va&spn=0.257443,0.467709&t=k&hl=en

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Carbon Fiber Shortage Impacts Fly Rod Makers

It seems there is a shortage of carbon fiber. This has already caused one rod manufacturer to cease production of fly rods that use this material. Look for the possibility of price hikes from other manufacturers. I got the heads up about this from the Urban Fly fishing on the Kelvin site.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Common Sense

Here is an interesting take from the owner of a small fly shop that is going out of business. The propriator said that he spent would spend hours showing someone what they needed to start fly fishing but then they would buy there gear from the "big box" store down the street.

"We spent hours helping a customer understand what he and his wife needed to begin their fly fishing adventures," he said. "And we said we would include a one-hour casting lesson with the purchase of a complete rod and reel outfit from our store. "They said they would think about it. The next day, they stopped by for their free casting lesson, after they had purchased their stuff at the big-box store ... and then they were mad at us for not giving them a free lesson."

I am all about getting a deal but I have always said if you are going to mooch info from the guy at the fly shop, buy some stuff there. After all if we don't support the guys who own the good shops ( the ones that put customer service first) they won't be there for us in the future and you will be getting your fishing advice from a 16 year old goth kid at Wally World.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Fishermen Less Taxed ..Tea Party Canceled

As if the price of gas wasn't enough, did you know that in 1950 congress passed a law that mandated a 10% excise tax on all fishing rods and reels? In 1984 they sneakily extended the tax to all types of fishing tackle. This means that on that shiny new $400 rod with the $300 reel, $70 in taxes were being passed on to you. Well fret no more my oppressed angling brethren. POTUS has signed into law the Federal Highway bill which includes a measure to cap the Federal Excise Tax at $10.00 on fishing equipment. WTG Free Trade! (news release via the AFFTA website)

Free Gas for Fly Fishermen

Keeping the gasoline theme going this evening, I found information that might help you with accommodations for your next fly fishing trip. The Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is offering to reimburse you for up to $50 worth of gas if you stay with them between now and September 30th. According to their web site you can rent a 2 bedroom condo for $189 - $299 per night.

St.Croix Announces New "Reign" Line of Fly Rods

The web site with the domain name that I wish I had bought in the 90's, announces a new line of fly rods from St. Croix. "Features include premium SC graphite blanks with moderate-fast action, uplocking, anodized aluminum reel seats, premium grade cork grips, aluminum-oxide stripper guides, and hard chrome snake guides. All rods come with a rugged rod case with handle and divided polypropylene liner." The rods will cost between $130 - $160 so you might even be able to purchase enough gas to go fishing after buying one.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Buck Perry's 22 LB Bass

Hugh Koontz of the Shelby Star writes about Buck Perry. Perry is a recently deceased fisherman and inventor of the "spoonplug", once caught a world record setting 22 pound largemouth bass. Perry was famous for fishing around structure and in the article Koontz shows us how that can also apply to fly fishing for trout. Perry was 90 years old when he passed away in Taylorsville, NC. He was the retired President of Buck's Baits.

Smoky Mountain Trout on The Little River

Here is an article about fishing the Little River in the Smoky Mountains. According to the article there are 1500 to 3000 naturally born fish per mile in this river. Paisley and I fished it a few years ago and did pretty good in the faster water.