Tuesday, January 31, 2006

13 Year Old Ties Better Flies Than Me

Peter Venlet from Michigan who writes the Down for Repairs Blog , has emptied out his fly box for all the world to see in a post about tying trout flies. As one who has struggled with fly tying, I understand where he comes from in his post about his amazement at the ultra-realistic flies that 13 year old Dustin Driscoll ties. Personally, I tie and fish ugly flies.

Floods Good and Bad for Fish

It looks as though floods are bad for fish that migrate from the seas to the rivers. Then again it looks as if floods are good for fish that live in streams year round and can even improve the habitat.

early hatcheries took their eggs from first-arriving fish to ensure their supply, Gregory said, and fish runs began arriving early. The window for returning fish shrank to a couple of months.
"Then the impact of a single flood on the population could be much greater," he said.

In studies of trout that live in streams year-round, the number of juveniles rises dramatically in the year after a flood, he said.

House Of Foam

What happens when a guy who insulates buildings with spray foam for a living has a bit of extra time and product on his hands? He builds himself a valcano shaped house out of foam complete with a 30 foot fish pond that is stocked with Trout and Sturgeon.

"First of all, they drive by, and they see it, and then the people send the little kids out to see what's in the pond," Fletcher notes. "And everybody stops, and come over and start feeding (the fish)."

Update** I found this link to an article with a picture of this amazing house.

Gatlinburg Trout

The Mountain Press has more on Gatlinburg, Tennessee's winter catch and release fishery. Gatlinburg is the only city in the state of Tennessee that stocks its own waters with trout. It is interesting to note that they transformed the old waste water treatment plant into a fish hatchery.
"From 800 to 1,000 fish are released every Thursday during the warmer months, and every other Thursday during the winter. "

Monday, January 30, 2006

Zugbug: The Early Years

Lately there has been some interest in the blogosphere about my fishing buddy Zugbug. Recently, I came across this early example of Zugbug's writing and thought I should share it with you. This short story entitled "Yankee Ingenuity" was previously published on the Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Association web site back in 1998. As you can tell this writing is from Zugbug's "green period." (editor's note: watch for our combination BRFFA and Flyfishmagazine.com reunion camping trip this spring.)

New Middle Georgia Lake

Middle Georgia anglers have something to look forward to as plans are going ahead for a new 100 acre fishing lake to be located in Houston County, Georgia. The lake will include a 1 acre kid's lake and will eventually become a state park. Now if we can only talk them into stocking it with Peacock Bass and making it fly fishing only.

N.C. Div. of Marine Fisheries Meetings

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries will be holding public business meetings Feb 2nd and 3rd.

Location: Clarion Ocean front Hotel - Kill Devil Hills, NC
Contact Jess Hawkins 800-682-2632 or 252-726-7021

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Idiots In the News

More idiots in the news, as environmental activists released (or freed as they would say it) 50,000 rainbow trout that were being held for stocking for fishing. The sad punch line? Many of the fish will most likely die as they were not released gradually and allowed to acclimate to their new habitat.

"Any Luck?"

Macon.com has a story about how fishing can be a good ice breaker and get you involved in lots of conversations with random people. Sometimes too many conversations. This reminds me of the time I started casting to a likely spot under a foot bridge in a small North Carolina tourist town. After the 150th inquiry, "catching any?" I decided it just wasn't worth it and moved on up stream.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Flying Trout

As you might be able to tell, the fly fishing news around these parts is a bit slim this weekend. However, my search has dug up what is now one of my favorite military aircraft. The C135c Speckled Trout flies out of Edwards Airforce Base.

I've Been Called Worse...

The News Telegraph over in the UK has a story about fellow who held a grudge against the former Mayor of Essex. For five years he flew a small plane over her house and dropped leaflets that referred to her as an "Old Trout".

An Attorney, Inflatable Boat, and a Sailfish

I had not posted this amazing video of an angler landing a sailfish that he caught on a fly rod while fishing from an inflatable kayak because most of the other fishing sites had already posted it. However, upon further investigation I discovered that the angler was also an attorney. In my day job I have occasion to work with many attorneys so upon finding this out I couldn't help but post about the video, as I was certain there must be some sort of comedy in an attorney wrestling a large fish from the safety of a rubber dinghy. Please feel free to insert your own joke here...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Good Guide, Bad Guide

Peter Venlet from the Down for Repairs Blog writes about an experience he had using fishing guides on a recent fishing trip out west. He used two different guides on the trip and the first one spent all the time being critical of his casting ability and talking down to him. The second one was a great guy who gave them pointers and actually helped them catch fish. I have had similar experiences and really can't give much slack to a guide you are paying who treats you like he is doing you a favor. It makes you appreciate the great ones when you meet them.

Be sure to read the article and pay special attention to his comparison of fishing "out West" to the fly fishing we do here in the East.

Unidentified Creature Discovered in Malaysia

A Malaysian fisherman uncovered the skeletal remains of an as yet unidentified creature. The carcass was found rotting in the mud of an area river and could measure 5-7 meters long. Local fisheries officers have as yet been unable to identify the creature.

"It's like nothing I've seen before, but these are partial remains so I don't want to speculate"

Maybe one of our readers, perhaps someone versed in animal anatomy, could identify this for us or at least pass this along to the IAFFV. Also if they have any idea what such a creature might eat, it sure would make tying the fly to catch one much easier.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

5 Minutes to Wapner!

Pete over at Fishing Jones has some bad news to break to us. Those savvy trout that have been outsmarting us anglers for all these years and have had all those stories told by us about how the big ones got away. The same trout that cause us to spend hundreds of dollars each year on equipment to catch them, are really dumber than the average gold fish. Check out the link to the article from his site. I refuse to believe it.

You Don't Step on Superman's Cape...

Hugh Koontz of The Shelby Star writes about a couple of interesting topics this week. The first is about casting into the wind. I always enjoy his analogies:

"But I cannot abide with the wind, which is like having a little brother grab your arm from behind every time you want to make a cast."

The second is about how he fishes with a different sort of dropper rig using a small nymph and a muddler minnow rather than a dry fly and a nymph.

Please Turn Your Fins And Cough

For reasons I will not go into, my good friend Zugbug has gotten interested in veterinary medicine. Today he pointed out an organization that I had no idea existed, The International Association of Fly Fishing Veterinarians. In my opinion this makes a lot of sense from a conservation standpoint. They can catch a trout and give it a thorough check up before releasing it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Kissing Fish

Moc Morgan of Wales describes his love for brown trout and grayling in a very literary way that might only be described as "un-natural." Remember he is talking about a grayling.

"Could it be her beautiful curves, her appealing colouring, her kissable lips or her accommodating nature. Whatever it is anglers in their droves have fallen for this beguiling creature and they are out there in all sorts of weather trying to capture it."

I love my fly fishing, but this might be taking it too far. You have to admire a man who knows what he likes and isn't afraid to write it down. Seriously though, this is a good article that will make you want to visit these famed rivers.

Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel

The United States Air Force is planning air to surface gunnery practice in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. NOAA is currently seeking public comments about concerns that this activity might impact (no pun intended) marine animals negatively. It sounds like they are going to extremes to keep accidents from happening though. To protect marine life the Air Force is going to be doing aerial surveys of the area prior to the target practice. If they sight a dolphin or sea turtle within five nautical miles of the target they will postpone the exercise and change areas.

World's Smallest Fish

The BBC News Website reports that scientists have found what appears to be the smallest species of fish ever recorded. The tiny fish was discovered in the peat swamps of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. Scholars attribute the ability of the Paedocypris to survive in tiny pools of acidic swamp water to its small size. In times of extreme drought a fish this small only requires what amounts to a droplet of water.

"Food is scarce but the Paedocypris - smaller than other fish by a few tenths of a millimeter - can sustain their small bodies grazing on plankton near the bottom of the water. "

I bet some guys I know are thinking up a new size 52 plankton fly even as we speak.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

EBay Scam Targets Anglers

Classic Fly Rod Forum is warning us about a current scam on eBay that is targeting anglers. They tempt you with a deal of a rod or other equipment but when you click on the listing instead of going to the item you are taken to a sign in page. Guess what happens when you sign in? Bad things....Bad Bad things....Involving your now public password etc. Looks like some additional candidates for creek bank justice. How long do you think it would take to flexcoat these blighters?

Carpe' Carp

In deference to our fellow blogger from Seattle, Brian Bennett over at Moldy Chum I bring you this excellent link from his site to a story about the hottest new thing in fish eggs, Carp Caviar. Since the Seahawks gave our Carolina Panthers a complete beat down in the AFC Championship game, I felt I owed him. How long do you think it will be before some guy fishing with bait on the fly fishing only water tells the Game Warden that those fish eggs in his vest are for lunch?

Quoting Mr. Maclean

I discovered the Positively Rational blog and their take on a quote from "the book that was made into the movie" by Norman Maclean. Travis, who posted the entry, breaks down the differences between the quote from the movie and the original as found in the book. It is hard to think of any other item of pop culture / literature that has had such a profound effect on fly fishing.

Fishermen Now Able to Get Dates - Pherotones

Perhaps you have heard of the newest rage (read rip-off) on the internet, Pherotones. Supposedly these are ringtones for your cell phone that have a subliminal effect on the opposite sex. This would have nothing whatsoever to do with fly fishing except one of the ringtones is called "The Anglerz". Here is how Dr. Myra Vanderhood describes the ringtone for the fisherman in our midst.

"The Anglerz
A subsonic delight, this all-purpose, multi-target Pherotone casts a wide net. If you can keep your wits about you, you'll be going home with the catch of the day. Happy fishing!"

I must pass this along to my single friend Zugbug. Although I think he would be much more successful with a more traditional lure (for example: a fat wallet and a big house)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Monster Lake SOLD

Back in May we posted about fly fishing opportunities at Monster Lake near Yellowstone National Park. Based on recent news, the price to fish Monster Lake probably just went up quite a bit. The Wyoming ranch was just purchased by billionaire developer Tim Blixseth. It is thought that Blixseth intends to include the property in his new "World Club" concept where members pay for membership in ten properties all across the world. This report from Newwest.net spells it out:

"Membership in the World Club would be limited to about 500 members with an initiation fee of about $2 million. Because World Club members would have only access rights and not own property rights within the resort, development would not be as intensive as that at the Yellowstone Club. Initial estimates are that 25 home sites would be developed on the property"

I don't know about you but I'm thinking of raiding the kids college fund. and everybody elses kid's college fund... and sell the cars.... and pick up tin cans...

Shouting Out About Fly Tying Desks

Shoutfish has a story about something that has been on my mind for a while now. A good fly tying desk. The kitchen table just doesn't cut it anymore. I don't think I will be spending $1695 for the Noel portable table. For us cheapies they offer some excellent, more affordable recommendations.

Arkansas - 9th Annual Sowbug Roundup

Paisley pointed out The North Arkansas Fly Fishers web site and notably the photo on their front page of the 31 inch brown trout caught by one of their members, Dean Darling. The North Arkansas Fly Fishers will be holding their 9th annual Sowbug Roundup in mid March. Currently Arkansas' tail waters are the subject of much discussion as government officials try to balance the water flow needs of the trout fishery with the needs of boaters and fishermen on the lakes that feed the rivers. This club is doing it's part to represent all anglers and they outline some of their strategies on the site.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Deal Alert - Sierra Trading Post - Fly Fishing Items

Heads up! Sierra Trading Post has just added several new items to their fly fishing section. They are currently offering everything from lines, leaders, rods and reels to Waterskeeter boats (one for only $249). All items are marked down with very deep discounts. Click the link below to browse these exceptional values!

New Items items 35-70% off at Sierra Trading Post!! CLICK HERE TO REDEEM.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bass Pro's Crowded Aisles

North Carolina's top tourist attraction for the third year in a row is Concord Mills Mall in Concord, North Carolina. Concord Mills and its anchor retailer Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor World had 17.6 million visitors in 2005, up over 1 million from 2004. In contrast North Carolina's second place tourist attraction, The Blue Ridge Parkway, had 12.6 million visitors in 2005 and was down 7% over 2004. If we only looked at these numbers we might think that folks enjoy shopping for the outdoors more than actually being outdoors. (source The Charlotte Observer & Concord Mills Mall)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tree Stumps And Speckled Trout

As an angler you always bring something back from a fishing trip. It might be great pictures or sometimes it might even be soggy clothes and a chill, but it is the stories about things that happen outside of the ordinary that I always remember most.

When I was about thirteen years old I was asked to join my father, a Baptist Minister, and a family friend who worked as a U.S. Forest Service Ranger, on their annual trip to fish on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in the mountains of North Carolina. The waters of the reservation always got heavy fishing pressure on the weekends so in a quest for some quiet water we decided to fish a part of the river that was a bit harder to access due to the road being so rough that you either had to walk in or take your chances in a 4wd vehicle. We decided to walk in and fish our way up stream.

We had fished most of the morning with good success and were making our way back down the road to get a bite of lunch, when we happened upon a rusty old blue truck making its way up the treacherous path. As we met the oncoming truck it sputtered to a stop and out jumped three excited gentlemen of Native American descent. Being only thirteen years old and being raised in the household of a Baptist minister, I had no idea why the gentlemen seemed to be so happy as they staggered out of the old truck. Later in life I would come to realize that they had been smashed.

My father was not sure of what to make of the zeal with which our new found friends approached us and quickly engaged them in conversation. They then proceeded to show us a gigantic tree stump that they were hauling in the bed of their pickup truck. The apparent leader of their intoxicated band then climbed into the back of the truck, and in a premeditated show of manhood, attempted to hoist the massive stump over his head. With much groaning he was able to lift it about 1/8th of an inch off the bed of truck before giving up. Each of his compatriots then took a turn at the same feat with approximately the same level of success and groaning. It was all I could do to contain my laughter, but being that we were in the middle of nowhere and in the company of a group of intoxicated indians I thought it wise to refrain.

The feats of strength being concluded, the lit warriors asked us if we would like to purchase some "Speckled Trout". Neither I, my Father, nor the Forest Ranger knew what to make of this offer of commerce. I half expected them to pull a bucket of small brook trout from the cab of the truck but instead to our surprise they produced a mason jar of clear liquid. One of the merry band exclaimed that what they were selling was "rare, like speckled trout!" and could be had for $10 a quart. Even in my youth I had seen enough episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard to know that it was moonshine in those mason jars. Both my father and our friend the forest ranger declined to make a purchase and when pressed as to why revealed the fact that the men had just attempted to sell non tax paid liquor to a Baptist Minister and a U.S. Forest Ranger. The gentlemen were noticeably moved and appearing much more sober, made a hasty retreat back down the road from whence they came. I suppose I will always have a special place in my memory for tree stumps and speckled trout.

New Tennessee Fishing Reports

The Kingsport Times-News has new Tennessee fishing reports. Scroll to the bottom of the page for Eddie Wyatt's take on why the fly fishing has gotten tougher on tail waters recently.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Stripers Forever...Yeah!

The non-profit group Stripers Forever is planning a gathering in Foxboro, MA - May 20th 2006. Stripers Forever is leading the movement to make the Striped Bass a recognized game fish and there by prevent it from being commercially harvested.

"Stripers Forever strongly advocates passage of a federal bill H.R. #2059 introduced by Congressman Frank Pallone of N.J. This legislation would make the striped bass a gamefish both in all state waters, and in the EEZ waters more than 3 miles off the coast that come under federal control."

Zugbug got all excited about joining this group until he realized that it was S-T-R-I-P-E-R-S with one "P"..

New Fish

This must be the week for strange fish. Mega-Blog BoingBoing features a post by Crytpozoologist (the study of hidden animals like bigfoot etc.) Loren Coleman about the discovery of a new species of fish off the coast of South Africa. If you manage to hook one of these "wasp fish" on your 4 weight you might want to be careful as they are venemous.

Canadian Sniper Tries Flies

Sniper over at the Muskoka Outdoors Blog from Canada recently emailed me looking for information about getting started in fly fishing and asked for some advice about fly selection as well as getting started in fly tying. It goes without saying that when a guy with a name like Sniper asks a question you must be sure to answer it carefully and stay away from windows until you are sure he likes your answer. I gave him my opinions and he was nice enough to publish them on both his site and his blog. I always enjoy helping someone new get hooked on the sport. Check out his site and blog for a look at what is going on with outdoorsmen in the north country. Be sure to check out the Rip & Tear Hunt Club while you are there.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Kevin "CaneRod" Little - Rodmaker

Steve Remington over at the Daily Bag Limit Blog introduces us to Kevin "CaneRod" Little who in addition to writing for his blog also makes custom bamboo fly rods. There is something about a guy who can talk a stalk of grass and turn it into a work of art. After you have met Kevin be sure to read his bio over at Maine Hunting Today.

I've Got That Creek Side Religion

Shupac over at Find The River blog writes about what he calls an Ausable Apocalypse. On a recent fishing trip to the fabled river, he overheard a heated religious debate between two anglers.

"As I got closer, I made out that two men, sitting against the far side of a car parked next to me, were debating the fate of unsaved souls. One proclaimed resolutely that they suffered eternally in the flames of Hell. His antagonist contended that God simply annihilated them into nonexistence."

Read for yourself the outcome of his brush with beer soaked creekbank theology.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"Honest Officer, I Didn't See the No Trespassing Sign."

Earlier this week I posted an entry about a new fly fishing school in the United Arab Emirates. Let's just say that if you are going to fish in the Persian Gulf, you don't want to trespass on someone else's water. A German angler was fishing in the waters off the UAE when his boat strayed into Iranian territorial waters. The mistake got him 18 months in an Iranian prison.

"The men reportedly realized they had strayed too far when they were arrested by Iranian authorities."

And you think that you have had bad days on the water?

As if the Snakehead Wasn't Bad Enough...

A gentleman found this odd looking fish on the beach in the Cayman Islands and Caymannetnews.com is asking for help identifying it. The looks of this thing might make you think twice about that snorkeling get away. I am willing to bet that it would put up a heck of a fight on my 4wt rod.

"It is roughly thirty inches long, more than half of which is a long, eel-like tail attached to a fish body. It has pale pink scales, pectoral fins, a dorsal fin and a small feathery fin on its belly."

Snakehead Found In Tennessee

The Knoxnews.com (free registration required) reports that a snakehead fish has been found in a lake located in a state park near Memphis, TN. Local wildlife agents hope it is an isolated case.

"I hope that this was a case where this fish was someone's pet and it outgrew its tank and rather than killing it they decided to let it go," Wilson said in a TWRA news release. "We already have a severe problem with other aquatic-invasive species"

Monday, January 16, 2006

Bamboo Fly Rods Crafted in "The Dungeon"

Tri-Cities.com introduces us to a local newsman, talk show host,and bamboo rod builder Joe Byrd. You know a guy is serious when he calls his basement workshop "the Dungeon."

"When you put your heart and soul into something, it becomes a part of you," Byrd said. "Making your own bamboo fly rod takes you back to the grassroots."

You can get more info about Mr. Byrd's hand crafted bamboo fly rods and read his articles at http://www.powerfibers.com/

Fly Fish The Persian Gulf

Fly fishing just got easier for folks planning a visit to the United Arab Emirates. The Fujairah Salt Water Fly Fishing Academy has just announced it will be opening at the Le Meridian Al Aqah beach resort. The school will be led by Martin James who is a former holder of the Lord Mason's Illuminated Scroll angling award. Mr. James says that the calm waters of the Persian Gulf are ideal for fly fishing.

"The equipment required for fly fishing is minimal and it is consequently an ideal pursuit for tourists. Moreover, unlike more conventional methods of angling, fly fishing is far less messy and does not involve live bait but a hook covered in silk furs which, when combined with an expert cast, imitates a bait fish."

I am guessing that this gentleman has not seen all the stuff that I keep in my fishing vest. I am glad to see that fly fishing is making its way into the middle east. Perhaps if we hook them on fly fishing they will be more inclined to give us good oil prices.

Midcurrent dug this story up earlier today.

Someone on "24" Must Fly Fish

I wonder if anyone out there who watched tonight's season opener of "24" noticed that Jack seemingly took his ear piece radio out of a wheatley or Okuma type fly box with spring loaded doors? I don't suppose I would have noticed it except that I carry one of these from time to time and they have a pretty distinctive look about them.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Nether Region Hair Flies

Trust me, I found this AFTER the posting about Troy Polamalu.
This is so very wrong on so many different levels. I didn't want to go there but it was just too weird not to comment on. This guy has made fishing flies from body hair from his nether regions and is auctioning them off on ebay. I suppose being able to tie these flies is a skill that could come in handy in a survival situation or where there wasn't a proper fly shop around. I guess it could have been worse. He could have used them to tie a crab imitation. So much for fly fishing being the contemplative man's recreation. Semi-Worksafe

Troy Polamalu - Fly Fisherman

Pittsburg Steeler defensive player Troy Polamalu not only plays a key role in leading his team to playoff victories, he also enjoys the sport of fly fishing.

"He'd rather be home with Theodora and their three dogs, studying video, reading, or pursuing his passions outside of football, which have ranged over the years from cultivating orchids and wood-carving to fly fishing and wine making."

I wonder if anyone ever thought of tying a Polamalu Hair Caddis?

Charleston Boat Show - Jan. 27-29th

The 26th Annual Charleston, South Carolina Boat Show will be held at the North Charleston Convention Center, Jan. 27-29th. This year it will have an expanded focus on fishing. Show officials said that 78% of the folks who attend boat shows enjoy fishing.

Show hours are noon-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Parking is free. Tickets are $8 for adults and $2 for children 12-under. Information on the show is available at www.thecharlestonboatshow.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

New Arizona State Record Rainbow Trout

Arizona angler Eric Smith has landed what should be a new Arizona state record Rainbow Trout. When verified the 7lb 15oz fish will eclipse the old record by more than 2lbs. The 25 inch long fish was caught in Green Valley Park Lake on a fly the angler called,"a wooly burger by Eric Smith."

"The catch of such a large, mature fish in a GVP lake surprised veteran anglers and biologists who have long believed most species die out during the hot summer months."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Fjord Perfect

Casting for large fish in Thailand, Singapore and the fjords of Norway might be only a distant dream for most anglers. For Jens Christian Andersen it happens quite regularly. Check out his blog "Chrisfly" for some photos that will make you want to keep your passport up to date.

No Hero Casting

Hugh Koontz of the Shelby Star in Shelby, NC writes about how casting for trout on a small mountain stream is much different from the depictions we see in movies and on the fishing shows. Rarely do southern anglers have room to perform the long backcasts made famous by Brad Pitt in "A River Runs Through it." If you fish mountain streams around these parts you better have a good roll cast in your arsenal.

"In the big time movies like "A River Runs Through It," fly fishermen have enough casting room to fly a kite and the trees seem to bend in the wind to avoid snagging one's fly on the backcast."