Thursday, August 31, 2006

He's Hooked

Keeping the same train of thought as my last posting, Do you want to know the best way to convert someone from bait fishing to the way of the fly? Get a rod in their hand and let them catch a fish.

Bill from Muskoka Outdoors recently took up the fly rod and has posted about his first major fly fishing success. He has a priceless quote that I think does a great job of summing up the appeal of fly fishing for me:

“The cool thing about fly fishing (over regular fishing) is that you quickly ‘zone out’ everything around you except for the sound of the river, your line, and your target zone.”

It's called stress relief! Congratulations Bill!

A view from the river bank

Here is one writer's take on the recent FFR Show in Denver Colorado. He has a limited experience with fly fishing and makes some points about the industry that some of the manufacturers and retailers out there might do well to take note of.

First he describes why he is not more into fly fishing even though he had a taste of it:

I haven't fished with a fly rod since because I found fly-fishing to be expensive and difficult.

Then he describes a seminar at the show that spoke about the challenges facing the fly fishing industry:

The very first seminar I attended at the FFR convention was about the challenges fly-fishing enthusiasts have in getting people to take up their sport. The speaker repeatedly drove home the point that the primary hurdles fly-fishing has to overcome are the perceptions that it is an expensive and difficult sport. He didn't do his sport any favors by repeatedly referring to those of us skilled in the use of spinning rods as "Bubba fishermen."

Something seems out of sorts here, but our author manages to come through the day with a positive outlook on our sport...sort of....

Still there is the problem of affordability, but Sage and Redington will be doing their part by offering complete introductory packages for beginners. Most of these kits include a decent rod, reel, line, leader and a few accessories, and are relatively inexpensive when compared to some other products we saw. I really did learn you don't have to spend $1,000 to get into fly- fishing. A decent set of gear for beginners can be had for well under $500.

He then decides what you spend on your sport is all relative, comparing an expensive fly rod to a new rifle or set of golf clubs. Did we manage to recruit him into the ranks of the fur and feather crowd? You be the judge.

Will I join the ranks of fly-fishermen anytime soon? I don't know, but my mind is more open to it now than it's ever been before.

As an avid fly fisherman I love the sport and probably see it through rose colored Costa del Mar sunglasses. Sometimes it pays to have a look at what you love through someone else's eyes.

I have my own thoughts, but for the moment what do you think non-flyfishers really see when they look at our sport from the outside?

Unicoi Outfitters - Fly Fishing North Georgia

Here's a Friday link to some acquaintances that we made recently. Check out Unicoi Outfitters for all things trout fishing in North Georgia. They have two shops located in Helen and Blue Ridge, Georgia. You have to enjoy a shop that lets you join something called "The Liar's Club."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thursday Fishy News

Here are a few fishy headlines from the Carolinas to get your Thursday off to a great start:

North Carolina Governor Mike Easley has signed legislation that will allow the Marine Fisheries Commission to issue commercial striper permits based on the type of equipment used to catch the fish. "The state had set equal quotas for each of the three kinds of gear but found that it was difficult to manage those limits. Officials say the new permitting will help manage those quotas better.." (Link)

He also signed a law allowing charter captains to purchase blanket salt water licenses that cover everyone on their boat rather than just the captain. (Link)

Just in case you haven't made your thoughts know yet, Thursday is the last day to comment on proposed Sunday hunting in North Carolina (Link)

What does a bass fisherman do with Lord Stanley's Cup? Well if you are the video coordinator for the Carolina Hurricanes, you take it fishing. "When he catches his first fish of the day, he wants to fill the "bowl" of the Stanley Cup with lake water, then drop in the bass and let it swim around for a few minutes before releasing it back into the lake." (Link)

And finally, this fellow looks pretty disappointed at the fact that this really is a restaurant.

Undercover Fly Shop Review...Sort of

While Zugbug and I were on the road last week we decided to stop off and check out the Orvis shop in Breckenridge, Colorado. Breckenridge Outfitters is (as you can see) a full Orvis Dealer located at 100 North Main Street.

We arrived at the shop and were greeted by the guy behind the counter who immediately asked if he could help us. We of course told him we were just browsing and proceeded to give the shop the once over. It was a fairly typical fly shop with a good selection of Orvis products along with a selection of clothing that would appeal to the tourist and fisherman alike. We almost bought a cap to commemorate our visit but balked at the $21 price tag. Even a bald man would have trouble getting $21 worth out of a ball cap but these were resort prices.

After our initial shock at the price of the hats, we thoroughly questioned the two gentlemen working at the shop about the area and the services they provide. They were friendly and helpful and were quick to tell us to avoid the stream that runs through downtown Breckenridge this time of year and to focus more on some of the area tail waters. They even managed to explain the odd presence of a large sailfish mounted above the cash register.

They seemed perplexed that we were not able to fish on this visit but let us know that they also offer tackle rental with prices that are not really that bad for a resort area. Everything you need for a day on the water could be rented for around $35.

Satisfied with their good nature we revealed ourselves and asked if we might snap a few pictures for our blog. They agreed and suggested that we get a good shot of their Orvis guide of the year award.

Fly Fishing Geeks

We here at are pleased to announce that we have been selected to receive the most honored title of "Fly Fishing Geek." We would like to thank our parents, spouses, fishing buddies, and of course, the Academy, for this great honor. It is with great pride that we accept this award and place this badge of honor on our site.

We will do our best to live up to the example set forth by those geeks who have gone into the river before us. We might have pocket protectors in our fishing vests and yes, we watched our copy of the Trout Bum Diaries on a 106" projection system with surround sound, but that doesn't mean we don't love fishing as much as the next guy.

We can double haul, tie flies, and fix your wireless network, just don't ask us to do it all at the same time. We might not row a drift boat or fish the storied waters of the West (very often) but we did manage to build a fishing frame for our whitewater raft out of conduit and pipe insulation. It floats our favorite Tennessee tailwater just fine.

Again, we thank you for the support and confidence you have shown us as we welcome all fly fishing geeks into the fold with open oars.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gear Deals and The War of Northern Aggression

Just a quick note to let you know that I have updated the Deals on Gear page over at the Flyfishmagazine site. This latest batch includes several fly rods from Redington, SA, Powell, and March Brown. The March Brown rod managed to get posted despite some comments from their rep about the South losing some war or something like that while on our airport shuttle returning from the FFR Show. As always we can't discuss price but feel free to click and see for yourself!

Sunday Hunting Unsafe for Fly Fishers?

A push is on in both North Carolina and Virginia to allow Sunday hunting. Bill Cochran of the Roanoke Times published a letter from the Dan Genest, the President of the Fly Fishers of Virginia that explains why he opposes hunting on Sunday.

"I am opposed to Sunday hunting, because I fly fish for trout. The start of hunting season coincides with some of the best times of the year to trout fish. Some of the best places to trout fish are in streams that flow through our National Forest. Coincidentally, those are the same places many hunters like to visit. Sunday hunting would take away the one day each week when I know I can fish safely on the Jackson River, North Creek or numerous other trout streams across the state. "

I also fish areas adjacent to game lands and always try to be aware of my surroundings, making very sure I do not look at all like a deer. Skittish wild trout seem even harder to catch while wearing blaze orange. Mr. Genest suggests an alternative:

"Here is my proposition: Allow Sunday hunting. But don’t allow hunting within 500 yards of any stocked, delayed harvest or special regulation trout stream on any day of the week. That way I and hundreds of others can fish in peace and hunters can hunt on the millions of other acres available to them."

Many of you may know that my father is a Baptist Minister here in the Carolinas so you can bet he's not crazy about the sound of a .30-06 punctuating his sermons. Although it might give some of the pew sleepers quite a start. (For the record he is not that crazy about folks who skip church to go fishing either.)

I've got your caviar right here.....

I am starting to wonder if perhaps the fish haven't decided to take the fight to us rather than wait for us to come to them...well sort of. The St. Petersburg Times reports that Florida wildlife officials are putting up over 100 signs on the Suwannee River that warn boaters of the dangers of being struck by jumping sturgeon.

"In April, the 32-year-old Kenneth City woman was smashed by a sturgeon as it leapt out of the Suwannee River while she boated with her boyfriend in Gilchrist County. They were traveling about 30 mph, she says, when a 3- to 6-foot-long fish landed on her face, tore off part of the boat's motor and bounced back into the water."The whole right side of my face had to be reconstructed," said Poirier, a single mother of two and owner of Serenity Skincare of Tampa Bay. "I was in a coma. I was on a breathing machine. It was like I was in a really, really bad car accident."

Between the Sturgeon and the attacks by Asian Carp , let's be careful out there people!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Fly Fishing with Southern Bamboo Style

While at the FFR show we met up with a fellow fly fisherman and builder of bamboo fly rods, Karkour Seyoufi or "Gregorio". Gregorio, who is from Sao Paulo Brazil, gave us some insight into the sport of fly fishing in his home country. He even took the time to post our web address in the forums on, the website where he contributes. Be sure to check out his page showing the steps involved in building one of his hand crafted bamboo works of art.

Gregorio assures me that he does not have the production capacity to take orders for his fine rods. For now you will just have to admire his handy work from afar.

***PS: A special hello to all of our new visitors from South America. Thanks for stopping by and we hope to hear more about fly fishing from "way down South".

Quando na mostra de FFR nós nos encontramos um pescador da mosca do companheiro e um construtor das hastes de bambu da mosca, do Karkour Seyoufi ou do "Gregorio". Gregorio, que é do sao Paulo Brasil, deu-nos alguma introspecção no esporte da pesca da mosca em seu país home. Fêz exame mesmo do momento de afixar nosso endereço nos forums em, o Web site da correia fotorreceptora onde contribui. Seja certo verificar para fora de sua página que mostra as etapas envolvidas no edifício um de seus trabalhos de arte de bambu crafted mão. Gregorio assegura-me que não tem a capacidade da produção fazer exame de ordens para suas hastes finas. Para agora você terá que apenas admirar seu trabalho acessível de afar. *** picosegundo: Um hello especial a todos nossos visitantes novos de Ámérica do Sul. Os agradecimentos para parar perto e nós esperamos ouvir para baixo mais sobre a pesca da mosca da "maneira para o sul".
Translation via Babelfish

Chick Bait

When Zugbug saw this booth at the FFR Show this past weekend, he could hardly contain himself. He remarked that he just had to get some of this new "Chick Bait." He was a bit disappointed to find out that Chick Bait was not at all what he thought it was but rather:

"colorful, whimsical jewelry, apparel and accessories for people who like to have fun."

It turns out that Chick Bait sells fishing flies made into jewelry and various sundry other chickie items. I can see it now on the river bank, "Honey, I've just lost my fly. Can I borrow your earring?"

I have no proof but I think that Zug placed an order for a few of their Chick Magnets.

News from the Baghdad School of Fly Fishing

I received an email from Joel Stewart with the Baghdad School of Fly Fishing letting me know that their address on the world wide web has changed. Update your bookmarks to the new site at

We here at continue hoping that our fly fishing heros from Camp Victory and the Baghdad School of Fly fishing are able to change their physical address to somewhere in the USA in the very near future. In the mean time, our thoughts and prayers continue to go out for all of them. Remember it is a pretty simple process to send your notes of support and fly fishing equipment to the school. Click here to get the address and a list of current needs. It is pretty great to think that a reel or some line that you send might be used to give some much needed R&R for our troops.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

FFR Show - Day Three

Zugbug and I have been having a great time here at the show. We have "worked" very hard meeting folks and making industry contacts. We spent all day yesterday on the show floor and last night Brian Bennett and the good folks at Patagonia hosted a blogger meet and greet. We were able to hang out with several of the folks that we have grown accustomed to reading over the past two years. In addition to our host, Brian, from the Moldy Chum / Reel Pure blog we got to meet Eric Rathburn the Chief Angler and founder of Reel Pure. He (along with a guy who had one of the axes that we posted about yesterday) helped us navigate what amounted to a small gang fight on the way over to the Patagonia store. We survived and spent some time with Trout Bum Ryan Davey and some other members of the Angling Exploration Group who were at the show promoting their new film about fly fishing New Zealand. Marshall Cutchin from MidCurrent was in attendance and is doing a great job of highlighting this years crop of new products. Some new friends include Drew Simmons from Wicked Outdoorsy, the guys from Flyfish Radio who were podcasting from the show, as well as Scott Hed, the Outreach Director from the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska who are in the middle of a big fight to stop a gold mine from messing up a world class fishery. Zug and I enjoyed the evening and especially putting some faces to names. We wish that all of our online friends could have made the trip, but since some notables couldn't make it we made sure to drink their share of the gratis beer.

As you can see, we have been "working" very hard. This post is just a quick summary since I know you wouldn't want us to spend our last night in Denver sitting in our hotel room blogging. Rest assured we have enough information about the new products for 2006 and 2007 to make you sick of hearing from us for a while. We also got some great insight about the state of the fly fishing universe that we fully intend to share at a later date. It should make for an interesting discussion. Since we were very proud of our dedication and "hard work," this morning as we rolled out of our bunks here the the lovely Holiday Inn Denver Zugbug looked at me and shouted at the top of his lungs, "ROAD TRIP." As I have never been to this area and had a hankering to see the Rocky mountains I did not protest as Zugbug suggested that we rent a car and make the run on highway 70 from Denver to Vail via Dillion, Georgetown, and Breckenridge. We looked at some nice rivers and visited some fly shops . Stay tuned for more info in the near future.

Friday, August 25, 2006

FFR Update - Underwear, Axes, Shades, & Reels

This morning's session on the show floor seemed to revolve around sunglasses because we spoke to reps from three different manufacturers of shades. Oakley Eyewear has a large booth and Zugbug was particularly taken with their new Oakley O Rocker glasses that include an MP3 player with a wireless connection to your IPOD.

Smith Action Optics is promoting their line of photo chromatic polarized shades with precision ground thin glass lenses. They also have a polycarbonate version at a lower price point. Smith also has a unique Rx program that you should check out if you wear prescription sunglasses.

Finally, Costa Del Mar is showing several new products including their new Costa 580 lenses with blue and green mirror lenses with the mirrors actually embedded between layers of glass for greater durability. Zugbug was impressed with the C-Mates line that includes sunglasses with bifocal magnifiers that can be a big help to anglers trying to thread small hook eyes with even smaller tippets.

Overall, it looks like the trend in sunglasses seems to be more towards fashion while still keeping the basic functionality that anglers require. The manufacturers want anglers and non-anglers, men and women, alike wearing their product.

We spoke to the folks from Korkers. They sell a wading boot with a system of interchangeable soles that allow you to have one pair of boots with your choice of a lug sole, felt sole, studded felt sole, and even soft spikes for golf. Their outfitter boot has a lot of features for its $129 price point while many of the same features can be had in the $79 wetlands model. One feature that all their products have is an extra wide opening and speed laces that make pulling your wading boots on a cinch. This one is a company to watch and will probably get a vote from us for best new product at the show.

We stopped by the Outcast booth and drooled over their pontoons and float tubes. Anglers looking to expand their fishable water will want to have a serious look at their products. Our take on them was that you got a lot of extra features for your money.

As we were walking through the show floor, I looked over and zugbug was holding a large axe. I keep trying to tell him that this is a fly FISHING show but he has this thing for weapons of destruction. It turns out that the axes were pretty cool. They are hammer forged in Sweden by Gransfors Brucks Inc. Check out their site for a handy guide to axe throwing.

From axes we ended up at the Woolpower booth looking at underwear. As you can see things were going downhill quickly. I won't even begin to go into how zug got us into an underwear booth but they do have a great product that will give you a new outlook on wool underwear and socks. Their products don't itch and keep you warm and dry at the same time. If you don't think wool can be comfortable ask someone who works on a North Sea oil rig and they will probably tell you that this is what they wear out in the cold.

After the underwear and axes I managed to drag Zugbug into the Waterworks Lamson booth to have a look at their new batch of fly reels. Particularly interesting was their Velocity series mid arbor reel with a hard alox finish. The hard Alox finish is scratch resistant to keep your reel looking nice and everything has a precision fit to keep sand and grit from gumming up the works. The conical drag system has a quality feel to it that you should expect in a reel with a $200 price point. Mark Ferris designs the reels for Lamson. He got his start designing mountain bikes before moving into the realm of fly fishing.

That is the update for this afternoon. Tonight we will be spending some time with our fellow fly fishing bloggers and the good folks from the Patagonia Company. Our next goal is to actually look at some fly rods and may even venture out into the country side to check out the scenery.

Stay tuned for more show info. We would have some photos but blogger is being hard to get along with today so we will have to save them for later posts.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fly Fishing Retailer Show - Denver, Colorado

Zugbug and I have made it to the Fly Fishing Retailer Show in Denver Co. We are both operating on minimal (read as "No") sleep but we did manage to spend some time grilling the folks from C.C. Filson Co about their new lines of clothing and luggage. We will have more about this later but suffice it to say they have some interesting new products for 2006 & 2007 and are expanding their lines into everyday sportswear as well. This move is probably directly related to their CEO, Doug Williams background with Ralph Lauren.

Filson is having the grand opening of their retail store tonight but Zug and I think we will pass on it in favor of the Drake Magazine gathering and Fly fishing Video Awards show later tonight.

Look for more extensive coverage of the show tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fishing Urban legends

I was prowling around the site debunking a forwarded email that I received from a family member, when I decided to see what they had in the urban legends file about fishing. Here are a few of the more interesting nuggets that I dug up. Click the links to see the truth of the matter:

A boy mistakes baby copperheads for fishing worms and is fatally bitten : "the fish aren't biting, but the worms sure are." More proof of the merits of fly fishing (Link)

Do those photo's really show President Bush fishing in the Louisiana flood waters? If so they have some mighty nice striped bass near the Superdome. Honestly, to be fooled by this one you would have to have never heard of photoshop. (Link)

Do unkind people fish for sharks using live dogs for bait? Warning: this one, while doubtful, contains a disturbing photo that has been floating around the net for a while. (Link)

Did a catfish actually swallow a child's basketball and end up floating around until some kind soul deflated the ball? (Hint: its true) (Link)

Speaking of catfish, do giant catfish really inhabit the base of dams and scare the wetsuits off of the divers who must repair them? (Link)

Did a Roto Rooter employee catch a 2.5 pound trout while cleaning out a drain line between a pond and nearby stream? (Link)

As you can see there are lots of fish stories floating around on the net. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section.

You don't know where that's been!

Do you ever forget the nippers and simply bite your tippet? Ever hold your line in your mouth while tying a kont? The Tattered Fly tells us that if you do these things you might just get a few days of quality time with the porcelain throne courtesy of a nice intestinal parasite. It's enough to make me change my ways.

Could fish be worse than snakes on a plane?

If you thought snakes were bad news on a plane then you obviously haven't read this article in the New York Times that says there are over 1200 species of venomous fish running loose in earth's waters. In addition to the Lionfish which been sighted in the waters of the Carolinas, the article also mentions several fish including Jacks as being venomous.

Although previous researchers estimated that there were about 200 species of venomous fish, Dr. Smith and Ward C. Wheeler, a curator at the museum, recently published a study suggesting at least 1,200. Many carry their venom in spines and barbs, some in fangs. Though the 1,200 species are not new, scientists did not know they were venomous. Now, biologists may need to rethink some of their old ideas, Dr. Smith said. "With very few exceptions, everything we thought was wrong," he said.

Monday, August 21, 2006

T Minus 2 Days & Counting

Don't forget that later this week, Zugbug and I will be visiting the Fly Fishing Retailer World Trade Expo in Denver, Colorado. Aside from trying to keep Zugbug out of a mile high jail cell, we will be posting live from the show floor (or more correctly from the media room floor) and giving insightful commentary on all the new fly fishing gear and events surrounding the premiere gathering of retailers and manufacturers in the fly fishing industry. Ok, I suppose "insightful commentary" is probably a bit of a reach for us, but we will try take some photos of the cool stuff we find.

Also planned for the show is a gathering of bloggers and webmaster's that has been put together by Brian Bennett of the newly affiliated Reel Pure production, Moldy Chum Blog. Judging from the folks he copied on the email invite, the guest list is pretty packed with many of the bloggers linked in our sidebar. Let's hope we don't all accidentally hit the "publish post" button at the same time and bring the internet screaming to its knees.

Giving new meaning to "shore lunch"

From the "weird things caught on a fly rod" file comes this story from the Virtual Angler. It seems he caught a clam on a gold ribbed hare's ear nymph. If you couple that with the strangest thing I ever saw caught while fishing, a full bottle of Killen's Irish Red beer, you could have yourself quite a meal!

Catfish on Dry Flies?

Can you catch a catfish on a dry fly? Matt Labash intends to try. So far it has been a tough undertaking to get a cat to take any kind of fly.

"I'm about to stick chicken feathers in a nightcrawler's [expletive deleted], since I've never had any problem catching them with worms on conventional tackle. The point is, I'm desperate. I'm about 1 for 15, outings-wise, and good advice is hard to find. I've called the Catfish Institute in Mississippi (one of their experts, who is a fly-fisherman that never fishes for catfish, wasn't much help). I've talked to numerous LL Bean and Orvis specialists, who are all fascinated by the experiment but never seem to have done it."

(Link to the article by Angus Phillips)

Perhaps we might refer Mr. Labash to this successful angler.

If it sounds too good to be true....

There is no truth to the rumor that The Doubletree Hotel in Missoula pays anglers to fly fish in front of the deck of it's Finn & Porter restaurant, so please quit filling out applications.

You wouldn't believe how many people ask if we pay them, says Doubletree general manager Dan Carlino. Every once in a while we'll get an osprey or a bald eagle out there catching fish, too, but we don't pay them either.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Monday Morning News On The Fly

The weekend has come and gone and most of us will be making that Monday morning trudge into the office where our day will be filled with TPS Reports and meetings with "the Bobs." Before your own personal Bill Lumbergh invites you to work late, take a moment to catch up on the weekend's news from the world of fly fishing.

The Washington Times is spreading the news from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about their survey that shows rainbow trout might actually be cash cows. In 2004, 11 hatcheries stocked 9.4 million bows, generating a total economic output of over 325 million dollars for the year.

If the Powerball didn't work out for you why not visit Mammoth Lakes, California and pay $25 to participate in the second annual Million Dollar Trout Competition. Your odds of catching one of the 500 tagged trout stocked in 19 area waters are about the same as the lottery.

Finally, according to The Mountain Press which purports to be "the online heart of the Smokies," it would be real nice to see the ban on "trout fishing" in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park lifted. The site, which must exist in some sort of Bizzaro World that we have yet to visit, says that "There are enough of them to meet any expected demand. And what could be better than hooking a trout in the beauty of the Smokies?" The author also makes a point to let us know the options that those considering lifting the "ban on trout fishing" have to offer: Two alternatives are being considered at this point: banning trout fishing or restoring trout fishing.

For the record, I fall on the side of those wishing to allow trout fishing in the park. Especially, since we have all been enjoying it for years! I think the author mistook the recently lifted ban on fishing for brook trout for trout fishing in general. Either that or he/she is some sort of purist that does not consider Oncorhyncus mykiss to be a true trout.

This concludes your Monday morning news roundup. Now get back to work! Fly fishing is an expensive hobby and you really need to keep your job.

Are you nuts about aquatic insects?

Jason over at has redesigned his site and now it contains even more great photos of aquatic insects. These detailed photos of the things that trout love to eat have great educational value for fly fishermen and fly tiers alike. A belated sidebar link has been added.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Good Old Scottish Retribution

Maybe the dimwitted hooligans from the post before this one will have the good fortune to meet up with Scottish angler, Ian Colin James. It seems someone broke into the famous carp fly fishers car and stole two fly rods and reels from him. Judging from the post on his website I think Mr. James is taking it remarkably well.

"If you know who has the stolen gear, and you want to collect $2,000 in cash, just let me know who has it. I am NOT going to press charges nor am I going to get the police involved. I am simply going to administer a large helping of Scottish retribution on the person, which will result in a life style modification for him. In other words, they will going to go to hospital for a rather long time. I am not joking and for the record there will be no remorse on my part."

I would most certainly sign up to watch that on pay-per-view.


Disturbing news from "across the pond" where a group of masked (read as cowardly) animal extremists (read as dimwits) attacked a group of fly fishermen and women (including a nurse).

"Fighting broke out as two anglers on a nearby stretch of bank struggled with the protesters. Miss Belson, a resuscitation nurse at Westmorland General Hospital, in Kendal, said: "I decided to get out of there and go home but suddenly they all ran towards me waving bats and blocks of wood, shouting, 'Get her'. "I was jostled and they smashed my fishing rod."

We don't think that our favorite kilted fly fisherman / blogger Alistair from Urban Fly Fishing , was involved in the fracus because the story did not include any mention of mass casualties on the "animal extremist" team.

"At the height of the confrontation, police called in the force helicopter, an armed response vehicle and nine other vehicles. However, there were no arrests and the saboteurs headed away."

Does anyone out there know the proper technique for horse whipping someone using a four weight? (Link)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No One Rides For Free is proud to announce our new partnership with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in their efforts to help spread the word about the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign.

Invasive species are fast becoming a major threat to our angling way of life. While much of the damage has already been done, we at feel that fly fishermen can have a major impact on the problem by educating their fellow fishermen and women about simple actions they can take to stop the spread of aquatic invaders.

Stay tuned for additional information and postings about news and happenings related to this important subject. In the mean time go clean your boots.

(Link to

They Fought The Law...

If you are going to sneak into someone's private pond and steal the fish they had stocked for a disabled kids fishing day, you might want to make sure said pond isn't owned by the local sheriff.

"Three men spent most of the weekend in the Madison County Jail after being arrested for fishing without the owner's permission -- in a pond that belongs to the sheriff."

They are now close personal friends with their cellmate Bruno.

She Cast A Raspberry Fly Rod....

But it most probably did not come from a second hand store. The Rocky Mountain News reports that fly rods and other fishing equipment are now being manufactured in Raspberry and other colors that most men wouldn't be caught dead carrying along a creek bank. The reason for these less than masculine hues? 3.5 million fly fishing women!

"You have companies making waders and boots just for women and rod makers designing rods to fit the smaller hands of ladies - I'd say ladies are discovering fly fishing," said Pat Magnuson, vice president of IWFF. "It's fascinating to see the interest."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Big Box? Bring It On!'s article titled "Anywhere, USA" contains a unique perspective on big box retailers and the competition they bring to smaller specialty shops when they come to town.

When Cabela's opens just more than a mile from John Wolter's fly fishing specialty shop Anglers next week, Wolter admits that the retail giant will affect his business. And he's looking forward to it. "Yes, I do think [Cabela's] will have an effect on my business," he says. "I think it will increase."

Mr. Wolter feels that Cabela's entry into the marketplace will serve to introduce more anglers to the sport and (forgive my analogy) he has no qualms about his ability to "hook" them after the big box "stocks" them into the stream of consumers.

I come from a big box retail background and we got accused of chewing up the "Mom & Pop" operations all the time. However, my experience in most markets was that most of these smaller specialty operations found a niche and co-existed quite well. (Link to the Boise Weekly article)

N.C. Fishing Pier Day?

I received word today that the North Carolina Fishing Pier Society is in the process of working with Senator Marc Basnight on a proposal to declare a North Carolina Fishing Pier Day.

The NCFPS is a non profit organization that is working to preserve North Carolina's coastal fishing piers. For fishing piers, the biggest enemy is not necessarily hurricanes or other natural disasters, but rather the rapid appreciation in value of coastal land.

"Skyrocketing coastal real estate values and rising operation costs in recent years have done what many a hurricane has failed to do and that is destroy these piers. The land is becoming too valuable to operate a marginal business like a fishing pier and once the property changes hands the pier's fate is almost certainly sealed."

According to the NCFPS website as of 2006 there are 20 fishable piers still in operation on the Carolina coast. This is down from 32 ten years ago. This is a shame since many vacationers only experience with salt water fishing comes from baiting a hook at the local pier. The impressive thing about the NCFPS is that they recognize that the long term solution to this problem does not only involve public money, but also must include an economic solution that can make the piers more viable operations. (photo courtesy of the NCFPS)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Paisley's South Holston Fishing Report

This past weekend contributor and resident tailwater guru, Jeff Paisley spent some time fishing Tennessee's South Holston river. Accordingly, he has posted his latest fishing report on our aptly named "Fishing reports page." Based on his e-mail the fish were big fans of the Copper John.

Going With The Flow?

Most anglers would probably say that minimum flow programs on Arkansas' White and Norfork rivers are a positive.

"Minimum flows are planned for the rivers to help keep the water cold enough to support fisheries and fish habitats in the tailwaters below Bull Shoals and Norfork dams."

However, not every fisherman agrees.

"River Ridge Inn owner Jim Smith said his main concern is the danger minimum flows could cause. He said he does not see any potential problems with a minimum flow on the White River because it is long and wide. The narrow North Fork is a different story."

"If you're going to generate 8-10 inches of water on the North Fork River, you're going to endanger people and you're going to wipe out fly fishing," he said. "I guarantee that every boat that is rented at the dam and confluence will run all the way to the dam and float down."

(Link to the Baxter Bulletin Article)

Nature "Conned Servancy"

Here is another article on the growing trend of calling development conservation. This one takes The Nature Conservancy to task for its ties to an Ohio developer. Warning: It is a pretty opinionated article!

"There is also a "vision" statement, though the "vision" about which she rhapsodizes actually makes substantial money for herself and TNC, while also keeping the well-heeled fashionably isolated/protected, in their gated area. Protected from what? Protected, perhaps, from the real stewards of this and other streams in my neighborhood: the Amish and Mennonite farmers that have been caring for this area for two hundred years."

(Link to the Magic City Morning Star Article)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Your Lunch - Our Treat

A while back I posted about Nature Valley's new web site that allows visitors to stick a virtual push pins in a map that shows where their favorite place in "the great outdoors" is located. After several hours of brutal negotiation I have managed to obtain ten (10) coupons good for 1 free box of yummy Nature Valley granola product. Not being one to keep all the payola I receive, I have decided to share the wealth. I will snail mail a coupon for your very own free box of oat laden goodness to the first ten (10) readers who email me with a link to their posting on the Where's Yours website and their snail mail address. As always we ( won't sell your email or snail mail addresses to anyone and the Nature Valley people seem to have the same scruples as well. Think of it as a streamside lunch on us.

Invasive Trout?

Say it isn't so! Could our beloved brown trout actually be a dangerous invasive species?

"There's a number of either purposely introduced, or accidentally introduced, species that have provided quite a recreational resource," said George Madison, fisheries supervisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the Western Upper Peninsula. "So while smelt can be desired by people, or brown trout or rainbow trout, it's very clear that they out-compete the native species."
(Link to the Story)

While we are at it here is a link to another story that says that a quarter of all fish in the 12 western states are non-native.

Those Quaint Mountain Folk

This is not exactly a fishing item but it is an article talking about the Great Smoky mountains National Park. I post it not because it is anything new, but rather because of the title "Where there's Smokies there's fired-up adventure" and also because it manages to offend pretty much everyone who has lived in the area since the time of Daniel Boone.

"Bear jams" - or "bar jams" in local parlance - are common on the 11-mile, one-way loop road through the Cade's Cove section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, although rangers would prefer that you don't block the road or hassle the wildlife.

Personally, I have never "kilt a bar" though not for lack of trying. One of the natives here on Lake Norman recently "kilt a bar" and got into big trouble with the law. That is why I stick to fishing for troot.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Internet TV - The Angling Channel.Com

Lee Peeler, a television producer for KREZ TV in Colorado has created Think of it as internet television for fishermen. With sites like Youtube and Google Video, offering free user created video content, video on demand is taking the internet by storm. Folks like Peeler are taking quality to the next level by providing professional content and production values. One big question in the future for this type of media is will anglers or advertisers pay for it?

Update: One reader did not think the production values were all that great:

I wouldn't go so far as to say it is "providing professional content and production values". While interesting, the videos I watched have wildly fluctuating audio levels, some with dialogue that can barely be made out and overly long scenes of little interest like shots of a counter on a table.

Feel The Jolt!

What is the most exciting moment for a fly fisher? According to this San Francisco Chronicle article it is the precise moment that a trout takes a dry fly off the surface of the water. I have to agree.

"A millisecond later, the trout jolts you, and it's almost an electric sensation, as if you are wired directly to the fish."

Friday, August 11, 2006

NC Trout Farm Flamed - Caviar M.I.A.

Arson is suspected in a fire at a 60 year old Canton, North Carolina trout farm. The Sunburst Trout Farm went up in flames after someone stole all of the farm's stock of trout caviar. Oddly enough one box of the caviar was found sitting in the middle of the road just north of the farm. Aside from the obvious mysteries surrounding the fire the story gets even stranger.

"One odd note is that several old photographs of Eason's father, Dick Jennings, (founder of the trout farm) were moved to a safe place outside the offices before the building burned."

Anglers are advised to be wary of persons offering to sell cases of fish eggs at ridiculously low prices. They could be purchasing "Hot Caviar" (link to the Winston Salem Journal Article)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fly Rods On A Plane?

Today the U.S. Department of Homeland Security raised the alert level for commercial aviation to orange following the arrest of 21 individuals in the UK who were plotting to blow up airliners bound for U.S. Cities by using liquid bombs. In response to this the TSA has banned liquid or gels of any kind from being carried on domestic flights. The response in the UK has been far stricter with passengers not being allowed any carry on luggage of any kind other than a few personal items in clear plastic bags.

Anglers and outdoorsmen and women who travel by air may be impacted by stricter security and a renewed interest in what they are carrying onto planes and would be wise to pack accordingly. Should you choose to carry on that tube of floatant or that pricey soft lead in your fishing vest, don't be surprised if it ends up in an airport trash bin. That flask of 20 year old single malt scotch might be the hit of the next TSA Christmas party (**for all those analysts reading this blog at "The Farm" I am just kidding, I know the TSA throws this stuff away or sells it on ebay.)

A possible solution is to pack these sort of items in your checked luggage or buy them at your destination. If you pack them be sure you use one of those TSA approved luggage locks so that they can get into your bag without destroying it. At least this way if anything goes missing you know only certain people could have gotten into it. Anglers in the UK have been banned from carrying on fishing rods (or any other item that might be used as a weapon) since 2004. If this ever carries over to the USA then you might want to consider leaving that expensive gear at home in favor of an inexpensive travel rod

Cash Carp?

Illinois officials are considering a plan to fund a fish processing company to the tune of $750,000, so they can carry out a plan to market invasive Asian carp to Asian countries as a tasty food product.

"Along with potentially altering the food chain, the fish have a propensity for leaping out of the water (video link) when disturbed by boats. There are numerous reports of collisions between boaters and fish."

The fish processor currently harvests about 2 million pounds of the fleshy missiles from the states waters. They have indicated that they with the infusion of cash they will be able to up this number to around 10 million pounds per year. This makes me wonder if the French might not someday be dining on New Zealand Mud Snail Escargot.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Unleashed On Denver

I thought I would take a moment to let you know about some exciting news from the crew. August 24th -26th, 2006 Zugbug and I will be covering all the happenings at the Fly Fishing Retailer World Trade Expo live from Denver, Colorado.

The show is the premier event of the year for fly fishing businesses and being able to cover it will give our valued readers a unique look at everything new and exciting in the world of fly fishing. If all goes well our coverage should be a sort of "read about it here before you can buy it" thing. So far we have appointments to see new products from several companies and will also be attending several industry gatherings including the Fly Fishing Video Awards. A highlight of the trip will be a get together with some famous (or infamous as the case may be) fly fishing bloggers and Webmasters from around the nation.

We are optimistically planning for our coverage to include live updates from the show floor along with nightly newsletters and of course blog postings to keep you in the loop as to news from the Expo. There is no word yet if Zugbug's virtual reality fishing hat cam will be operational in time for the event, but you can rest assured that the boys in the basement at Labs are working on it even as we speak. Make sure you don't miss any of the fishy goodness by signing up for our mailing list.

Ryan Newman Foundation Grants TU $10,000

NASCAR Driver Ryan Newman's foundation has given a $10,000 grant to Trout Unlimited. Mr. Newman is a life member of TU and in addtion to this grant has been involved in Trout Unlimited's Back the Brookie program. Here is a link to the full story on the Ryan Newman Foundation Website.

Caviar's Revenge

Way down upon the Suwannee River far far away, a Florida man on a personal watercraft was knocked unconscious when a four foot long sturgeon jumped out of the water and parted him from his jetski. Luckily his girlfriend was able to keep his head above water until help arrived. This holds true to my theory that those jet skiers not only annoy the fishermen. They also annoy the fish!

Speaking of Caviar. We all know to avoid the "Mountain Oysters" but would you consider Appalachian Caviar?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rafters vs. Fishermen Again.

Whitewater groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to lift a ban on boats and allow kayaks and canoes on the upper section of the Chattooga River. Needless to say anglers who frequent the river and enjoy its peace and quiet are not exactly thrilled with the idea. Many fear that the upper section will become as popular with rafters and kayaks as the lower section. The lower section was made famous in the 1974 film "Deliverance"

"But thanks to a surging interest in outdoor adventures over the past few decades and the Chattooga's role as the backdrop in the 1974 movie "Deliverance" rafts full of shrieking people at every twist and turn have become a constant presence along the bottom portions of the river."

U.S. Forest Service officials have attempted to broker a deal between the two sides but so far haven't had much luck.

"As the squabble grew louder and the finger-pointing more intense, Andy Holland, a fisherman from Seneca, walked out in disgust. It's not about us, he muttered on his way out. It's about fish."

I think it is about us as outdoorsmen and women. While, I do think that we should all just try to get along, I see no reason that the upper sections of the river shouldn't be reserved for the anglers with the lower sections being for the rafters and kayak jockeys. In a simplistic sort of way it sounds pretty fair to me.

Perhaps area anglers could erect a series of "Raft repellent Stations" along the river's edge. These stations would be simple enough to build by using large speakers to broadcast banjo tunes across the river. This along with the required viewing of a video of Ned Beatty talking about river etiquette should do the trick quite nicely.

Fly Fishing Risk Mangement.

Every angler who has ever slipped down a muddy river bank can attest to the fact that being outside is risky. Chester Allen advises us to be prepared before taking risks.

"I carry around the scars from a lifetime of fishing. But I've never been close to death, and I've been on the water almost nonstop for 38 years."

"Right now, people are drowning at a record pace in Washington and Oregon. In Oregon, 29 people have drowned in rivers or lakes since May. Here in Washington, 25 people have drowned -- 10 of them in July."

Maybe wearing that life vest when you float a tailwater isn't so uncomfortable after all. It beats becoming part of the food chain.

See Ted Buy Land

Guess what Ted Turner is up to these days? It seems that he is buying Patagonia one river at a time.

"When Ted Turner bought his first parcel of land in Patagonia in 1996, his ostensible motivation was getting away from it all - not to mention the fabulous fly-fishing."

The article goes on to point out that Ted Turner owns more U.S. land than the Nature Conservency.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sight Fishing For Tailing Reds in Beaufort, N.C.

Capt. Gordon posted this video over at Youtube. He is a moderator on the South East Fly Fishing Forum.

Fly Fishing Redux In The Press

I often wonder when the popular trend of re-makes will end and the world will get around to creating some original content. A few months back I visited a movie theater and noted upon my exit that every last one of the coming attractions being promoted in the lobby was a re-make. Not that I didn't enjoy "The House Of Wax" mind you, it just wasn't the same with Paris Hilton in place of Vincent Price. As one who follows the news of fly fishing daily I can always tell when the weather has been hot and not much new is being reported on. Here are a few of the articles out today that we have seen a few times before.

Blackberry Farm in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is still charging $795 and up a night for a room making it one of the most expensive hotels in the United States.

Women who shun their knitting and enjoy outdoor sports such as fly fishing and hiking and the like are still being referred to as "Wild Women" or something like that. Don't get me wrong I appreciate a good wild woman as much as the next guy but by now I think we all know that women like to fish the same as men.

This article turned up again today in several business journals about hiring people (or reeling them in) when money is tight. It tries to compare fly fishing to human resources. This blasphemy troubles me greatly. If it troubles you then check out the eloquent way that our Professor blogging pal Shupac from Find the River took it to task when it came out the first time in June of this year.

That said I have ranted enough for one evening and must get back to writing my "new" book. It is about an old fisherman who hasn't caught a fish in a very long time. After a while he catches a very large marlin but the sharks eat it. I haven't decided on a title yet.

Angling Itinerantly

The Itinerant Angler is the kind of fly fishing site that makes me wish I had the combination of skill and time to create. It is what I might do, were I actually talented. The site was created by professional fly fishing photographers Zach and Lauren Matthews. The quality of the photo's on the site is unsurpassed. Sidebar link added. Be sure to check them out.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Myrtle Beach Non Fishing Report

I wanted to post a fishing report from my trip to visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this past weekend. However, other obligations kept me from being able to fish so I had to content myself with checking out a few likely spots on the inland waterway near Cherry Grove. I did notice several large schools of baitfish popping the surface as they were obviously being chased by some larger fish. It was all I could do to keep from throwing a clouser into the mix but time would simply not allow it. I did learn a few things this weekend that are outside of the realm of fishing that I think might be of use:

1. I do not like the Mexican soup Menudo and should not eat it even if the nice cook at the taquaira offers a free sample. Menudo, if you don't know by now, is cow stomach soup.

2. The knockwurst at Horst Gasthaus is much better tasting than Menudo. I find this odd since I am almost certain the ingredients are quite similar. German John, who plays the accordion there, is not German after all. He is in fact from Holland and served in the special forces during WWII. As you might guess, he puts on a great show.

3. The ribs at Bill Murray's restaurant "Caddy Shack" are tasty, as are the burgers. Stay away from the BBQ chicken. Mine was burned to a crisp and brought me visions of that Gopher from the movie. However, "I'm alright...Don't nobody worry bout me!

I think that an antacid might do me a world of good.