Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Personalities: Sir Ranulph Fiennes

According to an article in the Belfast Telegraph, Sir Ranulph Fiennes is planning on climbing the North Face of the Eiger even though he suffers from vertigo. He also has been named the "world's greatest living explorer" by the Guinness Book of World Records. All around he is a pretty amazing guy. However, we here at like him becuase he got thrown out of the army.

He was, after all, expelled from the SAS, where he had specialised in demolition, for blowing up an ugly concrete dam built by a US film company in what is reputedly the prettiest village in England because it had blocked a rather fine trout stream.

Ross - Slate Blue Momentum Reel

Some guys just can't bring themselves to fish with a pink reel, no matter how good the cause. Should they do without a special edition Ross reel? We think not. Ross Reels USA presents their 2007 special edition Momentum reel in slate blue. Only 200 of these will be available through select Ross dealers. Check with your local fly shop or visit Ross on the web at

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Twice the Fish for Tennessee?

The TRWA is looking at a plan to effectively double the number of fish stocked in the state's waters. At a cost of 19 million dollars, the proposed hatchery additions and improvements could make Tennessee a world class fishing destination. Approximately 12 million dollars of the money would go towards a new cold water (trout) hatchery in Elizabethton, TN.
This could make the $80 per year fee for a non-resident TN trout fishing permit something we would have to put in our budget.
UPDATE: Tom Chandler from The Trout Underground made an excellent comment that merits being moved to the front page:
I'm not at all sure that more hatchery fish will make Tennessee a World-class fishing destination. In fact, I'd suggest it already is, and that expanding their hatcheries is going to pull it in the wrong direction...
A valid point Tom. We get excited easily when it comes to fishing. This is a good reminder that the addition of more hatchery trout to a fishery is not always a the best thing for the eco-system. A self sustaining population of South Holston brown trout would be a much better outcome all around.

Eh...What's up Doc? Part Duex

Unless you have been hiding in a rabbit hole somewhere you have seen the recent news about carrots and their new uses in the manufacture of fly fishing rods. This innovation was great blog fodder for a while and became the root of so many jokes. It had to happen sooner or later with all the bad examples set by bugs bunny and gang in those kid's cartoons where they were rigged to explode. Carrots are being used as weapons.

From the article:

On May 21, Salinas told police, she arrived to find her employer in a rage over a messy refrigerator. After hurling the carrots at her, Tepper hit the Philadelphia resident on the head with a telephone handset, pulled her hair, broke her glasses and tried to push her down the stairs.

People, give peas a chance. We can only hope that someday that folks will beat their carrots into plow shears.

Ross: Reel in a Cure 2007

Ross Reels has announced the release of their 2007 "Reel in a Cure" pink fly reels in support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The reels are available as part of a very limited edition with only 400 reels being made in the Rhythm, Evolution and Momentum series. Ross Reels will donate $5000 to the foundation from the sale of these reels.
Editor's Note: For an excellent look at the history of the special editions Ross Reels has issued in the past check out this posting from the Southeast Fly Fishing Forum by Morganton, North Carolina fly shop owner, Bo Cash. Bo is the proprietor of Table Rock Angler.

Monday, February 26, 2007

This can't be good...

A developer has proposed a plan to build 86 houses in an area surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest and only accessed by way of the North Mills River Recreation area through the middle of a campground. The North Mills River is home to a beautiful delayed harvest river that actually requires a bit of hike to access.
The location of a development next to a campground and along a forest road assures there will be access issues. Homeowners would have to drive through the campground and over a half-dozen speed bumps to get to their houses. The concrete bridge over the North Mills River would also have to be replaced, something Smith says his company would do. The development could not put up a gate on Yellow Gap Road, but most likely would gate the roads running to the clusters of homes, Smith said. The lodge and other property has been vandalized several times since he bought the land, he said. After one such instance, Smith erected no trespassing signs which disturbed trout fishermen who have crossed the property for years along an old road bed running up the river.
But don't worry...everything will be OK.....
The plans Smith has submitted to Henderson County show 11 homes and a "fly fishing lodge" situated on the North Mills River near its confluence with Wash Creek. The plan also shows the developer's property line in the middle of the river, so trout fishermen would be able to hike up the middle of the river without going on private land. "I don't know how we will look at access on the Big Creek Lodge side of the bridge, but certainly the river itself would continue to be open to fishing," Smith said.
Yeah.... that's the ticket.
For more information on the North Mills read our article at

Sunday, February 25, 2007

North Fork in Trouble

The next time you visit Mountain Home Arkansas and fish the North Fork River stop off and say hello to the good folks at Overlook Estates. According to KAIT channel 18 and others, they are responsible for that layer of silt covering the rocks in this (for the moment) world class fishery.
Massive erosion from a north Arkansas developer's building site that threatens the prized North Fork River continues as state environmental regulators try to put together the funds to contain the problem. Contributing Editor, Jeff Paisley will be visiting the area at the end of March to check it out and report on it for us first hand. Last year Jeff told us he didn't see much of an impact (other than the closing of McClellan's Trout Dock) but judging from this post on the Ozark Angler message board it seems to be getting worse.
Looks like the state and this guy will fight it out as the river dies a slow death. I just can't believe that there is nothing that can be done to stop this problem right now. This is a disgrace to the entire state of Arkansas. I was fishing last weekend in the Moccassin Creek C&R area on the White and watched as the nasty Norfork water made its way down and muddied the river up and shut down the fish. This guy is not only destroying the Norfork but also putting the White below the confluence in serious danger


Maine is considering a ban on four different kinds of non-native baitfish. This ban would reduce from 23 to 19 the number of bait species that could be sold and used within the state. As you can probably guess the bait shops and the fly shops line up on opposite sides of the river on this one.

Theresa Pelletier acknowledged that when white perch were introduced to Moosehead Lake years ago, the native landlocked salmon suffered. But her views on pike, another species that can take over a watershed, are economic.
"They are money-makers for us," she said. "We have a lot of out-of-staters who fish for pike."


Mike Holt, proprietor of the Fly Fishing Only shop in Fairfield, said he is very concerned about "protecting native species and preventing the spread of invasive ones." He said he supports banning the four non-native bait fish species, but he questions whether the Legislature should be making the rules. He would rather see Department of Inland Fish & Wildlife biologists determine the best policy.

Do you need an "Mancation?"

Is the stress of work and family life getting to you? Then perhaps you are in need of a "Mancation."

Set to launch this month, Vancouver Mancations will offer a range of holiday packages designed specifically for men, from fly-fishing to microbrewery tours. The so called "mancation" is not exactly a new phenomenon -- remember Dad's fishing trip with his buddies at the lodge? -- but the idea took off again last year when Vince Vaughn used the term in The Break-Up. Hillson is confident the trend is gaining traction. "Guys want to get away and they want to have fun," he says.

Link via

Thursday, February 22, 2007

There's a fish in my beer

Isinglass is a substance obtained from the swimbladders of fish (especially Beluga sturgeon), used mainly for the clarification of wine and beer. It is a form of collagen. Prior to inexpensive gelatin production and other competitive products, isinglass was used in confectionery and desserts such as Fruit Jelly and blancmange. Isinglass was originally made exclusively from sturgeon until the 1795 invention of a cheap substitute using cod by William Murdoch. This was extensively used in Britain in place of Russian isinglass. The bladders, once removed from the fish and processed, are formed into various shapes for use.

Although very little isinglass remains in the beer which is drunk, many vegetarians consider beers which are processed with these finings to be unsuitable for vegetarian diets (although it is suitable for pescetarians).
(Editor's note: the bottle cap picture comes from the web site of Laura Beamer. Laura is an artist and designer who makes jewelery (including cuff links) from bottle caps. )

Just Say No to Bass!

A Maine man grows some weed.
Man gets caught growing weed.
Man gets fined $250 for growing weed.
During the raid police find ponds stocked with bass.
Man gets fined $1,000 for illegal fish stocking.
"I can understand why they'd fine him stiffly for the fish, because bass are aggressive and would go after trout if the ponds flooded into other waters, but $250 for the pot?" Oxford County Sheriff's Cpl. Chancey Libby asked Thursday afternoon by phone in Paris.

Eco-Terrorists Strike Canada

Authorities are calling the recent dumping of white perch into a channel between to BC lakes Eco-terror.

Officials suspect last week’s illegal dumping of yellow perch into the channel between White Lake and Little White Lake was a deliberate act of environmental sabotage. Wildlife officials are calling the culprit their most-wanted man in the province. The situation has such serious repercussions for local ecosystems that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, BC Conservation Service and the BC Wildlife Federation officials have taken the unprecedented step of offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of people responsible.

Ironically, the culprits might have been participants in a perch derby held another area lake. The perch derby was held as a way to educate locals about the dangers of invasive species.

You'd make a face too.

Found on the site, a tutorial on the proper methods for hooking live bait. I couldn't help but notice the expression on face of the poor fish that got the anal hook.


February Affiliate Deals

Just a quick note to remind you of this month's various deals being offered by our affiliates. If you are looking for fly fishing gear, Under Armour clothing, hand rolled cigars, or just about anything else we have a program to save you some of your hard earned dough. Click the banners below to take advantage and save!

Coupon 125x125

Thompson Cigar Coupon, Inc.

GI Joe's

As always, thanks for supporting and our affiliate partners. We know you have a choice when it comes to getting insane discounts on fishing gear and we thank you for choosing to fly (fish) with us.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

You know I do have a birthday coming up....

From the Classified ads:

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY50% SALE of rapidly expanding destination fly fishing business in the Caribbean. Getting overwhelmed, need help. I'm looking for a 50/50 business partner who is US based, with excellent computer skills. Familiarity with the industry is a major asset, able to travel south 2-3 months each winter. Outstanding opportunity and incredible work! 250k USD firm. Serious inquiries only! Contact

The glamorous life of the fly shop owner

This article from Salem Oregon's StatesmanJournal gives some insight into the world of the small fly shop owner in the age of the big box retailer.

Q: What was the impact of Sportsman's Warehouse coming to town?
A: (laughs) I always thought, "Hey I'm a big-shot fly shop owner. I'm going to get to fly all over the world and fish. I'm lucky if I get to fish at all now. Kathy and I get maybe four fishing trips a year together where it's not work-related stuff.

New for 2007 Smith Action Optics - Chamber

Pale Morning Media dropped us a note to fill us in about some of the new additions to the Smith Action Optics 2007 lineup. Being pseudo journalists with our readers well being firmly in mind, we immediately started asking tough questions.

Us: First of all what makes your polarized sunglasses better than the ones we can buy for $10 bucks down at the local Wally world?

Them: Quite a few things.

Us: (With upraised eyebrow) Elaborate please!

Them: Stylish looks, legendary polarization, techlite glass lenses with distortion free tapered lens technology, and Smith's lifetime warranty.

Us: Continue.

Them: Extra-large eye coverage, total polarized protection, and a photochromic option are the hallmarks of the new Chamber from Smith Optics.

Designed with the demanding conditions of professional guides in mind, the Chamber defeats glare with Smith Optics legendary polarization and wins the fashion battle with a stylish cigar-band logo and the smooth curves of a Grilamid frame. Available in eight unique tints including Smith Optics photochromic lenses, the Chamber is the ideal partner for a day as well as a full season of on-the-water use.

“The Chamber is an ideal large-fitting, guide-quality fishing frame,” said Peter Crow, General Manager of Smith’s Action Optics Polarized Collection. “With extra-large eye coverage and a deep variety of polarized lens tints, the Chamber gives you both the choices you want and the protection you need.”

Created from optical-quality Techlite glass, the Chamber’s lenses are finalized with hydrophobic and anti-reflective coatings for optimum clarity and performance. The Chamber also features Hydrophilic Megol nose pads and temple pads for day-long, slip-free comfort.

Protected by Smith’s Lifetime Warranty, the Chamber’s 8-base “wrap-style” lens curvature serves up superior straight-ahead and excellent peripheral vision. Eliminating any possible distortion in the lenses is Smith’s unique Tapered Lens Technology™ (TLT™).

Us: So what you are telling us is that with the Action Optics line we can protect our eyes from stray hooksets with a more comfortable fit, all the while seeing those sneaky fish much more clearly than before?

Them: Absolutely!

Us: Couple all this with a great warranty and it looks as though Smith Action Optics is bringing the total package to the table.

Them: You hit the nail on the head.

Us: OK the mic is off now. Off the record tell us the real reason the best anglers wear Smith Action Optics sunglasses?

Them: I'm really not at liberty to say.

Us: Oh come on now, This is "Us" you are talking to. Spill the beans or we will release those pics of you we took that the Denver Fly Fishing Retailer Show party last year.

Them: OK OK, You got me. Aside from the obvious fact that guys who wear Smith's are trusting their valuable eyesight to a quality product. Isn't it obvious? Chicks really dig 'em

Visit Smith Action Optics on the web for more information about the "Chamber" and their other new offerings for 2007.

Monday, February 19, 2007

March Merkin Permit Tournament

The second annual March Merkin Permit Tournament will kick off March 13th and run until March 16th in Key West Florida. The event is limited to 25 boats and was booked up until just recently when according to the Midcurrent web site a cancellation has opened two slots for anglers.
We will most likely be pulling for the boat being captained by guide Justin Rea of Sting Rea Charters.

Fly Tying Classes

If you live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area you might be interested in taking the fly tying course offered by the Carolina Fly Fishing Chapter of the Federation of Fly Fishers. The classes are held at the Gander Mountain store in Mooresville, North Carolina (I77 Exit 36). The guys teaching these classes are all skilled fly tiers.

The schedule is now set for the fly tying Classes at Gander Mountain. Starting Monday February 26 and running Mondays until March 26. Class time is 6:30 P.M.

Classes are as follows Feb 26 Introduction, materials, tools and Woolly Bugger Bob Thomas Mark Sigmon Jack Cummings March5 The Nymph - hares ear and pheasant tail or something like that according to Richard Richard Griggs Wilke Tebbens (if available)

March 12 The Dry Fly Ben Vaughn
Bob Thomas (maybe)

March 19 Hairwing(Caddis) and Parachutes Kirk Drown

March 26 Bass and Blue gill Bugs ( John Thomas Instructor)

Cost of the class is only $60 for the 5 week course, a maximum of 12 students.

Sporting Portraits by Micheal Schreck

"Michael Schreck’s subject matter casts a wide shadow—the American Civil War, Western historical with an emphasis on the Indian War period, and in particular Custer oriented themes; wildlife found in Africa, North America, and Europe; as well as, hunting and fishing sporting scenes. There are also his very special portraits—magnificent renditions commissioned by clients to record their hunting and fishing adventures and are destined to become cherished family heirlooms."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Interview: Joe Humphreys

Recently we spent a few minutes talking with fly fishing legend Joe Humphreys. Known for his ability to target big trout, Joe speaks with us about everything from breaking off a potential world record to his fondest fishing memory. He even gives us some much needed casting advice in this audio interview.

The secret is out.

Just click the photo and look in the mouth of this big bow and you will learn.
"Fish are programmed to eat that egg. They can't help themselves," said Charlie Craven, owner of Charlie's Fly Box shop in Arvada and one of the most skilled tyers in the land. You want reasons why? "No other available food source has so many calories per weight," said Dr. Robert J. Behnke, a retired Colorado State University professor. Last month, Behnke sat in his Fort Collins living room bantering with Wendell Ozefovich, an out-of-state visitor on a break from his seminar schedule at The Fly Fishing Show.

Two in the net..

This is the sort of thing that happens when you go fishing with best selling authors:

We reached down to net the bass, with strain and tension right to the finish, and just as the net hit the water, a second striped bass rocketed from the murky depths and into the net.
The surprise ending -- two fish in the net, including one that wasn't even hooked -- stunned even the man on the rod, author John Lescroart, who specializes in "Gotchas!"

(Link via the San Franciso Chronicle)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

National Fly Fishing Championships

Our most recent video / slide show "Big Fish Boot Camp" is being linked from the National Fly Fishing Championship website. Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for information (and our link) about the NC Fly Fishing Team's quest for success in the Southeast regional competition.

Is it just a matter of time for the Southeast?

Two Maryland fish hatcheries have been found to be infected with whirling disease. This means that 80,000 trout must be destroyed.
Twenty percent fewer rainbow and brown trout will be stocked this spring across Maryland, Lunsford said. is a proud participant in the US Fish and Wildlife Service's, Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers campaign. Their website is full of tips to help anglers curb the spread of invasive species through steps such as the proper cleaning of gear after a trip.

Think you're a genius Huh?

Then test your skill at's Flyfishing Genius Quiz if for no other reason than the great picture of a "Wild" trout.

Do you suffer from WTDS?

Do you suffer from the embarrassment of WTDS?

The first symptoms are idle moments where your mind wanders to thoughts of warm summer days, towering granite mountains and meadows of green grass cut by a rippled stream teeming with hungry brook trout. More severe cases involve long hours in your garage, digging through your fishing gear, waders on along with fishing vest and the favorite fishing hat in a hopeless attempt to get "the feel" of a hooked trout simply by jiggling your favorite fly rod.

She just doesn't get it..

Eric Sharp of the Detroit Free Press writes about his wife's disbelief at what he pays for a good dry fly neck.
So if my wife sees me sitting at my tying bench admiring a new Grade A, she likes to sneak up with this wicked grin on her face and say, "You spent $50 for some chicken feathers and didn't even get the meat?"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


A resident of a New Zealand town finds a Mako Shark lying in the middle of a local road late at night. The town is over 100 km from the nearest ocean. Link and photo credit via The Daily Post.

Grippin' and a Grinnin'

Two more "grip and grins" from the February North Carolina Fly Fishing Team Practice. You might not be able to tell from the smiles on their faces but the water temps were in the low 30's all day. These guys (and I) spent several hours in standing waist deep in the river without even a break for lunch. You might call it dedication but I think we all knew that these big trout were going to start biting sometime and no one wanted to miss out.

New Watauga / South Holston Fishing Report

Randy Ratliff with Troutfisher's Guide Service has provided our readers with the latest information about what is working on two of our favorite Tennessee tail waters. Visit's Fishing Reports Page to read his report or to submit your own.
(Editor's note: The submit reports page uses Microsoft Outlook. If you have trouble with it you can always email them to us directly. Just be sure to put fishing report in the subject line)

Monday, February 12, 2007

A safer alternative to split shot

Here is an eco-friendly way to get your fly down deep without resorting to split shot. Imported from China, the "Fishing Rock Weight" should appeal to the true purists of our sport. This dual purpose device can also find a use in situations where other, less couth anglers, crowd your honey hole. Chuck a couple of these at their hats and watch them run!
Lucky fishing tackle Team manufacture quality fishing reel and other other fishing tackle such as fishing lures, lead fishing weight, rock fishing weight at competitive price.
I wonder if I could get a supply of these with the logo printed on them?

If only we had Jimmy Buffet's Money!

Put this on the Christmas list for 2036. A tricked out seaplane complete with full living quarters.
This is the only craft if its type, with a turbine engine and living quarters. It is completely self-contained with a generator, refrigerator, sink, stove, toilet, shower and bunk. It even has internet service and a satellite dish to keep up with Canadian television.
Since it is highly unlikely that we will be able to afford one of these ultimate fly fishing vehicles we might as well try to do the next best things and make friends with the owner.

N.C. Fly Fishing Team - Big Trout Boot Camp

This weekend members of the North Carolina Fly Fishing team took part in a practice session aimed at preparing them for successfully fighting and landing big fish. Eugene Shuler of Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing coordinated the event and John Hunnicutt of High Plateau Outfitters, Ltd allowed the team use of a private section of the Broad River near Black Mountain, North Carolina. The river holds some very large Rainbow and Brown trout that were stocked there a few years ago. These guys made it look easy but trust me its not. Competitive fly fishing rules don't allow for strike indicators or split shot.

I am in the process of putting together a short video from the trip but here is a bit of Monday morning "fishporn" to help you wake up.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rha Rho....

Does anybody know what has happened to the Southeast Fly Fishing Forum? It seems to have disappeared while we were out fishing this past weekend. I have a call in to T.E. Shuler , the forum sponsor, to see what is going on and what the ETA might be for a fix. I fear a group of angry hardware chucking hackers might be exacting their revenge.

Use the comments if you know the scoop.

(UPDATE: Fear not! All is back right with the world and the Southeast Fly Fishing Fourm is back up and running, none the worse for wear. No bait fishing hackers to blame - simply a domain mix up.

The Horror!

The trout gutting machine. Its description reads like a C&R fisherman's nightmare.
The fish is placed by the gills on a carrier and brought forwards. The trout enters the machine head first. A retainer holds down the fish for the cutting process by a fixed knife. Both sides of the belly are parted in order to ensure optimal gutting. A grab removes the entire entrails. Then a springed type scraper comes into operation in order to loosen the remains before they are removed by means of two brushes which are arranged one after the other.

Friday, February 09, 2007

It's Friday....Now Go Buy Some Gear!

Admit it, you work hard. Every week you put in countless hours with your nose to the grindstone under the watchful eye of an ungrateful boss. It is Friday and the work week is over for most of you. Don't you think you deserve some deals on fly fishing gear? We certainly think you do.

Sierra Trading Post leads the field this month in our "reward the best readers on the net" challenge. Their latest offering is 10% off orders of $110 or more. Use the banner below to take advantage of this deal that runs until March 8th, 2007 and cannot be combined with any other offers.

(Hot Tip - Be sure to do a search for Sage Fly Lines and Redington pre-loaded fly reels)

Coupon 125x125

This month we are trying out a new arrangement with the Thompson Cigar Company. We have a coupon for 15% off purchases site wide. We posted it and later found out that we really were not supposed to have access to this special deal. However, we chose to ask forgiveness rather than permission and they have graciously agreed to let us keep it. Middle Tennessee Editor Jay Moore is a cigar lover and advises our readers that for the best deal try the samplers with the premium brands.

(Hot Tip: Look for their Premiums Galore Sampler for an exceptional deal on some excellent brands)

Thompson Cigar Coupon

Finally the nice lady from sent us a note and asked that we remind you that "the big O" is offering 7% off all orders as a way to cure your winter blues. Simply use the coupon banner below to claim your deal.

(Hot Tip: You saltwater fly fishers should do a search for "Supreme Bonefish/Redfish Fly Selection" for a shot at a 76 fly selection for only $81.99 before the discount), Inc.

As always, thanks for supporting and our affiliate partners. We know you have a choice when it comes to getting insane discounts on fishing gear and we thank you for choosing to fly (fish) with us.