Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New North Carolina State Tarpon Record Set

According to a press release from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, a Carteret County angler, Malcolm Condie, set a new state record when he reeled in a 193 pound 5-ounce tarpon while fishing for king mackerel off a North Topsail Island pier.

It hit the king rig at 12:30 (p.m.) and I landed it within an hour,” Condie said.
The fish measured 80 inches fork length (tip of the nose to the fork in the tail) and had a girth of 42 inches.
Jesse Lockowitz held the previous state record with a 175-pound tarpon caught at Bogue Inlet Pier Sept. 7, 2005. The world record tarpon was 283 pounds, caught in Africa.

Condie said he initially hoped to donate the fish to the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Instead, researchers with the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences happened to be in the area, so he allowed them to remove the ear bones and other fish parts for DNA, and age tests.

“They’ve never had access to a (tarpon) of this size in North Carolina,” Condie said.

"Bail Out" FlyfishMagazine Style...

Shallow river + overloaded non-selfbailing raft = Bail Out

Monday, September 29, 2008

FFR 2008: Ross Launches Two New Reels

The Arius - MSRP $190 -$240

The Airius is a high-end, hybrid large arbor fly reel that defines excellence in both performance and cosmetic artistry. The multilevel disc drag system is incredibly smooth, and there is no shortage of stopping power in this modern Ross design. In honor of our 35th anniversary, we have brought back a spindle support shaft that is reminiscent of a design from our industry favorite Gunnison series. This large diameter shaft provides incredible stability, and is now manufactured out of fully anodized aluminum that is strong, incredibly light and saltwater safe. The spoke designed frame and extensive spool ventilation adds to this series lightweight feel, yet the Airius is built to endure a lifetime of flawless performance. Each reel in this series is designed with a unique diameter and width to maximize the properties of drag consistency and quick line retrieval. The Airius has been fitted with a new quick-switch retrieve conversion that makes changing the direction of retrieve as easy as flipping ona light. The reel is also equipped with our newest drag knob design that delivers smooth rotation, infinite adjustments and secure settings.

FRAME/SPOOL MATERIAL 6061-T6 aluminum alloy
MANUFACTURING SPECIFICATIONS Fully machined, 1 piece frame, 1 piece spool – manufactured on automated
CNC machining centers
DRAG MATERIAL Delrin 500AF with impregnated Teflon – space-age polymer that is durable, heat resistant, self-lubricating
and maintenance free
DRAG ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Delrin 500AF to stainless interface – pull frame friction multilevel disc drag system
ESCAPEMENT SYSTEM Dual pawl internal escapement mechanism
SPOOL ROTATION MECHANISM Synthetic Zytel bushing rotating on an anodized aluminum shaft
FINISH Anodized
FLY ROD COVERAGE 2wt. – 9wt.
FISHING APPLICATION Designed for use in all freshwater, warmwater and saltwater fishing environments
AVAILABLE COLORS Black and Smoke Grey

The FlyRise Series MSRP - $95 - $110

The Flyrise is a hybrid large arbor fly reel that is beautifully crafted with cosmetic innovation and precision workmanship. The drag system is identical to the system used in the award winning Rhythm USA reel series. This is pretty impressive considering that the Rhythm sold for more than twice the price of this incredible new series! The drag adjustment is precise and sensitive – capable of protecting the lightest tippets even when battling world-class fish. To guarantee the level of dependability anglers have come to expect from all Ross products, the drag is a triple redundancy system; providing three backup systems for dependable performance under the most demanding fishing conditions. The Flyrise has also been fitted with our newest drag knob design that delivers smooth rotation, infinite adjustments and secure settings. The Flyrise truly is a premier reel at an incredible price!

FRAME/SPOOL MATERIAL High quality aluminum alloy
MANUFACTURING SPECIFICATIONS Pressure-fed cast aluminum, 1 piece frame, 2 piece assembled spool, machine finished
DRAG MATERIAL Delrin 500AF with impregnated Teflon – space-age polymer that is durable, heat resistant, self-lubricating
and maintenance free
DRAG ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Delrin 500AF to anodized aluminum interface – conical friction drag system
ESCAPEMENT SYSTEM Triple redundancy radial pawl engagement
SPOOL ROTATION MECHANISM Oil impregnated bronze bushing rotating on a stainless steel spindle
FINISH Aerospace grade polyurethane
FLY ROD COVERAGE 3wt. – 8wt.
FISHING APPLICATION Designed for use in all freshwater and warmwater fishing environments

Both series will be available from your favorite fly shops starting in November, 2008. Check them out at the Ross WorldWide Website: http://www.rossworldwideoutdoors.com/

Update: I Just notice this in the description - "conical friction drag system" and I am wondering how this equates to the drag system used in the Lamson reels?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ahoy Captain...

We may have alluded the fact that we have been working on a few surprises here at FlyFishMagazine.com. One of the newest is the addition of a Saltwater Editor, Captain Gordon Churchill.

Captain Gordon has made a name for himself as the foremost shallow water fly fishing guide/specialist in the Carolina's. As you can see from the photo his favorite targets are large tailing reds. He has written several articles on the subject and leads the charge on several environmental issues that effect his home waters. Captain Gordon is such a knowledgeable and well liked guy that, save for those pictures we have in the safe deposit box, we can't for the life of us figure out why he would hang out with us. Whatever the reason we are darn lucky to have him around. Keep an eye out for his blog posts and articles in the near future.

Check out his website and blog and take ten seconds to drop him a line and sign up for his email newsletter. If you find yourself headed to the Cape Lookout/Morehead City/ Beaufort/Emerald Isle area book a trip with him. You won't be sorry.

Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Article

I attended a public hearing of the Marine Fisheries last Wednesday. I said my piece and basically told the attendees what I see on a regular basis. Then got called a liar by people with serious criminal records. Nice. Anyways, there was an article in the local paper today.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

R.I.P. - Cool Hand Luke

Renovating FlyFishMagazine.com

I am currently in the process of doing some renovations around the FlyFishMagazine.com domain so you might see some odd stuff if you hit the site while I'm poking around. Don't fret. Things will be back up and running shortly.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Business trip

Tuesday afternoon I took a break from my day job to get in a little fishing with my friend Phil , Randy and Jackie from Honest Abe Log homes. Since we both had customers with us, this was strictly a business deal. Randy had some experience with a fly rod but this was Jackie's first experience. I intended to take a lot of pictures but we had some tangle issues that occupied my time. While we didn't catch any fish that required a photo, we did all manage to land some fish. The newcomers did a great job and we hauled in about 50 fish as a group. We caught rainbows, browns and brookies and some fish went 13-14 inches, but most were on the small side. Most of the fish were caught on midges and thin mints and we had a great time. All were returned to the river so we can try to catch them again next time. Thanks to Phil for setting up the trip and I think we all look foward to the next "business trip".

$2,500 for Grabs in "Rumble In the Rhododendron"

The North Carolina Fly Fishing Team, in conjunction with its sponsors and various state and local agencies, is pleased to announce the inaugural "Rumble In the Rhododendron." The rumble is a two man team fly fishing tournament to be held in the Western North Carolina Mountains October 17th - 19th with a purse of $2,500. The event will be televised on The Sportsman's Channel by the show Fly Rod Chronicles which is hosted by Curtis Fleming.
The tournament features a day one fly casting tournament. Cast your own fly rod of any length up to a 9' 5wt rod, to various targets placed at realistic distances for a combined team score.The top twelve placing teams will advance to Sunday's fly fishing portion of the tournament.
In the first round of fishing on the Delayed Harvest Section of the Tuckasegee River, both anglers on each team will catch and score as many fish as possible from their beats in a three hour session. Each beat will have an assigned judge, judges will measure and score fish.The top 6 placing teams from the first fishing round will advance to the final round of fishing on the Oconoluftee River in Cherokee on the new Trophy Catch and Release Section, where they will again catch and score as many fish as possible from their beat in a three hour session.
Trout in the section of water will average from 5-10lbs!! A sure bet for a barn burner!This is strictly a catch and release tournament, all flies must have the barbs removed.
Entry Fee is $250 per team. Each participant receives an event shirt and gifts from our sponsors. For more information and to pre-register visit www.rumbleintherhododendron.com or call 828-421-0172
Here's your chance to test yourself against your fellow anglers and possibly bring home some cash.
PS. Catchy name isn't it? We helped with that part and will be covering the event via FlyFishMagzine.com.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fly Fishing Retailer 2008: Smith Optics Mogul

Smith Optics has always been one of our favorite stops at the retailer show. This year was no exception as it gave us a chance to have a look at their new angler centric polarized sunglasses, the "Mogul." The Olive Stripe frame with Polarchromatic brown lenses caught our attention since we could see an excellent application for both the color of the lenses and the photo chromatic feature for the small stream angler.
"With a dedication to the very best materials available, the MOGUL shows you mean business without having to flash it around."
The Mogul fits medium to larger faces and the frames wide arms shield the eyes from excess side lighting. The lenses are made from TLT Techlight Glass and as pictured the suggested retial price is $179. Check them out via the Smith Optics website.

NRS New Product: Gig Bob Frameless Personal Pontoon

If the whole blogger/writer/marketer thing doesn't work out for our pal Tom Chandler of The Trout Underground, perhaps he can farm out his services as a product model.

In this photo Tom is adeptly demonstrating a new personal pontoon boat from NRS. The interesting thing about the NRS "Gig Bob" (we have no idea why they call it that) is that it has no frame. The base is 100% inflatable (in the fashion of NRS's other raft products) and uses expandable strings in the pontoon portion of the craft to keep it very rigid. The whole package rolls up into a backpack and weighs around 50 lbs.

Word from NRS is that these have been tested on class 3 water so we are guessing that the pure buoyancy makes up for the lack of upturned pontoons. The MSRP will be somewhere around $1,600 to $1,700. It could also make a great substitute for that inflatable chair in your television room.

Tyler Harris with NRS fished our email out of his spambox (we hate when that happens) and sent us the specs on the "Gigg Bob."

NRS GigBob: MSRP $1595.00

* Material: 840 denier PVC coated Nylon
* Dimensions: * Over all: 8' L x 4' W x 17" T
* Deck: 6' 6" L x 3' 10" W
* Weight: 48 lbs
* Comes with: 7' 2-piece Carlisle Oars w/ sleeves and stoppers, oarlocks, springs w/ split rings, two Easy Access Tackle Bags and a Stripping Apron.
* Frameless design * Lots of tie-down points
* Fully adjustable seat with a pocket on the back We are currently taking orders for the GigBob.

The Boats will be available to ship in Early March, 2009.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

FFR Show 2008: Origo Guide Pro Fishing Watch

One look at my over laden fishing vest will tell you that I am the type of angler who really enjoys a good gadget or two or ten. It is no surprise then that the Origo Fishing Pro Watch caught my eye at this year's Fly Fishing Retailer Show. This watch, created with the angler in mind, is loaded with so many helpful gizmos that any fly fishing 007 could not help but be impressed.

  • Predicts and gives a countdown until the best fishing time, the next best fishing time, and projected best fishing time over the coming days. Includes a best fishing time alarm.
  • Digital Compass, Barometer, Altimeter, Thermo Sensor
  • Forecasts weather
  • Displays Tide data - high/low, countdown to next high/low tide, projected high low tides
  • Sunrise, Sunset, Moon Phase
  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • Back light
  • Alarm can be audible or vibration
  • and it even tells time - "Smart World Time" for both home town and visiting city that is.

MSRP is $230 dollars and is available from OrigoWatch.com.

The Fishing Guide boasts all the same features as the Fishing Pro in a lighter weight injection molded body, minus the altimeter, barometric pressure, and weather forecasting . These watches retail for $120.

For sportsmen strictly interested in fishing and time of day information, the Origo Fisherman offers all the same fish and game-specific features as the Fishing Guide without the digital compass. The Fisherman retails for $60.

Watch for more information about this products durability and practicality to appear in FlyFishMagazine.com in the near future.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Gill Net Quandry: Part Three (A Compromise)

UPDATED - Parts four and five added.

Part Three of Five in the Rocky Mount Telegram's coverage of the gill netting issue. Is it possible for a compromise? Today's money quote indicates that it might be a good idea to keep the two sides apart:

Marine Fisheries allowed flounder gill netters to place their sets in the sound one-half hour after sunset. By law these nets were to be retrieved by one-half hour before sunrise.
The plan worked. The two different user groups met rarely, only in passing. Flounder tend to move more at night, so most of the commercial fishermen were happy with the compromise.

The Gill Net Quandry: Part One (The Issue) - Debatable Catch
The Gill Net Quandry: Part Two (More Nets, Problems)
The Gill Net Quandry: Part Three (A Compromise)
The Gill Net Quandary: Part Four (Recreational Use)
The Gill Net Quandary: Part Five (For The Fish)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Gill Net Quandry: Part Two (More Nets, Problems)

Part two of the Rocky Mount Telegraph's five part series on the clash between commercial gill netters and recreational fishermen is out today and it points out a new player in the mix. The recreational commercial gill netter:

As Montgomery sees it, the problem with the weekend netter is that he is not doing it for a living.

“He is likely to set his net in the wrong place,” Montgomery said. “And if the weather gets bad, he’ll probably just check it tomorrow

There is even a quote from FlyFishMagazine.com's, soon to be properly announced, Saltwater Editor - Gordon Churchill, about a proposal to require attendance of gill nets in Carolina waters:

“No matter who owns it or what type of license, this should not be allowed,” he said. “It results in dead fish that cannot be sold due to being rotten or are not the targeted species and are therefore wasted regardless of condition.”

Read the entire article here:

The Gill Net Quandry: Part One (The Issue) - Debatable Catch
The Gill Net Quandry: Part Two (More Nets, Problems)

FFR Show 2008: Buff now with Insect Shield

I've been wearing a Buff (and getting some odd looks from the worm dunkers) on our area trout streams and lakes for several months now so I was pleased to hear that Original Buff has announced the addition of Insect Shield (FKA Buzz Off) to their popular and versatile line of sun and wind protective head gear. My own, non-insect repellent Buff, kept my nose warm and my neck pale in grand fashion during the trip but it would have been great to have it keep the bugs out of my face as well. From their recent press release:

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (September 14, 2008) -Buff ® Headwear, known for their innovative line-up of stylish and multifunctional headwear, continues to deliver with the Insect Shield ® UV Buff. Buff Headwear is coveted globally by outdoor enthusiasts who will now be able to focus more on fishing and less on bothersome insects thanks to the added protection of the Insect Shield technology.

Beyond the guaranteed insect protection apparent in this new product, the Insect Shield UV Buff offers enhanced UV protection, blocking 95-percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. The Insect Shield UV Buff, among other Buff models, comes complete with a non-toxic Polygiene treatment that prevents odor-causing bacteria and leaves your Buff fresh and odorless. Additionally, the CoolMax yams provide moisture wicking, dry comfort.

The Insect Shield process binds insect repellent to fabric to repel mosquitos, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, midges and no-see-ums. This technology helps protect against insects that carry the West Nile virus, Lyme disease, malaria, dengue fever and other insect-borne diseases.
"The Insect Shield technology is just another value-added feature that will enhance Buff products," says Shirley Choi Brunetti, Buff general manager, United States. "For outdoor enthusiasts who are exposed to mosquitoes, ticks and many other annoying insects, the Insect Shield UV Buff is a dream come true since it reduces the need for a topical repellent."

For more information about Insect Shield (A North Carolina Company) visit their website.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

FFR Show 2008: Cover Your Butt

Do you suffer from embarrassing fighting butt injuries? After a fishing trip, does your wife suspiciously question those circular shaped bruises on your normally pristine six pack abs?
Coming soon to a fly shop near you, the solution for tender bellied anglers everywhere, Cover your Butt reel seat cushions.

No word yet on the retail price but being called a wimp by your fishing buddies.....Priceless.

FFR Show 2008: Wright & McGill's Quik Drop

Little things that make our angling life easier amuse us greatly. After a day of digging around our fishing vest for a plastic bag of split shot then trying to get one out without spilling them all over the place, the Qwik Shot from Wright and McGill caught our eye. Think Pez dispenser for your non-toxic shot. This item got one of our votes for best new product at the show. Here is the description from the Wright and McGill website (the all caps thing is them not us).
It comes preloaded with shot and refills easily.

Gill Nets In The News

The battle between recreational and commercial fishermen over unattended gill nets on the Carolina coast is heating up and making news. The Rocky Mount Telegram is running a series of articles about the conflict. From "The Gill Net Quandary: Part One (The Issue) - Debatable Catch"
The recreational guides say the commercial fishermen see their clients “hooked up” fighting red drum on certain areas of the sound. The next day or even later that same day, flounder nets are stretched out to cover the entire area wiping out the drum. And it’s totally legal.

Swansboro guide Rick Patterson said, “I’ve had guys look me in the eye and say they’re going to kill every drum they can. I have no idea what they want to accomplish, but it’s a twisted mentality.”
Although commercial fishermen refer to guides and their clients sarcastically as “pastel shirts” because of their brightly colored fishing clothes, they deny targeting drum with their flounder nets.
Friend of FlyFishMagazine, Capt. Gordon Churchill is a leader in bringing this issue to the attention of his fellow anglers. His position is stated on his facebook cause page which we suggest concerned anglers join:

Unattended gill nets are a wasteful fishing method and should be attended all times to stop wasteful killing of non-targeted fish species.
Mandatory attendance would stop the waste due to the person fishing the net being right there and able to release the fish before it dies.
We support commercial fishermen and their desire to make a living from the water and also support fishing methods that are unwasteful.

Part two of the five part series runs Monday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

FFR Show 2008: Patagonia Reception

Every year at the retailer show, the good folks at Patagonia put on a reception at their Denver store. We attend and always snap a few paparazzi pics along the way.

Bill Klyn - The guy behind Patagonia's World Trout Initiative and 1% for the Planet.

Steve Apple of Rollcast Productions and Fishizzle! fame gaves us the Al Braughtinwood update and let us know about his latest project.

"Get that camera out of my face," might have been heard as we spotted TC of Trout Underground infamy interviewing the movers and shakers of the fly fishing industry.

Even Trout Fish Bums have to eat. We spotted Chris Owens of AEG Media enjoying a tasty bite. There was no fermented Yak milk to be found.

Finally, we managed to snap this rare photo of two bloggers in their natural habitat, In this photo, taken from great distance via telephoto lens, we capture FlyFishMagazine.com's Jay Moore and Trout Underground's Tom Chandler, sitting around the schwag pile and enjoying some gratis beverages.

Thanks to all the folks from Patagonia for a great evening. Patagonia is a company that really puts their money where their corporate values are when it comes to doing things correctly for the environment. Somehow Patagonia fly fishing gear guy Brian Bennett of Moldy Chum escaped our lens this time.

11 Mile Canyon

As you can see from the picture of Eleven Mile Canyon, Lee and I did not spend our entire time in Denver at the Fly Fishing show. We managed to find time to do some fishing in the Colorado Springs area. While we didn't exactly slay them, we did both manage to catch some fish and we saw some beautiful country. We fished a stretch of the South Platte near Fairplay, The Dream Stream and eleven Mile Canyon during our stay.
My first impression of the show was that of a kid in a candy store. Just about anyone in the industry you can think of was on hand to show their new products for 2009. We will be writing about some of the things we saw in the near future. I want to thank the following people for spending time with us and making us feel welcome.
Chris and Sven with EXOFFICIO
Scott with Pale Morning Media
Kate with The Original Buff
Will with Kaenon Polarized
Greg with Smith Optics
Brian with Patagonia
There are sure to be some items from them in this years Christmas wish list.
Also thanks to Ali Hassan for showing us some of his favorite fishing spots!

FFR Show 2008

Wherein we resisted the urge to offer to help this nice lady string up her fly rod. However, Jay Moore and Tom Chandler did manage to give her some casting advice.

FFR Show 2008: MicroTrash Container

Fishpond launched a tiny little trash can with a no spill top. You can carry on your belt to hold all those bits of mono and used non-toxic split shot. In a pinch it also makes a really nice holder for your night crawlers and corn.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

FFR Show: Best book title

Here's a new fishing book with one of the best titles ever.

FFR Show: Cliff's "Justin" Case

Cliff Outdoors is famous for large fly boxes but this one takes the cake. Designed for the angler who needs everything he owns with him at all times. We loved it but can't figure out how to fit it in our fishing vest. More on new products from Cliff Outdoors later.

Monday, September 15, 2008

FFR Show: .Malibu kayak with Raised casting platform

From the fly fishing retailer show floor. Yes you are seeing it correctly that kayak has a raised casting platform. We couldn't help but picture our pal Captain Gordon stalking big bull red's in one of these. More info will follow in the near future.

FFR show: Patagonia warms feet

We don't know why anyone never thought of adding Merino wool to there wader stocking feet before. Our cold feet approve.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Waiting for a plane in ATL.

FFR show bound. Meeting up with Jay in the Mile High City then off to Fair Play for some fishing.

Updates will follow.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Follow the Herd: The Sky is Falling

Personally - I think I'll boycott companies who raise their prices in anticipation of a disaster. More probably I'll just fill up my truck.

FlyFishMagazine.com: Old Guys Love Us

flyfishmagazine.com The site appeals to a mostly male, 50+, HH income up to $60k audience.

Via Quantcast - Well we never really tried to be "This is Fly."

We do have some exciting things in the works for the near future,if all goes according to plan. Plans include a radical site redesign (no page flipping software though) that combines the blog with the e-zine domain, the addition of a "Editor of Coarse Fishing" (read carp), installing a fly fishing artist in virtual residence, and articles about fly fishing the world from one of the biggest fly fishing outfitters in the UK.

I am also looking to expand our regional coverage so if you are interested in writing articles or blog posts about your "neck of the woods" drop me a note and lets talk. We don't pay but If you are a fly fishing guide or have something to sell we will give you lots of free advertising and as you can see old guys with a reasonable amount of money love us.

Meanwhile, next week we will be prowling the floor of the Fly Fishing Retailer Show in Denver looking for paparazzi photos of fly fishing industry types in compromising situations to exploit for free gear new and exciting products of which we will surreptitiously snap photos and upload to this site via our super secret James Bond like spy camera / Crackberry. Thus giving our readers the scoop on goings on

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fly Fishing Retailer 2008

Tennessee Editor Jay Moore and myself are currently packing our bags to head out to the Fly Fishing Retailer Show in Denver, Colorado. Our plans include several meetings with industry types, confabs with fellow bloggers, the consumption of malt beverages, and this year we have even managed to plan a meet up for some fishing with FlyFishMagazine.com's Western Correspondent, The Sultan of Big Western Rainbow Trout, Ali Hassan.

This year we will be focusing on new gear and innovation in the fly fishing world with emphasis on some of the smaller companies who are doing some exciting things. We will attempt to refill our schwag can with all manner of free stickers and pins and etc (contrary to popular belief vendors do not throw fishing gear at the media at this sort of event.) Not that we wouldn't be open to that if anyone wanted to.

If you have questions you would like for us to pose to any of the gear company representatives leave us a note and we will try to get in front of them at the show and get an answer for you.
Of course, all of this is subject to them letting us in the door this year. We sent off our registration months ago and still haven't gotten the normal pre-show info packet nor have our emails been answered. This might be simply due to new show management. Oh well, if we don't get in it just means we will have more time at the bar to fish.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mayfly Week: Jurassic MayFlies

Well actually Upper Eocene Mayflies in amber via The Virtual Fossil Museum. Bring on the prehistoric trout.
This fine example of a rare inclusion is found with a biting midge and a worker ant, making for a fine diverse example of the insects found in the Baltic some 40 million years ago.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Mayfly Week: The Mayflies USA

Walking in a Straight Line by Chapel Hill, North Carolina group, The Mayflies USA.

(There is no Mayflies UK, that's just a joke) are one of the more pop-oriented bands to emerge from the buzzing, trendy Chapel Hill, North Carolina scene in the 1990s. After a debut EP in 1997, they released their first full-length in early 1999, which was produced by North Carolina alt-pop legend Chris Stamey. That's a logical connection, since Stamey and the Mayflies USA share a love of British pop, power pop in the Big Star mold, and the kind of jangly alternative pop-rock that the South has been known for since, well, Chris Stamey and the dB's.

Excellent fishing tunes by local boys no less....

Mayfly Week: Mountain Tops Good For Mayflies

Strangely, It is fast becoming a sort of impromptu Mayfly Week here at FlyFishMagazine.com so we wont fight it and as usual will go with the flow. A recent article in the Charleston Gazette points out what some might say is rather obvious. The practice of large scale mining and more specifically mountain top removal is bad for aquatic insects.

Randy Pomponio, director of the EPA's environmental innovations and assessments division, said, "Maggie and Greg assessed 49 streams in West Virginia to determine the effects of upstream mining activities on downstream benthic macroinvertebrate communities. They learned through their study that whole orders of benthic organisms were being eliminated in streams below mines, which indicates that aquatic life is being impaired."

Who'd have thunk it?

Sierra Trading Post- Top Five Deals of the Week

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Coffee Addicted Mayflies?

A recent study reported in the Chattanooga Times Free Press indicates that water in the Tennessee River contains enough caffeine for mayflies to ingest the equivalent of 26.6 cups of coffee each day.

Meanwhile, Dr. Richards said, that mayfly also is ingesting a cocktail of at least 12 other common drugs, including several antibiotics, antidepressants and substances designed to lower human cholesterol levels. While the amount of drugs in the water is tiny by human standards, they one day may have a serious impact on the environment — and on humans, as well, he said.

“Everyone’s worried about pesticides in the water, but the amount of pharmaceuticals that get dumped in the water via just taking them is going to equal or exceed that of pesticides,” Dr. Richards said. “You have to wonder what it’s doing to the ecosystem. If we’re upsetting the balance in any way, it can’t be perceived as a good thing.”

In addition to the obvious environmental concerns this report raises, it also gets me to thinking about the effects this might be having on on Tennessee trout. Initially trout might suffer due to the juiced up mayflies being faster and more difficult to catch. I can picture nymphs zooming to the surface, splitting their shucks and then flying space ward with hungry trout in hot pursuit.

Sooner or later the trout would catch on and figure out how to eat the leaping Leptohyphidae. The accompanying caffeine addiction would bring the trout stream its own set of problems. If the morning hatch was somehow delayed anglers might well take care wading a river full of grumpy trout who have not yet had their "morning cup of Metretopodidae."

During abundant hatches, these same jittery trout might be easy prey for anglers who camp out on the river's fabled "Starbuck's hole." Fish would be mindlessly stacked up at the river's equivalent of the barista counter, snapping at anything that comes between them and their next fix.

No doubt some trout would become "mayfly snobs" and would only consume mocha colored bugs with half the caffeine and topped off by a generous helping of skimmed cream midges. They would travel across the river to get their favorite flavors at the Starbucks hole when everyone really knows that the Service Station pool had mayflies that were just as good for a third the energy cost.

The fly tiers bench would also be impacted. Skilled tiers would develop patterns to "match the hatch. Flies with names like "the caffeinated caddis" and "Juan Valdez's deceiver" would be top sellers. Debates would erupt over weather a coffee bean glued to a hook constituted bait or a viable fly tied with "natural" materials. Unscrupulous anglers "spilling" their coffee into rivers in order to evoke a feeding frenzy could spawn an entirely new set of regulations which may even go so far as to include drug testing for hyped up anglers caught attempting to relieve themselves on area creek banks.

New NC Green Sunfish Record - 1 Pound 14 Ounces

When Wake county angler Sean Vanderburg hooke d this fishe he thought he had a largemouth bass on the line. Instead to his surprise he had a new North Carolina State Record Sunfish. That my friends makes for a big fish sandwhich.

Vanderburg, an avid hunter as well as fisherman, says he fishes this pond quite a bit, which is located on the same property where he hunts. He catches mostly smallish largemouth bass, and the occasional bluegill. On this particular day, he thought he had hooked a nice-size largemouth bass, maybe a 4-pounder, and was shocked to find what he thought might be a pumpkinseed — albeit a giant one — dangling on the end of the line.
“I’d never seen a sunfish that big before, so I had a little freak-out moment,” Vanderburg said. After he pulled himself together, he began calling friends to see what the state records were for all the sunfish species found in North Carolina. He then contacted Corey Oakley, a fisheries biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, to find out exactly what he had reeled

Link the the NCWRC press release. Photo from the release.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Friday Fish Porn: Alaska's Copper River Rainbows

I can't believe how many fish shots I took on our trip to Alaska. These wild fish were truly beautiful with each one looking different from the last. Why is it that the pictures you take on a trip like this never compare with actually seeing it first hand?

Do Fly Fishers Make Better Spouses?

It appears that during my recent Alaska vacation I have contracted some sort of no doubt rotting sockeye carcase bacteria that has had me confined to the bed most of today. My lovely wife has been busy taking care of her hacking and feverish husband who has been worthless for much of the week. I suppose my thankfulness for her attention caused me to notice this opinion piece in the Eufaula Tribune by Father David Shoemaker that suggests that the foundations of Marriage are found in the sport of fishing.

The first is to take your time. There have been many occasions when I have arrived at a stream and have been so overwhelmed with the excitement that I forgot half a dozen things I needed to do before I could actually start catching fish.

Everything - from scouting the stream for good spots, looking to see what insects are in the area, to proper casting - can fall by the wayside if you’re in too big of a hurry. And if you don’t do these things, your chances of catching fish are slim.

The same can be said for marriage. You need to take your time and do certain things to be properly prepared. In the Catholic Church we require a six-month period of preparation. This gives the couple time to look at important aspects of their relationship. It helps them to explore their expectations, beliefs and goals, which in turn helps them to truly be prepared to profess their vows on the wedding day.

It is worth a reading. I am just not sure I could wait six months for a fishing trip.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pebble Mine Update: Battle Lost / War Rages

Last week while standing knee deep in a massive sockeye salmon run throwing egg and occasional mouse patterns to wild rainbow trout, very few things worried me. For the most part I was content to concern myself with drag free drifts, radical application of bug spray, the landing fish, and keeping abreast of the position of the area's resident grizzly bears.

I found myself not really thinking about the proposed Pebble Mine project and plans to plop a cyanide laced tailing pond and world's largest open pit mine right in the middle of what I now know first hand to be one of the world's best fisheries. In Anchorage it had been top of mind as our hotel television was filled with ads imploring Alaskans to vote for the clean water act and against the "mining shutdown" as the opp/for would have it spun. Even more signs began showing up just as soon as we got off the air taxi in the village of Iliamna, Alaska.

Not "Black Helicopters" but no less nefarious

Iliamna is a town with a booming population of 102 people and oddly enough a rather busy airport. What made it different from many of the other back country landing strips I had seen was the seemingly never ending stream of helicopters carrying under slung cargo from the tiny air terminal to an unknown location. Later I would learn from my fishing guide that most of these loads were destined for the "Pebble Project."

The signs were visible on our lodge's jet boats in the form of No Pebble Mine stickers on each bow. Talk around the dinner table was of the fellow who came to the lodge by boat a few days before, on his way into Iliamna to cast his vote on Proposition 4. No one had asked him how he planned to vote but it was clear from the distance that he covered that he was quite committed to his point of view.

When I asked the lodge staff about the "Pebble Project" I got a lot of pained expressions and head shakes indicating that things could go very badly. When one guest asked about why the staff was so worried, a quick course in gold extraction and tailing ponds was given with emphasis on cyanide and its effect on salmon runs.

On one of our fly outs I overheard our pilot talking on the radio to a beaver pilot and asking where he was heading. The reply of "coming back from hauling some big wigs up to the Pebble Project" took my attention from a view of the American River in my window. I was reminded that this project is fast becoming an integral part of the economy of this region and that in and of itself is going to be difficult to fight.

One guest from another part of the world looked at me at one point during our stay and said that with the economy the way it is and the price of copper and gold so high, it's pretty much inevitable, isn't it?

A young fishing guide and exceptionally talented artist who's livelihood comes from fishing, made a point to ask me if, I was "planning to write something about the Pebble Mine?"

Sitting in my hotel room in Anchorage later that week nursing a bad chest cold and upon learning that the Clean Water Initiative failed by what some might call a large margin, I found myself worrying that if I ever made it back to this part of the world, it might turn out to be a very different place.

Copper River Rainbow (you'll just have to trust me about the front end of the tape)

Now for some good news from the midst of this cough syrup induced gloom, even with this major setback, support for the fight against the Pebble Project continues to grow thanks to groups like the Renewable Resources Coalition and the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska who have garnered support from thousands of retailers, manufacturers, and outdoor enthusiasts. This quote from Scott Hed, Director of the Sportsman's Alliance sums things up nicely:

I’ve said it before, and it rings true today more than ever. Nothing worth saving comes without a fight. And the fight for Bristol Bay will continue to be a monumental battle that the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska is proud to engage in.

Editor's Note: More excellent information on this subject was recently posted by Tom Chandler over at Trout Underground. Be sure to read his take.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Trophy Wife's First Trout on the Fly

What ever will we do with her? Now she is convinced that all wild rainbows are this big. She caught this one while fishing Alaska's Copper River. I managed to get a slab or two myself but jet lag or not she insisted that I get this posted tonight.

Orvis Customers to Round Up for Project Healing Waters

I am back in the lower 48 and can only say that our Alaska trip surpassed all expectations. I'll have more info and substantial fish porn shortly. While I recover from a redeye flight out of Anchorage I wanted to pass along a word from our friends at Orvis about a new initiative they have put in place to help support one of FlyFishMagazine.com's favorite organizations, Project Healing Waters.

Orvis is asking their customers to round up the amount of their purchases during the month of September with the proceeds going to Project Healing Waters. In addition the good folks at Orvis will be matching the customer donations dollar for dollar. Seems like a great time to buy some gear. Check out this video for details.