Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Road Trip: Saltwater Weekend

One thing I know for sure, when's saltwater guru, Capt. Gordon Churchill calls us up, and says get your hindparts to the coast for some fishing this weekend we do as we are told. This is especially so when he throws around terms like "wearing them out", and "10 weight in case the Albies show up." Let's just hope it goes better for me than the trip pictured above did.

Thursday "Wild Ass" Photo and Rant

I don't know about you but I am so over all of this election talk that wild asses couldn't get me to post anything even remotely related to it. North Carolina has been overrun of late with the trophy wife having to dodge motorcades to get to work yesterday morning.

As an aside, I seem to vaguely remember some talk in journalism school (yes, believe it or not, I am somewhat semi-professionally trained and no my Alma Mater has not yet revoked my sheepskin) about impartial reporting of the news. I am guessing that all that got cut from the budget.

For your information the above "Wild Ass" photo was taken in close proximity to Colorado's Dream Stream near the town of Fairplay. I post it because I just got a phone message from our pal "The Sultan of large Western Rainbow Trout" informing me that while I am chained to my desk here in Carolina, the bite at Spinney Mountain Reservoir is on and he will be sending mondo photos of the large trout the tells me are in that lake. Don't feel bad for me though, with some luck and the help of another good friend, this weekend may find me chasing sea run trout of another sort.

In other "Wild Ass" news this week:

Nestle got a bit of a rocky reception when they sent their shills to meet with the good people of the McCloud community to get comments about their proposed bottled water plant. Ridicule ensues while we play "Where's Tom Chandler" with the meeting photos at
The Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska (a group fighting the Pebble Mine) is drafting a letter to the Bureau of Land Management asking them to not release their record of decision on protections for the Bristol Bay Area until they have heard from groups with concerns about it. Email Scott Hed for more information and to sign the letter to the BLM.
Finally our retirement just got more promising as's Editorial offspring lost his amature status as an actor by being paid as an extra in the filming of "The 5th Quarter" starring Andie McDowell. We are not sure but we believe him to be "concerned guy #12" with a close up during the hospital scene. PS. you know your kid is growing up when the waiter asks if you want him to split the check at dinner.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rivers of a lost coast

We just made friends with these guys through Facebook and I must say they had me at "and he pulls out a gun and he shoots the salmon."
So new their website isn't up and running yet Skinny Fist Productions has a new documentary about the early years of fly fishing for steelhead on California's North coast.
At the turn of the 20th century a handful of pioneers carried their fly rods into California’s remote north coast and gave birth to a culture that would revolutionize their sport. For a select few, steelhead fly fishing became an obsessive pursuit without compromise.
Leading the pack was the mythical, Bill Schaadt, an off-kilter angler famous for his ruthless pursuit to be “in the fish”. The new endeavor was littered with unchecked passions and bitter tears, where the last thing you did was bring someone new to the party.
By the early 1980’s the Golden State’s coastal fisheries found themselves caught in a spiraling decline. As California searched for it’s disappearing salmon and steelhead, these men foraged for their souls.
I couldn't get the trailer to embed in this post so here is a link via their Myspace page:
Bonus points for narration by Tom Skerritt. He's that guy from the famous movie... Top Gun

Monday, October 27, 2008

Buff To Sponsor the Save Wild Steelhead Festival

Buff Headwear today announced sponsorship of the Save Wild Steelhead Festival in Bozeman, Montana.

Buff® Headwear, known for their innovative, versatile and multifunctional headwear, will be providing custom Save Wild Steelhead UV Buff® head and neckwear to the Save Wild Steelhead Festival on November 5, 2008 at the Emerson Cultural Center in Bozeman, Montana. Additionally, Buff® is slated as a hosting sponsor with proceeds benefiting Trout Unlimited and the Wild Steelhead Coalition non-profit organizations.

“We are proud to sponsor the Save Wild Steelhead Festival and contribute to such a unique, environmental cause. Buff resonates so well in the angling market and we are so happy to take part in the action,” says Shirley Choi Brunetti, United States general manager. The Save Wild Steelhead Festival is a fundraising event focused on uniting anglers, filmmakers, photographers and conservation groups to bolster awareness and education around influential issues regarding wild steelhead. Wild Steelhead are one of the most valued freshwater game fish on the planet and wild stocks are at an all-time low. The festival will be composed of documentary films, slide show presentations, guest speakers, and raffles. All proceeds generated at the event will go to Trout Unlimited and the Wild Steelhead Coalition.

“With this event we hope to have a profound impact on the future of wild steelhead. For it is up to us to save these fish and this sport for future generations,” says Joshua Brandner, event coordinator, Fly Boys Fishing Team.

Buff will donate 80 custom Save Wild Steelhead UV Buff® samples. The UV Buff® protects against 95-percent of damaging UV rays and can be worn over 12 different styles. The UV Buff® is made from CoolMax® fabric that provides moisture wicking and dry comfort properties to keep you warm in cold climates and cool and dry in warmer climates.

Editor's note: Keep an eye out for more information about Buff products. We are currently working on reviews of several Buff products as part of an upcoming series on cold weather gear designed for anglers. The temps around these parts are finally getting cold enough for a proper field test.

Gear: Reel Art - Trilogy by Ari't Hart

$2,999 gets you this work of hand made fly fishing art that comes with three interchangeable spools.
Master designer Ari ‘t Hart introduces the innovative 'Three in One' Trilogy. Hand crafted from titanium and aluminum, Trilogy fly fishing reels are a unique, patented design. The reel's features include the accommodation of three spools 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8, which are easily interchangeable to the main drive component. The drag system is adjustable and changeable from left to right-hand use and the back plate can be used for manual drag.

Guaranteed for life, the Trilogy can be used for fresh water as well as salt-water fly fishing. Presented in a handcrafted mahogany case lined in black leather, the Trilogy is an ideal corporate gift and object of desire for any devoted fly fisherman or collector.
Available from or your local mortgage company CEO's next garage sale.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More gill net pics

I went out last week with a good friend and we took these photos of a gill net left out at low tide:

Now you would think that anybody who labels himself a recreational fisherman or especially a fishing guide would be incensed by these photos of wasted redfish left out to waste in a gill net. The truth is that is a wrong assumption. I am amazed by people who are inshore fishing guides who really don't take a stand against this sort of thing. I really only know a couple of guides who are taking a stand and willing to speak out on this issue. Right now among guides who I consider to be fly fisherman there is Capt. Tom Roller and there is me. Surprised? You should be. What you would really be surprised by is the number of people who call themselves flyfishing guides who are not only NOT taking a stand against gillnetters, but some who actually support this outdated and wasteful practice. Ask questions. If you are going to the NC coast and hiring a guide, ask him point blank what he thinks of gillnetting. You may be surprised by the run around answers you receive.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Meine Forelle

Favorite dish of the most evil person to ever live? Brown Trout in butter sauce. We bet he poached them during the spawn as well.

"In the next episode of his series 'Plat Prefere,' or 'Favorite Dish,' acclaimed Belgian TV chef Jeroen Meus will be seen travelling to Hitler's haunts in southern Germany to prepare trout with butter sauce. The dish is described as 'a succulent festive meal' and is said to be one of Hitler's favourites. "

Link to the article about Hitler's favorite foods via the UK's Daily Mail.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rumble in the Rododendron: Day 2

Day two consisted of two three hour sessions of fishing. Here are a few of the photos.

Random Photo

North Carolina angler John Honeycutt casts a fly into the mists.

And the winners are...

First Place - Kevin Howell & Paul Thompson
Second Place - Josh Stephens and Brian Capsay
Third Place - Eugene Shuler & Chris Lee

Gear: The future of wading shoes?

With all the talk about Vibram sticky soles replacing felt and saving our trout streams from invasive species, could this Vibram Five Finger shoe be the next "step" in the evolution of the wading shoe? Talented fly anglers could immediately make use of access to the extra digits to help land fish or grip slippery rocks. Bigfoot sightings increase dramatically.

Check them out at

Monday, October 20, 2008


Has anyone seen the new remastered DVD Tarpon?"I have not but the reviews are encouraging and I am looking forward to it. What got my attention was knowing that Thomas McGuane, a superb writer, is notably quoted in the film. I recently became familiar with his work from Terry Gibson,Shallow Water Angler Editor, and one of my favorite angling companions. After a long day poling the flats of south FL, while enjoying venison quiche and grilled duck, the conversation turned to good reads.Terry has never missed before on recommendations(last one was "No Country For Old Men") so I knew "Ninety-two in the Shade" by McGuane was going to be good. As a flats guide and one who spends as much time as possible in the referred waters, it was quite enjoyable. It is very vivid and descriptive, particularly that permit fight and run into the sure to check out the film and this book.
Capt.Paul Rose

Rumble In the Rhododendron 2008

The Rumble is over and the team of Paul Thompson and Kevin Howell have taken home the top prize. The N.C. Flyfishing Team and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation did a great job hosting the two day event.

The new Cherokee catch and release water was stocked full and was a big hit with the competing teams. Just to give you an idea how full of fish the stream was, the winning team of Thompson and Howell landed 112 scoreable fish in a three hour session. They were fishing a beat that had been fished just three hours earlier.

Due to lack of Internet access, all we were able to post were crappy camera phone photos during the event. However, don't worry I have about 400 better quality photos of the event and will be posting more shortly.


Country music song writer Sam "If you're going through hell" Tate was a competitor.

Rumble: brushes with greatness

Three time Total Outdoorsman Challenge winner, Paul Thompson takes his turn at the casting course.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Road Trip: Rumble In the Rhododendron

You won't see many anglers allowing us to take photos of their fly boxes at this weekend's first annual "Rumble in the Rhododendron" fly fishing competition. We somehow talked this angler into showing us his stash at a previous competition and it gives some real insight into how much time these guys have to spend at the vise to be successful.

Depending on Internet connectivity. we will be blogging live this weekend from the event located on the Cherokee Indian reservation. If you plan to attend be sure to stop by and say hi to the guy in the shirt.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brookies not fond of asphalt

A study of Maryland brook trout indicates that the disappearance of the native fish might be due to urbanization.
Researchers led by Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist Scott A. Stranko found that brook trout have disappeared from some Baltimore County watersheds where impervious surfaces such as pavement and rooftops cover less than 4 percent of the ground.
That's much lower than the 10 percent figure generally accepted as environmentally sound for nearly 30 years

The short answer? Don't pave the brook trout streams. Link to the article via the Charlotte Examiner

A very serious message from

See also: Ringo Starr video

This Weekend: "Rumble In the Rhododendron"

Don't forget that this weekend is the first annual "Rumble in the Rhododendron" two man fly fishing tournament. The tourney, hosted by the North Carolina Fly Fishing Team in conjuntion with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, has a purse totaling $6,000 with the top winner bringing home a cool three grand.

Tournament features a one day fly casting tournament. Cast your own fly rod of anylength up to a 9’ 5wt rod, to various targets placed at realistic distances for a combinedteam score.The top twelve placing teams will advance to Sunday’s fly fishing portion of thetournament. In the first round of fishing on the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee, NC onthe new Trophy Catch and Release Section, both anglers on each team will catch andscore as many fish as possible from their beats in a three hour session. Each beat willhave an assigned judge who will measure and score fish.

The top 6 placing teams from the first fishing round will advance to the final round offishing where they will again catch and score as many fish as possible from their beat in athree hour session. Trout in the section of water include; Rainbow, Brook, Brown,Golden and Trophy!! 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 $150 per team.

If your team advances to the fishing rounds EACHfisherman must purchase and have in their possession a Catch & Release SpecialUse Fishing Permit ($20.00) “Good For 1 (one) Full Year From Date of Purchase” andpurchase and have in their possession a 1-day ($7.00) Tribal Fishing Permit. Each participant receives an event shirt and gifts from our sponsors. For more information and to pre-register visit orcontact the NC Fly Fishing Team at 828-497-0172.This event is organized by the NC Fly Fishing Team with assistance and support ofvarious federal, state, and local agencies.

This is a competition in the style of FIPS MOUCHE so the rules do not allow for strike indicatiors or split shot. will be on hand to provide full coverage of the event with daily updates.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hustle & Fish: Behind the Scenes

It isn't every day that you get a chance to talk to the Executive Producer of a fly fishing film. sat down with (or rather stood around with) Steve Apple of Roll Cast Productions and "Fishizzle!" fame, to discuss his latest project "Hustle & Fish." We learn that the life of the fly fishing film maker does not come without paying a few dues along the way.

Contributing Editor / Carp Guru: Capt. Paul Rose is pleased to announce the addition of Captain Paul Rose to our editorial staff.
Captain Rose is a noted Carolina fly fishing guide with over 25 years of experience in salt water and warm water fly fishing. Captain Rose is also known as one of the foremost experts in the growing sport of fly fishing for Carp. Paul's experience started in western PA fishing rivers and streams for trout and bass. Later he relocated to Austin, Texas where he quickly became addicted to the fast paced action, pinpoint casting, and large fish associated with salt water fly fishing.
Upon his later relocation to North Carolina to be closer to family, Captain Rose began looking for a way to use his salt water fly fishing skills near his new home. He soon discovered a readily accessible population of large, wary fish that were both plentiful and spooky enough to test even the most experienced salt water angler’s skills. This led him to start one of the Carolina’s only guide services dedicated to angling for “Carolina Bonefish” A.K.A. Carp on the fly rod.
Captain Paul Rose's insights on fly fishing in both salt and fresh water for a variety of species as well as his hints for anglers wishing to target carp will be available for readers of via both feature articles and posts to the our blog.
Drop Paul a quick note via e-mail to
to find out what the heck he could possibly be thinking congratulate him on joining up with our merry band of fly fishers. Be sure to checkout his website

Monday, October 13, 2008

Famous People: Capt. Gordon is Fly

Our Saltwater Editorial pal, Captain Gordon Churchill makes an appearance over on the This Is Fly Daily blog. We are just happy to know him.

Gear: New Tech from Ross Reels

Ross Reels announces the Vexsis fly reel series which incorporates some of the newest technology in the world of fly fishing reels. Three of these features make us wonder why no one thought of them before.
Magnetic Spool Release
The MagnaLock™ spool release is a magnet-driven system that uses 4 Ni-Cu-Ni (Nickel Copper Nickel) plated NdFeB (Neodymium Iron Boron) grade N40 magnets to secure the spool onto the frame. With an operational life of more than 1000 years, this system will always perform flawlessly.

Linear Drag Knob Rotation
The drag knob incorporates a revolutionary multi-ball thrust bearing drag for an almost perfectly linear drag response, resulting in a constant, mechanical feel through multiple knob rotations. Regardless of how much drag has been applied to the Vexsis system, the drag knob rotation is effortless. This provides the Ross system with greater drag range and usability when compared to every competitive reel tested.

Instant Retrieve Conversion
The twin pawl "over-center" style escapement allows the user to convert the direction of retrieve from left-hand to right-hand with a quick turn of the escapement cover. In less than one second, this conversion can be completed without any tools or disassembly.
Each reel in this series is designed with a specific diameter and width to maximize the properties of drag consistency and quick line retrieval. A dual radial pawl escapement system ensures dependability under the most demanding fishing conditions, and by adding in features like a recessed counterweight that will not snag line, modern machining and a lightweight design, you have reached the pinnacle of modern fly reel design.
MSRP ranges from $245 - $305 with extra spools costing $130 - $160

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sight fishing when you can't see.

The past couple days have been pretty dreary around here. Cloudy, windy and some rain. So of course I went sight fishing in the shallows. The tides were right for low water fishing and the fish were there. We even caught some. So how do we see fish when the fish can't be seen? Usually we picture clear water, white sand bottom and sunny skies when we think of flats fishing. Around here we have almost none of that. The water can be quite murky due to the soft muddy bottom. The color of the mud is not conducive to seeing fish swimming over it and the sun has not been out for a while. Yet we spotted fish, casted to them and caught them. You have to be able to read the signs. Sometimes it is as obvious as a school of fish blowing up on shrimp and making huge wakes and waves all over. Other times it is as subtle as a single caudal fin just beneath the surface.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Colorado Equations

Business trip + Early flight + (Sultan of Slabs + belly boats) = unexpected fishing trip.

(High Altitude Mountain Reservoir + Belly Boat + angler who normally lives at 741 feet above sea level) + 40 MPH winds = Colorado Cardio Workout.

Anglers - Camera = Negative Fish Porn

Other angler remarking about my travel rod + "old and slow" = Potential for punch in face

Ali + Incidental Ingestion of Lake Water = Green Angler

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Gear: Shock Doctor Gear Drying Duffel Bags

Could the Shock Doctor Power Dry™ Ballistic Multisport Gear Bag be the solution for the moldy waders issue we face after every fishing trip that involves air travel?

The patented Power Dry System uses a custom designed free-standing blower to direct ionized, ozonated air, heated or unheated, into any Shock Doctor Power Dry gear bag, drying and deodorizing the equipment contained in the bag.

I can't help but think that the addition of some microbe killing UV LED lights on the inside might just make this the perfect product for keeping gear fresh and taking care of aquatic hitchhikers in your gravel guards. You industry types out there - I call dibs on the prototype and 10% of the profits to fund my fishing habit.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Salt Advice

Take a good look at these two photos I took last fall. What do you see? I know one thing, I don't tie streamers without pearl flashabou anymore. This is happening now. Bait is coming out the inlets this time of year and fish are chasing them. Mullet runs are almost over around here but bay anchovies and glass minnows (spearing) are starting to make their fall appearances and the fish (spanish mackerel, false albacore, speckled trout) will be chasing them in the surf and offshore. Tie flies with with these pictures in mind and maybe a touch of red somewhere to tempt the trout if that's what you're after.

Rose River Farm - Western Fly Fishing in the East

Douglas Dear, owner of fly fishing destination Rose River Farm in Virginia, sent us a note to let us know that he still has a few dates available for Fall fishing on his excellent fly fishing, catch and release trout fishery.

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I just fished the Farm today and water levels and flows are very good. The River is loaded with hungry trout and is fishing well. We are booking up fast for the fall and if you want to get an opportunity to enjoy the fall colors and catch trophy trout now is the time to book your reservation.

Douglas is a major league supporter for Project Healing Waters and the fishing up at Rose River Farm is first class, so we encourage you to spend some time fishing with him if you get the chance. You can contact Rose River farm and book your visit via their web site

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Road Trip

This weekend finds me packing my gear for a week long road trip. Sunday and Monday finds the road show visiting Knoxville, TN and then returning to North Carolina only to catch a plane to Denver, Colorado the next day. A rental car ride from the airport puts us meeting up with our Western correspondent and Sultan of Big Rainbow Trout, Ali Hassan, for an afternoon session that involves lake fishing at 9,000+ feet in belly boats for big bows. When I asked Ali what to bring fly-wise he suggested egg sucking leaches then followed the advice with "Of course I've never caught anything there with egg sucking leaches." Obviously Ali is a fly fisher who fits in well with the crew.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Music: Doc Watson

This grand gentleman and music icon was my next door neighbor back in my high school days. I got to visit with him in his home recording studio and for the part time disc jockey that I was it was a real treat that I won't ever forget.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

How's your Friday?

Found in the Urban Wild

Ominous usage of quotation marks...

Inside Scoop: New N.C. Trophy Trout Water

We here at recently got a hold of a tidbit of insider information about a new trophy trout fishery that will be of interest to Carolina fly anglers. North Carolina Fly Fishing Team Director and Rumble in the Rhododendron organizer T.E. Shuler reports:
The Rumble in the Rhododendron Fly Fishing Competition will kick off the opening of the new Catch and Release section in Cherokee October 18th.The section will be fly fishing only, catch and release. and will be open year round. Rules are specific that you must be using a fly rod, fly reel, fly line and leader, with a fly made from natural and synthetic material. This will eliminate guys using a fly and casting bubble on Zebco or the guy using a cheese worm on a fly rod.
It is a 2.5 mile stretch of the Ravens Fork starting at the confluence with the Oconoluftee River and running up the Ravens Fork for 2.5 miles to a place known as Stoney Curve, which is close to Myer's store.The section will be clearly marked with plaques with regulations posted.To fish this section you will be required to purchase a Special Use Permit (word is that this will cost $20) which is good for one year from the date of purchase, and a daily Tribal Fishing Permit for each day you wish to fish the Tribal Enterprise Water.
The water will be stocked with a mind boggling amount of fish. Everything from Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Donaldson Strain Rainbows, to Golden Trout. And yes there will be plenty of trophy proportioned fish. With what I know about the section, I wouldn't step in there with nothing short of a 5wt. The water will patrolled around the clock by Tribal Game Wardens particularly assigned to just the Catch and Release Section, so would be poachers beware.
This is a momentous effort by the Cherokee Fish and Wildlife Management. They are offering to the public something that would normally be completely private, or cost $100's a day to fish for a fraction of the cost. They are very serious about conservation, preservation, and stream restoration. They are currently conducting studies on many levels with their fisheries and surrounding tribal waters. The things they are currently doing, and have planned for the years to come is truly amazing.
For literally dozens of years The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, who's tribal lands reside in the mountains of Western North Carolina, have long been know for their operation of a successful put and take trout fishery. Anglers who purchase a tribal fishing license gain access to some of the most heavily stocked trout waters in the state. Up until now this fishery has received limited attention from fly anglers and had for the most part been the domain of the meat fisherman. My very first trout fishing experience came on these very waters fishing with night crawlers and corn on opening day of trout season.
While there are no allusions that these won't be "pellet fed pigs" as we sometimes call fat hatchery trout, in my opinion the tribe's move to open a catch and release fishery that is managed for trophy trout in what was once pure put and take water is a bold step and one that will be a big draw to the area and just might open a large door for more anglers to try the sport of fly fishing.
For more information in the near future see the Cherokee Fish and Wildlife Website. If you are interested in taking part in what may very well be this year's largest fly fishing tournament in the Southeast check out the Rumble in the Rhododendron website for more information. Our informants have also told us that the original purse of $2,500 for this event has been increased a substantial amount. More on this later.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bamboo Fly Rod: South Fork by David Redington

From the Sierra Trading Post close out rack comes a rare offering in the form of a hand made bamboo fly rod.

South Fork by David Redington Ranger Bamboo Fly Rod - 2-Piece, 5wt 7'8" Retail $1,899 -Sale Price $1,199

CLOSEOUTS . Southfork 2-piece Ranger bamboo fly rod with Koa reel seat is handcrafted by David Redington in Stuart, FLA. Select oven tempered Tonkin cane blanks imported from Kwangtung Province, China undergo over 100 steps from harvest to finished rod with a strictly hands-on approach. Inspected and hand finished by David, then fitted with hand dressed nickel silver ferrules and Hopkin and Holloway guides. Signed by David Redington Fnished in fine quality thread and durable hand-rubbed varnish R.E.C. reel seats Portuguese cork grips hand formed by D.R. Aluminum and brass tube by R.E.C. of Stuart, FLA. Koa reel seat insert Red and silver trim 2-piece rod Line weight: 5wt Size: 7'8" (two sections of 46-??") Weight: 4.8 oz. Material: Bamboo cane rod, cork handle CLOSEOUTS . USA. Each 2-piece rod comes with an extra tip section. Available Colors: SEE PHOTO.