Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let's end 2008 on the right note


In addition to Mongolian throat singing, be sure to look for lots more excitement from FlyfishMagazine in the coming year. Stay tuned for more gear, film, and book reviews, interviews with the movers and shakers of the fishing world, expanded video coverage of the sport, and even more articles from our warped point of view.

In the nearer term, be sure to check out this week's upcoming report from FlyfishMagazine's globe trekking angler, Tim Weston. We can't divulge where Tim is fishing this time but let's just say we hope he enjoys a good curry. Happy end of 2008 and start of 2009 from all the crew at FlyfishMagazine.com

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gear Review- Smith Optics Interlock Sunglasses


I finally got to wear my new sunglasses out on the water. It was a trip to Mosquito Lagoon in Titusville, FL with Capt Bryan Pahmeier. The shades are light and comfortable and fit my giant cranium nicely. With the amber lenses I was able to spot fish easily in the clear water. I didn't change lenses because the only other color I have is a yellow lens that I am not going to bother with except for driving in low light conditions.
The only small concern I had was that the lenses seemed to be loose from the frames when I first took the glasses out of the cases. I am assuming they got smooshed a little bit in my gear bag. A simple snap and they were back in. Some different color lenses to try out on different color bottoms and different clarity water would be a good addition, but otherwise the glasses are of high quality. I am pleased with them.
Smith Optics Interlocks are available from www.SmithOptics.com Suggested retail price $149.00

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fighting for Gamefish Status for Georgia Redfish




Thanks to guys like Capt. Gordon Churchill in North Carolina and now Capt. Scott Wagner fighting battles, educating, and keeping us posted on conservation fronts, fish such as this are still possible to the average angler. Scott is a close angling friend of mind, co-founder of Georgiaredfish.org and we recently had the chance to discuss his fishery in GA. The newly formed, grassroots organization is committed to achieving game fish status for redfish fish in Ga and thus preserving redfish stocks.

What is the goal of the group and what will this achieve?

Game fish status would eliminate the commercial sale of redfish at market. Not only would this apply to commercial interests such as a shrimper selling by-catch of netting but more importantly to recreational anglers. Plenty of rod anglers, including guides, sell redfish at open markets.With liberal bag limits of 5 fish per person in the slot of 15-23 range, stocks are suffering.

You mean to tell me there are guides actually keeping fish from clients and selling them at market? That seems to be a conflict of interests to me.

You would think exactly that. Remember gill nets have been outlawed for years. Redfish game fish status would stop hook and line guys, guys spot lighting fish at night and even the jokers using bow/arrow set-ups. Game fish status would eliminate all of that. No one has a problem with personal consumption within the limits but lets stop the selling. Keep only what YOU can use. One only needs to look at states like TX and LA to realize the value of a redfish and the effects the change could have on our fishery.

Are you getting support from the GA CCA?

Ga. CCA has been in favor of the game fish status. Yet there does seem to some conflicting views on limit adjustments. There have actually been CCA board members being quoted as saying "we can not pursue creel limit changes for fear of losing membership". That's a bit of oddball view for an organization with a mission of stewardship and sensible access given the extremely liberal bag limits. Now they have stocked redfish in Wassau Sound but it has become a put and take fishery not a rebuilding of stocks.

What is the current status of State legislation?

The problem here is the lack of education amongst the decision makers. With out sound research information and stats how can anyone make informed judgements. Ultimately a resource commission or dept of wildlife should being in control or at the very least have a strong influential voice.

What can anglers do to help?

Visit the website at georgiaredfish.org for info on purchasing t-shirts and to make donations. Proceeds will help promote awareness and purchase ad space. The site is available to posting and comments. Use it as a way to spread the word.

Scott can be reached directly savannahfly.com. Looking forward to further discussions and comments on this matter.

Capt Paul

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Trout Bearing Gifts


The folks at VosselerPro-Flyfishing sent out this cool salmonid Christmas card. We approve and take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Randy Ratliff: Holston Smallies


Randy Ratliff of Trout-Fishers.net is a Tennessee fishing guide and long time friend of FlyfishMagazine.com. Randy usually goes after giant brown trout but today took time to remind us that during the summer other monsters lurk in the depths of his home water.
While on a beautiful float down the Holston river in East Tennessee this summer, as the day was slowly coming to an end, the water exploded.
Now let me back up and tell you about their day.The husband had been casting flies to every conceivable fish holding spot all along the river. We came to my favorite stretch of the river where many great smallies have come from including a 6 pound beauty. Ted was making casts and meticulously working the fly and picking up many nice average size fish in the 10 to 13 inch range. When his back and arm finally gave out from his several hundred cast day, his lovely wife stood up in the boat and made a cast. This cast was maybe only her twentieth cast of the day. As she worked her fly back to the boat, it started to transition to the surface. She saw the fly coming up towards the boat, suddenly she saw the eyes, then a mouth and then the water exploded as if a small stick of dynamite had gone off. She yelled what do I do, I said just take your time and fight it. After several hard fought minutes, she got the fish to the boat, I scooped this great Holston River specimen into the net. We measured and weighed the smallie and then she held it up for the always great "grip n grin" shot.

Out predominant flies for the day were Todds Wiggle Minnows and light to no weight Clouser Minnows. The fish were staged along the current breaks coming out of the riffles as well as along the grass edges in the big slow pools. This river really fills up with grass during the summer months and can make it tough to bring in the big smallies when they get down and wrapped up in the grass.

If you would like to have a great outdoor experience like this couple, check out my website, www.trout-fishers.net or give us a call at 423-360-1468 to book your trip of a lifetime.

Stripers Forever: 2008 Survey Results



The annual Stripers Forever fishing survey is tabulated and the results show some disturbing facts:
  1. In 2008 59% of the anglers indicated that the quality of fishing for stripers was worse or much worse – down from 43% in 2007. Only 21% felt that it was improved, compared to 34% in 2007.
  2. (58%) reported the average size of the stripers they caught was declining, compared to a statistically similar 57% in 2007.
  3. Support for a slot limit to take the pressure off large breeders crept up two percentage points to 76%, a new high. Members in every state widely favored a slot limit in our survey. Many respondents cited the success of Texas and Florida, which employ both slot limits and game fish status to manage red drum and snook.
  4. An increasing number of professional fishing guides are reporting that their businesses are being adversely affected by the smaller number of striped bass generally available.

As for Stripers Forever's mission of game fish status for the striped bass, 87% of those surveyed want at least 50% of the commercial catch reserved for conservation – same as in 2007 - and not assigned to increased recreational bag limits. More facts and figures reside on the Stripers Forever Website. While you are visiting with them take a moment to take action.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

You can leave your hat on...


From the folks behind SheLovesFlyFishing.com , a site for women who love fly fishing, comes the provocative video "You Can Leave Your Hat On." Precisely what we need to start off the short work week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bristol Bay Artist and Guide: Tim Pearson


"The Chase" by Tim Pearson
Tim Pearson is a hard working Alaskan fishing guide who is also a talented artist. Both of these skills come in handy when you spend your summers taking people fishing for big rainbow trout around Alaska's Bristol Bay Drainage. Tim was my guide in Alaska and I can say first hand that he has a passion for fly fishing, art, and the environment that shows up in his work. Visit Tim's website TSP Nature Art and pick out a last minute holiday wall hanger for the angler on your list. We think you will find his work to be an excellent value.


Editor's Note: We keep in touch with Tim, so look for more from him in the near future.

Rivers Of A Lost Coast Site Launches Blog


The crew behind the highly anticipated fly fishing film, "Rivers Of A Lost Coast" has launched a blog. Sidebar links to the ROALC Blog have been added.

Wherein the English lay claim to the Arctic


Just so you know that Weston didn't show up empty handed, he sends this photo in which he seizes a bit of the Arctic for England.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Survivor" Shipment Seized at Houston Port

The folks at ProtectYourWaters.net are reporting that a shipment belonging to the CBS reality series "Survivor" was seized at the Port of Houston.

Investigators said some of the items inside were possibly restricted or prohibited by the USFWS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Inspectors said they found a Mandarin skull, civet hides, feathers with biological contamination, cowries shells and bones inside the container. Officials said the items were host materials for exotic pests and diseases to enter the United States. Read the full story to get the details.

Tim Weston: FlyfishMagazine International


The newest contributor to FlyfishMagazine.com is our International Correspondent, Tim Weston of the United Kingdom. We met up with Tim in Alaska and didn't have to fish with him long to realize that he fit right in with the FlyfishMagazine crew. As an example, when one of our number remarked that they found his accent hard to understand, he politely stated that "Yes, English can be a terribly difficult language."
Tim was raised on an English chalk stream and spent several years managing a commercial trout fishery. Currently, Tim is in the employ of Roxtons, the foremost provider of fishing and hunting opportunities around the globe. Tim's responsibilities include looking after Roxstons' English and Atlantic Salmon fishing adventures as well as their brown trout chalk stream fishing.
We are pleased to announce that Tim will be providing regular reports on the international fly fishing scene. We are not really sure what he gets out of the deal so if you see him in your travels buy him a pint for us. The stories alone will be worth the adverse exchange rate.
Check out Tim's first report called "A View From the Chalkstreams 2008."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gift Guide 2008: The Editor's Picks


It's time for our elusive and well camouflaged Editor to make his gear picks for 2008.

This year, for my holiday gear picks, I have selected a few items that have stood out / survived this year's field testing. Field testing for 2008 included fishing trips to Alaska, Colorado, and the North and South Carolina coast, as well as misadventures somewhat closer to home.

First of all lets get to the one piece of gear no fly fisher can do without, the fly rod. My pick goes to the world's lightest fly rod, the Orvis Helios. The Helios that has become my trout rod of choice is a four piece, 9 foot, 5 weight, tip flex. During the past year, this rod has proven itself on large trout and even survived a hook up with a massive carp (my leader was not so lucky). The Helios is made from space age materials so the entire rod only weighs 2 and 3/8ths Oz. It can cast small nymphs and dries like a dream, yet still has enough back bone to punch a big streamer on a windy day. The rod is made in the USA and comes complete with a carbon fiber rod tube and a 25 year warranty. MSRP $755.00




For the gadget minded angler on your list you can't get much more "gadgety" than the Origo Guide Pro Series, Fishing Pro watch. This stainless steel watch keeps up with the best fishing times, moon phase, and tides, has an altimeter, thermometer, barometer, compass and even forecasts the weather. The fact that it tells time (in several time zones at once) might seem like overkill but when we got our hands on one of these for an extended field test we found ourselves relying on it's useful functions more and more. MSRP $240



Being a bald fly fisher, keeping my noggin sufficiently warm during winter fishing trips is a priority for me. The Windproof Beanie from Glacier Outdoors is long enough to cover the ears and form fitting enough not to get in the way under a low profile ball cap. It is breathable yet blocks gusty breezes that can make a day on the water less enjoyable. MSRP $12.99



Another cold weather item that I am not sure I could get along without, is the Polar Buff from Buff USA. The original Buff headgear has been a warm weather favorite of the staff here at FlyfishMagazine.com for some time. The Polar Buff, which combines a traditional lightweight Buff with a collar of Polar Fleece, keeps you warmer with the same convertible functionality as a traditional Buff. See this Youtube Video for more information, MSRP $26.95.



The Editorial Trophy Wife weighs in to this year's gift guide with this pick of travel pants for the ladies. Sahale Pants from REI impressed her during her recent trip to Alaska. In addition to their being available in tall sizes (she is a tall drink of water,) she says they were comfortable, worked well both in the airport and under a set of fishing waders, and are one of the few items she has found in outdoor stores that are cut to accommodate a woman's curves. She recommends them for the lady on your list. MSRP $58.00


Finally, to top off your next fly fishing excursion may we suggest the Dominican Trifecta sampler from Thompson Cigar. The sampler contains some of excellent cigars including five each Cohiba, Bolivar, and one of our personal favorites, La Gloria Cubano. Trifecta Sampler, Set (Contains: 5 COHIBA LONS GRND - 5;5 BOLIVAR LONS - 5;5 LA GLOR - 5) MSRP $65

We hope you have enjoyed the 2008 edition of the FlyfishMagazine.com Holiday Gift Guide. Feel free to post your own suggestions via the comments. Stay tuned as FlyfishMagazine goes International later this week.

Friday, December 12, 2008

2008 Gift Guide: Jay Moore's Picks



Jay Moore is FlyfishMagazine.com's Middle Tennessee Editor and general go to guy for all things fly fishy in The Volunteer State. An unrepentant Texan who found himself fly fishing Tennessee tail waters, Jay's unique picks show him to have excellent taste in both gear and fishing buddies. He writes:



My first item is Appleton Estate 21 Year old rum. I have a fondness for the islands and the drinks you can enjoy there. If you are into rum, this 21 year old beauty is for you. There is only a limited number of bottles produced each year and if you are lucky enough to find some please send me a bottle or two. MSRP around $89.

Something I really need this year is a new warm weather fishing hat and a Tilly LT6B is just what I am looking for. It looks great and lasts for years. Made out of breathable nylon, it's made to keep you cool and shaded while looking stylish. MSRP $74.00 at http://www.tilly.com/


I am not sure a man can have too many fly rods, and in case you agree, check out The Classic by Hexagraph fly rods in Kingwood, Texas. I have a Hexagraph rod that I fish with almost all the time. I have written a review about them before and The Classic is a step up from mine. It is the best looking fly rod I have seen and the fact it is made in my home state, makes it a must have for a Texas boy. When I get a spare $840.00 I might just pick one up. http://www.hexagraph.com/



Last but not least on my list this year are a couple of items from our friends at ExOfficio. Products from ExOfficio are not just clothes, they are technical gear for the serious outdoors person. The first thing that should be on every anglers wish list is an Air Strip Lite fishing shirt. The Air Strip is light weight , cool, and comfortable. They look great right out of the dryer and mine is nice enough to wear to work. MRSP $85.00



Something I never thought I would put on my list or write about is the famous ExOfficio Give and Go underwear. Our friend Sven gave us a sample at the show in Denver and I thought to myself, "How good can underwear get?" One month later I had six pair and I could use a few more. Most of you that know me know that I am watch a dollar closer than most. I am used to paying $5.99 for three pair in a bag form some Mart or another. The Give and Go boxers retail for $25.00 each and I can tell you that once you try them, you will pay the money and be glad you did. http://www.exofficio.com/
While we must admit that, after that last item, we probably have a bit more information about Jay than we would like, we can certainly agree that Ex O makes some great gear from head to...well you get the picture. Stay tuned for more picks next week including the 2008 Editor's choice awards and perhaps even a few gear picks from the resident Trophy Wife.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Editorial Offspring: Then and Now



The Editorial Offspring, Jake, is celebrating his 17th Birthday today. He has grown a bit since the first photo in this series was taken but he remains his Dad's favorite fishing (and pretty much everything else) buddy. Happy Birthday Son.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gift Guide 2008 - Capt. Gordon's Picks


Our saltwater pal to the East, Captain Gordon Churchill, dropped us a line with a some of his picks for the 2009 holiday gift guide. As usual Gordon is short, to the point, and has very good taste.





1. Waterproof Cell Phone- I went through 4 mobiles this past summer for any variety of reasons ranging from having to go swimming to get my boat when it came loose from the dock to just ending up in the washing machine. All my phone disasters are indeed water related. This Casio G'zOne Boulder Black/Silver Phone (Verizon Wireless) seems to be the slickest one out there and they say you can even wear it rock climbing! So that's pretty cool.


2. Lightweight Fast Drying Long Billed Ball Cap For Fishing (that actually will fit someone with a size 7 3/4 hat size) - All these "low profile" caps mean that none of them fit me. They sit on top of my head like a beanie. This hat may not actually exist. I have looked low and high.


3. Wading Shoe- The Patagonia Surf Sneaker looks pretty sweet. Has a boat shoe sole so you don't slip in the skiff while waiting for your quarry to appear and also is a little lighter than some of the other models I have tried in the past.



4. That Tarpon movie from the old days.
5. Sunglasses- Smith Optics sunglasses are what I have been wearing for the past couple years. The ones I am interested in now are the Interlocks with interchangeable lenses. This has extreme application for sight fishing. If you are having trouble picking up the fish due to weird light situations, try another color lens until you find the right one. No brainer really. Stay tuned for picks from Middle Tennessee Editor, Jay Moore and then my own "Editor's Choice" picks for 2009.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Gift Guide 2008 - Capt. Paul Rose's Picks


It's time for the third annual edition of FlyfishMagazine.com's annual gift guide. Our gift guide is a bit different than many you will find aound the net, in that we ask each of our contributing Editors to let us know what products have caught their eye during the the past year. We start this year's guide with picks from CarolinaBonefishing.com's carp guru and FlyfishMagazine.com's Editor of rough fishing, Captain Paul Rose.


Captain Paul's first pick comes from the new line of Sage Bass Rods.

"These rods are designed to deliver large flies into tight corners. Great for new anglers to get started with.Loads on one false cast and can cast flies a mile. Good short stick for fighting saltwater species around structure. Great on windy days for reds.By far, the best new product I have gotten in years. Multiple clients all felt the same this guiding season. The sunset colors are a standout alone as well."



Paul's second pick is one is showing up under many of the FlyfishMagazine staff's Christmas trees this year, the Original Buff.

"Already quite popular with the staff but still worthy of another plug. I was introduced to them on a tarpon trip when I forgot my hat. The guide had extra buffs to wear and I now provide them in my skiff.Great for bike riding and skiing as well. Beats the bandana any day.






Third on Paul's list is the Ocean Fly Box from RGM Outdoors.

"My third choice for a great gift idea is the Ocean fly box. These fly boxes keep flies dry,organized and provide easy access. Eliminates the need for small boxes. Great from a drift boat,pontoon boat or a skiff. I have multiple boxes depending on the species I am after.Pick it up and go. Plus the boxes are a great place for fly fishing stickers. "






Finally, Paul breaks out his private stock for us to enjoy with some of his favorite reads.

This last gift is for the days we are not fishing or maybe back at the lodge or camp. It is more of a combo. First is Crown Royal,Cask 16 with three ice cubes and a lime wedge in a fat,short glass. A good read with sipping whiskey is required. Choices of this years titles include City of Thieves: A Novel,The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel (Oprah Book Club #62), Shadow Country (Modern Library). The last selection is by Matthiessen,an avid fly angler with the story centered in the Everglades,my favorite destination

Stay tuned for more gift guide picks all week long. Captain Gordon Churchill is up next. Expect to hear from him midweek as we will be taking a Monday night football break to take our Mom to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Carolina Panthers. Look for us on TV.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wasted fish (and others) on NC beach

Now this is starting to get ridiculous:

This fish was found washed up on a beach with many others. Check out the whole story: Dead Reds on the beach

I am incredulous that we in NC have to continue to put up with the pillage of our fishery resources. Along with the marine mammals and birds now too apparently. Stupid!

Trout Fishing on a Budget

The NC Mountain Heritage Program allows residents and nonresidents to fish for 3 days on a $5 license. It is only good for specific waters so be sure to check the website or call 18882486834 to purchase. This will be great over the holidays for visiting anglers or maybe someone you want to introduce to the sport. I am getting all my family members one spread out over the next few months. After all honey they are Christmas gifts! Capt Paul

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Parrothead Leader Sighted at Outerbanks


Dear leader to the Parrot head clan (card carrying member here) and marketing genius, Jimmy Buffett was spotted paddling a prototype stand up fishing board off of the Carolina Coast. He describes the apparatus via a blog post at Margaritaville.com.
Our “work” was more of a mission, which was to pick up, and test paddle the SUF(stand up fishing) board that Jimbo Meador and I had convinced Andy Zimmerman to build. Andy, had never surfed, but was an expert white water man and very successful kayak and canoe builder who was driving over from Greensboro, North Carolina to the beach and deliver the latest prototype hull to me for testing on my trip. The idea of the board was simple-to combine the uniqueness of two sports-stand up paddling and fly fishing on the flats. I had ridden Jimbo’s down on the Alabama Gulf Coast but now was getting my own.
Might just have to get me one of them for those red dawgin' trips with Gordon. I might even try to start a trend on Lake Norman. FYI if we have our info correct it looks like Andy Zimmerman that the Buffmeister mentions in his post is the guy behind Get:Outdoors of Greensboro, NC.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

"Rivers Of A Lost Coast" Website Live


Today I received an email from the guys behind the soon to be completed film "Rivers Of A Lost Coast" announcing that their website was up and running. Rivers tells the story of the early days of fly fishing along California's rugged North coast and of some of the characters who pioneered the sport. The site itself has a slick design and does a good job of letting you know what this unique story is all about.

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.

This film and the story behind it has a lot of potential. The fact that it's narrated by Tom Skerritt is a bonus. For those of you don't know about him, he's the guy who played in that movie we all enjoyed so much, Top Gun. As we last heard the film is set to be released in early 2009.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Featured Article: "Tying Trash Flies" by Brad Sprinkle


Brad Sprinkle is a teacher by trade and the Vice President of Asheville, North Carolina's Land O' Sky chapter of Trout Unlimited. Aside from being a skilled angler, Brad has gotten a reputation for tying some snazzy looking flies out of items that other folks might simply toss in the trash. He has been kind enough to share no less than eight of his "trash" patterns in one of this month's featured articles over at FlyfishMagazine.com.
"I found a set of broken headphones left behind in my classroom. My natural curiosity made me cut into them to see the wire. I found out that the wires inside head phones were different colors for each ear. One side was an interesting shade of red. I stripped it out and saved it for the bench."
After you try to guess what sort of everyday garbage the wings of this great looking fly are tied out of, click on over and check out "Trash Flies" by Brad Sprinkle. Follow his advice and you will be tying great looking flies, saving money and the planet, all at the same time.