Sunday, March 29, 2009

Before Brownlining Was (as) Cool....

there was Pete McDonald and ditch fishing. Pete has been turning out great content both professionally and at his Fishing Jones blog. His latest offering is a "A Brief History of Ditch Fishing."
Before brownlining there was ditch fishing. The concept of casting flies in less than pristine settings goes back decades. In Florida, many well known fly fishing luminaries and pioneers cut their teeth fishing the Everglades and the vast network of man-made backwater canals that carve up the southern tier of the state.
Be sure to check out his other articles from Fishing Jones.


Albany Herald outdoor writer, Bob Kornegay tells why outdoor scribes don't necessarily do it for the money.

For me and more than a few others I know, the answer to that is simple. Outdoors writing puts us and keeps us in touch with “our” people — folks we understand and who understand us in turn. It also pays dividends that are priceless, regardless of the fact that they will never show up on our bank statements.

He puts together a great article that describes why it's certainly not about the money.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Makers: Ed Engelman's $6 Fly Tying Vise

Ed Engelman of the aptly named is all about fishing and fly tying on the cheap. He provides his own version of an economy buster and proves that you can tie flies without one of those fancy rotary thingamabobs, the $6 fly tying vise.

This fly tying vise can be built and used as a low cost way to introduce tying flies and jigs. It is designed to be built by those who may not be willing to commit the financial resources to purchase more expensive equipment. I have introduced adults and children to tying flies on these vises. The flies can then be fished on a fly rod or can be used with a spinning outfit when a casting bubble is used. When children catch a fish on a fly or jig of their own creation, it is almost as though they are catching their first fish again! And of course, the participants experience the connection between insect, fish and themselves.

Check out Ed's site for more great ideas for home craft fishing gear. Oh and if you simply must have a rotary vise to tie, check out his Fly Tying Vise with Osterizer Blender Base. It must be for the production tyer with really fast hands.

Editor's note: Seriously, this guy's ideas are great! Be sure to check out his site. I found him via one of the blogs in our sidebar but for the life of me I can't figure out which one it was to give props.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Video: Copeland On Bones

Boone, North Carolina fly shop owner, Theo Copeland talks about everything from teaching trout anglers to cast for bonefish to being on the cover of what he calls "The Rolling Stone" of fly fishing, Fly Rod and Reel Magazine.

Breaking news: EPA Places Hold On Mt. Top Mines

MSNBC is reporting that the EPA has placed a hold on mountain top removal mining permits until such time as the impact on streams and wetlands can be assessed.

Announced by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the move targets a controversial practice by coal mining companies that blasts away whole peaks and sends mining waste into streams and wetlands. It does not apply to existing mines, but to requests for new permits, a number estimated to be as high as 200.

NPS Lead Ban

National Park Service Gets the Lead Out!

WASHINGTON – National Park Service visitors and wildlife have something to cheer about today with the agency’s stepped-up efforts to reduce lead in national park environments.
“Our goal is to eliminate the use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle in parks by the end of 2010,” said Acting National Park Service Director Dan Wenk. “We want to take a leadership role in removing lead from the environment.”

The new lead reduction efforts also include changes in NPS activities, such as culling operations or the dispatching of wounded or sick animals. Rangers and resource managers will use non-lead ammunition to prevent environmental contamination as well as lead poisoning of scavenger species who may eventually feed upon the carcass. Non-toxic substitutes for lead made in the United States are now widely available including tungsten, copper, and steel.

The NPS will also develop educational materials to increase awareness about the consequences of lead exposure and the benefits of using lead-free ammunition and fishing tackle.
Lead is an environmental contaminant affecting many areas of the world, including our national parks. Lead is banned in gasoline, children’s toys, and paint because of its effects on human health. In the United States, there is an accelerating trend to expand efforts to reduce lead contamination associated with firearms and hunting. California and Arizona have recently implemented mandatory and voluntary bans, respectively, on lead ammunition to facilitate California condor recovery. And Yellowstone National Park has had restrictions on lead fishing tackle for years to protect native species and their habitats.

Resource managers recognize that hunting and fishing play an important historical role in the complicated and intensive management of wildlife populations. Because of this history, these activities continue in some parks and, in some cases, even enhance the park’s primary purpose to preserve natural environments and native species. The new restrictions on lead will ensure environmentally safe practices are implemented to protect park visitors and lands.

Wenk adds, “The reduction and eventual removal of lead on park service lands will benefit humans, wildlife, and ecosystems inside and outside park boundaries and continue our legacy of resource stewardship.”

According to Gene Mueller's article in the Washington Times, some folks are upset with this decision which many feel was made without consulting the sport fishing industry or providing science to support the ban.

What bothers the sportfishing group and various shooting organizations is the quiet way the park service went about the lead ban. Normally, user groups might have been notified about such changes and would have been invited to discuss the plans, which can affect so many Americans.

"The NPS policy announcement does not explain how this decision was reached, why it may be necessary or how this rule will be implemented," Robertson said. "To our knowledge, there has been no proposed rule, nor any opportunity for public comment. We request that the NPS withdraw this proposal and discuss the rationale for it with the appropriate stakeholders before taking further action."

What do you think about the lead ban? Does the Park Service's plan sink or float? Weigh in via the comments.

**UPDATE - Our friends from the always spot on Trout Underground, report that the National Park Service has clarified their statement, now saying that the lead ban "applies only to employees and agents." Thanks Tom!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The River Just Knows

Support Project Healing Waters and their Annual 2 fly event.

Finally the right qualifications to fix this mess

An article via in reference to G. Edward DeSeve who is expected to be tapped by the Obama administration to oversee the Federal stimulus program.
A fly fishing fan, DeSeve once said he would go "anywhere there is a trout in the water."
Hmmm a fly fisher with the full spending power of the United States of America behind him. I am thinking he could be the perfect new fishing buddy.
Let's wish him luck as he wades in to his new assignment....

Pisgah Fly Masters Results

NC Fly fishing team member Chris Lee reported in from this weekend's Pisgah Fly Masters with the results.

Here is the top 10:
1 - Josh Stephens
2 - Chris Lee
3 - Brian Horner
4 - Simmons Welter
5 - Forest Marshall
6 - Ryan Harmon
7 - Michael Yelton
8 - Paul Thompson
9 -Gordon Vanderpool
10 -Eugene Shuler

Many of you may recognize some of the names on this list. Josh Stephens is a member of the current Fly Fishing Team USA. Paul Thompson is the three time winner of the Field and Stream Total Outdoors man Challenge. Shuler is the founder of the North Carolina team and Lee, Harmon, Yelton and Vanderpool are all NC Fly Fishing Team members. Don't let anyone tell you that the Carolina's don't produce some top sportsmen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fishing Quote of the Week

This week's fishing quote and reason to post yet another instance of our infamous Dam Bait Shop photo taken a few years ago in Arkansas, comes via Reuters:
I'm seeing a lot more fishermen down here," said John Miller, owner of Bob's Sport & Tackle in Katonah, New York. "With the economy the way it is, people are getting laid off from work and don't want to sit at home and do nothing.

"The cheaper alternative," he said, "is to go fishing."
How about it fly fishers, are we about to see a rebirth of Eagle Claw glass rods and inexpensive fly gear?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Breaking News: Brownliners Now Part of The Establishment

It had to happen sooner or later - some of our favorite "Brownliners" have been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. In our book that moves them square from the fringe right into the realm of "The Establishment."

Mr. Barton helped coin the name for his sport two summers ago. He recalls that a fly-fishing friend, Tom Chandler, called him to talk about "bluelining" -- scanning a wilderness map for the squiggly blue lines that represent remote streams and hiking into those valleys with a fly rod. Mr. Chandler had spent the day fishing in a cold, clear trout stream fed by Mount Shasta glaciers.

Mr. Barton had spent the same day casting his line into a slough littered with sofas, old cars and goat carcasses. "I told him what I'd just wiped off my shoes," recalls Mr. Barton. During that conversation, he says, the men first talked about the term to describe Mr. Barton's fishing.

Mr. Chandler began talking about brownlining on his blog, Mr. Barton soon started his own blog,

Congrats on the press guys. However, when we start seeing crowds of anglers with new boots standing around our favorite retention pond, our plan is to balme you. What is next, the International Brownline Fishing Association?

Also involved in the hotspotting: Fat Guy Fly Fishing , Michael Gracie, Tom Teasdale and John-Paul Lipton.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gear: Stealthy Shirts from Aqua Design

Weather they fish mountain streams or bonefish flats the serious angler will tell you that bright colored fishing clothes are great for photos in magazines but don't do very well when it comes to catch rates. Fish look up for predators and if they can make out your form against the sky they probably won't bite. That is why I like these camo fishing shirts from Aqua Design.

Solid colors are a problem if you want to be stealthy. To blend into nature, multi-colored patterns are always superior to a solid shade. That's why Aqua Design is the perfect solution for anglers that want to be camouflaged. Our one-of-a-kind underwater prints are actual photos taken from the fish's perspective. We call it "water on fabric." Get closer to those smart fish with stealthy camo.

Quest Fishing Shirt features a water-inspired pattern available in five natural color options and printed on 100% microfiber fabric. This material is fast-drying, wicks moisture from the skin and is extremely comfortable. Three chest bellows pockets hold small fly and tackle boxes, extra leaders and line, sunglasses, or a cellular phone. Double-stitched construction.

Available in colors from Sky Blue to Overcast from Aqua Design - MSRP $49.95

Project Healing Waters 2 - Fly Tourney

Doug Dear and the fine folks at Rose River Farm are once again making their facility available for an excellent fund raiser that benefits of one of our favorite causes, Project Healing Waters. Project Healing Waters has a great mission:
"Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings."
Help a good cause and fish what is known as "Western style fly fishing for trophy trout in Virginia"at the same time. What more can you want? Click here to sign up.
**Update** This note came in from Doug via the comments. I thought it deserved being added to our post.
If anyone has any questions they can email me at douglas @ you can also get more info about the tournament at

Found in the suburban wild

Stick this on your fishing buddy's back.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fly Tying: Jake's Olive Trailing Shuck Emerger

Sunday morning I slept in. Upon finally managing to show my face downstairs, I was met by my 17 year old "editorial offspring" who remarked that he had been waiting to show me something. Fearing the worst I followed him, not to some dented automobile, but rather to the fly tying desk. There he presented me with a fly he had tied as I slumbered unaware. I took one look at his unique use of bent peacock herl for the wings and the ostrich trailing shuck and knew that this would fish. Being a good role model, I immediately reprimanded the wayward youth for only tying one and advised him that in the future no less than a half dozen would be considered acceptable.
Jake's Olive Trailing Shuck Emerger
Hook: 2x Long shank hook sized to match the natural, capped with a tungsten bead.
Body: Olive Dubbing
Wings: Doubled over peacock herl cracked at the bend so as to form the shape of the wing.
Rib: Black Thread
Tail / Shuck: Twin Ostrich herl (when wet gives the illusion of a trailing shuck)
While we know that in modern fly tying nothing is really ever truly more than a variation, this fly's classic lines would appeal to us even if it had not been tied by our number one son. We give it an wholehearted Editorial "That's my boy!" Umpqua, feel free to hit us on our hip.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

No travel time required

Unable to get to the coast for reds or the mountains for trout? No problem. Lake Norman and other Charlotte lakes are hot for bustin' spots and largemouth on the fly. Most are 1-3 lbs but on the 4-5wt using small flies the action was consistent all day .Water temp was sixty and no one was jet skiing! Just an idea to get you out of the cabin.Capt.Paul

Editor's Note: Be sure to look at the first picture full size (click it) to see the shad busting.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Four Friday Rhetorical Questions

Based on the current economy should change our feature "People with jobs that don't suck" to simply "People with Jobs?"
Does twittering my blog posts to my facebook status line make me overly social?
Does moving from the South to the Northeast make me a reverse carpetbagger or just a guy who needs to tie more striper flies?
Does anyone remember when Blackberries were hell on a pair of waders or used in pies, not in airports or meeting rooms?
Feel free to add your own via the comment feature.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

FlyfishMagazine: "Non-original Content" Thursday

My week has been filled with meeting rooms, hotel food, presentations, and the occasional open bar. The jist? 2009 is a bust - let's hope for better days in 2010. This whole wanting to be "able to buy groceries thing" along with a pending move North of the Mason Dixon line, has put a kink in my time spent surfing the intertube for stuff to amuse the masses. None-the-less, here are a few items that caught our somewhat red midweek eye:

Headline of the week via the DC Examiner : The Vine Guy: Sunshine in a Cloudy Bay Get it? I've got Sunshine on a cloudy bay, When its cold outside...

After you watch the Pisgah Fly Masters on the Davidson River, you might want to catch the next Fips Mouche style fly fishing competition on Lake Lure (site of the filming of our favorite Jennifer Grey "nobody puts baby in a corner" movie), "The Olympiad Fly-Fishing Masters tournament ". Could this be the start of a Carolina fly fishing tournament trail?

Because of our slackness you didn't learn about this auction of "one of the largest offerings of fly-fishing gear seen in Dunedin for several years" until it was too late. It would have been a bit of a hike anyway, being that it was in New Zealand.

The Bristol,TN Tri-Cities Herald's aptly named "Continuous News Desk" provides a "Long History Of Fly Fishing." It is 504 words.

Finally, Google's News Search reports that there are currently 492 articles with headlines that are variations on the ever popular title, "Hooked on Fishing." Even as we type, journalism schools throughout the civilized world are preparing to withdraw degrees.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Orvis Charlotte Warehouse Sale - March 13th - 15th

The Orvis Warehouse Sale is in Charlotte, NC this weekend at the Metrolina Trade Show Expo. Typically this show is a fly fishing bargain hunter's paradise deals at up to 75% off. The Charlotte sale has an excellent selection of waders, rods, and bin after bin packed with terminal tackle and fly tying material. They also have major quantities of non fishing related outdoorsy type merchandise.

Parking and admission are free. Follow this link for directions. Look for the FlyfishMagazine staff to be on hand and up to our elbows in gear.

Monday, March 09, 2009

2009 Pisgah Fly Masters

If you are the competitive fly fishing type and would like to test your metal against some of the nations best fly anglers, there is still time to register for the 2009 Pisgah Fly Masters which will be held March 21st and 22nd. More details are revealed in today's Asheville Citizen times.

The event, in its second year, takes place March 21-22. The late registration fee is $75.
The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, a free-to-the-public learning facility operated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission near Brevard, hosts the event. Davidson River Outfitters sponsors it.
“We’ll take registrations up until the competition starts,” said Emilie Johnson with the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and a tournament organizer.
The Pisgah Fly Masters challenges anglers’ casting skills off-stream on Saturday, March 21, with the 10 finalists moving on to a catch and release competition on the river on Sunday, March 22.

Our money is on the anglers from the North Carolina Fly Fishing Team.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Fly Tying Video: The "Little Haden"'s Saltwater Guru, Capt. Gordon Churchill, interviewed fellow North Carolina fly fishing guide Capt. Gary Dubiel of the Spec Fever Guide Service as he tied an innovative saltwater fly pattern, the "Little Haden."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Rumors confirmed

According to the sales clerk you might want to buy some stock in New Belgium

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Carolina Rumors: Fat Tire In The House

Discovered in the downtown Denver Holiday Inn Bar when I, being uneducated in the ways of Colorado beer, asked the barkeep for one of "those beers Colorado is famous for". I was thinking of Adolf's watery version but the kind brewista delivered a New Belgium Fat Tire ale to my coaster. Rumor in the Charlotte, NC area suggests that I will not have to wait until next year's FFR Show Patagonia reception to enjoy a frosty tire. Charlotte is abuzz about this so let's hope that the local importer has an ample supply.

Video: Lying and Tying

Wherein we point the all seeing eye of our camera at a group of fly tyers. Double time and throw in a touch of festive music and you get a ballet of fur, feathers, tall tales, and brews.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bristol Bay News

We ran into Scott Hed of the Sportsman's Alliance For Alaska at the Charlotte Fly Fishing Show and got the latest news from the Bristol Bay area about the fight against the Pebble Mine disaster. After you watch it check out some of these other videos created by folks who will be directly impacted by the mine.

Carolina Sunday Snow