Whew... I thought I had a case of the shack nasties! Turns out I have nothing to complain about. The folks over at Scumliner Media and Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, Mont., seem like they've had had a very long, cold winter indeed.
Here's to ice thawing, insects hatching and getting out on the water soon. Have a great weekend and make sure to wear your helmet if you get out Snowboating.
You know the drill: Don't keep the fish out of water too long. Wet your hands before you handle any fish. Don't hold them high out of the water, especially where they can fall on the rocky shoreline if they flop out of your hands. Use a rubberized mesh net if you use a net. And for goodness' sake, keep the gripping and grinning to a minimum.
When done the right way, catch-and-release can indeed be the catalyst for sustaining the resources, and sharing, according to the Lee Wulff mantra, creatures so beautiful, they should be experienced by more than one person.
You know how this works. Write the funniest, wittiest or smartest caption to the image you see here. We'll pick a winner next week and award him or her with a 2250 Large Arbor Sage Fly Reel. Keep it clean and classy, folks... Good luck and get to writing.
I got an e-mail last week that ticked me off, and I think it's about time that somebody said something "for the record" regarding the knock-off, cheap imported products that are now steadily oozing into the American fly-fishing market. I think the whole situation is bull.
The e-mail came from a manufacturer in China. The purpose of the note (at least as I interpreted it), was to unashamedly let me know that this company had successfully mimicked some big-name fly fishing products — from fiberglass rods to travel rods to high-end casting rods. And for very cheap prices, I (or whoever else wants to) can presumably buy my/our own batch, maybe create a brand name, and pawn them off on whomever I/we want to. Here's a verbatim excerpt from the e-mail:
One question I often wrestle with is whether or not to name certain places in the stories I write. After all, I'm an angler too. I appreciate solitude on a fishing stream as much as the next person, and I fully understand that you can love a place to death by writing about it in every detail.
For example, I've written about this place, but I've never named it. Sorry, I'm not going to say where it is now. But those of you who fish in the Rocky Mountain high country know that this is one of thousands of little trout streams that look and fish the same way. It's no great discovery to chance upon a scene like this… certainly nothing an angler willing to dedicate a little hiking and map reading effort couldn't find on his own.
There's been some trials and tribulations along the way, but I'm getting through the "meat" of the project. I am closer to some of the finishing touches and need help making up my mind on a paint job. That's where you all come in once again.
While a lot of weather attention is now focused on the eastern side of the country, what's happening (or perhaps more appropriately, what is not happening) in California may be a bigger disaster. And it's certainly something that should concern anglers.
California governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency last month. Last year was the driest on record for the Golden State. And rivers are at historic lows — 2014 could see the lowest river flows in decades, possibly ever. And that could have a tremendous impact on California's fish, especially migratory species like salmon and steelhead that won't be able to push up rivers to spawn, and stripers in the Delta, which depend on steady flows of freshwater pushing through the system.
As I type this, the South is in a deep freeze, the Northeast is getting clobbered yet again with some absurdly named winter storm, and the West is just barely starting to thaw out after what seems like weeks of sub-zero temps. And it's only mid February. When's it gonna end?
After spending the past couple days editing photos, I was sucked into a world of tropical waters, big toothy fish, beers topped with limes, raft trips, and an overall sense of hate for old man winter. I thought the least I could do is share these reminders of warmth with you and potentially help everyone fight a case of the shack nasties, at least for a few brief minutes.
It's been a long cold one, but we're over the hump — March is just around the corner and the bass will be moving soon. Here's to spring. I hope it helps.
I have a friend who is still somewhat of a newbie to fly fishing and needed some advice on picking out a new rod. He's been out a couple seasons with his 9-foot 5-weight graphite rod (the size many trout anglers start out with). Now he's thinking about branching off with a lighter model that he can use to chase smaller brookies and cutthroats in small streams. He asked about several high-end, fast-action graphite rods before I stopped him with a question of my own: "You ever think about a fiberglass rod?
He shot back a puzzled look and said he had a little bit, but he thought fiberglass rods were somewhat of a novelty — the kind of rods you buy down the road once you've built up a full arsenal of graphite.
As is usually the case, we got to talking about tips and techniques, stuff that works... and stuff that doesn't work. J.P. spends a lot of time on the Colorado River, and he reaffirmed for me that when the fishing days are tough, one of his go-to flies is still the Purple Prince nymph. I've taken a shine to bright blue "Psycho Princes," and those of you who follow Fly Talk and the magazine know that I've written quite a bit on the virtues of purple and blue nymphs and streamers. J.P. and I are also still keen on adding U/V 'hotspots" on flies that we know we will fish deep.