June 17, 2020

Wild Brook Trout in Connecticut Zoom - June 22nd

Now, I'm not sure if the intent of the Nutmeg Chapter (Connecticut) of Trout Unlimited's recent Facebook post about an upcoming Zoom discussion was to get some idiot from Florida to sign up... but I did. And I guess if you want to, and have nothing better going on at 7PM ET on June 22, you can sign up HERE too!

So, what's it all about?  Unfortunately, not the best of news.

"Join the CT Council of Trout Unlimited, TU staff as we talk with Mike Beauchene and Brian Eltz of the CT DEEP on a new report they just completed – A Random Revisit of the Statewide Stream Survey Project – which found a nearly 30% drop in Brook Trout in a one-year survey, versus results from a comprehensive study 30 years ago."

They even provide a link to the study if you want to do some advance reading.

If there's one good thing that's come out of the Coronavirus pandemic, it's been the accelerated adoption of video conferencing to connect people near and far. In the past 30 days I've participated in video conferences about advanced tenkara fishing techniques, listened to a panel chat up John Gierach about his new book, and even "attended" the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers annual rendezvous. I'm very happy to be able to sit in on this one as well.

June 16, 2020

North American Native Fishes Association (NANFA)

Mentioned the other day in a post my new membership to the North American Native Fishes Association (NANFA).

Image: NANFA

So what exactly is NANFA?  Well, their mission is "dedication to the appreciation, study, and conservation of the continent's native fishes." 

They're basically a non-profit organization that hits the following points with their activities:
  • Increase and disseminate knowledge about native North American fishes
  • Promote practical programs for their conservation and the protection/restoration of their natural habitats
  • Advance the educational, scientific and conservation benefits of captive maintenance and husbandry
  • Encourage the legal, environmentally responsible collection of native fishes for private aquaria as a valid use of a natural resource
  • Provide a forum for fellowship and camaraderie among its members

Now as an angler, bullets one and two really hit home to me. As an member of other conservation groups such as Trout Unlimited and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, NANFA really nests well within the two because they focus a lot of efforts on non-game fish. Sure, native brook trout and salmonids do receive love (just like TU might give) but much of the focus is on perhaps lesser-known species that call the same native cold and warmwater environments home. Chubs, shiners, darters, dace, perch, etc... perhaps not the sexiest of fish from an angling point of view, but just if not more important for a healthy ecosystem.

I found two articles in the Spring issue of American Currents (NANFA's quarterly publication) extremely interesting. The first, a deep dive into some of the history around the scientific naming of the yellow bullhead catfish (by Christopher Scharpf). The second, "The Seagreen Affair" (by Tim Aldridge) which was a microfishing trip report on the quest to find Seagreen darters. Both excellent reads!

Seagreen Darter; NCFishes.com Photo

Now, I'm not going to lie, the whole home aquarium and backyard pond aspect of this group really doesn't interest me a ton, but it is good to see them promoting responsible practices around the subject. No bucket biology or transplantation of invasive species going on here.

Anyway, just though I'd share. If this is something you're interested in learning more about, you can find their website HERE. Additionally, they share great content on social media. I found them on Instagram, but they also have an active Facebook page too.

June 15, 2020

Big Land: Brook Trout Fishing In The Heart Of Labrador - Now on YouTube

If you haven't viewed Big Land, a wonderful film from the folks at Tight Loops yet, now is a great time to take it in. It was some of the best fishing story telling I've ever watched. Definitely worth the 45 or so minutes. Brook trout, History, Labrador, not much more needs to be said.


But if you don't believe me...

June 7, 2020

Recent Additions to the Fishing Library

Things haven't been particularly "fishy" for me this year.

Corona lockdowns and some recent health issues have kept me very local. Haven't fished for trout once. While not the worst thing, it makes writing on Troutrageous! a little challenging.

Instead, I've been fishing vicariously by reading some books about the subject, three of which are author-signed additions to the library I previously outlined about a year ago.

In Praise of Little Fishes by Marcus Selden Goldman

Not a fishing book, rather a book about fish. And little ones at that (chub, dace, shiners, perch, etc...)  For whatever the reason, I've started to take interest into native fish of all sorts, even recently joining NANFA - which is a whole different rabbit hole I'll probably write about in the future. This particular book has been out of print for quite a long time, and when I finally tracked down a copy, I was extremely lucky enough to find a numbered & signed version.

Squaretail by Bob Mallard

Wow. What an awesome book about brook trout and the native ranges they call home. I had no idea when I placed the order online that it was actually done in quite as hefty a format, basically a coffee table sized book. As such, the large format photography is as gorgeous as the writing is informative. Plus, Bob had written an article for my side-hustle (Tenkara Angler) a few years ago, so it was nice to be able to read more of his work.

Fly Fishing the Blue Ridge Parkway by Sam R. Johnson

Before I had the recent health setback, my wife & I were planning a little getaway to western North Carolina, just for a change of scenery. I picked up this excellent guide book as a way to expand my range a bit beyond the "usual" places I fish while in that area. In digging in, I've been blown away with how informative this book is without giving away specific honey holes. After trading a few emails, Mr. Johnson graciously signed and inscribed my copy prior to sending along.

April 20, 2020

Totally Squatchy - Jim Haggart Carvings

This has nothing to do with fishing, rather more to do with something else I dig... Bigfoot. You may better know him (or her) as Sasquatch, Yeti, or the Swamp Ape, but you better believe that it's big, real, and out there.

Anyway, found these chainsaw wood carvings from artist Jim Haggart while scrolling on Instagram a month or two ago, and I think you'll probably agree, they're pretty amazing.

He sells them through his eBay store, Chainsaw Carving Critters, and I think one will be making its way from New York down to Florida soon. I'm just not sure which one to choose!

For a lot more, check out Jim's Instagram feed HERE.