July 26, 2020

A General Update, As It's Been More Than A Month...

As you can probably tell by the silence here, I haven't done much fishing to really report on over the past few weeks... so it's been tough to come up with much inspiration for posts without regurgitating other people's content.

Unlike most other Floridians, (at least where I live), we've actually been abiding by the whole "shelter in place" guidelines since March. Sure, I go for walks around the neighborhood each night and we pickup takeout food once a week or so, but what I wouldn't give to have a nice sit-down meal with table service, a cold beer, and multiple televisions playing various sporting events in the background again... ah, the simple things.

However, I'm rather excited to report that the family & do I have a little 4 day, 3 night getaway scheduled for August. Our school district decided to delay the start of the school year, including distance learning, by three weeks, extending Lilly's summer. 

Check out the photos of this place, (the ladies in my life do not agree with "camping")..

Now I doubt with the summer heat that the trout fishing will be stellar, (and perhaps I should just go with the mindset of getting into some warm water species), but just a change of scenery near moving water will be more than welcomed. I'm probably the only guy in Florida who doesn't really get excited about the ocean and would rather be in the mountains any day of the week. Weird, I know.

Anyway, while I haven't been writing much personally here, I've been writing a bit more semi-professionally (and doing a ton of website administration) over at Tenkara Angler over the past two months. What started as a quirky, quarterly crowd-sourced e-magazine has kind of blown up into a team of three like-minded angler/editors, a content rich website, and a lot of interaction with and influence from the community.

If you haven't stopped by, here are some examples of a few of the more popular posts that have been written, either by myself, my partners Jason and Matt, or even reader-submissions. Most of it isn't even about "tenkara," it's more about fishing, friendship, and adventure, so I think you may enjoy it, even if tenkara isn't your thing.

Anyway, I've got a lot of fishing blogs to catch up reading... so if you've been writing, and you're in my blogroll, you'll probably see me in your comments soon.

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.