Showing posts with label Conservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conservation. Show all posts

May 30, 2022

EPA Comment Period on Bristol Bay

The Pebble Mine issue. It just won't go away.

Received an email from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers over the weekend urging its constituents to sign the latest petition to let law makers know that Pebble Mine is the wrong mine for the wrong place.


Now I don't know if these online petitions work worth a damn, but it certainly can't hurt. So if you're interested in protecting Bristol Bay, the most productive salmon ecosystem in North America from the dangers associated with open-pit mining, check out the link below (copied verbatim) from the BHA's email:

For decades, the Pebble Mine has loomed over Alaska’s Bristol Bay, threatening fish, wildlife and the people who call this watershed home.

In November, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new timeframe for considering whether to permanently protect Bristol Bay and stop the Pebble Mine. As a next step in this process, the EPA just launched a comment period through July 5 on its proposal to finalize permanent protections for Bristol Bay under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act.

Tell the EPA to protect Bristol Bay forever!

Sign the Petition!

May 23, 2022

For Wild’s Sake is Back!

Hey, my favorite video series is back – For Wild’s Sake from Tight Loops!


They’ve been on a bit of a hiatus (haven’t we all, my last post here was over two months ago). However, they premiered a new episode last night, which was pretty awesome. Man, those Rio Grande cutties are absolutely gorgeous! 

If you enjoy this sort of fly fishing film making, check out their Patreon to support them on their future endeavors. 

I mean I just paid 20 bucks this past Saturday night to stream The Northman from home, and I can tell you supporting Tight Loops would be a FAR better investment of capital…

November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving & Tight Loops!

 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there! If you're like me, you're likely looking forward to turkey (or the sides and desserts) later today, perhaps a parade, dog show, or football. Working in e-commerce, I don't get much of a holiday break (Black Friday & Cyber Monday are afoot) but on Thanksgiving, it's about food, family, friends, and maybe a little fly fishing (perhaps not necessarily in that order). 

2020 Cracker Barrel tasted better than it looked... LOL!

If you're like me and you want to scratch a little fishing itch today, even if you can't get outside, I'd highly recommend pulling up YouTube on your favorite streaming device and giving the first 3 episodes of For Wild's Sake, a series of videos on preserving and pursuing native, wild trout species and the environments in which they live. 

I've highlighted the Tight Loops crew here before, but in my opinion there are few folks in the fishing space making better videos these days. This isn't fish porn (particularly the 1st and 3rd installment), this is education, enrichment, and environmentalism. I'm a big fan, and I'm sure you'll become one too.

May 4, 2021

Ray Troll x Eva's Wild "Save What You Love"

I love Ray Troll's art.

You occasionally see it on fly fishing websites and may not even realize it. 

I first put two and two together when I visited Ketchikan, Alaska a few years ago as a stop on a summer vacation. There's an eclectic little street (Creek Street) with several touristy traps, one of which is an art gallery/gift shop featuring the works of Ray Troll. I spent more than my fair share of time in "Soho Coho" looking at vibrant images of salmon, bears, and other forms of life... from bugs to bison to dinosaurs. It's a very distinct style, one I've come to really appreciate.

Well, fast forward to a month or so ago (this post is a little overdue), and I received an email from Eva's Wild, a wild salmon brand. As in you can buy fish from them. I'm not even sure how I ended up on the mailing list, I think because I supported the "The Wild" movie launch last year. In any event, the Eva's Wild brand touts sustainability and responsibility, and has a lot of multimedia (including a podcast) to support their message.

Anyway, that email announced a partnership with Ray Troll, and introduced not only a podcast episode featuring Ray, but an exclusive t-shirt design featuring his wonderful art. The best part is that $5 from each shirt goes toward the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, a group looking to ensure permanent protection for the land and waters of Bristol Bay.

So I guess that's really the point of this post. First, to introduce you to the art Ray Troll (if you are not already familiar)... and should you find yourself appreciating his art as I do, to perhaps also show a way to support the salmon that inspire both fishermen and artists the world over.

April 13, 2021

The Native Fish Coalition

Have I talked about the Native Fish Coalition here?

Honestly, I don't recall. The last year or so will do that to you. If I have, well... I'm going to again. And if I haven't, well... shame on me. Either way, let's make up for lost time.

There are a lot of conservation groups out there, both big and small. Most all of them do great work. You probably receive weekly mailings from several of them (ahem, TU), but the one I am really excited about is the Native Fish Coalition (NFC).

I'm a relatively new NFC member myself, joining last July, and just in that short time, they've gone from a few chapters dispersed throughout mostly New England, to now having seven state-based chapters, including as far south as Alabama. (Roll Tide & Redeyes!)

Now what sets the Native Fish Coalition apart from other groups to me is that the work is extremely relatable. Simply put (and to quote), they are "like-minded advocates who are committed to protecting, preserving, and restoring our wild native fish."

I dig wild, native fish.

This is also all grassroots work, being done by people like you and me. It's all in the name of keeping native fish populations where they belong, despite all of the pressures they face on a daily basis. And that doesn't just mean native game fish. Sure, brook trout rightly get a lot of love, they are gorgeous and threatened in much of their native range... but this group gives attention to all wild, native species, large and small, graceful and awkward.

But Why Now?

I bring this up now because in the most recent newsletter, (in addition to highlighting a Schuylkill River Cleanup by the Pennsylvania Chapter), there was a membership plea, which I'd like to pass along to my readers:

Native Fish Coalition Schuylkill River Clean Up
Image Courtesy NFC

"NFC offers memberships that acknowledge one's support for what we do. Membership is also a way for us to raise money for conservation initiatives. Most importantly, in some cases the size of an organization has a direct correlation with how it is viewed by the powers that be. 

Please consider joining NFC if you haven't already. For student, individual, family, and species annual memberships, and lifetime individual and family memberships, click here. For lifetime memberships with a Winston fly rod, click here. For lifetime memberships with a Winston fly rod and Bauer fly reel, click here.  For business memberships click here. And to join by PayPal, click here.       

If you renew a current membership or join NFC as a new member in April, you will be automatically entered into a drawing for a Ranger Backcountry Tenkara Rod Starter Kit, compliments of our friends at Red Brook Tenkara.  A $140 value, the winner will be required to pay shipping only."

So check out what's going on at the Native Fish Coalition. Take a few minutes to click around their website. I think you'll find they're doing a lot of good things.

March 28, 2021

Some Recent Florida Hijinks

Catching up on Lost Time...

Hadn't posted in a little bit, but we've been active here in Northeast Florida. Not necessarily fishing all the time, but all in the outdoors vein.

A Walk in the Woods

Two weekends ago I spent some time walking around the Timucuan Trail in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. That's a quite a mouthful I know, we just call it "GTM" around here.

GTM is where I'd often launch my kayak, when I did that sort of thing. That being said, I haven't in a while, but I thought I'd return to take a nice walk around some of the trails. It's a winding sandy path with a few different loops... most of it is fortunately in the shade, but there are some open marshlands as well as intercoastal coastline that it also parallels.

In all, it was quite a nice outing. One I'd like to do again in the future. I did the middle loop, but there's quite a bit more to explore to both the north and south, as well as what looked like some primitive camping opportunities.

A Little Pond Fishing...

Since last I posted, I also did a little bit of fishing... messing around in one of the local retention ponds. I used my Tenkara USA Sato along with a new floating line from Tanuki. It was really a nice casting line that I'll probably write a little more about over at Tenkara Angler

Anyway, this was the first outing where I REALLY started to notice that the mosquitoes were back, so that was a bit unfortunate. I guess I'm back to sun screen and bug dope before any future fishing outings...

And Some Cleaning Up...

Last weekend, Lilly & I got up early on Saturday morning do participate in the St. Johns River Cleanup. She went to get some community service credit for school and I went just to get outdoors (plus, somebody needed to take her and it wasn't going to be my wife!)

I'll give the kid credit, she did a great job metaphorically rolling up her sleeves and getting dirty. She was picking stuff up left and right, wasn't afraid to climb through the brush in pursuit of trash, and even handled the "gross" stuff well. We got four big trash bags full of trash, and also picked an old tire out of the woods.

The one thing we didn't pick was this guitar case and machete. There's a few homeless people that live in the park we were at, and we just didn't want to disturb something that was purposely left behind. Also didn't want to take what was potentially somebody's night time protection. We did tell the organizers and showed them what we found though and decided to leave it in their hands.

Outside of that, Lilly has fun observing some of the feral cats that also live in the park. It's evidently a community of about a dozen or so that are all "fixed" and that the neighbors have permission to feed... so they do. A few raccoons also assimilated themselves into the cat posse, which Lilly was very entertained by witnessing... and photographing.

Anyway, that's about it for now. That being said, I do have a few fishy things on the horizon that I'm sure I'll be mentioning in short order. So hopefully, not so quiet in the future. I'm already well ahead of last year's blogging pace, so I'm feeling good about my efforts to revive Troutrageous! so far. Guess we'll see how long it lasts...

Oh, and here's a bonus picture of a squirrel from the backyard patio. Not the best table manners on this one, huh?

February 25, 2021

The Splat Rat and Other Miscellany

Weekend Plans in Limbo

I was hoping to head up to North Georgia this upcoming weekend, but the weather doesn't look all that favorable. A seven hour drive for uncertain fishing conditions might be a bit too big of a leap of faith to take, but I still have a few days, so we'll see how that works out.

I'm particularly excited to get fishing again because I have a new tenkara rod to play around with, the relatively new Dragontail Mutant. Brent Auger was kind enough to send over a tester so I could do an evaluation and review over on Tenkara Angler, and since it arrived last Friday, it's been screaming for a proper workout.

The Splat Rat

Over in Facebookland, Jason Sparks recently shared an article about shrew-eating trout. The article was not new, actually dating back to 2013, but it got me thinking about a pattern I'd really like to start tying up. Not necessarily for trout, but for local bass. It's called the "Splat Rat" and it seems like a ridiculously easy fly to tie. Plus it utilizes a somewhat "unique" ingredient, foam pipe insulation. 

I was first introduced to the pattern by Kai Cornelius (a fellow tenkara angler), who used to fish it liberally when he lived out in Utah. But for whatever the reason I never acted on the impulse to actually tie one before. Think that'll change, especially if I do get washed out this weekend and have time to make a run over to the hardware store for essential supplies.

Here's a quick video on how to assemble one from noted tyer, Rob Snowhite.

Beer Me!

Finally, I received the latest TROUT magazine the other day and in paging through all of the interesting entries, there was an eye-catching (and perhaps thirst-quenching) conservation initiative highlighted on page 63.

Heirloom Rustic Ales in Tulsa, Oklahoma recently partnered with local Trout Unlimited Chapter 420 to create Longear Lager, a very "fishy" beer that contributes $1 from each four pack sold back to that TU chapter's conservation efforts. A very worthwhile cause... plus, the cans just look damn cool. Seems like a win-win to me!

February 11, 2021

Okay Florida, Slow Your Roll

"Florida Man" (or fish) clearly knows no bounds...

So did everybody catch the story that a dead Arapaima was found in southwest Florida over the weekend? If not, read these two articles...

Amazonian “River Monster” discovered in the Caloosahatchee River

Citizens of Florida, Welcome Your New 'River Monster' Overlords

So like what's the deal? Did it swim up here from South America? I'm guessing not, so that would mean it was planted? If that's the case, who the heck does that?


As an angler, it kind of makes you wonder if there's actually a population of them, one that could be fishable for sport... sort of like snakeheads or peacock bass. Thoughts move to Googling "fly fishing for arapaima", and wonder if they taste good in the deep fryer with some hush puppies. But then again, what doesn't?

However, as a conservation-minded person (including being a member of the Native Fish Coalition), it's easy to understand that sightings such as this can't be a good thing. Florida is already a literal breeding ground for all sorts of invasive species; we really don't need any more. Although I'm sure some would consider a "Yankee" such as me the worst kind of invasive.

Anyway, I guess in the end I'm hoping this is a one-off and not a new "thing." I really don't care to see or hear about guide trips for Florida arapaima a few years from now. That said, if in the meantime the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission needs a few anglers to try and eliminate a small but blooming population, you know where to find me. And I promise to leave the tenkara rod at home...

January 13, 2021

Licensed to Fish (& Drive)

Can I Check Your License?

Fishing licenses... while necessary, unless you're set to electronically "auto-renew" or perhaps have gained lifetime status, they're not always the first thing you think about when it comes to essential fishing gear.

Pennsylvania is one of those weird states where you buy an annual fishing license that is only valid for the calendar year. 

Doesn't matter when you buy it, it turns into a pumpkin at midnight on December 31st. I'm pretty sure all of the other fishing licenses I annually renew - Florida, Georgia, North Carolina - have rolling dating. Buy an annual license in March, it expires next March, you get the idea.

Side note: Pennsylvania was also one of those states where you had to display your fishing license externally while fishing. I think they stopped that last year, but I certainly always enjoyed pinning that sucker on my hat (like this dude from Opening Day 2011), fishing vest, or pack. It was very "Pennsylvania," and I continued that practice even once I left, to many a fishing buddy's bewilderment. 

I figured I'd get my full money's worth and renewed my Pennsylvania fishing license for 2021 last weekend. Check that box before I forget. Now, will I get to fish in my favorite Commonwealth in this calendar year? Who knows, but I'm certainly hopeful, so fingers crossed. And if I don't, no big deal. I like to think that money goes to fishing programs and conservation in some form. I mean I know it's supposed to, but who really knows.

So, go ahead and check the expiration date on your fishing license. If it's expired, or expiring soon, go ahead and renew it. Don't get caught on the stream without it...

Oh, and while you're at it, it's also a good time to renew your Trout Unlimited membership or whatever other conservation-based thing you do. I also did that... although I'm sure TU's physical mailing seeking additional support will not slow one bit. The amount of money they must spend on postage... holy smokes.

Embarrassing Pennsylvania Licensing Story

When I got my Pennsylvania drivers license back in the day, I breezed through the written test, but failed the actual driving test twice... yes, twice... before I finally passed.

Looking back at it now, it was totally ridiculous, but it's the truth, and I own it. 

The first test, I failed, I think because I didn't do well on the parallel parking. I don't really recall, but I know I totally botched that part of the test. May have done something dumb like miss a turn signal as well. It was very embarrassing putting my mom's Plymouth Sundance in park and exiting as a defeated teenager.

So then for my second test, I went to a different testing station. One that was supposed to be "easier". I think I coasted through a stop sign within the first 5 minutes, so that one ended quickly, didn't even get out of the parking lot. It was traumatic, I've mostly blacked out the experience, although I still awaken at night in a cold sweat when pieces of that memory haunt my dreams.

For the third test I went back to that same second "easy" testing location and (somehow) finally passed. I knew I'd pass once I got out on the road, even though I still don't think I parallel parked all that great. Whatever... it was probably the equivalent of getting all D's on your report card, but the teacher passes you anyway because they never want to see you again.

Years later, I think I'm a pretty good driver. I know I eventually got pretty good at parallel parking from living at a house with street parking growing up, although in the suburbia in which I live today I ironically never have to test that skill.

In Florida, I don't even think there's a driver's test. Seems that way anyhow...

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; 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.

October 27, 2019

A Few Quick Fishy Hits

Was popping around the internet yesterday and found a few articles/nuggets that might be of interest. Sure, this isn't a post of original content, rather a compilation of fishy shares, but they were good reads, so figured you might find them as such too.

So Much Water in Pennsylvania...

I was a dummy when I lived in Pennsylvania. I fished a lot, but I fished the same 4-5 bodies of water all the time. If I could only do things over again. Trout Unlimited recently published an article about how the state has been trying to document and assess its 86,000 miles of flowing water in the interest of finding wild trout and protecting the watersheds from developmental impact. While they've made great process, you find in reading there still a long way to go.

Stickers in the Creekside Shop!

Stickers are awesome. Robb ties equally awesome flies. Put the two together and it's a no brainer. I just picked a few up (as well as some futsuu kebari), you'll probably want to snag some too.

TenkaraBum Goes Long...

Wasn't necessarily expecting this post from Chris Stewart, but it's a great read into the merits of long line, long tippet tenkara. Tenkara as many practice in Japan. He had a recent fishing session with Adam Klagsbrun that opened his eyes to this technique. A nice departure from fishing killer bugs, micro spoons, and overhand worms with tenkara rods.

Discovering Small Streams...

After a bit of a hiatus, the Discover Tenkara guys are back with a new Tenkara in Focus episode over on YouTube. It's a great little dive into approaching smaller water (which happens to be my favorite). Regular fly guys should give it a watch too, because the manipulations used in the video could certainly be applied with rod & reel. There's also an accompanying blog post that's really worth reading too.

Best of IFTD...

Sage Trout Spey HD

If you follow any fly fishing media online it was tough to escape all the IFTD references a week or so ago. The annual industry trade show moved back to Denver this year, making it far more accessible than when it was in Orlando. In any event, there were a lot of new product highlights, and I found this article over at Gear Junkie that summarizes them well. Spoiler alert: Simms sweeps the wading categories.

February 27, 2019

Restoring Brookies: An Appalachian Brook Trout Story

A cool little documentary project recently popped up on my social feeds, and I'm all about helping them get the word out. It's an upcoming film focusing on the story of the Southern Appalachian Brook trout, the native char of the Southeastern United States.

The synopsis for the film as provided by their website and press release is as follows:

Restoring Brookies, it’s exactly what it sounds like. This is a feature length environmental documentary film about the restoration process of the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout with a fly fishing aspect. In this documentary we will be taking our viewers through the history of these trout, the process of their restoration in their native environment, and what all of us can do to help further conserve these beautiful little fish. 
Along the way we will be working with agencies like the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Tennessee Aquarium, National Parks Service, Department of Agriculture, and many more. While learning from the agencies who have boots on the ground daily to help conserve this species we will also be visiting with locals and fly fishermen and women. 
We plan to learn more about the history of the brook trout in these areas, why restoration is needed, and how successful the restoration efforts have been. This film is not only going to show us how the restoration works but also why it’s there through the eyes of fly fishermen/women and the locals who see this fish as a part of their culture in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

See... sounds like something we can all get behind, whether it's from a fly fishing angle, a historical interest, a conservation perspective, or a combination of the three.

If you'd like to learn more about the project, and possibly support it, (10% of all money raised will be donated back to restoration efforts in Tennessee, North Carolina, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park), check out their website HERE, or if so inclined, their Facebook and/or Instagram.

January 16, 2019

The New Way Forward: Wetlands

It's crazy all the information that's out on the internet. What do rice fields & salmon have in common? I'm not talking about sushi either.

I absolutely love the videos that California Trout posts to Vimeo. The New Way Forward: Wetlands, an almost nine-minute short from River Garden Films is no exception, and is definitely worth the watch if you're into the inner-workings of ecosystems.

Without giving away the whole narrative, when California changed the way rice farmers had to turn over fields at the end of the season back in the 1990's, it created some interesting positives initially for waterfowl, but now trout and salmon.

Check it out... if nothing else the nature footage is stunning.

November 10, 2018

Pacific Rivers "Free Flow" Newsletter

Did you think you were going to read something informative written by me? Don't be silly...

But what you should be is curious enough to click on the link HERE, or the photo below and check out the Pacific Rivers "Free Flow" newsletter, in an e-reader format.

If you're not familiar with Pacific Rivers, they are an organization whose mission is to "protect and restore the watershed ecosystems of the West to ensure river health, biodiversity, and clean water for present and future generations."

Sounds good right?

The newsletter runs about 14 pages long and gives a quick overview of some water management concerns and projects taking place out West. I happened to get turned on to the group via the film, "A Rivers Last Chance," which is also referenced in this magazine. (It's no coincidence that Shane Anderson, the Director & Producer of that film is also the Communications Director for Pacific Rivers.)

Anyway, enjoy the light read about some heavy issues. It's meant to inform, educate, and inspire. Not be a drag on your Saturday.

Oh, and while you're over at that Issuu site, you may want to check THIS out too...

September 17, 2018

Three Highlights from IF4

Two Fridays ago, the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) hit Jacksonville, in concert with Blackfly Outfitters' Floodtide Festival weekend. The IF4 viewing was held at the Univerisity of North Florida and was brought to the area by (more on them at the end of this post).

While the turnout was respectable, but a little on the light side, the videos were phenomenal, and somewhat surprising to me, were very "trout and char" in nature. I probably incorrectly had it in my head that the videos shown were tailored to the locale, so I figured we'd be watching a lot more from the salt.

Either way, the content was phenomenal, and while the thought of a few hours of fish porn and grip n' grins might turn off some, pretty much all of the films had a story to them, and I'd say the large majority were free of bass-thumping or techno-driven soundtracks.

Three of my favorites were as follows:

Ty's Flies

A short film about a young angler who overcame a personal disability to become a first-class salmon fly tyer. This is the kind of story that tugs at your heart-strings, especially when he gets to actually go fishing for Atlantic salmon for the first time.

Seriously North

This movie makes me want to drop everything and go find some Arctic char. It follows some anglers' quest to find outrageously sized char, basically in the middle of nowhere up in the Arctic circle. The mix of desolation, extreme cold, and unresponsive fish all seem to want to derail the trip... until they finally crack the code in a BIG way.

Confluentus: The Merging of All Things

I'm pretty sure this was my favorite film of the batch because it was by far the most relatable. Anglers who strap on their backpacks, go off the grid and go find their own adventures... in this case, bull trout in wilderness waters. It shows you don't need to have a lot of money to have an incredible fishing experience, as long as you put the work in to make it happen.

Now I'm not sure if any of these films can be viewed in their entirety yet outside of the IF4, so I'm really just planting the seed by sharing these preview embeds. If the IF4 isn't coming to a town near you soon, I'm certain these will be made available to the public sometime in the future. Make a point to see them all, they're each fantastic stories in their own way.


In closing, I did want to put out a little commercial for, especially if you're a Floridian reading this post. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or Republican, the way water is being managed in the state of Florida is highly suspect, and that's being kind.

According to their website:

" is a grassroots organization founded by Stuart residents in August 2014 on the belief that stopping the damaging discharges to our coasts and restoring the Everglades is not a science or engineering problem. The science has been known for decades. Our problem is a political problem -- and it requires a political solution.

Using social media we are spreading the word that the only way to stop the destructive discharges and restore clean freshwater flows to Florida Bay is to acquire land in the EAA to reconnect Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. The River of Grass has been dammed and diverted to both coasts. Until the flow is restored southward, all three estuaries -- east, west, and south -- will continue to suffer, impacting Florida's tourism & real estate economy. aims to empower voters to take back our water and government. Future generations of Floridians deserve a healthy River of Grass and clean water."

Even if you don't align 100% with's stances & solutions, simply put, with general elections coming up in November, get educated on the issues and what each of the candidates stands for. As residents of Florida, we can and should do better.

August 26, 2018

The Rocky Mountain Flyathlon

Couldn't help but enjoy this short video of the recent Rocky Mountain Flyathlon event in Saguache, CO. The video was done by Tenkara USA as some racers use tenkara rods for their portability, but don't mistake this as a tenkara-exclusive event.

The theme is "Run - Fish - Beer," and the competitors need to run a trail course, catch a fish along the way (with photographic evidence), drink a beer, and run back. Plus, proceeds go toward conservation efforts. Now I'm no runner, but that sounds pretty damn fun.

From the Tenkara USA blog:

"Run, Fish, Beer! That’s the tagline for the Flyathlon, an event that brings together people to run a race, catch a fish, and at the end of the day enjoy a cold beer…all the while raising money to protect native trout. On August 11, 2018, 60 participants ran the race in a remote location and caught brook trout as well as the native cutthroat of the area. Several of them used tenkara in their race. And, overall, that event raised over $22,000 for native trout conservation efforts too! Talk about a triathlon!"

If this is something that interests you, I'd highly recommend checking out the Rocky Mountain Flyathlon website to learn more information. There are multiple events in Colorado, as well as an event in the (non-Rocky Mountain) Driftless Area of Iowa!

August 4, 2018

Saturday Video: Signaling Silver

Pretty sweet video "Signaling Silver" dropped the other day by BOTE Boards.
Definitely worth the 5-minute watch:

"This summer, we set out to Florida’s Nature Coast for an expedition tagging tarpon with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and Florida Outdoor Experience. With a focus on protecting essential and historical tarpon fisheries before it is too late, we went not only for our enjoyment but for those generations to come. See the full story online now, in the latest BOTE Presents: Signaling Silver."

Please visit the BOTE website HERE for more information, photos, and awesome boards.

July 25, 2018

South Dakota "Atlantic" Salmon?

The barrage of daily emails can sometimes be overwhelming. I really need to hit the "unsubscribe" button rather than just automatically delete the messages that show up in my inbox each day. Most of them are just trying to sell me things, but sometimes you see one that stops you in your tracks...

Looks interesting right? It's especially novel considering it was sent from South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks. (I receive their emails because I bought a fishing license while on vacation there in 2016.)


Now... I'm no expert, but something tells me that Atlantic salmon and South Dakota really shouldn't go together. I mean there's no way for the fish to naturally get there. This is not a case of re-establishing a native species. I even double checked a map...

In reading this email release, it appears that 86% of South Dakotans polled are in favor of stocking Atlantic Salmon in Lake Oahe, a 370,000-acre man-made reservoir just about smack-dab in the middle of the state. 

Evidently, Chinook (King) salmon which also don't naturally belong in South Dakota, have been stocked in Lake Oahe since the mid-1980s.

Perhaps this is just an innocent way to get more unique sport fish in the water. Is it something that needs to be reviewed more closely as a large-scale case of "bucket biology?" Or should we not care since this already goes on in the Great Lakes and this particular large body of water is not exactly natural to begin with?

Beats me. I'm personally not a huge fan of putting any non-native species where it doesn't belong, at least in this day and age. Over the past 200 or so years a ton of that has been done in the United States, particularly out West, but does it need to continue happening? There always seems to be unintended consequences.

On the flip side, I'm sure the local anglers would benefit, and perhaps the State would as well from the sale of Atlantic Salmon stamps or special licensing fees. I really am not educated at all on South Dakota game & fish politics or policies to make an educated statement.

I tried to look for any online feedback, positive or negative, and the most I could find was a few comments on the article on the SDGFP's Facebook page. Unfortunately, they were all about people debating a deer tag issue (no clue) and using this topic to create an analogy to push their agenda forward. So really, I found nothing.

Well, that's a lie, I found this video from 2014:

I did happen to send a note via email to SDGFP to ask them why they feel they need Atlantic salmon in South Dakota. Will be interested to see if I get a reply.

In the end, they're going to do what they're going to do. I just found the whole concept of South Dakota Atlantic salmon interesting. Thought you might as well.

June 15, 2018

Finding Joe Brooks

Hey, just a heads up... looks like there's going to be a pretty rad documentary on this weekend on several of the "outdoorsy" cable channels.

For those of you unfamiliar, Joe Brooks played an instrumental role in developing fly fishing across the globe through his travels, writing, and television work. His footprint on the sport of fly fishing is huge, and the depth to his character is even greater.

If you happen to receive these channels, the broadcast times are as follows:

Friday, June 15   –   8pm EST

Friday, June 15 – 10pm EST
Saturday, June 16  –  4pm EST
Sunday, June 17 – 10am EST

Saturday, June 16  – 7:30pm EST

Joe Brooks (right) & Jimmy Albright - photo:

I happen to love history documentaries... so to mix in a little fly fishing, well, let's just say I'll be watching (and setting my DVR). You may like to as well. It'll also be nice to see some additional footage from Lefty Kreh, who served as an Ambassador to this film.

If you'd like to learn a little extra on Joe Brooks and the story behind making this film, you can check out or take in the latest April Vokey "Anchored" podcast featuring Joe Brooks, grand-nephew of the subject of the project.

Or even better, consider a donation to the Joe Brooks Foundation for Conservation and Outdoor Education.