Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Help Reform the 1872 Mining Law

I was alerted to this call to action by Travis Rummel of Felt Soul Media. Check out his post on The Wire. My request - Make your voice heard on the issue of mining law reform. Time is short (10/31). Click on this link for more information - I CAN HELP. My thoughts - Watersheds are directly affected by mining. Keep in mind that all the material that comes out of pits like the ones shown has to go somewhere. What does the mining industry track record for resource protection look like? What is the real economic benefit picture? Are pits in the earth due to extraction "needs" really the best thing for the planet? For us? We're talking long term impacts on a mother nature level. Ain't no gettin' the mountain back....or the river. I ask - Do something unusual, call your Representative and tell them to vote for HR2262, the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007 or you can find your Representative's contact information and send them an email HERE. My opinion - The Mining Law Act of 1872 is arguably the worst case of corporate welfare in our nation's history. If it's after hours you can still call your reps D.C. office and leave a message, TELL THEM TO VOTE YES ON HR2262.

Top - The Bingham Canyon mine as seen from 10,500 feet. Note: there used to be mountains there. Photo by Ben Knight

Bottom - The Grasberg Mine in Indonesia is the current #1 open pit mine for total mineralization value in the world. The Pebble deposit looks to be larger in total value and will soon surpass Grasberg in total mineralization value. Pretty $cary.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Guidewater Duffle

I've been meaning to circle back on some questions that came up in past comments about new gear. One question was about an angler-inspired duffle bag. Here is some workbook copy and pictures for you to review.

Whoever said getting there is half the fun obviously wasn’t dealing with dripping waders, muddy boots or current airline restrictions. Whether you’re traveling by truck, skiff, floatplane or jetliner, the Guidewater Duffle makes hauling gear easy. This new design is a more technical version of our original Wet/Dry Gear Bag with a welded waterproof dry compartment and breathable/drainable mesh side. The coated, floating baffle separates wet and dry gear, so your wading boots won’t soak your “coming home” shirt. Tough dual-coated fabric, high-airflow mesh, water-resistant zippers and rod tube attachment points combine to create the ultimate angler’s duffle. Better yet, both sizes (reg. and large) meet domestic airline carry-on requirements, eliminating worries of arriving waderless. So maybe getting there can be, shall we say, a quarter the fun?

Let me know what you think. I'll try to address the Double Haul changes in a future post too.
Top photo by Rene Braun
Product shots by Steve Swartzendruber
Copy by Dylan Tomine

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Executive Order

ST. MICHAELS, MD - Surrounded by conservationists and anglers on the shores of historic Chesapeake Bay, President Bush signed an Executive Order establishing gamefish status for red drum and striped bass in federal waters. The Order is a landmark victory for recreational anglers who have fought for decades to restore and conserve two of the most coveted sport fish in America.

"With this action, the President has secured a legacy for the recreational anglers and conservationists who have worked so hard on behalf of our marine resources," said Walter W. Fondren III, chairman of Coastal Conservation Association. "When CCA began to work on recovering red drum 30 years ago in Texas, we never imagined an event like this would ever be possible. We owe a debt of gratitude to the President for recognizing the high value placed on these resources by the citizens of this country."

U.S. Presidents have issued executive orders since 1789, usually to help direct the operation of executive officers. The Executive Order signed today by President Bush instructs the Secretary of Commerce to put regulations in place establishing gamefish status for red drum and striped bass in federal waters, and encourages the states to take similar actions in state waters.

"From the darkest days of overfishing in the late 1970s and early '80s, hundreds of thousands of people have worked tirelessly to conserve these resources," said David Cummins, president of CCA. "The President today has delivered the only reward that mattered to any of them - a better future for the resources they cherish."

The photo above shows President George W. Bush signing an Executive Order to protect the striped bass and red drum fish populations Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007, at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. President Bush is joined during the signing by, from left, Michael Nussman, president of American Sportfishing Association; Brad Burns, president of Stripers Forever; David Pfeifer, president of Shimano America Corp.; Walter Fondren, chairman of Coastal Conservation Association; U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez; U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland and U.S. Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne.

White House photo by Eric Draper

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Meat Wagon

Jerry Darkes has been tying flies for almost 40 years. Here is a pattern he started working on this spring. This fly is constructed of a blend of natural and synthetic materials. It lends itself to a wide range of variation and fly fishing applications. It has great action in the water and it catches fish! So far he has caught trout, steelhead, largemouth, smallmouth, northern pike, and musky on it. He has yet to dunk it in the salt but I have a feeling it may work there too. He calls this pattern the Meat Wagon. It can be tied as shown, with barbell eyes to ride hook up or as a tandem hook rig. You may want to give this one a try. Here is the basic recipe:

Hook: Short streamer hook
Tail: Rabbit strip with flash of some sort on top and on bottom
Back: Marabou feather(s)
Belly: Marabou feathers(s)
Gills: Optional- red Spirit River Palmar Chenille
Head: Palmar Chenille
Eyes: 3-D, epoxied

Contribution by Jerry Darkes

Monday, October 15, 2007

1% For The Planet

October 15th (Blog Action Day) is a day for all bloggers to come together to write about an important topic. This years topic is the environment. I though it might be a good time to post a little piece on a tribe of individuals and organizations that participate in a special effort. That effort is called 1% For The Planet. 1% For The Planet is an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet. Members recognize their responsibility to and dependence on a healthy environment and donate at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental organizations worldwide. 1% For The Planet was launched in 2001 by Yvon Chouinard, environmental activist and founder of Patagonia, Inc., and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies. The list of members is impressive. Take a moment and click on the links to learn more or to get involved with 1% For The Planet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Personal Best

I received a picture the other day that got me thinking about certain special moments in a fisherman's lifetime. These moments are the times when we experience something extraordinary. What struck me is that for some of us these moments are crystal clear. Others though, may not be. The picture connected with this post came with these words "Here's what I know…he caught the fish in Malibu near Neptune's Net and was only out a 1/2 hour in a kelp bed, rough water. It took 1 1/2 hours to reel him in and he had somewhat of a sled ride during that process, he was in a kayak as I mentioned! He used a taddy #9 and the photographer was just his friend John, don't know the last name, he is a lifeguard in Ventura! It was a career fish and he spread the love amongst all his friends….that's all folks!" There you have it. Derek (I only know his first name) landed the 54lb white sea bass he's holding and will probably log this catch as his "personal best" of a lifetime. Now this is not to say that catching the biggest fish is what's considered "personal best". That's up to you. Personal best or extraordinary could be a trip, a cast, a fly, a fish or a combination of things. What's your definition of personal best?

Contribution by KD Heupel

Monday, October 8, 2007


I saw a Moldy Chum post on this new technology called Animoto and decided to investigate. I went to the Animoto website and discovered that this technology could be a fun tool for the photo rich activity called fly fishing (though it's not really marketed toward it). It was relatively easy to use, especially if you have an image database on Picasa, Facebook, Flickr or Smugmug. What is Animoto? "It's newly developed Cinematic Artificial Intelligence technology that thinks like an actual director and editor. It analyzes and combines user-selected images and music with the same sophisticated post-production skills & techniques that are used in television and film." Who is Animoto? "A bunch of techies and film/tv producers who decided to lock themselves in a room together and nerd out." Here's a 30 second clip of images I combined with Animoto technology. It's called Bluefin.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Got Worms?

On September 14th David Smart (photo below) caught a large Puget Sound cutthroat on a popper that was puking up a big pile worm around ten inches long. He had seen a number of these large marine worms swimming freely near the surface with sea-run cutthroats attacking them. He knew Dylan Tomine had developed the String Thing for steelhead. This fly has a long profile, skinny body and a trailing hook. This tying method fit the bill so Dylan quickly turned out the first String Worm fly for David. After a few on-the-water design/color experiments and the process of figuring out how to effectively swim this fly through the water, David started to catch some big fish.

Large cutthroat are rare and it is very difficult to regularly catch fish over 18 inches but the String Worm fly does just that; it catches big fish and lots of them. Since development of this fly, David caught more big cutthroats in two weeks than in the last 10 years combined, including a mammoth 24-incher and a couple equally impressive 22-inch fish. In addition to catching sea-run cutthroat trout, it has also taken blackmouth (immature chinook) and silvers (coho salmon), proving surprisingly effective on some staging coho in a local estuary. The best way to fish this fly is very slowly with slow smooth strips so that it slithers through the water. The fish see this as a large, very easy meal to grab as it swims by, and while the takes may be subtle as a fish engulfs the fly, the results are amazing.

Contribution by David Smart and Dylan Tomine