Monday, September 28, 2009

The Little One

When it comes to the media (this blog included), it's apparent that the strongest love affair is with the big one. Who doesn't love to see an angler's catch when it's a monster? Most magazine covers portray once-in-a-lifetime catches of fish bigger than most of us will ever feel at the end of the line. The possibility of landing a big one keeps us all dreaming. But the reality is that the vast majority of the fish most of us catch are average or smaller. It made me think of the importance of the little one. Isn't it the little one that can make the difference between catching something and nothing on occasion? It's the little one that children most often catch and marvel at, inspiring future angling pursuits. Isn't it the little one that makes us laugh at its bravado, especially when it hits a fly as big as its head? It's the little one that often has the most perfect markings, face, fins and teeth. And it's the little one that must beat all the odds to become the big one. This post is a tribute to one of our most valuable fishing resources - The Little One.

Photos by Dave Buchholz and Marie Thornton

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Special moment in time

You dress in clothing designed for the occasion. You select certain tools, patterns, knots, settings and lines that you believe are more right than others. You stand with rod in hand, making casts into water, eyes covered with lenses to help improve sight. All with the hope that the result will be a special moment in time.

Photo by Robert Emerson Flight Words by El Pescador

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Protect something worth more than gold

Many of you in the Way Upstream community are aware of the battle being waged between mining interests and the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. Over one million acres of prime wildlife and salmon habitat in Bristol Bay, Alaska could be opened to new mining claims with the stroke of a pen. If you oppose such actions then here's something you can do to help protect this rare and pristine region. Join hundreds of hunting and fishing groups representing millions of America’s conservationists and anglers, outfitters, guides, and lodge owners and ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Bob Abbey to protect 1 million acres of federal fish and wildlife habitat in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Visit Trout Unlimited's online action center and tell Ken Salazar, Interior Secretary, to permanently protect federal lands in Bristol Bay from a modern day gold rush. Feel free to contact Chris Wood (COO of Trout Unlimited) with questions or for more information by calling 703-284-9428.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Industry perspective

I wasn't able to attend FFR this year so I've been looking for reports on the tradeshow and saw one pop onto the radar last night. Drew Simmons of wicked outdoorsy posted highlights, news and commentary about the recent FFR show that I wanted to share with the Way Upstream community. The post is titled - FlyFishing Retailer to leave Denver? Check it out. Share your thoughts. I'll keep you posted on other reviews as they appear.

Photo by Rene Braun

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tribute to a mentor

Growing up in Upstate NY, I found myself searching out accessible water to direct my growing passion for fly fishing to in the nearby regions. I fell in love with the Ausable River (Adirondack Mountains) and frequented a small shop located in the vicinity. That shop was the Adirondack Sport Shop and the owner's name was Fran Betters. Fran Betters was an early influence on my fly fishing and fly tying development. I remember being intrigued by his Ausable Wulff fly pattern because the red head seemed to defy all the rules. I bought a couple of his books and then eventually a 7'6" 4-5wt rod that he built because it was considered his favorite (shown below). Sadly, Fran died this past Sunday but his influence will live on. You can read additional posts at MidCurrent, Tippetsandleader's and the fly line. You can hear a podcast about Fly Fishing the Adirondack Range that Fran did on Fly Fish Radio back in 2006. Godspeed Francis.

Rod photos by El Pescador

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Old vises die hard

Here's another post along the lines of the relics theme (Stereograph and Delta 5). I rounded up some of my old, inexpensive, utilitarian fly tying vises for documentation. Below (top to bottom) are a Thompson C, a crude bent metal type and a Sunrise Fly King (there is still a version of this one in production). I used the Thompson as my primary vise for quite a few years. I put a strip magnet along it's shaft which came in handy. I used the Sunrise a lot at the bench as well but it was also a good travel vise. I would use the box that it came in (secured with a rubber band) as a carry all tying kit on extended fishing forays. The crude metal vise was something that came in a beginners kit and I mainly used it stream side on weekend camping trips to places like the Catskills or Adirondacks. I remember bending it to fit the irregular decor of the outdoors.