Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fish Mode

SOULFISH 2, FISH MODE from Mikey Wier on Vimeo

Patagonia fly fishing ambassador, old school snowboarder, artist/filmmaker/fly tyer, surfer, and guy who moves through life with a very positive ethos, Mikey Wier continues to produce fly fishing moving picture compositions worth appreciation. He was a pioneer of the original tribe of new school trout bums and has been on the landscape of influential fly fishing filmmakers and film tours longer than just about anyone.

This Soulfish 2 project is called Fish Mode. The trailer looks to tie together a vast number of places and people into one common fly fishing thread. That thread is really the path that Mr. Wier has been on. That alone is impressive. You'll see that Burl Productions continues to experiment with graphic techniques in Fish Mode which are part of the brand's uniqueness. Music is also a point of differentiation. Good stuff as always. For those interested in gear, make note of what you see people using in Mikey's films and on his blog. You are often seeing what is being tested for future market introduction in both hard and softgood categories.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't SPOIL it

SPOIL Film Trailer from EP Films on Vimeo

Oil giant Enbridge plans to build a pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to the BC Coast. Once again we have dirty oil demand threatening pristine ecosystems. Check out this 3 minute trailer from EP Films to see some rare footage from world renowned photographers of the spirit bear, wolves, salmon and to learn more.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Underwater Falls

This nine minute film is a short documentary on the flooding of Celilo Falls (Columbia River) and the subsequent demise of a way of life for a community still looking for home.

@dimonyych's Channel

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Greatest Migration

The Greatest Migration from Epicocity Project

Here's the full length film from the Epicocity Project called The Greatest Migration. It's powerful. It makes you appreciate the stamina required for a long and arduous journey way upstream.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Krill is Gone

“The Krill is Gone” Trailer from Bent Image Lab

The Krill is Gone is an environmental comedy featuring a cast of fishy personalities voiced by SpongeBob’s Tom Kenny and his gifted wife, Jill Talley. The film took first-place at the recent Blue Ocean Film Festival and was screened at the GLOBIANS Film Festival in Berlin. It was shown in Toronto’s Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival last month and will also be featured at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington DC this March.

As the story unfolds, we meet characters including: Emiliania Huxleyi, a Robin Leach-like plankton who is about to reveal startling new evidence on the menace of rising acidity in oceans; a shrill little krill who frets that she can’t grow another shell, when she’s not bemoaning the decline of the neighborhood since the jelly fish moved in, lured there by the toxic carbonic acid; a wise-cracking comic who cruelly jokes that the krill are losing their crunch; and a visiting celebrity named Al Ba Core, who looks suspiciously like a tuna on a mission (if only someone would listen). Have a peak at this 47 second trailer with a message.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Inside the Egg

Paul Vecsei's photo - Inside the Egg (shown above) inspired me to inquire further about this particular area of his fisheries biology research. Paul obliged my questions and agreed to gather up the following series of photos that he shot of Arctic grayling eggs, developing embryos, just hatched fry and elegant parr stages. The photography is stunning. This collection literally and figuratively magnifies the powerful yet fragile transformation. Visit Fish as art's photostream for titles, captions and more; like a close up image of an adult Arctic grayling in the wild.

Way Upstream Gallery 2010 Courtesy of Paul Vecsei

Saturday, November 13, 2010

International Fly Fishing Film Festival

There's a new International Fly Fishing Film Festival (if4) that is planning a drift through Canada and the United States in 2011. Each screening will feature films by Gin Clear Media, Double Haul Productions, Burl Productions, Fly Max Films and more. Most of the 3 hours of planned footage per screening is not available on any DVD as of yet. Log on to for more information about this developing piscatorial event.

International Fly Fishing Film Festival from Nick Pujic

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hiawatha's Fishing

The Song of Hiawatha is an 1855 epic poem, in trochaic tetrameter, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, featuring an Indian hero and loosely based on legends and ethnography of the Ojibwe (Chippewa, Anishinaabeg) and other Native American peoples (but not the Iroquois leader). The poem is very much a work of American Romantic literature, not a representation of Native American oral tradition, although Longfellow insisted that it was. The complete work contains 22 chapters. The following video focuses on the 8th chapter which is called Hiawatha's Fishing, a quest to capture "Mishe-Nahma, the King of Fishes."

@ CCPoem's Channel

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Ice-Pick

The "Ice-Pick" Streamer from Richard Strolis on Vimeo

The Ice-Pick is a new streamer pattern from Connecticut based Farmington River guide and fly tier Richard Strolis. This pattern is a Zonker variation utilizing the new Fish-Skull by Flymen Fishing Company. Richard says that white, yellow, grizzly and orange colorways are some of his top producers. I first saw this pattern at Hatches Magazine which is home to an extensive fly tying database. Visit Richard's web site, Catching-Shadows, to learn more about his guide services. Check out his Vimeo Channel to see a growing collection of tying creativity.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Special Outreach Program

Stripers Forever is looking for a volunteer to work with their board on a special outreach program. They have seen numerous articles in various news sources about striped bass as restaurant fare and believe many of the food distributors selling striped bass and those people promoting striped bass as a food source are unaware of the disease issues facing wild striped bass and of their heavy contaminant levels. Stripers Forever wants to educate this group about the big concern that current fishery management practices are severely depleting the brood stock of large fish, and that the result is repeated year class failures and very few small fish in the population. Stripers Forever believes East Coast stripers are on a crash course for disaster and they want to take action to reach those people who might care but who simply don’t know the present day situation of this historic fish.

Stripers Forever wants to mobilize their membership to be the eyes and ears seeking out distributors promoting striped bass and to scour the news on a daily basis using the various search engines to find mention of striped bass in restaurant reviews, food columns, etc. The leads will be funneled to the designated volunteer who would then reach out to these people and provide them with the issues facing wild striped bass.

"The ideal volunteer candidate would be someone with decent computer and writing skills, an ability to think creatively to help find the proper people to communicate with, good organizational skills, a determination to help striped bass, and enough available time to do this work. 4 or 5 hours a week over the next 6 months would put a big dent in what needs to be done."

If you are interested in working on this please contact Brad Burns at to discuss the position.

Photo by Runar Kabbe

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fishing with Spinoza

Fishing with Spinoza is a seven minute story about two fuzzy friends, Jude and Ruby who are out angling for a legendary fish called Moby. While fishing they engage in a conversation about Hemingway, the movie "Wild at Heart" and the controversial philosopher Spinoza. During their discussion, Jude is snatched out of the boat and into the depths of the lake. Ruby jumps in to save his friend and a struggle between life and death begins.

Fishing With Spinoza from The Animation Workshop

Film by: John Kenn Mortensen
Direction, Script, Storyboard, Background, Animation, and
Editing: John Kenn Mortensen
Producer: Michelle Nardone
Music/Lightning Bolt Sound: Thomas Richard Christensen
Voice-over: Lawrence Marvit, Hugo Cataldo

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gone Fishin'

"Mr. Satch" and "Mr. Cros" recorded this 2 & 1/2 min. track in 1951.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spots Vs Stripes

decided to create an animated, ocean environment themed advert to promote a game called Spots Vs Stripes. The inspiration for it all centers around the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the goal is to engage the online community in a fun, competitive way. Unfortunately I can't comment on the "big game" but the short film is amazing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Special documentation

Tarpon on the feed from Sam Root on Vimeo.

This 2 minute video captures feeding tarpon within a very short distance of the camera. Various types of birds work the busting bait patches while anglers watch with amazement. Huge silver kings slice through the balls spraying glimmering protein into the air. I'm glad the folks at had the mindset to grab the camera instead of the rod. This is special documentation.

Friday, October 1, 2010

An Exploration

Artist, writer, and conservationist James Prosek made his authorial debut at the age of 19 with Trout: an Illustrated History, which featured 70 of his watercolor paintings of the trout of North America. Prosek has shown his paintings throughout the U.S. and has written for the New York Times and National Geographic. He won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, the 17th century author of The Compleat Angler. His book Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish, was recently published by HarperCollins. I was privileged to receive a copy of the manuscript and found the content to be fascinating. This new book is an exploration of a special yet "uncharismatic" creature but I couldn't help feeling that it was as much about a transformational journey for James as well. Check out the review in Yale Environment 360. You can read more about eels in articles that James wrote for National Geographic and Orion Magazine. Also attached is a video called eel•water•rock•man that highlights a unique individual named Ray Turner who has spent his lifetime harvesting wild eels with an ancient stone weir on the East Branch of the Delaware River. Take some time and review the eel topic further and consider picking up a copy of the new book. I think you'll find this exploration to be fascinating too.

eel•water•rock•man from Orion Magazine on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Salmon Run

The Mizrahi Brothers are working on a documentary and have released a 5 minute piece for review. This teaser focuses on Pulaski, NY which is a place that I spent some formative years fishing in for salmon and steelhead on the fly. Pulaski lies between the eastern shore of Lake Ontario and the Tug Hill region. Some of the challenges of this rugged area include some slippery wading rivers, fluctuating flows, hard fighting fish and occasional crowds. The camera used for this work is the Sony NEX-VG10. From the look of this short film, I'd have to say that it's a very nice piece of equipment in the hands of some passionate, talented enthusiasts. There are some cool long exposure segments in the film combined with authentic angling sequences and a complimentary acoustic soundtrack. It has a very natural feel about it that I think you'll enjoy, especially if you're familiar with the Great Lakes tributary scene. Have a look and I'll keep you posted when the full length version is complete.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Paul Vecsei is a fisheries biologist residing in Yellowknife, Canada and he created the following series of morphometric illustrations. I found this collection of finned gems to be exciting share-worthy content so I asked Paul if I could post them and he granted permission to do an exclusive Way Upstream exhibition. These illustrations use a combination of regular colored pencils and some watercolor pencils. Here's what Paul had to say about his craft, " The process is very slow, often requiring numerous layers. It's not magic. Many of you could do it if you really tried and did nothing else for years. It's more about willpower than technique."

Way Upstream Gallery 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Touching the lives of everything

Salmon Film Teaser from Epicocity Project on Vimeo.

Follow the journey (above and below the surface) of the critically endangered Snake River salmon from the coast of Alaska to Idaho's Sawtooth Valley. These fish migrate farther inland and higher in elevation than any other fish on Earth, along the way touching the lives of everyone and everything in the ecosystem.

Sneak preview at Keen Footwear on Wed, November 10th, 2010 in Portland, Oregon. Music by The xx Produced by EP

Friday, September 17, 2010

Slab of all time

This huge char was caught on a fly by Craig Blackie (holding rod). It weighed over 24 lbs and is estimated to be the largest fly-caught char on record. The blazing beast was released seconds after this photo was taken. Both guys in the shot are fish biologists and they specialize in salmonid morphology and taxonomy. Visit Paul Vecsei's Photostream to view other amazing fish including giant lake trout, backcrossed carp, strange chubs and more. As you'll discover, fisheries biology has it's perks.

Photo courtesy of
Fish as art

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Universal Truth

I've been striper fishing with good friends for the past week and we've had some excellent experiences. I was looking at some of the photos from our sessions and there was one that I just had to post. It seemed to illustrate one of the universal truths when it comes to fly fishing. Note that I don't know how many universal truths there really are regarding fly fishing but I do know this one, everyone loves to see their backing. It's especially gratifying to see it come back on the reel. I hope you see your backing often.

Photo by Runar Kabbe

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Building models

Some saltwater fly tying is akin to building models. These types of flies involve synthetic materials, eye components and a host of adhesives (like Clear Cure Goo). Here's a video demonstrating the tying basics of what Bob Popovics dubbed "Surf Candies" about 20 years ago. It also shows how some of todays bonding agents set very quickly with the use of light which eliminates the problems of trying to work with longer setting epoxies. What next?

Clear Cure Goo Flexible Surf Candy from Clear Cure Goo

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pushing forward

I'm starting a few product development projects and I figured some Way Upstream community conversation would be in order to help push things forward. The projects I'm referring to have to do with fishing gloves specific to the sun as well as a mask. I'd like to hear your thoughts on these. If you have opinions on what works, what doesn't or what you'd love to see regarding these kinds of products then please chime in. This could get interesting.

Illustration and arrangement by Steve Stracqualursi

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Transcend the impossible

Mythical creatures like unicorns and mermaids are fun stuff for children to wrap there minds around. Unfortunately if there ever was any truth to their existence it hasn't been substantiated since the days of Merlin. On the flip side, there is at least one living creature that can evoke the same sense of mystery as aquatic, wish-granting, human females with fish tails or magical white horses with a twisty pearl horn.

The sight of this small ocean resident reinforces that the natural world contains some unexplainable truths. The creature I'm referring to is the flying fish. Even it's name suggests contradiction. Today's post is a tribute to this special flier that has transcended the impossible. Let it serve as a source of hope for all of us when facing difficult challenges. Believe in the possibilities.

Collagraph by Peter Gander

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Harmony "Bean"

Blog community member and photographer James Dwyer took a first crack at sketching a corbina with Harmony and the result was worth sharing (shown above). You can see more of his images (like the one shown below) on his Flickr photostream. Feel free to share your artistic creations with El Pescador too. You just may get published here on Way Upstream.

Harmony illustration and photo by Corbinafly

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Here's a 7 minute animated masterpiece (and movie poster) that I think you'll enjoy. This classic is one of Disney’s pseudo-educational cartoons focused on the fine art of angling (including fly fishing). It's called HOW TO FISH starring Goofy and was produced by Jack Kinney. The linen-backed movie poster for HOW TO FISH is very rare and is valued at $6000 in fine condition.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fishing In Alaska

Fishing In Alaska

The bullet whooshed by my ear,
the shooter somewhere on the hill above.

We took the warning and motored downriver
but here too we heard gunfire.

And so it continued all afternoon.
Not one cast could we make
to the beautiful silvers in the long slow pools,

for the native people were having sport with us
and nothing we could do to stop it.

Poem by Alan Harawitz Photo by Steve Stracqualursi

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


It has been a while since I invested time doing apparel posts but I'm happy to say that the task seems to have made its way back onto my plate. Last month I became an ambassador for Mountain Khakis and have been doing some field testing for this Jackson Hole based brand of "hips-down apparel". My first assignment was to put their 50+ UPF rated Granite Creek Convertible Pants through the paces.

I will start by admitting that I've never been a convertible kinda guy but the MK version is one of the best I've come across. The first thing I liked was the 6.3oz fabric. This brushed finish nylon is comfortable and quieter than the norm. It has a Scotchgard finish which really helps the fabric resist condensation build up when worn under waders as well as shedding light precipitation. These pants have zippered back and side pockets that are well located, ample without being cavernous and the rope zipper pulls make them easy to access/close. The pocket bags are made of mesh which doesn't seem to catch on my key ring in addition to allowing for good airflow/drainage. There are 10" calf zippers and color coded leg zips on this style to make the conversion to shorts easy and the 9" short inseam provides good coverage. I like the Grosgrain detail at the waist because it adds rigidity, durability and a little class. These pants have "Mud Flap" reinforced heel cuffs too.

Even with those product attributes called out, I'd have to say that my favorite feature is that the pants with all the details can still be worn daily without giving you the feeling that your wandering around in expedition clothing...though these would really shine on an adventure because of the efficiency they would provide. I've logged about 25 days in them so far. No complaints. I'll keep you posted as they age. Visit the Mountain Khakis web site for more info on this pant, the company, their products and the ambassador tribe.

Photos by Tom Maneggia