Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Q: What do you do when the current of work grows so strong you start to drown in it? A: You take off to fish the scenic waterways of Montana where trout and the people catching them teach you how to breathe again. Follow the journey of one man’s fishing adventure that takes him across the state of Montana in search of the next fish, a fresh perspective, and a more fulfilling life; after all, staying afloat in this contemporary world is a challenge.

Trailer/Film by.: RC Cone
Written by: Zack Wheeler and RC Cone
Presented by: Imago Fly Fishing

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Carp

The story of Christmas Carp - this Central European favorite has a rich tradition from pond to plate to Christmas tree ornament.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sipping Dry

Shot on the Missouri River near Craig, MT, Sipping Dry attempts to articulate the true essence of dry fly fishing in a setting many consider to be one of the dry fly capitals of the world. The full version will be featured in the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I was home for the Thanksgiving holiday and my sister told me about a special moment that her daughter experienced recently. She was fishing with her brothers off the dock below their camp which they often do. Typically they catch perch and sunfish of normal size. On that day she hooked into something much more substantial and this is the photo taken right before they released the largemouth almost half her size. It was a special moment for all involved, especially the parents who are both anglers.

This made me think about the moments in my past that helped me develop a passion for fishing. I wondered if a few special instances at just the right time fueled my desire or if it was one long collective of moments. As I pondered the question, a slow flow of angling experiences was released from my hard drive that I hadn't remembered for a long time.

I recalled hooking a big trout as a kid under a road culvert down a backroad. The fish got off right before I could land it. I remembered seeing a huge brown race out from an undiscovered pool way upstream on a small upstate New York creek that I fished when I could convince my mother to drop me off and pick me up. I recalled the day a blue heron taught me everything I needed to know about being stealthy on a roadside stream.

Another memory was from a long fight with a Great Lakes run salmon on a 6wt. that went long after the sun set only to break off in blackness, making me realize I was under-gunned. That led to the purchase of a custom 2pc. Sage Graphite II RP 9 1/2' 7wt. in 1987.

I also vividly remembered walking down to the mouth of a Maine estuary as a young freshwater adult just arriving in the state and seeing a 40" striper sulk past my feet, again giving me that under-gunned feeling; opening my eyes up to a whole new saltwater game. There were other memories too, of people, places, insects, birds and much more subtle moments, but ingrained lessons just the same.

I never really answered my question but I figured I'd share this with all of you hoping that it might make you remember something special too. Keep the line in the water and believe in every cast.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Gray Ghost Productions presents a closer look at Maine's Penobscot River restoration effort. The Penobscot has historically had the largest runs of Atlantic salmon in the United States and many hold hope that all the pieces of reintroduction can be assembled.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Maine Fly Fishing Show

The Maine Council of Trout Unlimited will host something new on Sunday November 6th.  This collective endeavor is the 2011 Maine Fly Fishing Show and it will take place at the Maine Military Museum in South Portland.  All show proceeds will support the organization's longstanding Maine TU Trout Camp.  This ambitious MFFS effort will include a host of exhibitors, fly tiers, authors and talented folks from the Maine fly fishing community.  There will be a casting contest, door prizes and a silent auction with a range of items including a custom bamboo rod, limited edition art, a 2 night stay at the Big Eddy campground (including driftboat guide service) and much more.  Admission (cash or check only) is $5 for adults and $3 for kids.  Mark your weekend calendar and show support for a good cause.  Visit the TU Maine web site for more details.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Higgins Beach Boys

Here is photo documentation of Runar Kabbe's and Russell Jacobsen's striper fishing quest during a late new moon tide in Southern Maine. These guys managed to land 70 fish in 8 days on foot. Russell decsribed this as one of the best fishing experiences of his life and Runar described these Maine locations as akin to the Gaula and Orkla. Check out Runar's trip report (includes more photos) at the Nordisk Fiskeutstyr blog.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Good Bend

My friend Runar is visiting from Norway to fish the new moon tide for stripers. Based on last years session he was able to convince his friend Russell to join him. These guys are adapting well to the game. Here are a couple of shots to share so far. Fish pictures will follow soon.

Photos by Steve Stracqualursi

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gregorio Perez

Michigan artist Gregorio "Gregg" Perez is someone I've been wanting to do a Way Upstream exhibition with for quite some time now. We got acquainted via Flickr and we comment occasionally on each other's images. I recently asked Gregg if he'd allow the use of some of his work and he obliged. The following are his words along with five of Gregg's artistic expressions. Visit his Flickr Photostream or contact Side Door Gallery for more.

"Writing a bio is tough. A bio is supposed to summarize your life and your art. But I've always felt my life to be somewhat nebulous, floating through life with no real purpose or plan. I go with what feels right.  What has always felt right is being close to nature. As a child I spent my summers deep in the woods behind my house. As I got older I gravitated towards local lakes and streams. Being on the water felt right. Fishing felt right. But fishing was not the only skill I learned as a child. As the son of a Marine I learned to shoot a pellet gun with accuracy. I learned about birds the Audubon way....by killing them. But at some point in my life I started to change. I had seen enough death. At some point in my life I became more compassionate towards God's creatures. I kept fewer fish. I shot birds with a camera instead of a gun. I learned to flyfish. I learned catch and release. When I watched the woods behind my house get cut down, bulldozed and developed I decided to live a life of protection instead of destruction."

"As with most kids I enjoyed art. But my parents knew the obstacles of success. There was an understanding in our household that Mexican Americans had to work harder and study harder just to be considered equals. Education was not an option. It was mandatory. So, my mother who also happened to be a guidance counselor channeled my creative energy towards engineering and architecture instead of art. She said when I was an adult I could make art, but until then I would stay on the college prep course. It wasn't until college that I was able to take my first art class."  

"I painted Flybox several years ago. I chose to paint in acrylic and watercolor after college because during college I became sensitized to mineral spirits.  It's really a very crude and unrefined painting. But I liked it for some reason. Perhaps it's because I have a fascination for Native American and Aboriginal art. I learned early on that subjects in my paintings were rarely photo realistic. Unintentionally they always seemed to acquire primitive hints of Hispanic, Native American or Aboriginal culture."  

"About 10 years ago I got my first really good look at some block prints in a gallery exhibition. I liked them so much I went to the local art store and purchased a starter kit. From that point on I have been working with linoleum and wood to create relief prints. I immediately fell in love with the primitive look of block prints. Kingfisher, Prince Nymph and Night Heron were all cut in linoleum using my Speedball starter kit. My depictions of flies are intentionally created with deity undertones. My dad had very eclectic taste in art growing up. I have vivid memories of Hindu gods decorating our walls. Flies with their ornate dress remind me of these Hindu paintings of my youth.  The linocut, Night Heron was originally designed as a ceramic design. I had been collaborating with a local ceramic artist to help with pottery decoration. Unfortunately I could never get the glaze to turn out on vertical pots. The design turned out much better as a block print I think. Anyway, I eventually purchased some better quality cutting tools and began to cut blocks in wood. Specifically, I use Shina plywood from Japan. Pheasant Tail no.2 is a woodblock print." 

"As my art continues to evolve I find myself leaning more and more towards primitive techniques and materials. I am currently experimenting with natural pigments grown and harvested in my own yard. Next, I would like to start making my own paper. As far as subjects are concerned I am fascinated with literary inspirations such as William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Thoreau, Gierach, Maclean and a few others."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wake of the Flood

This is a short video describing the flooding caused by Hurricane Irene in Hunterdon County and how fly fishing has recovered now that the floodwaters have receded.

Monday, August 29, 2011


MOTIV Fishing submission Drake Awards 5 Minutes of Fly Fishing, NOLA 2011 Winner, Movie of the Year and Best Humor

MOTIV Fishing is currently filming and producing a fly fishing adventure documentary that ranges from the Pacific Northwest to the tip of South America. To see all the finalists of the film contest and to vote for your favorite, visit The Drake magazine web site.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gaula - River of Silver & Gold

Short version of "Gaula - River of Silver & Gold"
Finalist of the 6th Annual Drake Video Awards 2011
Produced by Daniel Göz and Anton Hamacher
Post production & design by G+K Film Frankfurt
Shot exclusively on the NFC waters, River Gaula, Norway

Full information at www.gaulathemovie.com

Friday, August 19, 2011


A personal quest to catch a grand slam turns into an "absurd goal" to make a film about catching tarpon, permit and bonefish on the fly in one day from the waters around Key West, Fl. This is the long version of what was entered in the Drake Magazine Video Awards 2011.

Repetitious Lee

Illustrations by El Pescador

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I'm off to Outdoor Retailer to continue work on 12wt. projects. OR is not typically thought of as the fly fishing show but it's the best place to see the widest swath of people and business that can help you innovate. As I was packing I thought of posting something that conveyed a sense of innovation. The wheels began turning and I landed on this image. Identify the person in the photo by the time I get back (8/6 at midnight). Correct answers will go into a random Way Upstream drawing. The lucky winner will get something cool (TBD).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chicago Carp

Godzilla took Tokyo. King Kong took New York City. Now a new monster is staking its claim on Chicago! This is not just another average fish tale. Similar to JAWS, this story portrays a man-eater beneath the surface and simply staying out of the water is not going to keep the citizens safe. This monster carp is the size of a city bus and is almost as comfortable on land as it is in the water. Check out the one minute trailer and visit chicagocarp.com to learn more about this potential indie epic.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Whales Upstream

Here's a Gray Whale and her calf, in the lower Klamath River, roughly 3 miles upstream of the mouth of the river. They have been in the river for over a week, and may stay much longer.

In 1989, a mother and calf came in and spent most of the summer in the Lower Klamath Estuary (closer to the mouth). The whale was in fresh water for the summer months, and was observed going in and out until March of 1990. They were observed feeding on the tube-dwelling amphipod, Corophium spinicorne (which live on the surface of the gravel riverbed).

It turns out these whales were the first gray whales ever documented to over-summer in California, rather than making the long trip to the Bering Sea in Alaska.

Yurok Elder fishermen, Merk Oliver and Corky Sims remember the whale from 1989, and they named the calf "Bubbles". Could it be that the mother of the 2011 calf is Bubbles from 1989?


Monday, June 20, 2011

Better half

My friend Runar sent me this shot of his new and first tattoo. It took seven hours for the artist to render it on his underarm. It was created in the old school style (with a needle) as opposed to machine technique. When I asked him why he got it he said, "My better half thought I should have a tattoo, so she paid for it. What a wife I've got!!".

Photos by Runnar Kabbe

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rare sequence

This relic was originally created for the "Glowing Fish" sequence that was to precede the fight with the giant squid in 20,000 Leagues Under the SeaThis rare animation is lucky to have survived over the years. Half of this footage is in black and white while the other half is in color. The "Glowing Fish" segment is followed by a short test sequence (also unused) showing the Nautilus heading for the surface surrounded by flourescent schools of fish.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A New Day

I spent yesterday prepping the inflatable with my friend Joe. We filled the baffles with air, WD40'ed the rust spots on the trailer, cleaned the boat, organized the life jackets and dug out the anchor. Given that the end was near, these activities were pressing. Fortunately "the end" that I'm referring to was not that of our planet, though concern is still warranted; I'm talking about the end of fishless tides and the beginning of a new day. A fresh season is creeping over the sand.

Photo by Runar Kabbe

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Key West rookie

Key West is one of those places that qualifies as legendary in fly fishing terms. The ecosystem is rare. The colors are extremely intoxicating. Key West is special and you feel it as soon as you enter the boundaries. Recently I had the good fortune to travel there on a product development mission. This trip would have me fishing with Captain Will Benson (World Angling) and Captain Bryan "Bear" Holeman. Our collective goals were to get acquainted, chase tarpon and to beat the heck out of some poling and sun glove prototypes. Suffice it to say that Will and Bryan are very good at what they do and we accomplished our objectives in addition to doing some shirt fabric trials while good weather prevailed.

Mornings consistently began with coffee and a simple oatmeal breakfast before getting picked up around 7am. The first stop was always Cole's Peace Artisan Bakery to get sandwiches and then off to the boat launch. Once the Hell's Bay skiffs were in the water with 12wt. rods rigged we were off to places in search of silver kings. One day when the tide slacked we did go search for bonefish and jacks but we usually just ate our lunch and rehydrated until the tide started moving. Common sightings of bull sharks, lemon sharks, rays, barracuda, sea turtles, frigates, osprey, heron, terns and a host of other life kept things interesting while our eyes scanned for tarpon. The day would stretch until the 6:30pm range before it was time to head back. The late afternoon light was pretty special because the lowering sun had the tendency to make silver kings look like giant golden idols. It’s no wonder so many people have been inspired to write about, film and fish in the Keys. It's an instant addiction.

I didn't spend too much energy on nightlife but the local dinning and entertainment scenes are noteworthy. I did take-out and spent the few remaining evening hours MacGyvering prototype repairs, recording details and catching up on life digitally before prepping for the next day, which would be announced by the local roosters wandering the neighborhood streets. When it was eventually time to go home I headed for the sleepy Key West airport and boarded my 8am Delta flight north. My last glimpse of the area was from high above. I could see that it was going to be another good day to be on the water.

As planes carried me back to Maine, even amidst the stark contrast and shear volume of airport mass media, I couldn’t shut off the poon imagery that I’d seen over the last week. Royal wedding buzz, Steven Tyler comeback stories and massive tornado damage tried to change my mind’s eye view but with no luck. Tarpon were now seared into my hard drive. I still keep seeing and feeling the power of this ancient fish. There are two other firm awarenesses that fishing in Key West has left me with; I know that I’m still a Key West rookie and I’ll be back.

Photos by Will BensonS. Stracqualursi and Bryan Holeman

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Floating around in my head

I just got back from a 12wt. Key West session.  I'm still gathering my thoughts but I wanted to share something from the trip.  I'll share more as the words and images floating around in my head begin to clear.

Photo by Bryan Holeman

Monday, March 28, 2011


"Hooked" is a short story about a fish called Breemie who tries to get rid of a crazy-eyed, stretchy, purple stalker by using a sparkling, crystal flash lure of his own. Written and directed by Friedl Jooste.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Microworlds is a series of three educational videos produced by NOAA's Ocean Media Center and NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center for the 5th grade Microworlds Science Unit developed by Science and Technology Concepts. Each video features a different NOAA scientist interacting with several Seattle Public School students, while employing microscopes to better understand the world around us. Through each episode, the series connects real-world science with real-world topics and issues that students and teachers deal with in the classroom. The imagery and insights are fascinating.

Monday, March 21, 2011


These photos were taken by fisheries biologist Andrew Muir.  He used a darkfield technique and his Nikon with scope attached to capture some "tiny critters" living in the Great Lakes called Copepods. Copepods are a group of very small crustaceans found in the worlds oceans and nearly every freshwater habitat. They are a major food source for fish, crustaceans, seabirds and whales. Some of these invertebrates drift in currents (planktonic), some live on the bottom (benthic) and others live in wet terrestrial places like swamps, stream beds and even under leaf fall in forests. Scientists speculate that planktonic copepods form the largest animal biomass on earth. Copepods even play a significant role in helping to manage the global ocean carbon sink and are being hired to control mosquito born illnesses. It's no understatement to say that all life depends on these little bugs which most of us never see. Check out The World of Copepods for more on this miniature tribe of movers and shakers.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

For the record

Former Commissioner of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Arthur Brownell shares his perspective on marine resources and talks about the importance of making Striped Bass a game fish.

ggproductionsllc's Channel

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

FFIM f3t

FFIM (Fly Fishing in Maine) is hosting three showings of The Fly Fishing Film Tour (f3t) at the Frontier Cafe and Cinema in Brunswick, ME on March 4th (7pm SOLD OUT) and 5th (4pm and 7pm).  This has proven to be a popular Maine event and advance sale ticket purchase is recommended after all the screenings sold out last year. All proceeds from these events will go to the FFIM Grassroots Grant fund. This year FFIM will focus their efforts on stream restoration for wild brook trout in the Western Maine mountain area, as well as efforts to research a bacterial disease that is negatively impacting striped bass all along the East Coast. Put your roof rakes down and order tickets online or call the theater at (207) 725-5222 to claim a seat.

Illustration by El Pescador

Friday, February 25, 2011


I've seen Ray Troll pop up in the content stream from time to time and it always reminds me of a wearable relic that I have. I finally got around to photographing it. This particular relic is a SPAWN TILL YOU DIE t-shirt that I've owned since the late 80's. It only seems to come out for special excursions. This image is considered one of Ray's most definitive pieces and it's still in production today. Cruise around on the Ray Troll web site to see more original imagery by this influential and creative Alaskan punster.

Photos by El Pescador

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spirit Bear

Can a single image change the course of an environmental issue?  EP Films absolutely believes that it can, especially when the picture is from an encounter with a rare life form.  Hunker down and watch the latest 7 minute excerpt from this tribe of adventure/environmental journalists and get a rare glimpse of an animal with high spiritual credentials and the individuals who captured it on film.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fish fish

Fish fish is a paint marker sketch on black paper by English artist Peter Gander. This particular piece grabbed my attention because of the way the fish "scales" were actually other fish. The technique of building a fish image out of smaller fish seemed like a perfect way to emphasize interdependence. It makes me envision a series of images of the Bristol Bay ecosystem inhabitants (bears, eagles, wolves, fish, insects, trees, etc) all developed from individual salmon units (for lack of a better term). Peter mentioned that this sketch is something he'd like to develop further. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 4, 2011


The narration, film angle and construction techniques contained in this Coyote Carp Fly episode are entertaining and unique. Texasflycaster shows you how to make a very simple flats pattern from widely used materials. Color improvisation and material substitutions could result in umpteen pattern variations that could tempt any number of flats species. Have a look at this 9 minute video and see if it doesn't strike a humorous chord or illicit some measurable tying motivation. You might also want to visit Texasflycaster's Channel to see some other uploads. They cover a wide spectrum of content ranging from Carp Having Sex to an acoustic blues episode of Live From The Couch.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

f3t 2011

The 2011 Fly Fishing Film Tour kicks off once again in Ventura, CA on Thursday night (2/3). The venue is the Majestic Ventura Theater. Discount tickets ($12) are available at the Artful Angler. I have no doubt that this will be a memorable event and a memorable film tour year for the passionate, media savvy tribe at the helm. The ever evolving tour's reach includes points all across the country.  Visit www.flyfishingfilmtour.com for complete details and more.

Billboard illustrations by El Pescador