Fishing and Digital Media

There’s a fun discussion happening at Trout Underground about photo e-zine Catch deciding to start charging for its product.

I’ve always seen Catch and its ilk as a way for an enterprising fellow to solicit resort owners for a free trip or some gear in exchange for some publicity. They’re essentially advertorial machines. Certainly not hurting anything, but not a trustworthy way to gauge where to drop stacks on that Caribbean holiday. Not that I do that sort of thing.

I think if they start to charge people to watch commercials, they’re going to be sorely disappointed.

But I was a little surprised to see they don’t pay photographers that contribute. There’s not much to that. It’s a discussion that’s been happening as long as there’s been publishers eager to cut margin and writers or photographers eager to build “reputation” or “clips”.

I’ll stick with Samuel Johnson’s timeless advice: “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” That doesn’t explain what I’m doing here though, does it?



Posted in Business, Culture, Digital, Media | Leave a comment

Hurrah for the Michigan Fly Fishing Club

Terry Drinkwine makes me happy to pay dues when he reports the Michigan Fly Fishing Club has donated over $400,000 in grands to various conservation projects over the years. That’s what your funds do–they become bigger through solid communities and administration.

And Drinkwine’s good enough to include the expertise of another Terry, Terry Herron, along with this report. This is Herron’s Last Chance Emerger.

I haven’t fished with Terry much, but I know two things: one, if you can smell his pipe, he’s probably catching the fish you would be, so keep walking, and two, if he gives up any secrets, take note. Here’s a Hendrickson imitation. Enjoy tying this one over the winter break.

Last Chance Emerger

Hook: Standard dry one size larger than the pattern calls for
Thread: To match the pattern
Tail: Mallard flank
Shuck: Amber emerger yarn
Rib: fine copper wire
Body: Turkey biot
Wing: Two CDC feathers
Hackle: To match pattern

1. Attach the thread
2. Tie in 3 mallard flank feathers for the tail
3. Tie in the emerger yarn shorter than the tail
4. Tie in the rib
5. Tie in the biot and wrap to the mid point of the hook after dubbing an underbody
6. Wrap the rib in between the ridges of the biot
7. Dub a thorax on the mid point to 1/3 point
8. Tie in 2 CDC feathers with the wing pointing forward, equal to the body length
9. Tie in the hackle and wrap 3 turns
10. Tie off the hackle in front of the wing
11. Whip finish
12. Trim the butt end of the CDC to ½ the body length

Posted in Bugs, Conservation, Culture, Michigan, Offseason, Tying | Leave a comment

Winter Dip

The people in town for skiing sure weren’t liking it, but it was mild enough last week in Michigan to get onto the Pere Marquette with little fuss. The old man tried to stick me with the shitty waders, but he didn’t realize the Cabela’s neoprene model was a much better choice in 38 degree water. We lasted about four hours before we started feeling drunk and sloppy and slow with the cold. That’s generally enough of a reminder of good old Uncle Hypo to get us out of the water, before you slip and take a dip or snap a rod on the trail.

We were looking for the elusive Great Lakes steelhead, with stout eight weights and strong leaders, but no fish were seen or heard from. Egg flies, nymphs, and a few streamers in the afternoon weren’t moving anything. But it was worth it to get out on a great river for a few hours when it would normally be much, much colder.

Posted in Michigan, Offseason, Travel | Leave a comment

The most wonderful time of the year

You know what that means--time to buy stuff.

On the good tip of one Michael Gracie I cruised over to Trout’s to get a few essentials for Small Business Saturday, taking advantage of the $25 credit for using an Amex. Sadly, I was so zoned out on turkey and stuffing I bought my junk on Friday, one day early. Further complicating matters, I didn’t realize this until Saturday afternoon.

Turns out the true value of small businesses championed the day–I dropped an email to Tucker Ladd, owner of Trout’s, in response to the invoice. I explained the screw-up. I asked what he could do. I felt a tinge of shame at the contents of my order–tippet, leaders, end-of-season replacement stuff. You know, for all the thingamabobbers I wound up leaving in random parts of boxes and bags.

But, sure enough, a few minutes later Tucker calls and explains how easy it’ll be to get everything returned and re-run on Saturday, squared away for the discount.

That alone, ladies and gentlemen, proved to me the meaning of Small Business Saturday.

But, a few days later when my order arrived, lo and behold old Tucker slipped me a Simms key chain bottle opener. And for that, I’m glad to go out of my way for a hearty handshake and hello at Trout’s next time I’m in the Mile High City.

Shoproll: Trout’s Fly Fishing, 1303 E. 6th Avenue Denver, CO 80218, (877) 464-0034

ps: for all you sick individuals like myself who can’t do anything but stock up to feed your illness in this time of giving, head over to The Fiberglass Manifesto, where Cameron‘s doing an awesome 12 Days of Christmas promotion swag-o-rama.

Posted in Business, Digital, Gear, Offseason, Shoproll | Leave a comment

Skunked by stockies

I took a friend new to the sport up to the Big Flatbrook last weekend, hoping the 1,600 fish the Jersey Fish & Wildlife folks had stocked a few days before would give him an easy first day.

Unfortunately we found the opposite: no fish whatsoever.

It’s possible we missed the areas where they’d put fish in, or that they’d not moved much in a few days and spread over much of the river, but we struck out. We fished mostly nymphs and streamers, as there was no topwater action.

I cruised by a few spots to vet them earlier in the summer, but the tenor of a few of them had totally changed, with extensive flood damage throughout the river’s course. Dozens of massive firs were across the river and along its banks in one section that was previously well shaded with a few rocky riffles along the middle. Now, the water flows around the new obstacles, creating scum pockets behind them.

I don’t know how this will affect the fishing there over the winter, or next season. It was only my second visit, so I’m not all that much of an expert on the terrain to begin with. The locals we encountered were all surprised at how much it had changed, though, and as unsure as we were about what would come next.

Posted in Exploring, Locals Only, New Jersey | Leave a comment

Lawfully Wadered: a Fly-Fishing Wedding

Tying the...err...hooking...err...landing...err...

I’m at the age where you go to a lot of weddings (Lady CFS and I are planning one ourselves) but I didn’t think the annual Montana trip would include one. But was I ever wrong! Two members of the club got wedded, while wader-ed, on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake river down in Idaho. It was pretty unique.

In that spirit, here’s a “Top 10 things to remember when planning or attending a fly-fishing wedding” list. Because, one day, you too might wind up at one.

  • Wear your formal waders
  • Rods line up in descending order for the arch: bamboo, Winston, all others
  • Nippers can be used to clip errant nose hairs that have grown long after a few weeks on the river. Do not use forceps.
  • Choose a river no one has fished well (in our case, the Henry’s Fork of the Snake) and you might just infuse a bit of luck.
  • Pepper the ceremony with quotable bits. In our case Darius Larsen of All Saints in Big Sky did his homework.
  • It’s impossible to avoid cliches, so embrace them wholeheartedly, because, hey, weddings are _about_ cliches: “tie the knot”, “perfection loop”, “catching the big one”, “catch and not release” (Go ahead and add your favorites in the comments.)
  • While bear spray is a nice decor choice, the potential for disaster looms large.
  • You can never account for the strange German kayaker in a very small bathing suit who lurks in the bushes by the boat launch for the whole ceremony, looking on with a mixture of shock and keen interest.
  • Throwing flies at the bride and groom wil be considered chumming.
  • Consider joining the rings with a length of tippet to avoid any slip-ups on the hand-off.

Been to a shindig like this? What did we miss? Answers on a postcard, or in the comments below.

Posted in Culture, Idaho, Montana, Travel | Tagged , | 1 Comment