Friday Hot List for July 29

The Orvis Fishing Reports and Conditions pages offer up-to-date reports, including stream and river flows, tides, recommended flies and equipment, and special fishing tips. At any given time, those waters that offer the very best fishing become part of the “Red Hot” list. To ensure that those making the reports aren’t exaggerating the quality of their local fishing, each reporter is allowed only four red hots per year per location, so they only rank their spot red hot when it’s truly outstanding.

Most Fridays, we highlight those waters that offer the best fishing for the weekend. Listening to Taylor Edrington’s video report make me want to fly out to Colorado right now. Seems like the. . .

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Three Conventional Choices for Canine Cancer Treatment

Orvis Cover Dog Contest - Tazz & Mica

Throughout the years, dogs have benefitted from improvements in veterinary care. More are living longer as a consequence of improved nutrition, better vaccination protocols, and evolving standards of care in both general and specialty practices. If there is a downside to living longer, it is that more dogs live to so-called “cancer ages,” late middle age to geriatric. If a dog reaches ten years of age, it has a 50-50 chance of developing cancer. How can a rational treatment plan be developed?

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Today’s Top Ten Flies: Tom Rosenbauer

We’re introducing a new feature at, in which we ask well-known anglers and guides to give us their Top 10 patterns. Sometimes the list will be species- or water-specific, but we’ll also feature collections of flies you should never be without, no matter where or when you are fishing. Obviously, these are subjective lists—based on. . .

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The Vanishing Salmon of California’s Bay-Delta Estuary



The San Francisco Bay Delta is formed where the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers join in Northern California. The delta is an important resource for both fisherman and farmers. However, as with many rivers systems, far more water has been diverted from these rivers for irrigation than is needed for the farming, and the fish populations are being devastated. In this compelling video by the NRDC, we learn that salmon populations dropped from 1.4 million to 39,000 between 2002 and 2009, a 90% collapse. But action is being taken, and awareness of the problem is being raised, in part by videos such as this one above.

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Friday Film Festival 07.29.11

Welcome to another edition of the Friday Film Festival, in which we scour the web for the best fly-fishing footage available. This week’s collection has got it all: freshwater, warmwater, and saltwater action. From the chilly northeast of Norway to the marlin-filled waters off the coast of Australia, anglers continue to produce high-quality footage for the rest of us who can’t be there. But it’s not just entertainment: there’s educational value here, as well. Did you ever want. . .

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Master Fish Carver Commemorates Your Fish of a Lifetime

A wood carving by master carver Ellen McCaleb

In years past, when fly fishers wanted to commemorate a fish-of-a-lifetime, they often had to sacrifice the fish itself for a skin mount. In more recent times, catch-and-release has become the common practice, and anglers now rely primarily on wood carvings, fiberglass molds, and photos to recall that day and show the fish to other anglers. But many of us are not very good photographers, and, frankly, many wood and fiberglass mounts don’t bring the fish to “life” as much as one hopes.

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Fly Fishing for Bonefish in Cuba

Ok, so the video isn’t the best quality we’ve ever seen, and the narration is in Italian. But we all know the language of fly fishing the flats and that surge of a bonefish when it takes off and the reel sings.

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“Taking Your Chances” with Brown Trout on the Battenkill

Ghost Brown Trout

This is the picture I should have been posting this morning, but alas I didn’t “take my chance” when it presented itself. So I must be content with this imaginary brown trout.

photo-illustration by James Daley

In this country, the phrase “to take your chances” usually means to try something that may end up being a disaster—as in “You’re taking your chances driving on those bald tires.” But across the pond, they have another way of using this phrase. 

I watch a lot of English soccer (which they call “football,” of course), and they use slightly different wording to express something quite different from the American version. To “take your chance,” in this instance, means to make the most of the chances presented to you. So, for instance, if a player is presented with a good look at goal and buries the ball in the back of the net, the announcer will say that he “has taken his chance well.” Alternatively, the losing coach might say that the reaon his team lost was that they  “didn’t take their chances.” Because good scoring chances come infrequently in soccer, you must “take your chances” if you want to win.

This meaning of the phrase was driven home for me early this morning on the Battenkill. Eric Rickstad and I hit the water at 5 a.m., hoping to tempt some big. . .

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“Toto”: A Famous Dog, More Famous than We Realize

toto 2

Terry in her most memorable role as Toto, with Judy Garland

We all know and love this purebred Cairn Terrier in her role as Toto, but Terry (her real name) had many other roles before and after her mixing it up with a conman wizard, a witch with a fear of water, a dancing scarecrow, and a gang of lollipop kids.

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Fly Fishing the Potomac River Before Work

fly fishing

Had anyone told me two years ago that I would be waking up at 5 a.m. to get down to the Tidal Basin and fly fish before work, or spending my days off trolling the C&O Canal with my boss, I’d have had them committed. Aside from the fact that the last time I’d done any fishing, I was still missing teeth and wearing a turquoise Power Rangers t-shirt, I had somehow gone 22 years living in Washington, DC completely unaware that you could, in fact, fish here.

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