Video: Bebe the Sleepy Dog

It’s a little early for anyone to be having a bad day, but if you are, this video will help. Watching Bebe drift off into the Land of Nod is about as cute as it gets.

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Tuesday Tip: How to Remove a Fly Stuck in Your Skin

Fly fishing can sometimes be a hazardous game, what with all those hooks flying around. Sometimes, unfortunately, the pointy end finds its way into someone’s skin. We discussed this very problem last spring in a post that featured an awesome picture of Orvis Rod & Tackle Manager Steve Hemkens sporting some Carrie Stevens-inspired lip jewelry. Getting hooked isn’t such a big deal if the fly is barbless or if the angler has taken the time to mash the barb before he casts it, but this doesn’t always happen. In the heat of the moment, any of us can forget this vital step. So what do you do when you’re stuck by a barbed point?

The video above offers a fine demonstration of the push-and-pull method. There are lots of videos on YouTube demonstrating this technique but I chose thos one because, seriously, how cool is this guy for actually hammering the hook into his skin? But, as you can see, it comes right out with a minimum of torn skin and blood. Here’s how you. . .

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Video: Red, the Jail-Breaking Shelter Dog!

Here’s a scene that happens all the time in movies and cartoons, but it’s astonishing to see it in real life. It’s Party Time at London’s Battersea Dogs & Cats Home when one ingenious pooch plays the part of Harry Houdini and then lets his friends in on the act. But Red didn’t count on modern technology leading to his downfall! But stay tuned to the end for a very happy finale.

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Three New Online Magazine Issues!

Catch Jan 12

Those of us who enjoy the page-turning action of online fly-fishing magazines have a banner crop to choose from this week, as new issues of Catch, Southern Culture on the Fly, and A Tight Loop hit the digital newsstand. Catch features the best fly-fishing photography on the Web, as well as Todd Moen’s excellent videos. This issue offers the next installment of Brian O’Keefe’s “Colors of Fly Fishing” series, as well as great stuff from Argentina, Alaska, and Florida. But regular readers will know that I most enjoy the “Small Streams” slideshow. In fact, I’m in it. And I’ve got a copy of. . .

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We Should Bring Retired Military Dogs Home to the U.S.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut speaks about his bill that proposes more
benefits for retired military dogs, which are currently treated as “equipment.”

photo by Joseph Wenzel IV

A couple weeks ago, we posted about an organization that helps to reunite soldiers with dogs they bonded with while serving overseas. But there are also thousands of military working dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well. When these dogs have done their duty, often going into harm’s way to protect their handlers and other soldiers, they are treated as old “equipment” and the cost of their transportation back to the U.S. must be paid by their adopters or the units for which. . .

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Hero Dog Saves Children from Deadly Snake

Catherine Lynch holds River, who is recovering from a dangerous bite from an eastern brown snake.

photo via the Herald Sun

Sometimes it seems as if there is an endless supply of hero-dog stories, and here’s a great one from Australia. Catherine Lynch’s two daughters, ages 2 and 7, were running toward the swing set in their yard on Saturday, when an eastern brown snake reared in the grass in front of them. The brown snake is among the world’s deadliest, and it can be quite aggressive when confronted. . . .

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UPDATE: Dog rescued by Kayaker Helping His Family Heal

Here’s a follow-up report from Florida on Barney, the dog who was rescued from the Gulf of Mexico by a kayaker after a hit-and-run accident that killed the dog’s owner. This ABC Action News report shows just how much Barney’s return has meant to Donna Chen’s family, grieving over the loss a wife an mother of three. “I think Barney coming back to us is a total miracle,” says Chen’s husband. Battered and bruised, the Vizsla is home, where he needs to be for his own health and for the piece of mind of his mourning family.

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Rare, Vintage Lee Wulff Fly-Fishing Film

Here’s a wonderful piece of film by Lee Wulff demonstrating how a floatplane can offer an angler access to exceptional waters. As the person who posted this on YouTube explains:

Wings for an Angler with Lee Wulff was on 16mm, some what torn up when I got it from J. Frey in 1980’s. I transferred to VHS and found it last year. Now here is the seaplane fishing film, some what chopped up. This is the only copy that I know of.

There’s lots of great footage of leaping Atlantic salmon, and wait until you see the brookie that Wulff’s 10-year-old son Alan catches! (Hat tip: Moldy Chum.)

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Understanding Rod Action and Choosing the Right Rod for You

The Orvis Flex Index is just one way to describe the way a fly rod performs.

Ask almost any fly fisherman to cite the differences between fast- and slow-action fly rods, and you’ll probably get some version of: “A fast-action rod is stiffer than a slow-action rod.” While, at a very basic level, this is usually the case, it’s kind of like describing the difference between a Great Dane and a Chihuahua as merely one of size. Such a description of rod action doesn’t come close to explaining the many intricacies and variables involved, nor does it explain why rod action is important to casters and anglers.

Poring over fly-fishing catalogs won’t offer much illumination on the topic, either. Different manufacturers use different terminology to describe their products, and there is no industry standard to which you can compare any one rod. Get a bunch of the industry’s top fly-rod designers together to discuss the issues, and things start to get clearer, although you’ll still hear plenty of competing points of view. Here’s a guide to understanding rod action.

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