Public Access in Jeopardy on Some Virginia Waters

Dargan Coggeshall and his Brother-in-Law

Dargan Coggeshall (left) and his brother-in-law, who is also a defendant in the
civil suit, take a break during a float on Virginia’s Jackson River.

photo courtesy Dargan Coggeshall

In June 2010, Dargan Coggeshall and Charlie Crawford decided to fish on the Jackson River near the home of Dr. John Feldenzer, a surgeon from Roanoke, Virginia. However, Matt Sponaugle — owner of the housing development called River’s Edge, who had sold the riverfront property to the Feldenzers — insisted that the anglers leave that section of the river immediately. He pointed to the No Trespassing signs posted on the banks of both sides of the river indicating that neither fishing nor wading was allowed there. Coggeshall, who had fished that part of the Jackson for years prior to the home being built, countered that his map, issued by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, listed this section of the Jackson River as public property.

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A Magical Day Chasing the Utah Grand Slam

Falcon's Ledge Pin

Here’s the prize for an angler lucky enough to achieve the Utah Grand Slam.

photo by Spencer Higa

Fly fishermen have different expectations when they set out to the river. Some like to catch lots of fish, while others just want to catch big fish. Here on the southern slope of the Uinta Mountains, a lot of anglers set out aiming to get a “grand slam,” which is to catch four different species of trout—brown, rainbow, cutthroat and brook—in a single day. Even better if they all come from a single river. I had the rare experience this summer of witnessing a unique double grand slam while guiding Travis and Todd, from San Diego, California.

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Pictures of the Day: More Lake Erie Steel

Erie Steel 3

Here’s one of our most important product testers.

photo by Shawn Combs

Earlier this month, six of us from the office got together to test some 2012-2013 products by pulling on some Lake Erie tributary steelhead. We packed up in a truck and drove eight hours (each way) to fish for fourteen hours with a few good friends from Steelhead Alley Outfitters. The smiles tell the rest of the story.

Click “read More” to see the other photos.

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New Contest: Where in the World is Orvis Travel?


If you know where this photo was taken, put your answer in the comments below.
You could win a Gale Force Backpack.

photo by Rowan Nyman

Orvis Travel’s team of professional anglers, shooters, and naturalists travels the world scouting new and exciting destinations, as well as leading special group departures. In the process, they visit some iconic destinations that may be familiar to you. In the comments below, tell us where this photo was taken—the river and the state—and you will be entered to win a Gale Force Backpack. The winner will be chosen randomly from among the correct answers. A new image and winner will be selected monthly.

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How to Prepare for a Guided Fly-Fishing Trip

Capt. Steve Horowitz (left) with a client who just caught his first ‘cuda on the flats.

photo Courtesy Rob Snowhite

Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe.

Good advice for anglers and guides alike. I am a guide working the flats and shallows of Biscayne Bay and the upper Keys of Florida, as well as the inshore waters off Montauk Point, New York.

So many of my clients who fish one or two days with me compromise their time and experience by not preparing themselves for that trophy bonefish, tarpon, permit, or striper because they do not prepare well enough for their day on the water. Let me share some ideas with you, as well as some do’s and don’ts that should help.

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Brook Trout, Acid Rain, and Some Good News

Chu Brookie

A recent study showed that the number of Virginia streams that could support brook trout has increased over the past decade.

photo by Simon Chu

When it comes to brook trout, any good news is welcome news. The brook trout is the state fish here in Virginia, and anglers in my neck of the woods have a deep and abiding reverence for Salvelinus fontinalis. But it is not just the sport that sends many of us into the high mountain streams or up some obscure blue line on a map.

Since 1987, the University of Virginia, Trout Unlimited, and a number of state and federal agencies have been tracking water quality and related ecological conditions in Virginia’s native trout streams. The key concern at the time of the initial survey was the impact of acid rain on the mountain headwater streams that supported reproducing brook trout.

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Anatomy of a Fly Rod: A Glossary

Do you ever find yourself scratching your head when reading about fly rods, or do you find yourself lost when you hear a couple guys at your club meeting discussing their new rod-building projects? Do you know the difference between the prepreg and the scrim? Some of the terms that describe fly-rod construction are pretty arcane, so here’s a. . .

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6 Things Guides Do That You Shouldn’t

Bryan Eldredge Cropped

As a guide, Bryan Eldredge can get away with things that you can’t on the river.

photo courtesy Bryan Eldredge

I was was nine years old when my brother Scott gave me some advice I’ve applied to all sorts of things since then. On that Saturday, we were playing catch after watching our beloved Red Sox on NBC’s Game of the Week when I made an imaginary relay throw pretending to be the Red Sox’ shortstop, Rick Burleson. Scott, who was already a high school star, caught my near-perfect throw and proceeded to chew my butt for throwing side-armed.

“But Burleson throws side armed,” I objected.

At this, Scott walked right up to me, pointed the finger of his ungloved hand at my nose and said, “He’s not a pro because he can do it; he can do it because he’s a pro.”

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Fly Selection Made Easy

Many anglers are turned off by fly-fishing because they think it is too technical. Oftentimes, experienced anglers try to impress new fly fishers by spouting off about the “Baetis hatch” or talking about the “Ephemerellas” they saw yesterday. It can seem a bit overwhelming for a beginner, and learning the Latin names of all the insects one encounters on-stream seems a daunting task. Fear not, because the fish know less Latin than you do!

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Wading in Wedded Bliss

Kathryn Maroun's Wedding

Kathryn and Lou on their wedding day, along the shores of the Margaree.

photo courtesy Kathryn Maroun

My fall pilgrimage for Atlantic salmon on a historic river in the highlands of Nova Scotia, Canada, is like coming home year after year. Pursuit with rod and line for the king of game fish dates back to at least the 15th century. The colorful fall foliage, mixing with the tawny water of the Margaree River, is always postcard perfect. As are my wedding pictures, which were taken in the valley at Lower Tompkins pool. When we tried to register the marriage certificate with the Province, they kept sending it back to us, saying that the Lower Tompkins. . .

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