In the Loop 10.21.10

Kasatochi Eruption
The 2008 eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands.
Photo by Chris Waythomas, courtesy of the Alaska Volcano
Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey

Scientists searching for an explanation for the record-breaking number of sockeye salmon returning to Canada’s Frasier River have come up with an explosive theory. A 2008 eruption of a volcano in the Aleutian Islands may have created just the right conditions for a massive bloom of Phytoplankton, the sockeye’s favorite dish.

Kasatochi Eruption
The 2008 eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands.
Photo by Chris Waythomas, courtesy of the Alaska Volcano
Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey

fish icon 
Scientists searching for an explanation for the record-breaking number of sockeye salmon returning to Canada’s Frasier River have come up with an explosive theory. A 2008 eruption of a volcano in the Aleutian Islands may have created just the right conditions for a massive bloom of Phytoplankton, the sockeye’s favorite dish.

fish icon
 Fly fishers in the Southwest are gearing up for the 2010 Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Expo, at the WNC Agricultural Center (just outside Asheville) on November 6 and 7. A host of manufacturers (including Orvis), fly shops, guides, lodges, and organizations will be exhibiting their wares, and there will be a slate of educational programs, as well.

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 The Helena Independent’s Bruce Auchly offers an interesting primer on trout reproduction behavior, explaining why some species spawn in the fall, while others do so in the spring.

Au Sable Opportunity

1230_AuSableMain
A matching grant offers a great chance to double your contribution to conservation efforts.
photo courtesy Anglers of the Au Sable

The Anglers of the Au Sable have been given a wonderful opportunity. The Charlevoix County Community Foundation has stepped forward and offered to the Anglers a “Challenge Matching Grant” of $20,000. That means that the Anglers of the Au Sable must raise $20,000 in order to receive this matching grant of $20,000.00. The challenge is raising $20,000 by January 1, 2011.

1230_AuSableMain
A matching grant offers a great chance to double your contribution to conservation efforts.
photo courtesy Anglers of the Au Sable

The Anglers of the Au Sable have been given a wonderful opportunity. The Charlevoix County Community Foundation has stepped forward and offered to the Anglers a “Challenge Matching Grant” of $20,000. That means that the Anglers of the Au Sable must raise $20,000 in order to receive this matching grant of $20,000.00. The challenge is raising $20,000 by January 1, 2011.

This money will then be used to fund the very projects that are at the forefront of Michigan conservation.  From gas wells, to water rights, to fishing regulations, to such grassroots projects as erosion control and trout structures, the Anglers is known as an organization that gets things done in Northern Michigan.

But we need your help and we need it now.  Remember, we have only until January 1st to raise this money.  Any contributions should be directed to:

 

Anglers of the Au Sable,

P.O. Box 200

Grayling, MI 49738.  

Make sure to note on the memo of the check “Challenge Matching Grant.” Donations can also be made through the Anglers of the Au Sable Web site.

Last Year, Orvis and its customers raised $70,000 to help Anglers of the Au Sable’s effort to place large woody debris in the South Branch of the Au Sable to restore and maintain trout habitat from Smith Bridge to the confluence with the mainstream of the Au Sable. The debris increases the stability of the stream channel, reduces erosion, and serves as cover for the river’s fish. It will also return the Au Sable River to its natural state prior to the logging era. Let’s keep that ball rolling!

Exploring New Zealand’s South Island

Fly Fishing New Zealand….South Island Revisited Volume 1 from flydogsdownunder on Vimeo.

A great amateur video by two Australian fly fishermen who venture deep into the backcountry of New Zealand’s South Island. They land several trout that would be “fish of a lifetime” for most of us on this side of the Pacific. If you watch the second volume of their series, you’ll get a sense for just how spooky these trout can be, as one of the anglers struggles to get a fish to bite.

Fly Fishing New Zealand….South Island Revisited Volume 1 from flydogsdownunder on Vimeo.

A great amateur video by two Australian fly fishermen who venture deep into the backcountry of New Zealand’s South Island. They land several trout that would be “fish of a lifetime” for most of us on this side of the Pacific. If you watch the second volume of their series, you’ll get a sense for just how spooky these trout can be, as one of the anglers struggles to get a fish to bite.

In the Loop 10.19.10

Catalog-1961
The 1961 Orvis catalog featured a full-color jumping brook trout.

Over on the Classic Fly Rod Forum, Greg Reynolds shows off an impressive collection of post-1940 Orvis catalog and flier covers.

Catalog-1961
The 1961 Orvis catalog featured a full-color jumping brook trout.

fish icon Over on the Classic Fly Rod Forum, Greg Reynolds shows off an impressive collection of post-1940 Orvis catalog and flier covers

fish icon The first annual Irish Fly Fair will take place in Galway next month. Some of the world’s top fly tyers will be on hand to show off their craft, and professional casters will demonstrate how to catch trout, salmon and other species. The Irish Times offers more details.
fish icon A 67-year-old fly fishermen died from a rattlesnake bite on a backcountry stream in Southern California. William “Skip” Price was part of a team catching native trout as part of a study of Boulder Creek. By all accounts, Price was a dedicated angler, volunteer and conservationist.
fish icon The steelhead population in the San Lorenzo River—which flows through Santa Cruz, California—was listed as threatened in 1997, but this year’s number of smolts has exceeded all expectations. Although it’s too early to identify a trend, these numbers may bode well for steelhead populations all along the Central Coast.

Pond-Testing New Switch Rods

Rod Testing 1
A team of Orvis product developers tests some prototypes at the office pond.
photo by Phil Monahan

I looked out the window yesterday and saw some activity down at the pond here at Orvis HQ, so I figured I’d see what the fuss was about. The rod-development team had just received several prototypes of switch rods to be part of the new Access line, and they simply couldn’t wait to see how they felt. It was a beautiful fall day in the Green Mountains, perfect for spending a little extra time outdoors. And when you’ve worked long and hard to develop a new fly-rod design, it’s a great feeling to finally hold the rod in your hands and see how it performs.

Rod Testing 1
A team of Orvis product developers tests some prototypes at the office pond.
photo by Phil Monahan

I looked out the window yesterday and saw some activity down at the pond here at Orvis HQ, so I figured I’d see what the fuss was about. The rod-development team had just received several prototypes of switch rods to be part of the new Access line, and they simply couldn’t wait to see how they felt. It was a beautiful fall day in the Green Mountains, perfect for spending a little extra time outdoors. And when you’ve worked long and hard to develop a new fly-rod design, it’s a great feeling to finally hold the rod in your hands and see how it performs.

Rod Testing 2
This is just one of several test models of the new switch rod.
photo by Phil Monahan

A couple of years ago, Zach Matthews wrote a great article that explored how fly-fishing products go from the concept stage to landing in fly shops. Whether you’re talking about rods or waders, there are lots of steps involved, lots of opinions to solicit, and lots of manufacturing details to be worked out. Check out Zach’s article, “Reinventing the Wheel,” on his Web site, Itinerant Angler.

Bull Trout Critical Habitat Expanded

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service this week greatly expanded protections for waterways critical to the restoration of bull trout in the Northwest. This video by USFWS explains the many challenges bull-trout populations face across their native range.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service this week greatly expanded protections for waterways critical to the restoration of bull trout in the Northwest. This video by USFWS explains the many challenges bull-trout populations face across their native range.

On the River Test

River Test Project from Matt Dunkinson on Vimeo.

English photographer Matt Dunkinson has launched a film project with a very good friend who is the riverkeeper on the River Test. Here is a small clip of what they have been up to.

River Test Project from Matt Dunkinson on Vimeo.

English photographer Matt Dunkinson has launched a film project with a very good friend who is the riverkeeper on the River Test. Here is a small clip of what they have been up to.

Trout Unlimited Podcast – Hydrofracking the Marcellus Shale

Phil Monahan of OrvisNews.com has called the development of gas resources in the Marcellus Shale the “Pebble Mine of the East”.

Hear Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited, and his guest, TU’s Elizabeth Maclin, VP for Eastern Conservation discuss what the Marcellus Shale project entails, what “hydro-fracking” is and the potential impact on coldwater resources of Northern Appalachia.

Click the play button below to listen to this episode and go to orvis.com/podcast to subscribe to future episodes!

Phil Monahan of OrvisNews.com has called the development of gas resources in the Marcellus Shale the “Pebble Mine of the East”.

Hear Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited, and his guest, TU’s Elizabeth Maclin, VP for Eastern Conservation discuss what the Marcellus Shale project entails, what “hydro-fracking” is and the potential impact on coldwater resources of Northern Appalachia.

Click the play button below to listen to this episode and go to orvis.com/podcast to subscribe to future episodes!

Trout Unlimited Podcast – TU and Field & Stream’s Best Wild Places Tour

This summer, Trout Unlimited partnered with Field & Stream to showcase the Best Wild Places in America. The tour highlights six spots out West where people can experience some of the best hunting and fishing and most spectacular wilderness in the country. By fishing and hunting in these places, the goal is to inspire people to visit these places–all of which are located on public land.

Also, we hope to raise awareness about how special these places are so that they may receive the protection they deserve. Each one of the places on the tour faces some threat–development, energy disputes, or other threats that has the potential to rob future generations from the chance to experience the landscapes and wildlife. In this podcast, TU’s President and CEO, Chris Wood, talks with Chris Hunt, of TU’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, about the tour.

Click the play button below to listen to this episode and go to orvis.com/podcast to subscribe to future episodes!

This summer, Trout Unlimited partnered with Field & Stream to showcase the Best Wild Places in America. The tour highlights six spots out West where people can experience some of the best hunting and fishing and most spectacular wilderness in the country. By fishing and hunting in these places, the goal is to inspire people to visit these places–all of which are located on public land.

Also, we hope to raise awareness about how special these places are so that they may receive the protection they deserve. Each one of the places on the tour faces some threat–development, energy disputes, or other threats that has the potential to rob future generations from the chance to experience the landscapes and wildlife. In this podcast, TU’s President and CEO, Chris Wood, talks with Chris Hunt, of TU’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, about the tour.

Click the play button below to listen to this episode and go to orvis.com/podcast to subscribe to future episodes!

The Trouble with Brook Trout, Part II

The road to restoring populations of Eastern brook trout is ongoing, and it is a complex project. Across the species’ range, it faces a host of threats…

The road to restoring populations of Eastern brook trout is ongoing, and it is a complex project. Across the species’ range, it faces a host of threats: 

 

  1. Increased Water Temperatures—Historically, the cutting of trees for lumber or to clear land for agriculture deprived streams of cooling shade, and the resulting warm water caused brook trout to retreat to higher elevations. Climate change poses serious threats, especially to those waters that are currently just cool enough for brook trout.
  2. Exotic Species—The introduction of brown and rainbow trout in Eastern waters has been disastrous for some brook trout populations, especially in the South.
  3. Mossback
    A native brook trout in full spawning regalia.
    Photos by Brett Colvin

  4. Acid Mine Drainage or Precipitation—From the acid-rain troubled lakes and ponds of the Adirondacks to Mid-Atlantic streams polluted with mine drainage, acidic water threatens brook trout. Adding limestone sand has reclaimed some waters from which the species has been extirpated.
  5. Habitat Fragmentation—Roads, culverts, dams and other man-made obstructions cut off headwater streams from the rest of the watershed, which isolates populations. This leads to a lack of genetic diversity that makes the trout less able to deal with changes in habitat. Fragmented watersheds also mean that trout can’t migrate to new habitat when their own becomes unsuitable, such as when downstream fish migrate to headwater streams in summer.
  6. Siltation—Intense logging, road building, and poor agricultural practices cause siltation that reduces the fertility of insect life, covers vital spawning habitat, reduces water clarity. It’s imperative that all of us who live in the East do what we can to protect vital brook-trout habitat.

    For more information, visit easternbrooktrout.org