Orvis Dog of the Day- Fletcher!


Orvis Cover Dog Contest - Fletcher

Orvis Cover Dog Contest – Fletcher

– Robin, Jupiter

Enter the Orvis Cover Dog Photo contest for your chance to put your dog on a future cover of the The Orvis Dog Book catalog, win a $500 gift card from Orvis and help us beat canine cancer! Enter online at https://www.orvis.com/coverdog.


Orvis Cover Dog Contest - Fletcher

Orvis Cover Dog Contest – Fletcher

– Robin, Jupiter

Enter the Orvis Cover Dog Photo contest for your chance to put your dog on a future cover of the The Orvis Dog Book catalog, win a $500 gift card from Orvis and help us beat canine cancer! Enter online at https://www.orvis.com/coverdog.

In the Loop 9.21.10

The editor of Angling Trade magazine, Kirk Deeter, picks the Orvis Shoe-In—a flip-flop big enough to fit over your wading boots—as one of the coolest new products on display at the recent International Fly Tackle Dealer show in Denver. The Shoe-In is designed to let anglers wearing studded boots fish from a drift boat…

The editor of Angling Trade magazine, Kirk Deeter, picks the Orvis Shoe-In—a flip-flop big enough to fit over your wading boots—as one of the coolest new products on display at the recent International Fly Tackle Dealer show in Denver. The Shoe-In is designed to let anglers wearing studded boots fish from a drift boat without scratching up the floor. It will also allow anglers to walk into stores and restaurants without making a mess.

 


fish icon Today is the second day of FDA hearings to decide if the government agency will approve the marketing of genetically modified Atlantic salmon at supermarkets across the country. A Massachusetts company has developed a salmon that grows twice as fast as its wild relatives. The question, of course, is whether or not this Frankenfish is safe to eat.


fish icon In wild-salmon news, scientists are still struggling to explain the extraordinary—and unexpected—run of sockeye salmon in Canada’s Fraser River this summer. Some 34 million fish made the journey up from the sea, in a river that has seen steady declines for two decades. Both fishermen and biologists are cautioning against irrational optimism, however, arguing that one year does not a trend make. This year’s run might be nothing more than a statistical anomaly, rather than a sign that that salmon stocks are recovering. 
 


fish icon Things aren’t looking so good for steelhead in the Columbia Basin.

Orvis Dog of the Day – Scout!



Orvis Cover Dog Contest - Scout

Orvis Cover Dog Contest – Scout!
“On the lookout”

– Dan, Glastonbury

Enter the Orvis Cover Dog Photo contest for your chance to put your dog on a future cover of the The Orvis Dog Book catalog, win a $500 gift card from Orvis and help us beat canine cancer! Enter online at https://www.orvis.com/coverdog



Orvis Cover Dog Contest - Scout

Orvis Cover Dog Contest – Scout!
“On the lookout”

– Dan, Glastonbury

Enter the Orvis Cover Dog Photo contest for your chance to put your dog on a future cover of the The Orvis Dog Book catalog, win a $500 gift card from Orvis and help us beat canine cancer! Enter online at https://www.orvis.com/coverdog

Meet the Fly-Fishing Editor

Welcome to the OrvisNews.Com fly-fishing blog, where you can get a daily dose of news, tips, lessons, and more! Although Orvis is behind this great new venture, our content will not be Orvis-exclusive. Instead, we aim to cover the entirety of the sport, bringing you cool stories, videos, and pictures from around the angling world. We’ll take advantage of a large network of…


Selfie with a Vermont wild brown trout.

I didn’t become serious about fly fishing until I was in my 20s, when, after a few years living and working in New York City, I returned to my home turf in southeastern New Hampshire. My older brother, Brian—a much better fly fisherman than I was—lived nearby, and we began fishing together regularly. We ranged as far afield as the Androscoggin River, in the northeastern corner of the Granite State, but most of the time we fished the small ponds and streams that were within minutes of our homes—such unfabled waters as the Isinglass River and Stonehouse Pond. Although the sibling rivalry was always good-natured, we pushed each other to work hard at honing our fly-fishing skills. As a result, we both became better anglers.

Another important event around this time was when I reconnected with my high-school buddies, Fred and Sandy Hays (a.k.a. The Wretched Hays Boys), who invited me on their family’s twice-annual jaunts to the Rangeley Region of Maine, where we fished the famed Upper Dam Pool between Mooselookmeguntic to Richardson Lakes, as well as the Rapid River. Each June and September, we’d head north to chase landlocked salmon and big brookies on dry flies and traditional hairwing streamers. Since then, Sandy has traveled with me to destinations around the world as my photographer, fishing buddy, and comical sidekick.


Back in my guiding days, on Alaska’s Gibraltar River.

The next important phase of my fly-fishing career included stints as a guide in Alaska and Montana, where I was exposed to many different styles, techniques, and philosophies of angling. I tried to learn as much as I could from my fellow guides, from clients, and through trial-and-error. I was able to fish with anglers of all skill levels and in all kinds of situations—surrounded by brown bears in Alaska, surrounded by Winnebagos in Yellowstone Park, and surrounded by incredibly finicky trout on the spring creeks of Paradise Valley. Best of all, I got to be on the water almost all the time, in some of the most beautiful settings on the planet, and I got hang out with fellow fly fishermen.

But, as they often do, real-world concerns took over (translation: I was broke), and I found myself in need of a “real” job. Through dumb luck and good timing, I landed a position as an assistant editor at Outdoor Life magazine, and my career in publishing was off and running. Although I enjoyed the work, there weren’t nearly enough fly-fishing articles for my taste, so I began to look for other opportunities. Again, I had good timing, for the folks at American Angler magazine were looking for an editor. I jumped at the chance.

I edited American Angler for ten years, which meant I also worked on the company’s other titles: Fly Tyer and the now defunct Saltwater Fly Fishing and Warmwater Fly Fishing. In that capacity, I had the chance to meet and/or work with pretty much everyone in the fly-fishing industry, including the good folks at Orvis. It was a remarkable education.


Lake Champlain bowfin are a blast on a fly rod.
Photo by Drew Price

Throughout 2009 and most of 2010, I worked as a freelance editor, writer, and consultant for magazines, Web sites, and book companie, including writing the “Ask the Experts” column for Marshall Cutchin at Midcurrent.com.

In the summer of 2010, when Orvis approached me about editing this blog, I knew that it was a unique opportunity to make a big splash on the Web for a company with a dedicated following. We launched in September 2010, and it has been an amazing experience building an audience and working with an amazing array of anglers, guides, and conservationists, as well as the cool product developers, instructors, and travel folks here at Orvis.

In Praise of Ugly Streamers

It was a brutal summer in Vermont, and the Battenkill has been running so low and warm that everyone I know stopped fishing it in
August for fear of over-stressing the trout. But recently, nighttime air temperatures have started dipping into the 40s, and the leaves on the maples are beginning to turn—sure signs that fall is here. The Tricos, which started coming off last month, are winding down. They’re the last big hatch of the year on the ’kill, bringing fish to the surface again to feed on spinnerfalls at dusk…

 

It was a brutal summer in Vermont, and the Battenkill has been running so low and warm that everyone I know stopped fishing it in August for fear of over-stressing the trout. But recently, nighttime air temperatures have started dipping into the 40s, and the leaves on the maples are beginning to turn—sure signs that fall is here. The Tricos, which started coming off last month, are winding down. They’re the last big hatch of the year on the ’kill, bringing fish to the surface again to feed on spinnerfalls at dusk and emergers in the morning. But for me, Tricos are just a teaser for the Main Event: fall streamer fishing. And when I’m after big browns bulking up for the long winter, I like to throw something heavy, meaty, and ugly.

As a native New Englander, I grew up casting elegant featherwing streamers such as the Gray Ghost and hairwings like the Black Nose Dace. Something “ugly” might have been a (shudder) Woolly Bugger. But over the years, I’ve embraced the aesthetically challenged mutants—patterns like the Slump Buster, Beldar Rubber-Leg Bugger, and all manner of things featuring tungsten cones, multi-material bodies, and lots of wiggly rubber appendages. Traditionalists may frown upon such monstrosities, but brown trout love ’em.

This fall, I’m pumped to try Greg Senyo’s Olive G-String Sculpin, which seems custom-made for the Battenkill. Senyo, a partner in Steelhead Alley Outfitters has put together a real winner.

Senyo’s Olive Iced-Out Sculpin

Front Hook: Mustad 3366, size 2, cut at the bend.

Rear Hook: Gamakatsu Octopus hook, size 2. Loop attached to 30-pound Fire Line.

Thread: Olive Uni-Thread, 6/0.

Under Body: Hareline Olive Baitfish Emulator Flash.

Belly: Pearl UV Ice Dubbing.

Body: Hareline Barred Olive Rabbit Strip.

Head: Brown and Olive Senyo’s Laser Dubbing.

Legs: Missouri Craw Colored Rubber: Brown-olive-black.

Eyes: Hareline 3D silver Oval Pupil, 3/16.

Note: Dumbell eyes, if used, should be tied on the bottom or underside of hook.

I’ll fish it on a medium-action 6-weight with a floating line and a loop-to-loop sinking tip. I’ll let you know how it goes.

(Opening photo by Corey Kruitbosch)

The Future of Felt

Face it: the Age of Felt is coming to an end, and anglers will simply have to adjust. Biologists have known for years that felt soles serve as vectors for all manner of aquatic nuisance species (ANS), from whirling disease to didymo, and various attempts at solving or at least ameliorating the problem have been proposed—sprays, boot baths at boat ramps, public-education campaigns, and the like. Yet the ANS problem persists, so states such as Alaska and Vermont have passed bans on felt soles to take effect in the near future, with more such legislation from other states expected soon. (New Zealand was way ahead of the curve,…

Face it: the Age of Felt is coming to an end, and anglers will simply have to adjust. Biologists have known for years that felt soles serve as vectors for all manner of aquatic nuisance species (ANS), from whirling disease to didymo, and various attempts at solving or at least ameliorating the problem have been proposed—sprays, boot baths at boat ramps, public-education campaigns, and the like. Yet the ANS problem persists, so states such as Alaska and Vermont have passed bans on felt soles to take effect in the near future, with more such legislation from other states expected soon. (New Zealand was way ahead of the curve, enacting a ban in 2008.) When even the venerable New York Times takes notice of the problem (“Fly Fishers Serving as Transports for Noxious Little Invaders”), it’s a sign that anglers can no longer pretend that felt is a viable option.

From a pure fishing standpoint, it’s a drag, because felt works and has helped anglers reach water that was unattainable with old rubber boots. However, the new generation of rubber-sole boots shows great promise. At this point in their development, I wouldn’t recommend rubber soles without studs, though. I took a pair of first-generation unstudded boots on a trip to Spain in the summer of 2009 and nearly killed myself. And once you lose confidence in your own wading ability, your fishing experience suffers. But as soon as I tried the studded version, I felt stable and ready to wade in even the roughest water. They’re not yet as good as felt, but rubber soles have come a long way.

Keep in mind that even rubber soles don’t solve the problem of ANS transmission; they merely make it less likely. If you want to do your part in the conservation effort, you must drill into your head the mantra Inspect, Clean, and Dry. For complete instructions on how to do this, check out the Orvis Invasive Species page.

The Trouble with Brook Trout, Part I

The historic range of the Eastern brook trout in the U.S. stretches from the northern tip of Maine to the high country of northern Georgia, and from Minnesota to the Atlantic. Unfortunately, with the first appearance of Europeans on these shores, the waters that supported brook trout began to suffer from dams, deforestation, and siltation. Add in poor agricultural practices, road building, mine runoff, acid precipitation,…

 

The historic range of the Eastern brook trout in the U.S. stretches from the northern tip of Maine to the high country of northern Georgia, and from Minnesota to the Atlantic. Unfortunately, with the first appearance of Europeans on these shores, the waters that supported brook trout began to suffer from dams, deforestation, and siltation. Add in poor agricultural practices, road building, mine runoff, acid precipitation, and the introduction of exotic species such as brown and rainbow trout, and it’s no surprise Eastern brookies are in trouble.

Changes in land use and management over the last few decades have helped keep many native brook-trout populations from sliding over the edge into extinction, but the species is still far from saved. Formed in 2004 and fully funded by the National Fish Habitat Action Plan in 2006, the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) comprises public and private entities from Trout Unlimited to 17 state fish-and-wildlife agencies to renowned universities, which have joined together to halt the decline of brook trout and to restore fishable populations.

One of the organization’s first action was commissioning a report, Distribution, Status and Perturbations to Brook Trout within the Eastern United States, which offered a detailed look at the stark realities of the situation:

  • Intact stream populations of brook trout (where wild brook trout occupy 90-100% of their historical habitat) exist in only 5% of subwatersheds. Wild stream populations of brook trout have vanished or are greatly reduced in nearly half of subwatersheds.
  • The vast majority of historically occupied large rivers no longer support self-reproducing populations of brook trout. 
  • Brook trout survive almost exclusively as fragmented populations relegated to the extreme headwaters of streams.
  • Poor land management associated with agriculture ranks as the most widely distributed impact to brook trout across the eastern range.
  • Non-native fish rank as the largest biological threat to brook trout. Intact subwatersheds of wild brook trout in lakes and ponds are almost exclusively located in Maine, but self-reproducing populations remain in some lakes and ponds in New York, New Hampshire and Vermont.
  • More data collection is needed to determine the status of brook trout in various parts of the eastern range, particularly in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

The EBTJV is dedicated to reversing the course of the brook-trout decline by coordinating efforts that build private and public partnerships to improve brook trout habitat. For more information about the health of brook-trout populations, visit easternbrooktrout.org. There you can read the entire assessment report, state-by-state evaluations, as well as the Conservation Strategies for each state. The Trout Unlimited site also has a section on conservation efforts to save Eastern brook trout.

Conservation News 9.20.10

The proposed Pebble Mine isn’t the only place where gold mining could damage a fishery. Since four dams on Oregon’s Rogue River were removed in recent years, gold-seekers with suction dredgers have moved in to sift through the gravel that had built up behind the dams for decades. Many of these gold-seekers are from out of state and have come to Oregon because California banned the practice last year….

 

The proposed Pebble Mine isn’t the only place where gold mining could damage a fishery. Since four dams on Oregon’s Rogue River were removed in recent years, gold-seekers with suction dredgers have moved in to sift through the gravel that had built up behind the dams for decades. Many of these gold-seekers are from out of state and have come to Oregon because California banned the practice last year. As the New York Times reports, local anglers and river stewards are not happy about it. (Photo courtesy of Klamath Riverkeeper.)

 

Permit Underwater

conservation icon
From Bonefish & Tarpon Trust: “At their September 2nd meeting in Pensacola, FL, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission members decided that the draft rules recommended by FWC staff need further revision.  In an interview with the Keynoter newspaper, Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto said “These are our rock-star game fish. We asked staff to take another look at what we need to do to protect permit.  Permit is among the greatest fish we have in the Keys. We want to step back and figure out how to better protect it.” Learn more at the BTT Web site.

In the Loop 9.20.10

The Fly Fishing Hall of Fame in Livingston Manor, New York, has announced the 2010 inductees: Art Lee, author of author of Fishing Dry Flies for Trout on Rivers and Streams; John Randolph, longtime editor of Fly Fisherman magazine; Louis Rhead, and Englishman whose books The Speckled Brook Trout and American Trout Stream Insects are considered important to the development of the sport; and the iconoclastic Jack Gartside, innovative tier and writer, who died last year.

 

The Fly Fishing Hall of Fame at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in Livingston Manor, New York, has announced the 2010 class of inductees: Art Lee, author of author of Fishing Dry Flies for Trout on Rivers and Streams; John Randolph, longtime editor of Fly Fisherman magazine; Louis Rhead, an Englishman whose books The Speckled Brook Trout and American Trout Stream Insects are considered important to the development of the sport; and the iconoclastic Jack Gartside, innovative tier and writer, who died last year. The induction ceremony will take place on October 9 and is open to the public.  


fish icon The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) announced last week that the 2011 International Fly Tackle Dealer show will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s a bold move for the organization, which is looking to shake things up.



fish icon

 The Washington Post offers a great profile of Lefty Kreh.