Video of the Day: Let it Snow. . .

Leland Miyawaki, fly-fishing manager of Orvis Bellevue (WA), posted this video to our Facebook page this morning. It’s a great short by Rick Bell on fishing in the snow for beautiful rainbows. Although it was shot in spring on an Idaho river, this scene will soon be a daily occurrence for those of us in the north country.

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Vote for our next grant recipient, and you could win a $500 gift card from The Orvis Company

Help us choose our next Matching Grant recipient, and you could win a $500 Gift Card

One of the reasons I have been so proud to work for Orvis for the past six years is the Orvis commitment to giving back. Through matching-grant programs, we and our customers have raised more than ten million dollars for conservation. Two years ago, we added the Morris Animal Foundation’s canine cancer campaign to our list of grant recipients, and through our now famous Cover Dog contest, we have raised more than a half million dollars for canine cancer research.

This is all great, but we want to do more. We want to add to the causes we support, and we want you to choose which of the two organizations below should be featured in our 2012 dog catalogs. Cast your vote on Facebook—you could win a $500 gift card from the Orvis Company and help us determine where we should focus our philanthropic resources next year.

To help us choose our next grant recipient, and for your chance to win a $500 gift card from The Orvis Company, click here. 

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Tying the Zebra Midge

With cold weather approaching, many anglers will be focused on tailwaters where midges are an important part of a trout’s diet. The Zebra Midge, invented by Lees Ferry guide Ted Welling, imitates a tiny midge pupa, but you’ll be amazed by how such a tiny fly can attract large fish. In his book Tying and Fishing Tailwater Flies, Pat Dorsey describes how he uses the Zebra Midge when he needs a midge-pupa pattern that. . .

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Picture of the Day: South Andros ‘Cuda

Fredlon and the Cuda

South Andros Island guide Fredlon Dames with an arm’s length of toothy sea predator.

photo by Sandy Hays

A few years ago, I headed to South Andros in The Bahamas with my buddy Sandy Hays to chase bonefish on the extensive mangrove flats at the southern tip of the island. After a couple days of fantastic fishing, I told Freddy I’d like to catch a barracuda. We had to motor around a bit, but Freddy kept passing up fish until we found one big enough for his liking. On the first cast, the ‘cuda charged across the flat and hammered my fly. After one screaming run that featured three jumps, the fish settled into a tug-of-war before finally coming to the boat. Click “Read More” to see an up-close-and-personal head shot of this specimen.

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Tuesday Tip: Cleaning and storing your gear for the off-season

Battenkill Bar Stock Instructions

Always make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and lubing your reels.

While the fishing season is by no means over, it may be time to start thinking about putting away some of your equipment—dry-fly rods, the 2-weight you use for native brookies, etc.—for the long winter. Although most fishing gear will last for years if you treat it right, incorrect storage can shorten that life span or ruin the aesthetics of a fine rod or reel. For instance, C. Boyd Pfeiffer, the godfather of tackle craft, tells of how he put a fly rod away wet, and when he retrieved it in the spring it was covered by tiny white blisters under the finish. Here are some tips to help you avoid such an unwelcome surprise. . . .

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New study finds that puppy mills leave dogs emotionally scarred for years afterward

Researchers found that the psychological damage caused by life without human contact persists long after the dog has been adopted.

photo by Sarah Ause, Best Friends Animal Society

An article to be published in an upcoming issue of Applied Animal Behavior Science, finds that dogs raised in puppy mills suffer dramatic emotional and behavioral effects for years afterward, according to a story in USA Today. Researchers Frank McMillan of Best Friends Animal Society, and James Serpell and Deborah Duffy of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, . . .

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Foliage is Popping in Vermont

Foliage at the Office

Just a few days ago, many of us were wondering if the foliage was going to be dull because of all the rain we’ve had this year. As our answer, here’s what the pond at Orvis HQ looked like when I arrived this morning. That’s Mount Equinox in the background.

photo by Phil Monahan

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Fishermen and indiginous people line up against Pebble Mine

A new story on National Geographic Daily News—part of a special series on global water issues—discusses the ways that commercial fishermen and indigenous peoples are lining up against the proposed Pebble Mine

According to a poll in June 2011 by the research group Craciun, Bristol Bay fishers are united against the project, with 86.2 percent opposing the mine. An earlier survey by Craciun found that 71 percent of the households in the Bristol Bay area opposed the mine, with only 9 percent even somewhat supportive of it; other polls have found the majority of Alaskans say the mine is not worth the risk.

The video above gives a clear description of how the project would threaten the livelihoods and traditions of the people who live in the Bristol Bay region.

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New program uses dogs to help relieve stress of returning soldiers

A soldier from the Tennessee National Guard is greeted by Jasmine, a therapy dog.

photo by Scott Roberson for the Daily Journal

A story from the Johnson County (IN) Daily Journal describes a three-month old program that uses dogs to greet soldiers returning from overseas

“Their shoulders get less rigid, their eyes light up, and they smile,” said Janine Ostrum, Smokey’s owner. “The soldiers can be just as anxious coming back as when they leave. They have so much to do coming home. It helps calm them down and pass the time to just play with a dog.”

The use of therapy dogs has been proven to reduce stress levels and blood pressure in hospitals, and the military program’s designers believe the same ameliorative effects will help soldiers trying to re-enter home life.

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