In the Loop 04.18.11

Finding new waters to fish is a lifelong quest for most fly fishermen, who dream of secluded, “secret” spots where they can escape the crowds and find eager, unpressured trout. One way to strike out on your own is by “bluelining,” or poring over maps to find small streams off the beaten path. On, my friend Brant Oswald–a Livingston, Montana-based guide–has written a thorough and enlightening article on the subject called “Small Streams Under Big Skies.” Although the article is focused on Western fishing, anglers from all over the country can benefit from Oswald’s strategies.

 fish icon Modeling their event on the ground-breaking Orvis Casting Course in Bend, Oregon, southwestern Idaho’s Ted Trueblood Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting a “fly-rod golf” tournament to raise money for a large culvert-replacement project. The tournament–held at Eagle Island State Park near Boise on May 14–will offer a 14 “hole” course, which will feature hoops at various distances and will require competitors to navigate different kinds of casting obstacles.  For more information, visit

fish icon Reestablishing populations of westslope cutthroats in Montana is a huge undertaking, but the project has just received a big boost: The Missoulian reports that  a new hatchery facility dedicated to westslope cutthroats is in the works. “The hatchery will allow biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to raise genetically diverse populations of wild westslope cutthroat trout, hold them in isolation until they are certified genetically pure and pathogen-free, and then introduce them to Montana’s lakes and rivers where the fish have historically thrived.”  

fish icon There’s good news and troubling news for Northwest steelhead lovers. On the plus side, The Tricity Herald reports that young Snake River steelhead escapement last year was the second highest on record, beating the average by 21%. The number of young salmon heading to the ocean also increased. Meanwhile, conservationists are fighting to stop fisheries managers from overwhelming wild fish stocks with hatchery fish. The Pacific Rivers Council and the Native Fish Society are planning to sue the Oregon DFW and NOAA to protect native steelhead in the Sandy River, east of Portland.
 fish icon Two stories from foreign lands caught our eye, as well. Over the past few decades, rainbow trout have invaded Canada’s Prince Edward Island and are now established in some 20 rivers. Biologists worry that the rainbows will compete with native Atlantic salmon, which are already suffering from a variety of threats to their survival. On the other side of the world, in India, rampant gravel mining is taking its toll on trout populations orginially established by the British at the beginning of the last century.

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