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.

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First Pheasant

Jenna's First Pheasant
First Pheasant

Photo – Tim Daughton

I’m new to this, painfully new. I just completed my Hunters’ Safety course this past summer and had only aimed a shotgun at clays. I had no plans of coming home with a ringneck, but the possibility had me excited on the dark drive to our meeting spot before dawn. When I pulled my truck to the parking area on the side of the road, I was greeted by what I would learn would be the classic pre-hunt scene. My friends Steve, Tim, and Tim’s son Holden were outside their trucks, talking with coffee in their hands and Steve’s dog, Cayenne, lunging at the end of her leash. I was an emotional concoction of excited and nervous. I kept it to myself that I hadn’t felt this way since Prom Night. This was a whole different dance though, and the borrowed 20 gauge would’ve looked awkward with my teal dress from high school.

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Au Sable Opportunity

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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.

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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.

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Quail Hunting Wynfield Plantation

Quail season in Georgia is getting underway and having grown up there, I was feeling a little homesick, particularly this time of year. I called Todd Rogers at Wynfield Plantation just to get a little southern accent fix and talk about quail hunting. “We’re just getting underway. I’ve got some European guests here just getting ready to go out and the hunting is looking great for this year.

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New Biography of Wes Jordan

wes jordon
Famed rodmaker Wes Jordan doing some product testing in the Orvis Rod Shop, Manchester, VT.
Photo from the Orvis Archives

It is very rare when we get the opportunity to hear the inside story about one of the great fishing-tackle legends. But this is exactly what we get with William H. Jordan’s new book Jordan the Rodmaker: A Biography of Wesley D. Jordan at Cross – South Bend – Orvis. Wes Jordan needs no introduction to anyone who has done any serious fly angling. Maker of incredible (and ahead-of- their-time) fly rods from 1921-1926 at Cross Rod & Tackle at Lynn, MA, Wes Jordan moved to South Bend, Indiana and set up the rod shop for South Bend Tackle Company, which he ran until 1938, producing upwards of 5,000 rods per week. In 1939 he moved to Manchester, Vermont…

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Saying Goodbye to Ol’ Rupe

I had to put Ol’ Rupe down the other day. It was really hard – harder than I had imagined. I guess the guy had curled himself around my heart tighter than I knew. But I also knew that with Ol’ Rupe being 14 1/2 years old as an English Pointer that this might be his last autumn, so I flew him out to Montana at the end of August to spend the glorious month of September to accompany me on days afield and astream.

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Early Morning Hooky on the Battenkill

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October Morning on The Battenkill
Eric Rickstad

Another gorgeous October morning here in Vermont. Only two weeks left of trout season, so Phil Monahan and I got up before light and met at a stretch on the Battenkill that we both like (which does not equate to a stretch where we consistently catch the river’s wild brown trout…there is not such stretch, for us anyway). A cold night in the thirties meant fog on the river first thing. Jumped some wood ducks first thing and thought maybe I should have hung up the rod and gone with the shotgun instead….

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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.

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