Monday, March 28, 2011

Rules of the Secret

Every once in a 23-inch cutthroat, an angler is blessed with a remarkable fishery about which no one knows. When an angler comes upon a secret, there are rules by which to abide:

  1. If it was shared with you, you do not have the right to share it with ANYONE, nor may you trade it for someone else’s secret. You’re best to not boast about it. Play dumb.
  2. If you unearthed this creek, you can decide with whom to share it. You have the right to trade the information with another “rights holder” for his or her secret. You do not have the rights to the secret for which you bartered (refer to rule 1).
  3. If a road crosses it, and you cross this secret with the uninitiated, start jabbering about something. Fart. Scream. ANYTHING. Don’t give the passenger the opportunity to wonder or ask about it.
  4. If you work in a fly shop, keep your damn-ass mouth shut. If you’re a guide, fish it only on your days off. If you’re a writer, fill your journals with known fisheries. If you're a photographer, crop.
  5. Only share it with someone intrepid enough to potentially fish it. It's pointless to put the word out there for one who will not use it.
  6. Avoid talking about it when unnecessary – even with non-fishers from abroad. It's funny how word travels into wrongdoer's hands.
  7. Park as far away as possible – do not string up your rod or look like a fisher.
  8. Don't browse photos at your local hot spot, because some jagoff will walk by and notice, and you're stammering, studdering reaction will let this wanker know you're hiding something.
  9. If it must be spoken of in public, find a pseudonym. Notellum or Nunya Creek are unacceptable as they give away that you've got a secret. Be generic.
  10. When enlightened to someone else's secret, don't abuse it. Don't go back and back and back and back, like that jackass Bruce on “the riffle”.
  11. When confronted with a secret about which you know not, don't ask about it. Understand that this is something that will be shared with you when you are ready and that pushing for it will only push it away.
  12. If you insist on posting pics of big fish online, find a Photoshop wizard to eliminate the background landscape. Anglers from your area might recognize it, and might not consider your secret so sacred.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 the locals call it...

The Raddy, the Maddy, the Stilly, the Stone, the Pan, the Fork, the Yak, the Clack, the Beav, the Gunny, the Poudre, the Lackey, the Lackey (yes, twice in the same state, even), the Big T, the Mo, the Platte, the Platte, the Horn, the East, the Gally, the PM, the Hooch, the Ronde.
Guess what river, listed above, this is.

We have such affection for our favorite rivers that nicknames were inevitable. Here are some that I could think of -  what am I missing? What's your home water's nickname?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

309 is (almost) dead

Hot off the press from Billings Senator Kendall Van Dyke: "DING DONG HB 309 is tabled!!!" As of 5 p.m. on Tuesday March 22, 2011, we potentially have averted crisis.

But be vigilant fellow fishermen. It will happen again, maybe yet this session. 

Go fish.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fisherman's camera

It wasn't that long ago that I was saying that all I really want in a camera is a big sensor and a pocketable body, so I can fish with a camera that takes good images without lugging around a backpack. HD video and a big zoom would be nice, too, but not necessary. Lo and behold it's been around the whole time. Sony's NEX cameras are about the size of a pack of cigarettes (lens excluded), have the APS-C sensor, and shoot HD video.
The lenses aren't tiny, but should still fit into most fishing-jacket pockets. They take 14.2-megapixel images, which is more than I'd need, but that's okay. I bought one that should arrive tomorrow. I even bought a lens adapter that is supposed mount my Canon lenses, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a small body, but now I can (assuming I like the new one), sell the old DSLR and still make use of the macro and 70-300mm lenses when I want to (there are literally only three lenses currently available for this camera, so far).
I have 15 days to decide if I like it - if so, the old Canon goes on the market. I think I'll like it...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pinch me

Am I the last fly angler pinching his or her barbs? I've been talking to some fishing buddies lately and they said they either rarely or never pinch their barbs. I always do, and I often lose my biggest fish when they do that whole-body-flail-back-and-forth maneuver that big fish do. Some say that barbless hooks penetrate deeper, so they keep more fish on. Others say that barbed hooks are more humane, for the same reason. So I'll give it a shot...
 Maybe I'd have lost those other big ones anyway, but my first trip out with barbs yielded my biggest fish since awhile back. I'm thinking I'll keep my barbs on, for now anyway.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Should vegetarians tie flies?

A buddy and I got to wondering where fly-tying animal parts come from - he happens to be vegetarian, so the question came up whether or not he wanted to use animal parts in fly-tying.
Pat Neuner from Wapsi said this: "The natural materials we sell come from various sources. Many items such as waterfowl feathers are harvested as a result of hunting. Some items such as deer skins as purchased from taxidermists. Most of the natural fur products come from furriers although some items (rabbit is a good example) are raised for food production and we source the product from the food producers."

Facebook friend John Newbury added this: "many are left over from the fur industry and recycled from old fur coats. Many are from hunters. here is company that does both:"

Of course, it makes a difference what a vegetarian's reason is for being vegetarian, but I think he's gonna keep tying as long as the animals aren't being killed specifically for tying flies.

UPDATE 6-5-11: This, from a article about the feather hair extension craze:
"...They come from roosters that are genetically bred and raised for their plumage. In most cases, the birds do not survive the plucking.
At Whiting Farms, Inc., in western Colorado, one of the world's largest producers of fly tying feathers, the roosters live about a year while their saddle feathers — the ones on the bird's backside and the most popular for hair extensions — grow as long as possible. Then the animal is euthanized."

So some animals do die for fly tying material.  No more buggers or dry flies for my vegetarian friends.