NFS_TOOBannerThe Native Fish Society wants to put together the ‘Largest Gathering of Hand-Tied Flies in the Known Universe’ for their April 11 Annual Homewaters Benefit Banquet and Auction.

From NFS –

On Saturday, April 11, 2015 Native Fish Society will host the biggest party for wild fish in the universe, our 19th Annual Homewaters Benefit Banquet + Auction.  This year we would once again like to showcase hand-tied flies from our friends – whom we consider the best fly tyers on the planet!

We would love it if you would donate 1 dozen flies to this year’s event.  We will have a special table reserved to display these ready-to-fish flies and will promote them on our webpage as they start to roll in. Don’t worry about laboring over works of art – a good set of working man’s (or woman’s) flies are preferred.

Flies do not need to be in a fly box but if you can, please include the name of your flies and what species or category: steelhead, salmon, trout, shad, saltwater, etc.  Mail your flies to our Oregon City Headquarters – 221 Molalla Ave., Suite 100, Oregon City, OR  97045, no later than Monday, March 16.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.  We greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into helping us with this special project.

Thank you for supporting wild, native fish!

Tom Derry & Tracy Buckner – Auction Chairs
Native Fish Society

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Though it hasn’t felt much like it back in home country of late, it’s still been winter in the Northeast this week.

There’s even been a bit of morning frost on the windshield here in Birmingham for most of January, though the buds are swelling on the trees suggesting spring, at least this far south, probably starts in the next few weeks.

Nonetheless the neighbors are still wearing heavy winter coats, gloves and hats to work in the morning and some of our favorite eateries are still serving winter-time beverages by the bucket-full.

Just a few days ago we stopped by one of our favorite BBQ joints in the late evening (for a wedge salad topped with brisket actually); their beverage of the day at the bar was an Apple Cider Ginger Toddy.

The bartender wasn’t all that forthcoming as to the recipe, though I watched her make up a batch and chatted with a well-lubricated couple at the bar who had apparently been sipping on these since about 4 o’clock that afternoon, Mrs. Toddy proclaiming proudly she knew their version ‘like the back of my hand’.

Serious Eats has a nifty looking apple toddy winter cocktail made with a baked apple like they used to do in the good ol’ days pre-prohibition. It’s more than worthy of a run one of these days, though when your ambition isn’t quite up to baking apples for your toddy, this recipe will fill the bill nicely.

Anyway, Ed always says a toddy a day keeps the winter blues away. He’ll like this one.

5 cups apple cider
6-8 ounces Bulleit bourbon or Applejack
Generous drizzle of honey in each of 4 glasses
1 lemon, quartered
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh, peeled gingerroot
Mulling spices (we used 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 cloves and 6 allspice berries – use whatever you like and have on hand)
Garnishes – consider lemon slices, cinnamon stick, apple slice, ginger slice, etc

Simmer the cider, ginger and the mulling spices together for 15 or 20 minutes over medium low heat.

Pour. Drizzle a generous dollop of honey into 4 mugs, add the bourbon (or whatever you’re using), the hot cider and a squeeze of lemon juice from one of the quarters (drop that quarter in for more a citrus punch).

Stir with a cinnamon stick and enjoy.

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The Deuce-A BC Steelheading Selfie from Fly Fishing Fantasies on Vimeo.

You’ll cringe a bit at the grip and grin but nicely done otherwise….

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F3T Bozeman

by Jake McGlothlin on January 28, 2015

in Events

The Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) had it’s second stop on their nationwide tour in Bozeman last night.  As always, it generated quite the stir in the fly fishing community, and the shops in town quickly sold out of tickets a day before the show.  (Seriously people, get your tickets beforehand.  I bet I answered 40 phone calls yesterday asking if we had any left.)  It’s always a good show, and a great way to get psyched about the coming fishing season.

We had our annual party at the shop to kick things off tonight and welcomed a good crowd of people through the doors.  A mini driftboat full of free beer usually does draw a crowd.  Everyone was excited and having a good time and that’s always fun.

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The show itself was packed.  The attendance figure I heard was around 700, which is a lot of people to be in the same room watching fishing movies.  The films themselves were a very interesting mix.  There was the usual blend of salt and freshwater, places close to home and those far away.  There were a couple of films that really stood out to me.  The first one in the line up, Out of Touch, had a very simple message and some crazy redfish eats.  Since I’ve had salt on the mind for most of the past month, I really enjoyed it.  Good, classic, get stoked on fishing fish porn kind of stuff.  Very well done.

Bucknasty Browns from Montana Wild was a huge draw for the crowd in Bozeman and it did not disappoint.  Carp Land was one of my favorites of the show and a good one to end the tour on.  How cool is it that carp are getting this kind of recognition?  I kind of hate to see it in a way, as that means there might be more people out fishing for them, but I was still really pretty excited about it.  The Lost Boys of Yantari fell into this same vane.  Just pure entertainment, and some interesting characters to boot.

Some of this year’s films seemed quite “preachy”.  Cold Waters definitely led the charge there, and everyone I talked to after the show singled that one out as not a very entertaining or informative choice.  There’s always got to be one…  While conservation played a strong role in several films this year, Russ Schnitzer’s Wild Fish Works showed a very balanced viewpoint.  It didn’t just focus on how conserving wild fish, rivers and the habitat in general only benefits the anglers, but people from all walks of life and industries.  It was good to see a film talking about everyone working together, not just fishermen telling everyone else what to do.

The other films were fun to watch and pretty entertaining, and overall I would say it is absolutely worth going to see.  It’ll get you psyched about this coming season and it is a great chance to just hang around with a big group of others who love fishing as much as you do.  Check out the tour schedule here, and find out when you can go see it.

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Story of a Guide: Episode 1 from Catch, Snap, & Release on Vimeo.

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F3T pops in Bozeman tonight and Jake just said the Bozeman Angler crew is hosting a pre-party from 5 to 630 with free beer, snacks and some giveaways – including Bug Collars from the Bozeman Fly Goods crew just down the road.

Hot damn.

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Kudos to the guys at The Reel Life fly shop in Santa Fe for getting the word out on this. Time to make some noise for public lands in the Land of Enchantment.

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Land of the Giants

by Jake McGlothlin on January 27, 2015

in Fish Stories

Land of the Giants.

The very name conjures up visions of big fish, and lots of them.  It’s a pretty well known place, hence the reason I’m naming it on here.  A lot of the places I go I really don’t want people to know about.  This one is a little different since it’s so popular.  It’s a beautiful stretch of river, winding it’s slow way through a canyon worn deep by the ravages of time.  I’ve been meaning to make it up there for quite some time and finally made it happen last week.

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Steve and I headed out at a reasonable hour.  That’s one really nice thing about winter fishing; being able to sleep in and get a leisurely start to the morning.  There isn’t much rush to get there at sun up.  You can take your sweet time.

We were heading to this particular place for a couple of reasons.  Reason one is that is generally fishes quite well in the winter time.  And reason two is that it is perfect water for throwing the Spey.  Which is exactly what we both planned to do most of the day.  There is just something about the rhythm of Spey casting that is so easy to get lost in… And I have a streamer box full of swing flies I haven’t yet tried out.

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It’s been a damned unusually warm and sunny few weeks of weather in Montana.  It may piss the skiers off, but man is it nice for the anglers.  Any time you can fish in a lighter jacket, in the sun, in the middle of January is a blessing.  While I could bore you with a couple of paragraphs about how the fishing was, I’ll cut right to the chase: SLOW.  Damned slow.  We swung flies pretty much all day and didn’t get a bump.  According to a couple of locals we bumped into, the fishing was great earlier in the week but had really slowed down for everyone by the time we got there.

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But oh well, that’s fishing in January for you.  You have to take the good with the bad.  On the walk out, we stopped to nymph a nice deep pool right below the dam.  Some nasty ass hatchery mutant quickly gobbled up my egg sucking laser worm (a Pink egg sucking laser worm no less) and saved the skunk.  Honestly I would have been fine with not catching anything, but feeling the tug on the end of the line is nice after a long day of nothing.

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It wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped, but I got everything out of that day that I wanted to.  You fish for long enough, you realize that actually catching fish is almost secondary, especially in the wintertime.  It’s everything else that makes the days worthwhile and keeps us coming back for more.

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Fly Fishing Arabian Permit

by Mark McGlothlin on January 27, 2015

in Salt

Fly Fishing Arabian Permit from Ray Montoya on Vimeo.

Hat tip to Flymage.

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With the extended run of January’s ‘spring thaw’ weather persisting back in home country, fly fishers’ thoughts often turn to snowpack this time of year.

As of this morning, Montana snowpack (in terms of snow water equivalent in this map) doesn’t look too shabby.

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The next few month’s snowfall of course will shape the true state of the waters we’ll all be fishing over the next few quarters; the weather gurus are predicting perhaps a skinny start to the year. Precipitation looks to be normal though temps are forecast to be a fair bit higher than normal given what going on with the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) currently.

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As of this morning’s report from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, they’re pitching a 50 to 60% chance of El Nino conditions during February and March (there’s more detail than you’ll ever care to peruse in the report…), though it’s likely back to ENSO-neutral conditions – read weather as per the averages – thereafter.

Here’s a quick graphic reminder of what typical El Nino conditions bring to the Northern Rockies (and the rest of the country).

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Keep doing your snow dance.

El Nino image via NOAA Climate.gov.

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Spring fishing Montana style! from Bryce McLean on Vimeo.

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VC25J_V1One thing I’ve rapidly discovered about the East Coast is the dearth of good wintertime fishing (as I write this I realize I am opening myself up to all manner of argument). But compared to the strong options back home in the West, I’ve been pretty underwhelmed with cold-weather trout fishing in the Northeast.

In the spirit of desperation (aka I must cast at something other than targets in the snow) friends Pete, Jackie, Joseph and I braved the snow and rain this past week to try a local river with a bit of open water. Without enough open water to swing, we all resorted to bobber watching (personally, sometimes it’s nice to let the mind wander and just watch that little blob of fluorescent plastic float along). My nymph box is still rather Western-biased, but experimentation reigned as none of us got bumps. An hour in, I had cycled through the tried-and-true winter nymphs and moved onto weird combinations.

Nada.

VC25J_v2Some days it just doesn’t come together. None of us had a bump the entire day, though we enjoyed warily dancing along ice shelves and exploring the ice-castle-like, rainy landscape. It was my first day out with the new camera; very fun to have a new tool to learn.

After a few hours we took refuge under a creatively-graffitied outcropping. The boys built a fire, and we huddled around laughing, steaming as the heat began to dry wet clothing. Somehow the world is just a bit better with snow-cold cheap beer and a bit of fire.

And you know any day when you come home damp, smelling like a campfire, and needing to hang waders to dry is a good one.

By the time you read this, I’ll be in the last day at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, New Jersey. If you are around, drop in and say hi!

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Goat Rodeo Streamer from Richard Strolis on Vimeo.

Another killer streamer from Richard Strolis.

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Elevated Angling from Fishcast Angling on Vimeo.

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Via Wooden Boat People.

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