Overnight fishing trips, campfires, and drinking too much go hand in hand together.  I doubt there can be many reading this who haven’t imbibed a little too much once or twice, sitting around a campfire tellings stories and having a good time.  Listening to that fire crackle and pop just seems to bring about a natural thirst that should be quenched.  Shane and I had one such trip last summer after carp.  The fire burned until the wee hours, and we eventually polished off a fair amount of PBR, two half empty bottles of rum, and a mason jar of Everclear moonshine.

tt-damage-done

The damage was done, and the next morning found us both praying for a quick and merciful death.  Word of the wise: make sure to bring plenty of water on trips like that.

No fish were caught during that trip, in fact hardly any fishing was done, but I’ll always remember it as a great fishing trip.  What’s your favorite fishing trip drinking story?

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Estrada Art Presents – Due South: Somewhere in the Keys… from Estrada Art & Apparel on Vimeo.

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BiTWPLWAIs Montana’s river and stream access law the ‘Best in the West’? We sure as hell think so, though we’re just a group of moronic trout guys according to some of our new neighbors here on the left coast.

Access to public waters and lands, though particularly public waters, has been a passion of ours for years. We’ve been very fortunate to participate in some of the more recent tussles over access in Montana, though we’re mental midgets compared to the folks doing the heavy lifting for access over the years – organizations like the Public Land/Water Access Association, FOAM and TU to name a few of many.

Brent Zundel, writing for the PLWA, has recently (March 2014) penned what has to be the authoritative history on stream access issues in Montana (click the cover image above for link) – it’s a great read for those interested in the subject and should encourage those battling in other states (Utah for instance).

The PLWA is hosting their Annual Membership Meeting in Bozeman (Holiday Inn Express West) on the 26th at 9 followed by a 1:30 Stream Access Celebration at Missouri Headwaters State Park just down the road in Three Forks. The PLWA has been a long-standing, straight-shooting, roll up the sleeves and get it done (with some legal horsepower) group fighting for access for many years; if you’re not a supporter – you probably should be.

Challenges to stream access are going to keep pouring in over the transom; we’d urge every fisher out there to get informed and get involved - today.

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Slater’s Tugboat from DeltaTroutForce on Vimeo.

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It’s tax day, and it’s Tuesday.  Both of which are just a little depressing.  So here’s a fishing picture to cheer you up.

flyonrod

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Purely Pacific Northwest from John Eklund on Vimeo.

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YNPTalk1

From Yellowstone’s news feed yesterday -

Yellowstone is known as a prime destination for anglers. However, protecting and preserving the park’s world class trout fisheries is an ever increasing challenge.

Park staff members will travel to nearby communities in the coming weeks to talk with anglers about the ongoing efforts to restore native fish species, the threat of aquatic invasive species and recent changes to fishing regulations.

In addition to the general public, local fly shop employees and fishing guides are encouraged to attend one of the following outreach meetings:

  • Mon., April 28 in West Yellowstone, Mont. at the Holiday Inn, 315 Yellowstone Ave.
  • Tues., April 29 in Jackson, Wyo. at the Wort Hotel, 50 N. Glenwood St.
  • ?Wed., April 30 in Cody, Wyo. at the Holiday Inn, 1701 Sheridan Ave.
  • Mon., May 5 in Bozeman, Mont. at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn, 1325 N 7th Ave.
  • ?Tues., May 6 in Livingston, Mont. at the Best Western Yellowstone Inn, 1515 W Park St.
  • ?Wed., May 7 in Billings, Mont. at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana Billings, 5500 Midland Rd.

The meetings will begin with a brief presentation at 6:30 p.m., followed by a question and answer session and discussion.

Dammit, I’d love to be a fly on the wall at the Jackson meeting in a few weeks. Kudos to the Park’s fisheries team for scheduling a talking tour to interact with the public on what’s become a hot button topic back home.

More to come.

YNPTalk2

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Flashback

by Mark McGlothlin on April 15, 2014

in Fish Stories

FLASHBACK from Fly Fishing Culture on Vimeo.

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SCOF_Spring14

While it’s just one guy’s opinion that nobody asked for, I’d argue that the gang at Southern Culture on the Fly is very probably putting out the best digital flip mag in fly fishing right now (at least in North America).

Consistently offering top notch photography, compelling reads and creative vids all done from North Carolina, a fair piece from what lots of folks define as fly fishing’s Golden Triangle (which varies from the large version here to a slightly more myopic rendering we’ve heard described encompassing the territory from the southeastern corner of YNP to Last Chance to maybe as far north as Helena…).

In a (North American) fly fishing culture that’s producing an impressive load of fly fishing media that’s very good and yet sometimes numbingly repetitive, SCOF’s redfish, musky and southern focused content is a breath of fresh air. Different can be good, sometimes very good.

Fly fishing with a side of grits? Hot damn.

[This is an unsolicited and very much unpaid post; if any of the SCOF guys ever read Chi Wulff, we're open for compensation, preferably in the form of flies or food.]

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I_cw

Chi Wulff is now on Instagram (chi_wulff) along with several other members of the Chi Wulff gang including Jake (dryflyjake), Shane (shane_rickert) and Jess (firegirl_jess). If I had paid attention and seen how much fun it is we’d have been there sooner.

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A Drift Inside from Keith Brauneis on Vimeo.

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OGR_MT_13

By the time this posts I’ll be on the road again, off at the Hell or High Water Fly Fishing Festival on the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York. I even bought New York and Vermont fishing licenses. The world is coming to an end.

But never fear, that trip will be next week’s Vermont Chronicles post. This week, we’re focusing on Montana.

The 2014 Orvis Guide Rendezvous and Down the Hatch Fly Fishing Festival was a rousing success. The weather held out for us, a plethora of fly fishing guides and lodge owners showed up, and attendance at Saturday’s public event in Missoula’s Caras Park surpassed all previous years. I had an awesome time seeing old friends, meeting new ones and networking.

OGR_MT_18

The highlights of the week:

  • Tuesday hangin’ in Craig with the Headhunters and Chi Wulff crews.
  • Dinner at Caffe Dolce in Missoula.
  • Morning walk along the Clark Fork, strolling past my old haunts in downtown Missoula.
  • Driving by my old apartment in Cascade and in Missoula. Damn, I’ve lived in some dives.
  • Seeing a wolf chase a herd of elk at sunset. Always a thrill.
  • Catching a small herd of Bighorn Sheep playing on the rocks along the Missouri.
  • Late nights and early mornings.
  • Bad hotel food.
  • Lots of coffee.
  • A new pair of Smith Shorewood sunglasses, right from the rep. Gotta gear up for the season.
  • Listening to the Orvis clan read the speeches I’d written for the awards dinner, and making them sound far better than they did on paper. Thanks, guys.
  • Simon Perkins introducing the Breaking Barriers Award at Friday night’s ceremony — something three of us have dreamed up at Orvis HQ. More on this to come soon.
  • Seeing the Orvis fly fishing culture doc, which I’ve been working on since I started in January, introduced to the crowd of endorsed guides and lodges during the Guide Rendezvous.
  • Judging the cook-off during the Guide Olympics with fellow fly fishing media folks Kirk Deeter and Tim Romano.
  • Driving from Missoula to Craig — twice.
  • Fishing the Missouri on Sunday, and bringing in a reasonable day’s worth of fish despite high winds. Missing way too many strikes due to an average of three to four hours sleep a night for the week (or, rather, choosing to blame it on the lack of sleep.)

I was heart happy and relaxed being back in Montana, despite the week being nothing short of a whirlwind. It was insightful to be at the event as part of the Orvis team, and I was able to do all sorts of networking for Orvis and even a bit for Fire Girl. It felt great to be out of my psuedo-dress clothes from the office (read: nicer jeans and fleece) and into my workin’ jeans and layers of fleece and driRelease and Buffs.

Working clothes make me happy. So does my camera.

Sunday in Craig was the down day. We left Missoula early-ish and convoyed up to Missouri River country. It was beyond fantastic to see the gang of Headhunters guides, old friends and shop rats, and spend some time on the water. Orvis treated us all to a guided day on the water, and it was my first-ever official guided trip. Chad Boedecker with PRO Outfitters treated myself and the Orvis Adventures Marketing Manager Andrew Pierce well, and we ended up with a day full of fat, healthy rainbows and browns, with a few whitefish as well for good measure. The Missouri River grand slam. I had one nice brown and two mid-sized ones… I’d almost rather see the little brownies than the big boys. They’ll grow up to be the monsters of tomorrow. For their part, the rainbows had classic ‘Mo color, little footballs of pink and silver glory.

OGR_MT_14

I didn’t have quite the time I wanted to shoot images — I’m used to covering these events as a journalist, and trying to both work it and shoot images is a different matter entirely. It was an education, and I look forward to trying to find a balance between the two.

I flew home with three of the Orvis gang. It’s weird to travel with a crew… I’m very much used to working solo. It was fun to have folks to talk with and commiserate about airplane coffee and crazy passengers (I had an entire cup of Coke spilled on my leg on the last flight back to Albany. Luckily, a quick shuffle with my feet and the camera bag was spared. Not so my jeans.)

Landed back in Vermont to be greeted by grey, showery skies and temperatures above freezing. I was beginning to doubt the existence of such warm weather in this clime. My apartment was still in once piece, the Fire Girl Suby sported a large new crack in the windshield but still started and I was surprisingly okay coming back to the northeast. I’m a Western girl — this trip drove that home more than anything, and I’ll return to Montana someday. But in the meantime I have things to do, places to be, photographs to take and words to write.

And the season is just beginning.

OGR_MT_10

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Summer Missin’ Bonefishin’ Part 2 from fishalong on Vimeo.

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Tie One On: GPS Nymph

by Mark McGlothlin on April 12, 2014

in Flies

G.P.S. Nymph from confluenze magazine on Vimeo.

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WBL11ARRE

These are stable, compact and uber-manageable drifter rigs that have sweet lines. Via Wooden Boat People.

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