Our full potential is when we flow as one

beautiful images with an even more beautiful message, drink them down and let them flow through.

hookless fly-fishing

here’s a little something different from Lee Spencer, way different.

i can relate to Lee’s story as i used to live right next to a wee stream in the french Pyrenees that apart from making lovely gurgling noises, had a very healthy population of gorgeous native brown trout. they weren’t of course, but these where ‘my’ trout if you see what i mean. i’d go look at them every day to see how they where doing, dream off into that dream place that being streamside takes one and of course learned a lot about how they lived, behaved and interacted socially, some of them even had names.

by wee i mean that at this level the stream was often no more than one metre wide. being completely wild and untouched by man and with lush vegetation abound, the stream itself was more often than not a green tunnel with a flow. once the obstacles of actually getting an imitation into their feeding spots where figured out, this being a Bow and Arrow cast nine.nine times out of ten because that was the only possible solution, getting these beauties to take a fly was relatively simple, they didn’t know anything about fishing pressure and in their world things that look like food generally are food but hooking up quickly became a problem, something the Bow and Arrow cast only tactic might have alluded to; there was no room to move the rod up, across or down to fight and land the fish. at this point i was already getting into the ‘it’s more about the strike than the fight and land‘ frame of mind so, the idea of cutting off the whole hook bend of a completed fly came to mind and was perfect for this particular situation.
i got my strike thrill, the little fishies i loved so much never really knew what was going on and remained where they’re supposed to be and i could do all this without breaking any more rod tips…

of course, i’m not expecting a lot of other anglers to go fishing without hooks but it’s a little something to think about. like mentioned earlier, it’s different, enjoy !


“Back in 1998 Lee Spencer did two things that changed his relationship with the big steelhead of the North Umpqua River.
He agreed to become the first full-time FishWatch guardian of the Big Bend Pool on Steamboat Creek, where as many as 400 large steelhead spend the summer in startlingly plain sight after swimming up the North Umpqua to spawn.
And he started cutting the points off the hooks on his flies… “

actually, just the points:

pointless-fly
“Everybody thought I was crazy, To me the whole peak of everything is the strike or the boil. Everything after that is downhill. Especially if you have to wait a long time to land the fish.
When you get a fish on, you get a run and a jump and at the jump it will throw the hook. That was satisfying enough for me.”

-click the image for the complete article on Deseret News-

Cartoon fish

two short informative animated films for both young and older kids i hope you’ll enjoy and share with those around you.
first up, a concise description of the life cycle of Atlantic salmon. this one’s specifically about Scottish salmon but the principle is the same for any of our sea-going migratory fish around the world.

and secondly, a little reminder of just how precious a comidity water is. its not something we should take for granted and this, for kids of all ages.

previously posted articles on Conservation/Environment and Fish/Ichtyology

Didymo- Some new views

“For years, Didymosphenia geminata (Didymo) has been on many states’ high-priority aquatic invasive species list. Didymo, a freshwater diatom, has the potential to bloom, forming dense mats on stream and river bottoms making recreational activities difficult and giving affected waterways an unsightly appearance. Didymo blooms began in Canada in the late 1980s, and have since occurred around the globe in places like New Zealand, Chile, and across the northern hemisphere.”

from here it looks like the same ‘ole river snot we’ve unfortunately been seeing here and there around the globe but continued research seems to point to what makes this algea tick: waterway phosphorus levels and more precisely, low phosforous levels.

didymo

it seems like alerting anglers and other water users to aquatic invaders such as Didymo, New Zealand Mudsnails and the parasite that causes Whirling Disease has kind of gone secondary but organisations such as flow are thankfully there to share information, remind us of these threats and how to do the right thing.

click the image above to acces the complete article and adjoining links and please share this with your angling friends. it’s not very exciting from a fun point of view but this stuf’s important.

River Deltas and belly-button Innies and Outies

these two have a lot more in common than most of us might think.

river delta belly buttons
superb and simply explained, this short clip from MinuteEarth gives us a really nice introduction to river mouth formations. whether we chose to use this info to maybe determine the better spots to fish around estuaries or just because its fun to see belly buttons and rivers is up to the viewer but i’m pretty sure your kids will get a kick out of the latter. enjoy !

eating fish- some food for thought

an interview with oceanographer Sylvia Earle via TED

i’ll admit it, i’m biased. i love fish and that’s why i don’t eat them.
add to that that since i was a child the slightest taste of some semi-cleverly hiddden-within-the-meal fish flesh would bring an instant gag reflex and copious spewing… the decision for me to not kill or eat them was a no brainer but that’s just me.
in matters like today’s topic it’s always very difficult to convey an important message and plea for action or in this case restraint without sounding like an alarmist or other end-of-the-world nitwit but i believe that Sylvia’s message is clear, honest, simple and straightforward and it all makes sense.

don’t take it as an order but as information and an invitation for thought. here’s a few extracts.

“for most people, eating fish is a choice, not a necessity. Some people believe that the sole purpose of fish is for us to eat them. They are seen as commodities. Yet wild fish, like wild birds, have a place in the natural ecosystem which outweighs their value as food. They’re part of the systems that make the planet function in our favor, and we should be protecting them because of their importance to the ocean. They are carbon-based units, conduits for nutrients, and critical elements in ocean food webs. If people really understood the methods being used to capture wild fish, they might think about choosing whether to eat them at all, because the methods are so destructive and wasteful. It isn’t just a matter of caring about the fish or the corals, but also about all the things that are destroyed in the process of capturing ocean wildlife.”

should_we_stop_eating_fish_

“I’m not saying that you have to stop eating meat, but think about what it takes to make a plant compared to what it takes to make a plant-eater, like a cow, chicken or pig. Even carnivores on land are lower on the food chain than most fish. Think of a tiger or lion or a snow leopard. They eat plant-eating animals. They eat rabbits or deer. So, food chains on land tend to be fairly short. Over 10,000 years, we have come to understand that it’s far more efficient not to eat carnivores. We eat grazers, the ones that we choose to raise, such as cows and pigs. Perversely, many of the animals that are natural grazers, we are force feeding wild fish. We’re taking large quantities of ocean wildlife, grinding them up, and turning them into chicken food or cow food or pig food — or even into fish food.”

click the image for the complete interview.

Common sense and Hope.

there’s a lot to think about in this short 9 minute video.
– it’s about not taking short cuts and thinking ahead.
– it’s about doing right when wrong was done.
– it’s where man and nature work together for mutual benefit.
– and basically, it’s about love.
– enjoy !

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”

~ Cormac McCarthy, The Road

no accompanying image or film could give those words any more meaning, they would only be a distraction.
let’s just take them in, inhale their beauty and deep respect and do our best to not make them creatures of the past but of an eternal present.

What’s in Farmed Salmon ?

basically, its not food but poison…

click the image below to access Ireland Against Salmon Farms’ page for more information.

what's in farmed salmon ?

please spread the word.

trouble in paradise…

sad indeed and not just for the trout.
there’s nothing to enjoy here but its well worth watching and keep in the back of the mind to be sure to not let this happen in your region or country.

more videos of the 1080 effects can be found HERE

“All you need is a mask and your snorkel”

“A dive into into some of North America’s richest rivers, and a fun look at an innovative river snorkeling program that has brought thousands of citizen snorkelers to the vibrant waters of Southern Appalachia.”

what instantly comes to mind is how great and enriching on all levels programs like this can be. lets hope this acts as a platform to inspire others.

for more on the Cherokee Snorkeling Program click here

the Fish Cannon

“What’s a fish to do? Swim into a cannon, perhaps, which will launch it over the dam and allow it to get on with its migration.

This is not a parody. It’s not even just a crazy Internet idea. It’s a real-life solution currently undergoing testing in Washington with the cooperation of the Department of Energy and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The vacuum tube technology was originally designed for fruit, but according to biologists at the Yakama Nation Fisheries, it appears to be safe for fish (researchers are continuing to study the long-term effects).”

too cool ! i’d love to be shot through a soft tube like this.

click here for more info.

edit- a little research shows this idea isn’t exactly new although i think i like the newer version better…
fishcannon

What’s in Farmed Salmon ?

basically, its not food but poison…

click the image below to access Ireland Against Salmon Farms’ page for more information.

what's in farmed salmon ?

please spread the word.

The canary in the coal mine.

ever heard of southern California steelhead ? neither had i until this film.

as noted in the beginning, we all know of this wondrous species but it’s basically all from much further north along the Pacific coast or north-east Great Lakes region.
much more than just a ‘save the fish so we can fish it… ‘  type of movement, these people are interested in simply trying to restore a balance between a thriving human presence and nature. if the steelhead do well, then it’s the whole ecosystem that does well. the canary effect.
i hope you’ll enjoy this very informative film enough to pass it on. as mentioned, few know of the presence of these fish in this region of the world and the more people know, the more chances we’ll have to give them the chance to go have fish sex where fish sex is supposed to happen: in their upstream bedroom.

The canary in the coal mine.

ever heard of southern California steelhead ? neither had i until this film.
as noted in the beginning, we all know of this wondrous species but it’s basically all from much further north along the Pacific coast or north-east Great Lakes region. much more than just a ‘save the fish so we can fish it… ‘ type of effort, these people are interested in simply trying to restore a balance between a thriving human presence and nature. if the steelhead do well, then it’s the whole ecosystem that does well. the canary effect.

i hope you’ll enjoy this very informative film and feel moved enough to pass it on. as mentioned, few people know of the presence of these fish in this region of the world and the more people know, the more chances we’ll have to give them the possibility to go have fish sex where fish sex is supposed to happen: in their upstream bedrooms.

we can worry about how to catch and release them later if all goes well.
lets hope it does.

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

Edward Abbey

Swedish Lapland TLC:M.FauvetSwedish Lapland

The Scottish Government: To reverse the decision by the Salmon Net Fishing Association of Scotland [SNFAS] to resume net fishing in the spring after a 14 year voluntary cessation.

please take just a few minutes of your time to read this and sign the petition. it doesn’t matter what part of the world we live in, fish don’t have nationalities and the same concerns are pretty universal. click the image to share your opinion on change.org 

thanks ! 

  • Online Petition by
    Ian Gordon
    Dufftown, United Kingdom

aQdmMyNqzIMTjAg-556x313-noPad

1. Wild Salmon numbers are at an all time low, particularly fish entering our rivers in spring. The voluntary agreement above along with Catch and Release by anglers has seen this particular group of fish , at best, “hold their own”! To begin netting at this time of the year again would do irreparable damage to this early running group/cohort collectively known as spring fish.

2. If we have no fish entering our rivers in the early part of the year then many full time jobs will be threatened as revenue from those early anglers is lost. In 2003 “Salmon Angling” was found to be worth £74 Million to the Scottish economy, supporting 2800 full time jobs, mainly in rural areas with extremely fragile economies. A shorter season will see those full time jobs become part time, attracting, not young families, but older people to do a seasonal job.

3. The support industry we have for salmon fishing in Scotland would also suffer; from tackle shops, to tea shops. Petrol stations, hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and not forgetting all their suppliers! Although we have no new figures, to the Scottish Economy, salmon fishing will now be worth around double that of the figure above.

4. We are not talking about a few nets-men and wealthy landowners here. No, we are talking about the jobs of 2800 ordinary people, their families and the longevity of an extraordinarily “Scottish” way of life; a way of life with so much, yet untapped tourism potential. To threaten the livlihoods of many for that of few makes no sense at all.

5. The Scottish Government will only support the netting of wild salmon when a “Harvestable Surplus Occurs” FACT. This is certainly not the case with Spring Salmon, or, some would argue – Summer or Autumn Salmon.

6. Calling a halt this madness will at least give those remaining fish a “chance” to spawn and in doing so producing the next generation, which hopefully, we will manage better than in the past.

More information and reading on the background to this petition and also points for online discussion, can be found here –

http://www.speyonline.com/petition.htm

cr-175-w-copy

– related articles

International Catch and Release Logo
fly fishing videos: Proper Catch and Release Methods
catch and release, well.

Size Matters and Life and Death

a lot of us tend to think that commercial fishing is the big nasty devil that’s ruining and depleting fish stocks around the world but that’s maybe just a convenient half truth.
bring this to our sport-fishing level, reduce the fishery’s scale to say, a smaller or average sized lake or river or stream and depletion and ecosystem destabilisation issues happen at an alarming, easily observable rate and it’s not just about fish. as sport-fishers we’re all aware of size limit regulations and a lot of us also know that they’re bunk. here’s why:

of course there’s always the fact that dead fish can’t take our flies, put up a fight, jump up and down, be the beautiful creatures that they are and even less reproduce.
it’s all about math, each fish removed makes for potentially hundreds of less fish in the future that will in turn not reproduce, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
is it worth it ?