People Fish

a little something to change from the norm for you today.
it’s all about fish but not the kind that typically pops up when we think of our slimy friends.

clever, charming, a simplicity of filming that greatly flatters the subject and really-really funny.
it’s in the now but also in the then all the while being timeless; the Charlie Lyne/Caspar Salmon duo have produced a real gem. here’s Fish Story, if this doesn’t bring a smile i don’t know what will, enjoy !

How trout take subsurface flies

this film is really interesting and not something we get to see very often.
the purists will moan and groan that this study was done on stocked fish using stocked fish flies but even if its ultimately possible, its also highly improbable that someone is going to go through all the effort and time to get the same footage on wild stock, besides, i don’t think it would make for a big difference. also, wild fish of the same size don’t tend to congregate so much, further decreasing the competitive agressivness seen in this video so, let’s just take from this what we can.
firstly, seeing fish attack flies is well, exciting. its one of the major reasons we do what we do. also, from a practicle aspect, this vid says a lot about how fast they’ll spit that fly back out; something we tend to not like as much !

i didn’t bother counting but what seems more than obvious was how fast the deer hair muddler-headed fly (the first in the series) was spit out. after viewing this several times there even seemed to be a panicked expression (i know, i know. that’s dangerous ground but please bare with me on this one, here’s my point)-
take a muddler head fly and hold it between your fingers; its prickly and stiffish and doesn’t feel like any ‘normal’ fish food and that leads me to this, at least for the moment, conclusion.
its not to say that muddlers aren’t great flies because they are but the spit-out rate and how fast its spit out ratio seems higher than with non-prickly adorned flies and this from what the purists are calling ‘dumb fish’…

fly no. 2 and 4, generic non body-hackled wooly bugger type lures (for lack of a better name) are kept in the mouth longer. had the hook point been there these would have produced more hook-ups because the angler would have had more time to react to the takes.

enough rambling, whether we come to any practicle conclusion regarding fly designs or not, its still something i’m sure you’ll enjoy watching.

stream pricks

they’re so cute, enjoy  !

“The brook lamprey is a fish that like blind larva lives in the stream bottom for most of his life, and see themselves only late in the spawning season. From the month of August a metamorphosis of the oldest lamprey larvae, which develop the animal eyes and genitals. From that moment, waiting for the first sunny spring days that do heat up the water. In spring everything is in the sign of reproduction, which only lasts a few weeks at the brook lamprey. If the stream prick ready to spawn, they die.” *

* yet another lovely achievement from the genius robotic mind of Google Translate.

be sure to check out blikonderwater‘s page for more super-nice underwater footage.

when fish yell back

by Emily Anthes via Erin Block‘s fantabulous Tippets section at MiddCurrent

fascinating piece on the study of how fish are adjusting to increasing sound pollution levels around the world. basically, just as we do when in a noisy environment, we start to raise our voices. the more ambient noise, the louder we speak until we get to the point of yelling. this is the Lombard Effect.

” We may think of them as silent, but fish make many sounds that are rarely appreciated by the human ear. Clownfish chirp and pop by gnashing their teeth together. Oyster toadfish hum and blare like foghorns by quickly contracting muscles attached to their swim bladders. Croaking gourami make their signature noise by snapping the tendons of their pectoral fins.

Altogether, more than eight hundred fish species are known to hoot, moan, grunt, groan, thump, bark, or otherwise vocalize. Carol Johnston, an ecologist at Auburn University, is partial to the sounds made by lollipop darters, small fish native to Alabama and Tennessee. “They sound like whales,” she told me. “

and that’s just a scratch of this subject’s surface. after reading a bit we’ll soon realise that this isn’t so fishy-churpy-cheery because its yet another reminder of how we negatively impact the world we live in.
however, many many thanks to Emily for making us aware of this, i’m sure i’m far from the only person to not have considered underwater sound pollution and how it affects its creatures.


click the image for the complete article including actual sound recordings of several yelling fish. enjoy !  but quietly…

some pretties

sure, i’m always happy to see kids and friends displaying with joy the fish they just caught but i’m so over the typical grip and grin shot its not even funny. its actually turned into a turn-off/repulsion of sorts thats hard to explain in a blog post but one thing’s for sure, the turn-off is at its strongest when there’s a clear disrespect for the fish and the image or film is all centred around the angler and not the magnificent, temporary partner.

as an obsessed fly fisher, i get more and more flack from by my flybrethren by saying things like this but the truth is, i like seeing fish unattached and free. its not like i don’t want to catch them, in fact, i’ve been fishing like crazy lately but the image that i want to remain doesn’t include tackle marketing, hands or a face.

something like these pretties…

2% by museline

Tarpon Cave by Frans De Backer

Love in a Mountain Stream by Mathew Hall

brainwashem’ young- drifting babies

via TED’s Discovering the Deep

“Coral reef fish, like the yellow tang surgeonfish, begin life in a fascinating and weird way – as tiny floating larvae! These babies are capable of drifting thousands of miles on ocean currents, far from the reefs where they were born. Amy McDermott describes how these tiny trekkers travel across vast oceans, searching for the far-flung reefs they will one day call home.”

although in cartoon form, this very interesting account of coral reef baby fish and their growing-up process is anything but childish but you just might want to share this with your little ones as well as its never too early to help them discover the wonders of the water world. enjoy !

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…

going down deep

where most anglers would walk on by.

here’s a little excerpt from the video’s page, underlined is the interesting part for us fly fishers-
“The snow is melting in the high mountains, flooding the lower rivers. The lowest, clearest water lies in the upper river tributaries. This pool is usually a bit easier to swim in low water, but today powerful rapids create a vortex of currents. Beneath the churning rapids lies a surprise- 15 feet of deep calm water.” where the fishes are !

now, getting our flies down to 15 feet in fast water isn’t the easiest thing to do (and in most cases impossible given the short drift times and adding that the faster water above is pulling the line/leader downstream, etc, ) but, these calm and fish-holding zones aren’t always that deep. sometimes it’s just a few feet and that’s very feasible.
how ? by dumping heavy/hydrodynamic flies (sleek and slender, nothing bushy !) into the very base of the waterfall using CNT ‘contemporary nymphing techniques’ (i’m trying not to use the term euronymphing… ) and letting the falling water push those big-heavy-nasty flies down deep where the fish are holding up in the slower waters waiting for just that:
food being pushed down to them.
finding the right approach position is crucial here or we can’t keep contact with the flies. it can be from upstream or usually to the side of the deep zone but for once we have an easy job discretion-wise as there’s a lot of bubbles, debris and stuff obstructing the fishes view. i wouldn’t go stomping the ground or rocks but it’s a safe bet they won’t hear us or detect unnatural vibrations either given all the ruckus created by the falls.

we’ll notice in the video all the smaller, curious and oh-so cute trouties hanging out by the diver but rest assured that the bigger dominant fish scuttled off before being filmed. these zones are prime holding areas for the bigguns because its a perfect place to eat in peace and stay away from predators.

another treat from River Snorkel i hope you’ll enjoy.

pocket rainbows

more great underwater footage from River Snorkel, this time some feisty and and oh-so cute rainbows busily feeding on subsurface bugs while doing their river dance. enjoy !


Pacu-Pachu !

-‘Pachu’ is how this fish is pronounced in Malaysia-

“Pacu (Portuguese pronunciation: [paˈku]) is a common name used to refer to several common species of omnivorous South American freshwater fish that are related to the piranha. Pacu and piranha do not have similar teeth, the main difference being jaw alignment; piranha have pointed, razor-sharp teeth in a pronounced underbite, whereas pacu have squarer, straighter teeth, like a human, and a less severe underbite, or a slight overbite. Additionally, full-grown pacu are much larger than piranha, reaching up to 0.9 m (3 feet) and 25 kg (55 pounds) in the wild.”
1st Pacu ! Borneo 2014 m.fauvet:tlc

as for their infamous balls-biting reputation i can’t really add much as i fished from the bank.., however Wiki has this to say about this tender subject-
“In 2013, a pacu specimen was found by a fisherman in Denmark. This led to media reports mistakenly warning that the fish could attack male testicles. The reports were based on a joke that was not meant to be taken seriously.” 
which in a way, makes me think that if i was a tropical fish stuck in the cold Scandinavian waters i’d probably want to bite off a few as well…

“In Appendix B of Through the Brazilian Wilderness, Theodore Roosevelt advised, “For small fish like the pacu and piranha an ordinary bass hook will do.” Concerning the pacu, he added: “A light rod and reel would be a convenience in catching the pacu. We used to fish for the latter variety in the quiet pools while allowing the canoe to drift. We fished for the pacu as the native does, kneading a ball of mandioc farina with water and placing it on the hook as bait. I should not be surprised, though, if it were possible, with carefully chosen flies, to catch some of the fish that every once in a while we saw rise to the surface and drag some luckless insect under.” 
well Theodor wasn’t in the least bit wrong. this little fellow fell for a black leech imitation just as it hit the water a certain unknown distance away. (we where fishing in the dark)(an activity that’s quite unusual for me as local regulations prevent it)(that made it even more funner!) but, the most important was this little Pacu was a first for me and one of two new species to add to my ‘caught’ list. the circumstances leading to this catch make it even more special. C.K. ‘Doc Ling, Ling Pacuing m.fauvet:tlc 2014new friend and Master Certified Casting Instructor with the International Federation of Fly Fishers picked me up at Kuala Lumpur airport and before even being out of the doors asked me if i was up to fishing just after dinner. conditioned reflex said ‘SURE !’ without even thinking i had spent the last 30 or so hours traveling…

nevermind sleep, tiredness and weariness. when you’re completely engulfed by fishing mojo it all works out in the end !
Pacu Mojo ! m.fauvet:tlc 2014
even at this size they put up a great fight. nothing like the typical jump up and down, left and right and all around as say, a trout or largemouth bass will generally do but these guys are strong, fit and pull hard. fine-fine sport on a lightish wt fly rod. i’ll be back for more.

giffed flies for giffed fish.

some nice little gifts for us from The Watershed

tumblr_n4ycr5eDJk1taq0qwo1_1280tumblr_n4yc4kMRGF1taq0qwo1_1280this should come in handy when we’re in one of those
‘can’t figure out what fly to use for whatever that species is’ moods.

the overachiever…

this little genius didn’t think of anything better to do than to follow my team of three flies from behind and first take the point fly, then the middle and finally let me know about it’s shenanigans when it took the top fly !
'pensive rainbow' 23-12-12
at Lake Trouto earlier today i was ‘knitting’ a very slow figure-of-eight retrieve. the line, leader and nymphs where all straight in line and tight, i was ‘in the zone’ focused and the only time i felt the slightest anything was when it had the third fly in it’s mouth and had decided to turn around…

’twas quite a surprise indeed when i saw the two meter tippet bird’s-nest mess hanging half-in half/out of this overzealous young adult !
to continue with the weirdness, after netting and letting the trout settle down by corralling it *,  the first two flies where just ‘sitting there’ on top of it’s tongue while the third was properly hooked in the corner of it’s jaw, obviously none the worse after this little extravaganza. the bugger must have charged the three flies in one swift gulp !
i’d never seen or heard of anything like this before and for sure i won’t forget this little overachiever.

there isn’t a lot of credible science stating with any kind of certainty that fish have thinking capacities but by the expression above i can’t help but wonder if it’s not reminding itself to take it easier next time…

* keeping net and fish in the water, the net ‘corrals’ them but nothing’s touching them. it’s a fantastic way to let them recover before release. they forget the previous stress, calm down and that’s how i get to take fish portraits of calm fish in their environment. highly recommended !)

Me and the Mayfly

via the Imago Blog

always having strong issues about fishing for wild spawning fish, this little piece by Alex Gustafsson struck a resonant tone.

Is it bird, is it a plane??

No my friends, it´s just a simple mayfly.

One, simple mayfly!?

This is what I saw when after 48 hours of intense salmon fishing. (or really just casting tube flies with a two handed rod in a famous river were there supposedly could be a few salmons swiming.)

I found myself starring at it as it danced up´n down over the water and it just came to me, f**k this s**t.
 What am I doing here.

Why do I chase a fish thats here to spawn and not for eating. Why? It just dont make any sense.

I want to chase fish that eat, eat mayflies. I want to chase trout, grayling or why not arctic char.

I guess I just got a bit lost in the hunt for bigger and stronger fish that finally put me in that river with a big ass rod, chasing fish that dont eat.

Ok, the idea of catching a fresh salmon that just came up the river is fantastic. But still, seeing that mayfly reminded me of who I am as a flyfisherman.

So, a thank´s to mr. Bug for setting me straight this time.


like the bumper-sticker said: “If the van’s rockin’, don’t come knockin‘”…