Major Outdoor Gear Companies send a letter to Utah

Major Outdoor Gear Companies send a letter to Utah

Some of the major manufactures of Outdoor Gear are not pleased with Utah. And have written a letter to Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox. Who am I talking about? Big names like Patagonia, REI, and North Face.  All three are members of the Conservation Alliance, a group of roughly 300 companies founded in 1989. Their mission is to support environmental groups that protect wild lands around the country. To that end they have donated millions of dollars, and had great success.

Okay give me a moment to explain the problem. You may remember that back in December 2016, then President Barack Obama established the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. It is beautiful country and scared to many tribes. About a year later, Utah lawmakers asked rogue President Donald Trump to eliminate the newly formed Bears Ear National Monument. Trump acted by reducing the size of the Monument. President Biden reinstated it, but Utah is still trying to reverse that. In response to Utah’s actions, outdoor gear companies objected and moved the Outdoor Retailers Trade Show from its home base in Salt Lake City to Denver. The impact of the show is huge, over 10 million dollars to the local economy every year. That stung Utah.

Recently Emerald Expositions, the company that runs the show, decided to return it to Utah.  Well, the shit hit the fan. Over two dozen companies objected, suggesting they will pull out of the show. How will Emerald Expositions handle this? It’s unclear. But here’s a tip of the hat to the Conservation Alliance and especially their Pinnacle Membership Program. You guys are doing a terrific job!


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Bonefish on Drugs?

Bonefish on Drugs?

Is this click bait? Am I just kidding around, pulling your leg? Unfortunately no. Some bonefish are on drugs.


Recently The Tarpon & Bonefish Trust did a 3 year research project with Florida International University. The goal of this effort was see if pharmaceuticals could be found in bonefish from Biscayne Bay.

Well, the results are disturbing,  to say the least. All 93 bonefish tested had a long list of drugs in their system ranging from high blood pressure meds to antidepressants. Below is a link to the study. Please read it.

Read the Report Here

How did the drugs get there? Through wastewater discharges from sewage plants. Almost everybody takes medications. No news there. What you may not realize, however, is that those medications are released in our urine. But sewage plants can’t filter out them out. So they exit the plant in the wastewater stream. Wham, bonefish on drugs.

Yet in a way the report is not completely surprising. Wastewater discharges have been polluting the Biscayne Bay for years. But the fact that bonefish are absorbing these drugs into their blood and tissue is scary news, truly frightening. How will this affect the fish? Will it  permanently damage the fishery? Will it harm the fish’s ability to reproduce? These and a long list of questions need answers. And remember they only tested bonefish! All the other fish in the Bay are likely affected too. Including fish people put on the table. And what about recreational drugs? Are the fish exposed to fentanyl, heroin, crack, and special-K as well?  Christ I feel a rant coming on.

Posted in Bonefishing, Environment, Fly Fishing in Salt Water | 2 Comments

Ice Fishing for Redfish?

Ice Fishing for Redfish?

My Truck in New England

Christ its been pretty damn cold. In my neck of the woods, Saturday brought a bomb cyclone blizzard. Around 14″ of snow with 35mph winds, followed by mornings in the single digits. Deep freeze dude. Put on your wool undies.

Dave’s Truck in Punta Gorda

Its been chilly elsewhere too. A day ago, my buddy Dave reports it was 31 degrees done in Punta Gorda, Florida. That’s near record stuff for that part of the subtropics. Forget the t-shirt and flipflops. Did that stop Dave from fishing for reds? Hell no. Nothing does. He has to catch them reds. Even when there is ice on the windshield.

Dave’s frozen Redfish

Yeah he went out on the flats with his fly rod. Man is unstoppable. And you guessed it, he caught a nice one. While nearby frozen iguanas fell out of trees.  Is a crazy world out there. Dave you rule!

Here’s Dave’s suggestion for a fly to use when ice fishing for redfish. Ha

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Striped Bass Kill on Cape Breton Island

Striped Bass Kill on Cape Breton Island

A little over a week ago, a large number of stripers were found dead on Dingwall Beach on Cape Breton Island. Biologist are working to find the cause of this striped bass kill. It could be a toxic agent in the water. It could be a virus or a bacteria.  The most likely cause, however, is a two fold shock – a sudden drop in temperature coupled with a sudden drop in salinity courtesy of heavy rains.

This type of environmental one-two punch is a known killer of fish in winter. For example, here in southern New England, it has caused die-off’s of menhaden.  Typically this occurs where fish are wintering over in the lower end of a coastal river. Fish holding over in the warm water release of a powerplant are also vulnerable. If the plant temporarily shuts, say for maintenance, those fish are exposed to a rapid change in temperature. This very scenario happened in Nova Scotia four or five years ago. The Trenton powerplant in Pictou Harbor shut down killing a small number of bass.


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The Mop Fly is a Murderer

The Mop Fly is a Murderer

Lately my friend Phil has been hard at work tying flies to use over at his club pond. And he has been catching some mighty good looking rainbows.  Nice going. What are the fish taking? Mop flies.

Phil’s Tying Bench

Mop flies are cheap to make, easy to whip up, and murder trout. A lot to like. Okay, okay, there is one downside. They’re controversial. Why? Well like the Squirmy Wormy fly some folks don’t think the Mop fly is real fly-fishing.  They claim it makes catching fish too damn easy. (It has been banned in some competitions) Why is “easy” a problem? Well fly-fishing has always been seen as a challenging sport, demanding both skill and  experience. Now I’ll agree, the Mop requires no mountain of finesse.  But how much skill does it take to fish a Woolly Bugger? No one is complaining about that fly? The other argument you’re apt to hear is that the Mop fly isn’t “matching the hatch”. (This same controversy surrounded the San Juan worm years ago.) Lets  be clear, the Mop fly resembles a grub, or a maggot, or a large caddis worm. So there is no problem.

In terms of popularity, the Mop fly has been hot for five years or so. Digging deeper, I learned it was actually created over 20 years ago by North Carolina angler Jim Estes. Apparently Jim came across the mop material in a Dollar Store in Bryson City. Bingo the Mop fly was born. Want to make some? Tying instructions are plentiful on the internet.

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