More 2014 photos…

Here’s another picture from 2014 that caught my eye.

It shows a fly fisherman, an advocate of catch and release, who perhaps takes his love of nature, and animals, a bit too far.

It is unnatural to take a descendant of the wolf from its natural environment, and domesticate and humiliate it by mutilating its testicles. If you do want the companionship of a male dog, you have a moral responsibility to avail it a willing leg for it to mount and hump to completion.



Favorite photos of 2014

Gonna post up a few photos from 2014 that got my attention.

Here’s one from Eric Heinzel.

It shows two enormous mayflies… Hexagenia.

Perhaps they spent the early evening mating, but decided, with all the rising trout, to leave the work of asexual reproduction to the more responsible hexagenia, and, in the existential angst of mayflies able to grasp their situation, flew to a beer bottle, descended for a drink, reemerged and uneasily flew from the rim of the bottle, with beer drenched wings but without a care, and then, guided by convection currents to the flames, expired in a burst of light… Spontaneous combustion fueled by ethanol…


Should I float the Salmon River?

Anyone think it’s worth freezing on a NY state river for steelhead this winter? Guided float is 300$ for two people….

I am guessing you mean to float the Salmon River…

It is always worthwhile to float a river and see it. But you may learn that the river isn’t the best in the world to float, and here are a few reasons…

First, watch the flows. A friend offered me a float on the SR about 3 years ago, and I declined because the water was so low. He came back with a migraine from all the rocks he collided with all day long.

Second, the Salmon River is filled with snagger goons. They get hostile at boats…

That may actually be a reason to go.

But you should ask your guide about goons, and what to do if the goons attack your boat and attempt to board like Somali pirates.

Ask if he has bear spray for the goons.

Finally, the best reason to drift any water, in my opinion, other than to see the river, is to head hunt.

Dry flies and targets.

Steelhead patterns are eggs sacs and nymphs, and are most effectively fished using short line techniques. So you’ll be casting 15 feet from the boat, with a leader gobbed in split shot. Drift boats allow stealth and subtlety in the approach to a target and the presentation…

Once you drop anchor on the SR, your split shot and weighted nymph is gonna present with all the subtlety of a bowling ball.

And it will catch fish… Because steelhead are moving fish… Migrating. Your cast doesn’t spook them from a lie…

The SR is combat fishing, and the drift boat isn’t gonna be popular with the goons who are there to catch dinner.

There are good fisheries that are pretty much untouched in New York. There’s a guy named Joe Goodspeed who is whacking muskies on the Allegheny and Susquehanna and posts about it on Facebook. Those are wild fish.

This year, lots of the steelhead are diseased. They have a thiamin deficiency, or a vitamin b deficiency. Apparently they are eating too many alewives, which is interfering with their ability to absorb nutrients. This apparently is a common type of problem in stocked fisheries, where dietary issues haven’t been coped with for millions of years by fish who have historically shared the same ecosystem…

The fishing has been ok, but its worth knowing all the details before you settle on a destination…

Now let me try to make an argument for going…

Steelhead from the great lakes are fuckin crazy game fish.

Of course, the fishery isn’t real…

But the question of whether to go is sort of like asking about cocaine or perhaps whether or not to try ecstasy… Never done any of that stuff myself…

But you could ask me whether you should try that synthetic shit…

And I might reply, “The feeling you get from ecstasy, it isn’t real… What you need to do is fall in love, and experience the authentic, natural high that you get from the real thing.”

But geeze, it sounds kinda fun and I hate to be a killjoy….

Same goes for steelhead fishing from the Ontario tributaries.

It ain’t real…

But it is a helluva experience, and you only need to do it once or twice to get it out of your system, and then never again.

That was some argument, as I have been on both cocaine and ecstasy binges, several times at once and though do not recommend them,  don’t necessarily regret them either. 

That being said, I am facing the same dilemma as all fishermen now in winter: how to wet a line in the highest temperature with least amount of time with the least amount of money and have the highest chance of a good fish, or at least a story. 

So,  where do these thoughts leave you? 

The Salmon River is always good for a story.  

When I was a kid, I smoked a laced joint that scared me away from all things synthetic for nearly 2 decades.  During that time, I got extreme straight edge… I wouldn’t even take aspirin or fish for stocked trout.


Go to the Salmon River, but it could be, ahem, a bad trip.

The other winter option is esox.  Pike and muskie.

The Housatonic holds pike and I guarantee if that river aint frozen over you have a chance.

Although chasing Housatonic pikes in winter will be quiet and likely uneventful.

The Salmon River will be a blast.

The Batten Kill fishes well in the winter for trout, if you’re looking for tranquility and authentic, traditional trout fishing on fabled water.

Commentary, from JK

As a rejoinder to your newest environmental journalism (!) where you make the mistake of all journalists (focus on the blood story) (though, to be fair, it’s been quite a while since “blame it on the red man” has been used, so that’s almost interesting,)

You focus on 5 dead slime darts.

Speared by hand.

As if this is newsworthy!

Meanwhile: This dude (see link below) now runs things! This dude who says it is heretical (and this fool actually means it) to say that humans can change the environment because only god can do that. So we shouldn’t even worry about it, because to claim so is sinning. Scientists are sinners. And so are you, if you recycle and drive less.

I would humbly and soberly sound the alarm on our new senate leader for environment and public works, James Inhofe.

Delusional jimmy will now chair the committee that funds the EPA.

Delusional jimmy says:

“Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

So, you see, we have no need to worry! God is changing the environment. God’s in control, and he’ll give all those tiny savages in Malaysia fins and gills when the time comes. Meanwhile, they can keep making our nikes! Hurray!

And those 5 slime darts? Just as god planned.

We are all so fortunate to be dripping with such grace at this holiest time of the year.

And he runs the senate on environment, as of January, 2015.

The ancient Greeks would’ve laughed this dude out of his seat, 4000 years ago.

Watch what he has to say. And what he does.

Keep an eye on this bitch.

Because he’s gonna fuck with you.


P.S. if you have any worries that we may regress back to our heathen, prideful, scientific ways and undo some of the blessings which we will be bestowed by god through delusional jimmy, have no fear. Faith, my friends! Ted Cruz is likely to head the senate committee on science, commerce and transportation.

Discussion: Ojibwe culture

Charlie is from Minnesota, and has some knowledge of the Ojibwe tribe and culture.

I asked him what he knows.

My words are in italics. His are not.

Charlie, do you know anything about the Ojibwe?

Yes. My father used to speak to us in Ojibwe.

He did?

The Ojibwe (correct spelling) word for Saturday night is…

Gee zee bee zee zah gah née gay gee zee god a nag a shig

All one word.

Literal translation is

The night we wash our sheets.

My dad took Ojibwe in college and that’s the only word he remembers.

He says it all the time.

If you said once a week, I’d believe you…

But yo I dunno if I wanna be published accusing them of poaching when I don’t really know where the shit even happened in Wisconsin…

I’ve done extensive research, and it might not be the Ojibwe… It could be the Chippewa…

The Chippewa and Ojibwe are the same… Different words, same root, refers to the same tribe…. How much research did you do?

Ok… let’s be fair….

It likely was a tribe, and regardless it was legal if it was done by a Native American.

But it really could be anyone.

I would like to publish everything including the concern over journalistic integrity.

That makes clear your uncertainty.

Ha. Okay perfect.

Winter Midges, from JK

To properly go midging, one needs the correct ingredients.

First, in order: sunny, cold morning

Second: call in sick and have breakfast

Third: get to somewhere with quiet beauty and water.

photo 1 (1)

photo 2 (2)

photo 3

Upon seeing no obvious hatch, one may feel the temptation to cheat. One may justify thusly:

Cheater, but boy that’s a neat looking fly Tom gave me.

Cheater, but I’ve never used that 9 ft 6ips sinking leader I bought at the show last year..

Cheater. That’s actually a 3+lb fish, longer than my forearm, but because it was caught improperly, it looks small in the photo. That is to be expected. Because cheaters never prosper.

photo 1 (2)

photo 2 (3)

photo 3 (1)

Now that one has regained his senses, it is time to change venues and properly midge:

A Chatham pond. Old faithful.

Proper tools of the trade: something to drink, something to smoke, boo with a wicked long leader to a tiny flouro tippet and a smooth as butter reel, and binoculars to scan for rises on the other side.

photo 1 (3)

photo 2 (4)

No hatch.
No problem.

A fly for dark winter skies

And a rock to sit by.

What more could one desire?

photo 1 (4)

photo 2 (1)

Then one sees it:

The rise

photo (11)


Discussion: Tribal fishing rights

Here is a discussion with a friend of mine, AFE, about whether centuries old treaties that allow Native Americans to fish without bag limits can work in the 21st century.

My words are in italics, his are not.

Tell me what you think…. I just updated it…

Interesting. I wasn’t aware of the WI situation. But as always, there are 2 sides to every story:

Good stuff. I am sympathetic with everyone here.

The treaties that allow the tribes to hunt and fish without restrictions are 150 years old.

But they’re valid.

That’s the problem. When they were made the technology of spear fishing was different and also the necessity of subsistence fishing for the Native Americans has changed since then. But it is valid and it is law, so instead of trying to stop the people doing what they legally do, the change has to come in changing the law or entering into new treaties. Simple enough… not.

Ok. Good thoughts.

I wonder if VT still has their pike shooting season. It was still going a few years ago. Not just for natives, anyone could play.

Never heard of that…

I remember reading about it when I was a kid and then it resurfaced in the media several years ago.

Pretty cool stuff. If it doesn’t hurt the resource I personally have no problem with it. Same with the WI spearing.

Same. But in the articles you sent there is a theme of assimilation, and equal treatment under one set of laws, and cultural identity.

The chippewa and odjibwe negotiated to keep their hunting and fishing rights on their ancestral lands.

They gave up the land itself, but not those rights.

Now we want to change the terms on them again.

My view is that the American citizens who are living there ought to be happy with the part of the deal that allows them to live there in the first place.

And not get crazy about tribes that seek to preserve their traditions.

The Chippewa and the others need to realize that the past is past, long over.

No valuable traditions are being preserved by spearing unlimited numbers of fish today.

It’s like hunting caribou, snowmobiles and high powered rifles aren’t part of the tradition.

Are they using snowmobiles or other technology to take more than they could have 150 years ago?

Because the issue is their claim to the resource more than anything.

And it is a valid claim.

They claim they are not bound by seasons and bag limits. It’s the 21st century, people should join it.

But the tradition isn’t for us to define. What is essential to the Chippewa is to fish and not be bothered by Americans.

They negotiated for that.

I can’t fish New York without paying 3 times what state citizens pay for a license…

Its the rules.

And what if a landowner negotiated with the King of England centuries ago for ownership of a river?

Rules change.

It’s a matter of simple reality. No one in the USA has to survive by subsistence fishing & hunting. It’s a matter of choice. That choice shouldn’t be a burden on others or detrimental to the resource…

Discussion: Wisconsin spear fishing

Here is a discussion with CW, a fisherman from Wisconsin.

Below is a picture of about 5 muskies that have been speared to death.

But they’re all stacked up, and the spear is in the picture.

So, do I think somebody is coming back for the spear?


Do I think they’re also coming back for the fish?

I think so, but who knows.

Why so many fish?  Aren’t they over the limit?

Aye, there’s the rub…

Apparently, whether right or wrong, the Native tribespeople are exempted from the local rules that protect against overfishing.

My words are in italics. CW’s are not.

CW, what species of fish are in that picture at Kentuck Lake?


And that’s in Wisconsin?


Is that a pitchfork there in the picture?


They spear them through a big hole they cut in the ice.



And why do they do this?

I’m not sure. Totally wasteful.

To improve walleye fishing maybe?

No no. They don’t care about that.

So it is just bloodsport?

Pretty much.

Good info. You mind if I post this conversation to my blog?

No sir!! The more people we make aware of this the better chances we have of actually making a change.

2 more questions…

Can you see musky through the ice? And why don’t they swim away when the ice is being cut?

Are you serious?

My first guess would be that the muskies hibernate in shallow water.

No. Not close.

Can you explain?

They cut the big hole and then sit in a big “dark house” basically like a ice fishing shanty. Then they have bait or a decoy lure hanging in the hole. When the musky comes in to look at the lure or bait they stab them. They sit for hours waiting for the fish to come to them.

Amazing. For nothing.

For nothing!

They shouldn’t be allowed to do this. It’s legal for the native Americans to do this.

Who do you think did it?

I have no idea.

Thanks for your time, CW.


Fishing the KLG, from Charlie

It was my pleasure to fish with NEFF superstar ‘lightenup’ a few weeks back. For those of you that are unfamiliar, North Eastern Fly Fishing Forum or NEFF, for short, is a subsidiary of GB Mag. That is to say, we at GB mag are a corporate sponsor. 

In the fire-storm of cyber acrimony that is NEFF, lightenup is a beacon of civility, and I was very excited to meet him at long last.

The drive to Califon was not great for morale. John ‘Golden Beetle’ Stewart dropped a bomb on the whole team early in the morning when he announced that he would be unable to attend. I felt sick for John. He loves the freezing cold weather and I knew how excited he was to get out and stand in it all day long.

At 8:15 AM on Monday he wrote the group:

“fellas, it is with a heavy heart that i bow out of this expedition. something unexpected came up and now i have to shave my kneecaps and delete some stuff on my desktop all afternoon. i really wish i could make it dudes, but duty calls.”

The sickness I felt for John was figurative, but apparently my dog was really living John’s struggle. He puked 4 or 5 times as we bobbed and weaved down Califon-Cokesberry Road.


I arrived in Califon where I was to meet ‘lightenup’ and even though I had yet to finish the soduku puzzles, I gallantly placed some newspaper on the seat so he wouldn’t have to sit directly in the dog puke. After a brief meet and greet, we broke bread over an 8 piece McNuggets and headed off to fish the KLG.

My only fish of the day came to hand on the 3rd cast– a bionic green rainbow of about 12 inches.


It was cold and the fishing was pretty slow. I had the genius idea to construct fly rod guides of metals that have undergone this process…


…even though they have a patent pending on the metal, itself — there’s a chance you could be granted a ‘design patent’ for the specific application of ‘fly rod guides.’ Everyone owes me a small coffee for this one…


Lightenup took a fish a ways upstream from me and then suggested we walk up to the ‘meat hole.’ I was a bit confused.

I had once declined an invitation from SIMMS to meetup and drink some cosmos at a bar he frequents called ‘The Meathole,’ but that was all the way in the west village — definitely not within walking distance.

He quickly explained to me that this was a different kind of meathole.

“It used to be that the meathole was a place for just us guys to go and be ourselves. Every once in a while you’d land a real catch and you’d take him home, clean him up. Sometimes things would get real hot and sizzly, but ever since they changed the regs, this water’s all catch and release.”

We each caught one fish, which is generally enough for me to drive home satisfied. But Jack wouldn’t leave without getting his own satisfaction.

Those are quality SIMMS waders.

The dog has taste.

Bahamas life

Joe D is a good friend of mine and I fish with him as often as I possibly can.

This video of his puts the spotlight on the local guides, and the Bahamian culture that is the best part of a good bonefishing trip…

Man, that’s it!

I gotta get back there someday.

It’s a strange, sparse world, those islands.

But the people are full.