The latest issue of “This is Fly” dropped recently, complete with Norwegian Atlantic Salmon goodness, a fresh mix tape, and some of the most enjoyable articles to date. These guys continue to impress at a price that is difficult to beat (FREE). Click the image below to read the latest issue, and don’t forget to tell all of your grubby little friends about it. After all, if you can’t be fishing, you might as well waste some time at work reading about fishing. Am I right? I thought so.
If you are visiting us at any time during the week between 7am and 5pm, chances are fairly good that you are on the clock. Hey, we’ve all been there. It’s a little known fact (yeah right) that as fly fishermen, we rather be on the water than in the office. Between the latest issue of “This is Fly” and this great article from our friends at the Bangor Daily News highlighting a long lost Maine salmon tradition, consider the next few hours of your life at the office…..well, worth living. Just keep a trained eye out for the boss, I’d hate to be responsible for your permanent fishing vacation if you catch my (dead) drift. Click the images below and let the fun begin!
- Typically I post the magazine cover when This Is Fly drops and simply let you do the rest. Form your own opinions, smile your own smiles, grin your own grins. Well, this isn’t your typical issue. To say that this particular installment stopped my heart would be a bit much, but I am truly lost at how to describe the feelings it conjured up inside me.
If any magazine has ever made you want to get back out on the water, this is it. From cover to cover, Volume 3-Issue 1 is solid gold. But if you take the time to travel into the depths of this gold mine, two real gems stand out among the rest.
Matt Harris has a way with words when describing his adventures that literally had me considering a move to Russia. His story “Where The Wild Things Are” is a magical account of his trip to the Yokanga River, in search of Atlantic Salmon few will ever feast eyes upon during a lifetime on the water. A truly impressive piece of writing, enhanced only by dream invoking photography.
And just when you convince yourself to sit back down and continue reading, Brad Bohen of Muskie Country Outfitters steps up to the plate and hits another one out of the park. My “muskie on the fly” outings have been largely unsuccessful and filled with frustration, but Brad’s article has my muskie fever burning red-hot once again. His feature film “Zero to Hero” drops in February 2011, and I simply can’t wait. Check out the trailer below.
At the end of the day, fly fishing is as much a part of me as my college degree, or my northern Maine roots. Sometimes the long winters can make me forget why I find casting a fly so exciting. I am thankful that there are anglers out there who dedicate their lives to reminding me.
- Well howdy do winter, it seems you have settled in for the long haul! Still, while frigid winds and heavy snow have made their presence known in Maine, there is big news on the Atlantic Salmon front. The Penobscot River Restoration Project made huge strides forward recently with the purchase of three key dams across along the Penobscot river, taking vital steps toward opening up over 1,000 miles of waters that have been out of reach to native species for a “coon’s age.” In Mainer speak, thats a “wicked long time bub!”
At a whopping $24 million, the Veazie, Great Works, and Howland dams were recently purchased from PPL Corp after nearly 11 years of planning and preparation. Two of the dams will be destroyed, while the third will see the installation of a state-of-the-art fish ladder. Collectively, the project will allow native species like atlantic salmon, striped bass, and american shad to migrate further up the river toward their native spawning runs.
While this is all well and good, it does raise some important questions that beg answers. What of the native brook trout and landlocked salmon that already inhabit these pristine waters? The destruction of these dams will also introduce a new devastating predator, the northern Pike. It is no secret that native brook trout are more rare now than ever before, so is sacrificing one rarity to potentially save another really worth it? I’m torn. Sadly, there is no right way to answer this question. It simply comes down to what we want more. Surely Atlantic Salmon is the heavy favorite in this fight for territory, but simply forgetting about brook trout could have us shaking our heads years down the road.
I’m interested in what the readers have to say, so sound off! While I am in no way discounting the Penobscot River Restoration Project and it’s many benefits, I wonder if anyone in Maine truly realizes just how lucky we are to have such a healthy population of brook trout, at least compared to other states across the country. Look for update on this story as it continues to unfold.
- Howdy folks!
It’s been fairly busy around these parts lately, between the holidays, work, and sleep I really haven’t had much time to sit down and write. The good news is that I have tons to write about, and all will make it’s way to your computer screen in the next few days. Heading the list of news, Up’North received an interesting phone call yesterday regarding retail opportunities. I’ll fill you in on those details as soon as plans are finalized and I have more info.
Maine has also had a few big days/dates on the fishing front recently, including the first day of the 2011 ice fishing season, and a giant leap forward for Atlantic Salmon on the Penobscot River. More details to follow on those stories tonight!
Tight Lines and Toasty Toes!
- A big Up’North apology goes out to Mr. Mike Webber of Belfast, Maine for not posting this incredible submission sooner. Picking Up’North’s contest winner was anything but easy, and the quality of the entries becomes crystal clear when one realizes that this submission was the first runner-up. A simple dialog accompanied by an almost haunting throwback photograph of Mike’s father made this submission an instant contender for the contest. Enjoy!
What does fly fishing mean to me?
It’s very simple, loving memories of my father and a family tradition renewed, an exploration of self on the cusp of my “golden years”, a re-connection to nature and a deeping appreciation for all the joy that being born and raised in Maine has brought to my life. Fly fishing has been a vehicle for me to re-explore long lost paths that I started down many years ago but never continued down. Thanks to fly fishing I’ve started along those paths once again. Like long abandoned wood roads, they are over grown and obscure but they are still there and I hope to be able to pass these on. So, hopefully, fly fishing will continue to be a family tradition for generations to come.
- Since the announcement was made early last week, surprisingly little has come up in the news regarding the recent addition of Maine’s Atlantic Salmon to the Endangered Species List. I’ve yet to decided if this is a good or bad thing, but I do know that it’s not something that will quietly fade into the night.
Recently a single article did appear in the Bangor Daily News regarding the Industrial surroundings of the three involved Rivers. While it is unclear as to exactly how Maine’s industrial past and present will affect the recovery of Salmon, there are some interesting opinions on the subject.
The Federal Government recently announced plans to add Atlantic salmon populations in the Penobscot, Kennebec, and Androscoggin rivers to the endangered species list, and Maine officials and citizens alike are making it clear that they are extremely unhappy with this decision.
The Penobscot River is the only fishery in the United States with a sizable Atlantic Salmon run, and I use the term sizable very loosely. While Maine has an excellent track record in conservation and preservation of threatened species, this latest move by the Feds has all but ignored the efforts of the State government and local Salmon clubs. Shortened catch and release seasons play a vital role in educating the public and maintaining interest in the struggling Salmon populations. With these seasons no longer possible, it is feared that the Salmon clubs that play such a vital role in protecting the fish will soon perish much like the wild Salmon populations have. One can only hope that the clubs will continue to function even in the absence any sport fishing season.
I’ll do my best to keep the updates rolling in as they become available, and will continue to track this controversial issue as much as humanly possible. The Atlantic Salmon run is something that Mainers should be concerned about whether they fish or not. Maine’s early history is deeply rooted around the Penobscot River and the tribes that inhabited the area long ago that depended on Atlantic Salmon as part of their daily lives.
Click HERE to read Wednesday’s Bangor Daily article about the survival of Maine’s Salmon clubs to get a better idea of just how important these clubs are to preserving the species. It’s clear even in the articles comments section that Mainers are extremely passionate about their views on either side of the issue. Feel free to join the conversation!
Tight Lines (Just not for Atlantic Salmon)
- The month long catch and release season for Atlantic Salmon on the Penobscot River has officially been called off. Originally slated to start on Friday, this season would have only been the second in the last decade. While the Penobscot still remains the only river in the United States with a sizable Salmon run, numbers are still incredibly bad, with over 90% of the spawning fish coming from federal fish hatcheries. Read the full article from The Bangor Daily News.
Maybe I’m alone here, but the fact that over 90% of the migrating Atlantic Salmon come from hatcheries troubles me much more than the cancellation of any season. Hatchery fish compete with the native Salmon, and if practices aren’t changed quickly eventually these native fish will disappear. While most won’t see that as an extinction, that’s exactly what it is. The Penobscot river Salmon fishery should be managed through conservation efforts involving the removal of dams and the regulation of fishing (yeah I said it), not bombarded and covered up with hatchery fish. To learn more about the current condition of the river’s fisheries, and what you can do to help restore the Penobscot River, please visit the Penobscot River Restoration Trust website.
Happy Castings (Just not for Atlantic Salmon)