Last Cast of the Week, 1/20/2017

Most Fridays on Casting Across are  devoted to other people’s contributions in the fly fishing community. Articles, pictures, social media accounts, videos, podcasts, products, and more will be featured on The Last Cast of the Week.

Today, I’m sharing items from Pennsylvania Rod and Reel, Thin Air Angler, and Bill Dance.

If you’d like to be featured in the Last Cast of the Week, or have seen something that others might be interested in, use my contact form or shoot me an email (matthew[at]castingacross[dot]com). Also, be sure to subscribe to Casting Across to never miss a post.

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Pennsylvania Rod and Reel – Winter Trout Survival Guide

Let’s be honest: we all know  that trout fishing in the winter can be great. But it can be different, frustrating, and cold. Like, spray Pam on your guides cold. And such tips like that can reduce frustration, help you deal with the cold, and figure out the differences between January and March. In this post on PA Rod and Reel, there is a lot of encouragement. Some places to start and helpful tips are mentioned. Most significantly, the author reminds us to simply enjoy the peculiarities that winter fly fishing can bring.

Thin Air Angler – Purple Foam Parachute Adams

I saw this fly on the Orvis blog, and one look sent me clicking for more information. It is a dry fly that takes multiple hooks. It is purple.   It is an Adams. Bob Reece has some neat patterns, and some great techniques. Whenever I see a fly like this, it gets me thinking about what the possibilities are for tweaking or rethinking established patterns. But first, I think I need to fish a Purple Foam Parachute Adams.

Bill Dance – Bloopers

I’ve watched these dozens of times, and they always make me happy. I grew up on Bill Dance, so seeing him fall into muddy water or run from snakes is nostalgic and hilarious. Having a bad day? Watch a few of these YouTube clips and try not to smile.

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New Water: I Fished Beaver Creek

I’m aware that my situation is by no means unique: I’m busy and I don’t get to fly fish as much as I’d like. So when the opportunity to get a few hours on the water avails itself, I seize it. Regardless of conditions, I’m going to be fishing for every single minute I can.

This past weekend I had about five hours to get away. Five hours to fly fish. Being in Northern Virginia, my options are limitless three seasons out of the year. Winter, however, reduces one’s choices significantly. Especially when the timeframe is relatively short, there are only a handful of waters that will be good bets within an hour’s drive.

Given that hour-or-so radius, I settled on central Maryland. While the area isn’t known for being a stellar trout region, there are a number of very viable fisheries. Big Hunting Creek was where I cut my fly fishing teeth. Catoctin Creek is a relatively “new” special regulation stream.

But then I thought: I’ve never fished Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek is right about an hour away, has a mile of fly fishing only / catch and release water, and is a limestone stream. The last characteristic was the most appealing. The spring influence provides a productive, year-round habitat for trout, while it also somewhat buffers the flows from rain and ice melt.

I was off to fish Beaver Creek, for the very first time.

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Living & Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing & Living

What if I told you that you could fish longer?

More hours in a day, more days in a year, and potentially even more years in your life.

For most of us, there is a way.

A significant part of what most fly fishers appreciate about the places where they get to pursue fish is the remote nature of such locales. Even in urban or suburban environs, getting to less pressured spots requires trekking a bit from the parking lots and easy access points. Although fly fishing doesn’t have to be an athletic endeavor, it does indeed require moving.

Moving requires exertion. Exertion, as you are well aware, gets progressively more difficult as it adds up. That happens over the course of an afternoon, a week, and a lifetime. Climbing up one more hill and down one more steep bank becomes a chore, rather than an adventure. The arm and shoulder motions needed for casting become more painful than the deficits in skill. A little ice turns into a big deal… or even a mortal threat.

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Last Cast of the Week, 1/13/2017

Most Fridays on Casting Across are  devoted to other people’s contributions in the fly fishing community. Articles, pictures, social media accounts, videos, podcasts, products, and more will be featured on The Last Cast of the Week.

Today, I’m sharing items from  Virginia Trout Junkies, Hatch Magazine, & PowerRay.

If you’d like to be featured in the Last Cast of the Week, or have seen something that others might be interested in, use my contact form or shoot me an email (matthew[at]castingacross[dot]com). Also, be sure to subscribe to Casting Across to never miss a post.

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Virginia Trout Junkies – Facebook

I’ve been following these guys on Instagram for a while, but recently browsed through their Facebook page when I was writing my post on the South River.  They catch fish: big fish and lots of fish. But that is only the surface. They’re involved in conservation, promotion of the resource, and fostering community. This is social media at its best in the fly fishing. Give them a follow, regardless of if you’re in the Mid-Atlantic or not, and  check out what they’re up to.

Hatch Magazine – Classic Fly Fishing Books

As a devotee of collecting historically significant fly fishing books , this article popped out at me immediately.  The three volumes mentioned in the post are perfect examples of everything good in classic fly fishing literature: they are about real, meticulous technique… while at the same time still communicating the joy and excitement of fishing. Even if you are a diehard winter angler, these months are the perfect opportunity to read something new – which might be something old.

PowerRay

Have you ever wanted to take your Roomba fishing? Well, the good folks at PowerVision have made that possible. Part fish finder,  part lure delivery system, all unbelievable – this  would definitely earn you a reputation at the local tailwater. All kidding aside, this luxurious toy would be a heck of a lot of fun to use as an underwater drone. I anticipate something like this will be used in fly fishing films soon. But probably not to get your nymph into a feeding lane.

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A Typical Fly Fishing Confrontation

Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.

All of the places that he can fish, and this is where he’s going to do it. Right here. Right next to me. I mean, I could practically cast up to where he’s standing.

What is it with people? Don’t they want peace and quiet? Solitude? I mean, that is what fly fishing is all about – right?

What’s he doing? Looks like he sees a fish. Of course he does. That is where all the fish are. I was working my way up there, but I was going to take my time: enjoy myself, not rush things.

I’m going to stand here and glare for a little bit. If he can see me doing that, he might get the picture and leave. Surely he’ll see my expression through my sunglasses from 75 yards away and understand the severity of his faux pas.

Did he just wave at me?

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Catch, Release, Repeat: Success on the South River

Although there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, it is a well-known fact that most fly fishers gravitate towards waters that have special regulations. Across the country, the language and intricacies of the rules varies somewhat. Be it “fly fishing only, catch and release,” or simply some derivation thereof that ensures the vast majority of fish are returned to the water, these ponds or river beats achieve rarified air in the minds of many anglers. The promise of healthy populations of large fish is, in many ways, comforting.

Certainly, there is something to be said for the reality that there are plenty of phenomenal fisheries that exist under little regulation. Often these waters are ignored needlessly… but those who do fish them would heartily disagree.

While the catch and release streams get so much publicity for the opportunities that they present, it is often true that the story of their existence – the fact that they even present a unique opportunity in the first place – is underrepresented. The hard work and dedication of state agencies, conservationists, land owners, and fly fishers exists behind every mile of regulated and maintained river. These efforts are worth acknowledging and celebrating, particularly if one is interested in fishing these waters or emulating the process somewhere else that needs protection.

Through the South River begins nearly 20 miles southwest of Waynesboro, this Virginia trout stream takes on an entirely new character as it draws close to the town. Significant spring influences infuse cold, clean water into the river. As has often been the case in the east coast, and notably within Appalachia, urban manufacturing and rural agriculture took a toll on the water and the fish. Mercury, sewage, and dye polluted the water, the sediments at the bottom of the river, and what organisms remained.

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Last Cast of the Week, 1/6/2017

Most Fridays on Casting Across are  devoted to other people’s contributions in the fly fishing community. Articles, pictures, social media accounts, videos, podcasts, products, and more will be featured on The Last Cast of the Week.

Today, I’m sharing items from Maryland Fly Fishing and Collectable Tackle Show, Under Armour, & the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

If you’d like to be featured in the Last Cast of the Week, or have seen something that others might be interested in, use my contact form or shoot me an email (matthew[at]castingacross[dot]com). Also, be sure to subscribe to Casting Across to never miss a post.

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Maryland Fly Fishing and Collectable Tackle Show – Facebook

Fly fishing shows come in all shapes and sizes throughout the year. This brand new show is just north of Baltimore in Parkville, Maryland, on March 18th. As the name insinuates, there will be an emphasis on vintage tackle. Appraisers will be on hand, as will dealers. In addition, there will be local tackle companies, fly shops, and tyers. If you’re in the region, follow this show on Facebook to stay up to date as the premier approaches.

Under Armour Fishing

It might be a generational or a fly fishing culture thing, but there are a lot of folks that make a funny face at the prospect of wearing Under Armour on the river. Perhaps it is the imagery they use in their primary advertising – intense teens and college athletes yelling and sweating. But the truth is, they make some legitimately top-notch gear for outdoor pursuits. My favorite winter fishing beanie is from Under Armour. UA fishing, hunting, and hiking clothing and footwear are all worth looking into.

Bud Lilly passes away at 91 – Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Many fly fishers, myself included, have never had the privilege of fishing in Montana. Yet that doesn’t negate the fact that most fly fishers know about Bud Lilly. A fly shop proprietor and conservationist, Lilly was an early and vocal advocate of catch and release. You would do well to read a little bit about his contributions to the sport, as well as his work promoting and protecting the trout he loved.

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Trout, Frozen Wading Boots, & Auld Lang Syne

New Year’s Eve had a very specific look for me throughout my teenage years: going to bed around 8:00pm, in a tent, on a frozen field.

Although there are a lot of things that one can do on that ever-so-significant midnight moment, my choice was to usually do what was most significant to me. And that was fish. My best friend and I would drive up to Southcentral Pennsylvania from Northern Virginia and proceed to confuse some campsite proprietor.

“You two want to sleep out there? For just the night? In a tent?”

Certainly there were questions of liability running through their heads. Scenarios of teenage mischief and/or inquiries as to exactly why they let two young men freeze to death probably gave them pause as they took our money and assigned us one of the many (all) vacant campsites.

Some mischief did happen. There was the year when we had to “borrow” firewood from a local citizen, as everything in the forest was covered in ice so thick so as to render it immovable. In a similar vein, one year we woke up in the wee hours of the morning to bright flames just outside the tent wall. Apparently our dousing wasn’t sufficient, and the wetted fire had rekindled itself midway through the night.

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Show Season: The Fly Fishing Show

Starting in early January, fly fishers from across the country will venture out, drive for hours, and all while braving wintery weather. Contrary to their common preferences, they will seek out crowds and austere environs devoid of fish. Vests will be eschewed for wallets, and few will come with a fly rod.

The Fly Fishing Show is back, and coming to your town.

Starting in Denver and ending in Lancaster, Pennsylvania a few months later, the Fly Fishing Show will make seven stops across the country. This annual event for many is the optimum opportunity for checking out new gear, brainstorming for fishing trips, and rubbing shoulders with other anglers.

Those facets of the show are what practically every attendee enjoys. However, there are some other exciting elements that many might not be aware of. For example, classes with individuals such as Bob Clouser, Gary Borger, and Cathy Beck allow anglers to mingle with a pro, learn something, and make the show an interactive experience. For $85 (which includes show admission), these two-and-a-half hour classes are a great deal.

Another opportunity to have a personalized moment at the show is to spend time observing fly tyers. While there are tying showcases, most individual tyers love to walk through techniques, materials, and just generally talk with passersby. Buying a fly or two from them allows you to have a tangible reminder of any tips and tricks that you may have garnered from your conversation. Plus, it is always good to patronize the men and women who post up at the show for a long weekend.

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Last Cast of the Year: 2016

Thus concludes the year 2016.  Perhaps you’re planning on getting out one more time before the calendar actually changes, or maybe your last trip out was good enough to end the year  on a high note. Regardless, you can only get .0028% value out of your fishing license.

You can get also get some mileage out of watching college football, planning what resolutions to make, and reading fly fishing websites.

That last suggestion is a pretty good one, if you ask me.  And say you were willing to take my advice. Where would you even begin reading?

Well, I have procured proven pieces of piscatorial publishing for you. Three, in fact. The three most-read articles posted on Casting Across. So go ahead, ring in the new year by joining the throngs of other like-minded fly fishers and see what thousands have deemed the best of 2016.

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on anything in the future!

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