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Month: February 2016

Bright Futures: Color and Fishing Gear

There is a cliché image of what fly fishing ought to be. Perpetuated by retirement plan advertisements and stock image photos, it is the wicker-creel toting, floppy hat wearing, “traditional” fly fisher. Not incidentally, anglers of all demographics maintain this stereotype. Stepping outside of these orthodox visuals is a risky proposition. Incremental steps in new …

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Footsteps and Fish Brains

According to the internet and common sense, fish have small brains. Eating food, making baby fish, and not being dead are really all they have/need to process. They don’t get hung up on existential hypotheticals, five year plans, or even if their new sling pack really meets all their needs. The cerebral existence of a …

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The Wisdom of Solomon & Big Box Stores

“There is an appointed time for everything.” That is how the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes begins. What follows is the list of things for which there is “a time.” A list, if you weren’t the Sunday School type, you may know from The Byrd’s cover of Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! …

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I Scratch Rod Butts (and I can not lie)

A quick flip through a tackle catalog or a scroll through Instragram will clearly demonstrate the charm that aesthetically pleasing fly rods have for fly fishers. Detailed graphics, bright colors, and custom cork designs on handles are “in.” Obviously fish are lining up to be caught by anglers who use prettier gear, so it makes …

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Not Alone for a Moment

Part of the outdoors experience includes the unforeseen encounters out in nature. Coming down the path to see a black bear retreating into the woods. Stumbling upon the ruins of an old moonshine still in the Carolina mountains. Watching an osprey dive from the canopy to take the rising trout you’d been watching. You could …

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Fish have to Eat; So do Fly Fishers

Recently I wrote about how, even in the winter, fish have to eat. That is all fine and good. It means that we can be out on the water all year. However, there are conditions that need to be met for us to go fishing. Conditions that transcend temperature, vacation time, and permission from a …

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Tenkara Gadgets: The Ties that Bind

I’m sure I’d trigger the plagiarism-detecting software if I ran an article that began with the sentence: “fly fishermen love their gadgets!” But it is true. Anglers that prefer to pursue fish with fly tackle have a special affinity for specialized apparatuses. (That one cleared.) Even the facet of our sport that is simplest, purest, …

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The Pros and Cons of Camping

“Number… four!” he said, with a delight unseen up until this point in the conversation. Number four, as it would have it, was the campsite furthest from where we requested to spend the night. We paid our twenty bucks and quietly left the office. Driving past more desirable tent sites, heading further and further away …

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Fly Fishing at Fourteen

I began fly fishing at the age of fourteen. When I turned 30 a few years back it struck me that not only had I been involved in the sport in one way or another for over half my life, but that I’d been fly fishing for longer than I’d known my wife or lived …

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Fish have to Eat: Fly Fishing in the Winter

“Fish have to eat.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said that. If you’re a fly fisher, and you’ve gone out in the winter in pursuit of fish, you may have offered that same phrase as part of your explanation to a skeptic. Friends, family members, and concerned passersby might be puzzled …

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