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The 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour: Tickets, Trailers & Schedule

F3T trailer season is upon us! With the shake-up that occurred with last year’s tour and COVID-19, we could not be more stoked for the 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour. Featuring films from around the globe, this tour is going to be unique without a doubt! Of course, we’ll be releasing our “Behind the Lens” interviews presented by Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, but until those start dropping in February, here is a full list of 2021’s films and their accompanying trailers. Enjoy!

Buy your tickets to the 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour, here!

The 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour Trailers 

Just Like Mac

From F3T:

“Uncle Mac left a deep imprint on Tommy. Join us as we retrace Tommy’s steps – from farm ponds to tarpon flats – to understand why.”

Directed By: Ben Meadows

River Tigers

From F3T:

“Journeying to Russia’s Tugur River is a journey back in time, to massive roadless expanses of boreal forest and the kingdom of Siberian taimen, the world’s largest trout that reaches over 100 pounds.

“River Tigers” a new 14-minute doc from Wild Salmon Center, Maser Films and Yonder Content, puts you on the old MI-9 Soviet helicopter to the Tugur.

The film follows a trio of adventuring fishermen to the Tugur, which is under threat despite its remoteness. American conservationist Guido Rahr, explorer-scientist Mikhail Skopets, and Russian industrial magnate Alexander Abramov converge on the river, in an attempt to find the elusive fish, to unlock its mysteries, and figure out a way to protect the place among the harsh realities of life in the Wild West of the Russian Far East.

“River Tigers” is about the passions and the unlikely friendships that drive conservation in this last frontier. It’s a trip to one of the last truly wild places on Earth. And it’s about the thrill of the hunt.”

Produced By: Wild Salmon Center, Maser Films, and Yonder Content.

The Rewa Rodeo

From F3T:

“This is the story of a small village in the heart of Guyana that conserves fish and wildlife of the Rewa River. Not only did their efforts bring a fish back from the brink of extinction but it created the finest arapaima fishery on the planet.”

Directed By and Produced By Johann Du Preez

A Journey Upstream 

From F3T:

“‘A Journey Upstream’ is a personal overview and reflection of the Braker brothers’ love for their home watershed— the Chesapeake Bay. It’s a view into how things have changed over time and how two pivotal species can distinguish the health of this massive ecosystem.”

Directed and Produced by Eric and Andrew Braker

Check out our interview with the filmmakers, here!

Escape

From F3T: 

“Life isn’t about what happens to us, it’s how we react. Follow avid angler Ryan Kelly as he documents the management of a disease that requires him to move constantly to cope with the pain. Living in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area he logs over 1500 miles on the “heel-toe express” and another 1000+ on the sticks. Through the process, he finds a most extraordinary Escape.”

Directed by Ryan Kelly

Hardlined — A KGB Production

Every year, a migration of epic proportions takes place along the Eastern Seaboard of America. From the Carolinas to Canada, anglers flock to the rocky coastlines, estuaries, rivers, and inshore waters to target one of America’s most iconic gamefish- the Striped Bass. Despite its popularity and significance to the coastal communities in the Northeast, the fishery is once again in major jeopardy. The last time this happened, we witnessed one of the greatest conservation success stories of all time, restoring the stock to astronomical numbers. Today, the question on everyone’s mind- can we do it again?

Directed by Chris Kitchen

Produced by KGB Productions and Rex Messing

Leap Year — A Topo Films Production

On the surface, spey fishing for steelhead is a sporting pursuit steeped in tradition. Every year, these anglers and the wild fish they pursue both similarly migrate to the same rivers at the same time. Now, from issues like global pandemics to global warming, there are countless ways in which this tradition can be broken.

In-swinging flies for wild steelhead in British Columbia’s famed Bulkley-Skeena Valley, Leap Year explores the river and the colorful characters of this culture as it begs the question: who will carry on these traditions if the migrations come screeching to a halt?

Directed by Jordie Lepage and Chase White

Produced by Patrick Henry and Chase White

Edited by Jordie Lepage

Mighty Waters — A Cold Collaborative Production

Trailer coming soon…

Directed by Shannon Vandivier

Tetiaroa — An Aussie Fly Fisher Production

Tetiaroa is a special place. Nestled among the Society Islands of French Polynesia, it offers a promised land of giant bonefish, GTs, and Triggerfish. 40 miles from Tahiti, owned by the Brando estate, Tetiaroa is an untapped yet vulnerable beauty, deserving of protection. Join Joshua Hutchins of Aussie Fly Fisher and the team from Fly Oddssey as they explore the endless flats and unbelievable fishing. Double figure bonefish and cruisy island vibes make this a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Filmed & Edited by Kane Chenoweth

Additional Footage: Joshua Hutchins

Dropped In The Pacific — A Jessica Haydahl Photography Production

Seven women are on an adventure of a lifetime; dropped in the Pacific to fish the famous Christmas Island coral atoll. The women experience the remote nature and unforgiving weather that Christmas Island can be known for. Together as a group, they share their experiences, the difficulties, and joys they encountered, as well as what the sport of fly fishing brings to their lives.

Directed and Produced by Jessica Haydahl

Denny’s Fly Box–A PMD Production

Trailer coming soon…

Directed and Produced by Matt Devlin

As the remaining trailers are released, we will publish them here!

The 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour Schedule

From F3T: 

After months of planning and consulting with fly shops, conservation groups, sponsors, filmmakers, and fellow anglers, we are thrilled to announce the virtual release of the 15th annual Fly Fishing Film Tour. Because even amidst a time of unpredictability, the F3T is a constant you can rely on.

The 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour is set to be released in mid-March, 2021. The streaming event will include everything our audience has come to expect from an F3T event, including unforgettable storytelling, camaraderie, and premium free giveaways, including free trips.

Arguably the most well-rounded collection of films we’ve ever showcased, the 15th annual F3T is rich with stories of conservation, adventure, and stunning cinematography. Follow along as a Russian Oligarch burns down poaching camps in order to clean up a remote river in the Russian far east to better protect the gigantic duck eating taimen that lurk there, in “River Tigers.” And buckle up as Ryan Kelly takes you on a deeply personal ride in Wyoming as he navigates the Flaming Gorge after a diagnosis of a life-altering disease. Shift gears with the team from Meat Eater and Guide/shop owner Tim Landwehr as they rip lips in Wisconsin and highlight a world-class smallmouth bass fishery. Travel with us back in time with filmmaker Shannon Vandivier and Bahamian guide Ansil as they reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s lasting social impact and his passion for flats fishing in the Bahamas. These are just some of the stories in this year’s tour.

Stay tuned for more information on dates and tickets coming soon.”

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Huge Fly Fisherman – Some Things I Have Learned About Permit Fishing

Permit. That work can elicit different feelings in a fly fisherman, usually strong feelings. Love, hate, frustration, fascination, anger, defeat. Permit are all of these things.

I got lucky once and caught a permit. I made a good cast, but really I just happened to bump into the right fish at the right time, and fortune took over. That was 2 years ago after I spent a week in Cuba fishing for permit, when I knew next to nothing about these fish. I was kind of amused that I had caught one, but I didn’t have much desire to punish myself by going after them again. That is, until a few weeks ago when I had many shots at tailing and cruising permit in the Florida Keys. I wasn’t amused. I was serious, and I was into it.

ben with a permit

I still know next to nothing about permit. I did not catch one in Florida. I spent three days filming our efforts to catch a permit, and as I reviewed the footage I realized that in spite of catching nothing I had learned a lot about fishing for permit by NOT catching them.

Flats fishing for permit is a lot like fishing for other flats species, everything is just magnified. The fish are more sensitive to the fly line, noise, vibration, the boat, which hand you reel with, what you had for breakfast that day, what color your underwear is. Everything is just a little bit tougher.

I’d like to share with you some things that I learned on this last trip, and some things that I already knew but failed to execute. Those are the ones that hurt the worst.

poling for permit

Minimize everything.

That means make fewer false casts. Make fewer movements with your body. Don’t move at all, if you can help it. The more you move, the more chance there is that the permit will see that movement and spook, or you’ll make a noise that spooks them.

Get out of the boat, if at all possible.

Permit are boat-sensitive and you can get much closer to them on foot, especially in calm conditions. Be prepared to get in the water at a moment’s notice. You won’t have time to put shoes on or take stuff out of your pockets. Be ready all the time.

flats
Open Terrain

Hit ‘em on the head.

Generally, you want to land the fly right in front of the fish’s face. Land it close, but softly. Wait for the fish to react and give you clues as to what it’s thinking. He might be interested, or scared.

out of the boat

If you think you see a fish, cast at it.

Don’t wait until you can count the fin rays in it’s dorsal, by then it’ll be too late. You have nothing to lose by casting at something you think is a fish. If it’s a permit, you might catch it. If it’s schmutz on the bottom, you got some target practice.

Strip out more line than you think you’ll need.

When you get up on the bow and are getting ready, strip off 3 or 4 pulls of line past what you think you can cast. If you get a shot at a permit, you don’t want to come up 3 feet short because you didn’t have enough line out. Ask me how I know.

underwater fish

Learn the Belgian cast.

If the wind is coming from your rod side, a Belgian cast is a useful tool. Basically, you make your back cast to the side and low to the water, then come up and over with your forward cast. The rod tip makes an oval and it keeps the line from hitting itself.

Be prepared to catch nothing, and be OK with it.

It’s permit fishing. Everyone knows it’s difficult. That’s what makes it fun. It’s absurd. You can do everything right and the fish won’t eat your fly. That’s just the way permit are. If you can accept that and learn to enjoy it, you’ll have a good time out there no matter what.

in and out of the boat

Learn all of these things. Practice them. You don’t need to be on a permit flat to learn this stuff. You can learn a Belgian cast on a trout stream. You can learn to use fewer false casts in your backyard. Just like EVERYTHING in fly fishing, you have to practice. That is the only way to get better and give you more of a chance to catch a permit.

Or don’t practice at all, because it probably won’t make a difference because permit are dicks.

ben and permit

For more on Permit fishing, and all things HUGE, check out Huge Fly Fisherman on Youtube. Also, be sure to stay posted for more Behind the scenes tips from Ben.

Faces of Fly Fishing: Ben Sittig (Huge Fly Fisherman)

Video of the Week: Huge Fly Fisherman’s Trout Smackdown

Video of the Week: Huge Fly Fisherman and Redfish in the Marsh

American Museum of Fly Fishing to Honor Paul Dixon with the 2021 Izaak Walton Award

Captain Paul Dixon Striped Bass

If you’ve spent any time diving into the lore and history of striped bass on the fly in New England, the name Captain Paul Dixon is bound to come up. In the 1990s Capt. Dixon made waves when he brought his flats skiff up to the turquoise waters of Long Island, targeting bass on the striper flats of New York. This year, the American Museum of Fly Fishing will be honoring the legendary New England guide with their coveted Izaak Walton Award.

From the American Museum of Fly Fishing:

The American Museum of Fly Fishing announced today that it will honor Paul Dixon with the 2021 Izaak Walton Award for his contributions to the sport of fly fishing. The event will take place online via Zoom and will be open to all to attend. Longtime friend and fellow angler Andy Mill will introduce Paul at the event, which starts at 7:00 P.M on March 11th. Paul and Andy will also be accompanied by renowned anglers Bob Popovics and Nick Curcione for an open discussion about Paul’s life in fly fishing. The evening will be complemented by an online auction featuring some incredible items and experiences, including a day of tarpon fishing with Paul Dixon and Andy Mill.

“Paul Dixon is of the generation of fly anglers that revolutionized the sport as we know it, particularly when it comes to flats fishing and conservation work across the Eastern Seaboard. He is an extremely worthy recipient of the 2021 Izaak Walton award from the American Museum of Fly Fishing,” said AMFF President Fred Polhemus. A California native, Paul burst onto the fly fishing scene in the early 90s when he brought the first flats skiff to the Hamptons and Montauk. Paul was among the first to discover Long Island’s striped bass flats fishery and since then has spent decades fine-tuning his craft between The Hamptons and South Florida. In addition, he has been a great advocate for conservation, spending countless hours in the service of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and other organizations.

The American Museum of Fly Fishing established the Izaak Walton Award in 2014 to honor and celebrate individuals who live by the Compleat Angler philosophy. Their passion for the sport of fly fishing and involvement in their angling community provides inspiration for others and promotes the legacy of leadership for future generations. Paul Dixon a fantastic honoree for the 2021 Izaak Walton Award from the American Museum of Fly Fishing. Paul joins distinguished recipients, Flip Pallot (2020), Tom Rosenbauer (2019), Rachel Finn (2018), Jim Klug (2017), James Prosek (2016), Tom Davidson (2015) and Ed Jaworowski (2014).

About the American Museum of Fly Fishing: The American Museum of Fly Fishing is the steward of the history, traditions, and practices of the sport of fly-fishing and promotes the conservation of its waters. The Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, studies, and interprets the artifacts, art, and literature of the sport and, through a variety of outreach platforms, uses these resources to engage, educate, and benefit all. The Museum fulfills this mission through our public programs (including exhibitions, gallery programs, lectures, special events, and presentations), our publications, and our quarterly journal, The American Fly Fisher.

For more information about the Museum and the 2021 Izaak Walton Award, including streaming information, please visit their website or connect with the Museum on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

2021 F3T Behind the Lens: River Tigers

For this installment of F3T Behind the Lens, we sat down with the braintrust behind River Tigers. A collaboration between Wild Salmon Center, Yonder, and Maser Films, River  explores the Russian Far East in search of a a mythical 55-kilogram (120-pound) trout. The unlikely trio of anglers—a billionaire Russian businessman, an American fly fisherman, and a Russian scientist—is lured to the wild Tugur River to learn about the fabled taimen and unlock the river’s secrets in order to save it. Follow along for our interview with responses from the production side–Adam Bagger and Andy Maser of Yonder and Maser films, respectively–and Wild Salmon Center (WSC).

Flylords: What are River Tigers?

WSC: Taimen are the largest salmonids in the world. They can live over 30 years and reach 6 feet in length and over 100 pounds in weight. Their native habitat spans the Japanese island of Hokkaido, north to Russia’s Sakhalin and Kuril Islands and inland to far eastern mainland Russia, Mongolia, China, and the Korean peninsula. Of the five species of Eurasian taimen, only Sakhalin taimen are anadromous, making seasonal migrations out into the salt, but generally staying nearshore. They’re known to hunt in packs, feeding on adult Pacific salmon, even muskrats and ducks. Due to their voracious appetite and their place at the top of the food chain, taimen are sometimes called “river wolves” or “river tigers.”

Flylords: The film highlights a very interesting trio of characters. Who are they?

Adam and Andy: Guido Rahr is a fly fisherman and conservationist, who was the first executive director of the Wild Salmon Center, starting in 1998, and now leads the organization as CEO. His longtime collaborator in Russia, Mikhail Skopets, is a fisheries scientist who has spent decades traveling deep in the Russian Far East, exploring new salmon rivers and mapping out conservation priorities for WSC. Alexander Abramov is a Russian steel magnate and obsessed fisherman who bought the fishing lease to the Tugur River–one of Russia’s last great Siberian taimen rivers — in 2002. 

Flylords: Wild Salmon Center is renowned for its work on protecting wild salmon in the North Pacific. Tell us about the fascination with Russia’s Far East?

WSC: The Russian Far East contains some of the world’s most diverse, productive, and healthy river and ocean ecosystems, and it is a global priority for wild salmon conservation. Its three main salmon-producing regions – Khabarovsk, Sakhalin Island, and the Kamchatka Peninsula – account for a third of the Pacific Rim’s wild salmon. And over the last century, these true salmon strongholds have remained relatively intact, largely buffered from development threats. In Khabarovsk, WSC and partners at Khabarovsk Wildlife Fund are working on a network of protected areas totaling over 3.5 million acres — 50% larger than Yellowstone National Park — that would constitute a durable stronghold for Siberian taimen, as well as other species of salmon and trout. 

Flylords: How did the film become an idea and then a reality?

WSC: In 2019, Random House published Stronghold, by Tucker Malarkey, about Rahr’s life story. The book featured Abramov and Skopets as well and culminated in a tense chapter about Rahr and Skopets trying to answer Abramov’s challenge to catch a giant Tugur taimen on the fly as winter descended. As the book was headed to print, we started talking with Andy and Adam about shooting a film that could complement the book by giving people an on-the-ground look at this unique place on Earth — including its massive taimen. They first traveled over with Guido in June 2019 and then returned in the fall that year, to capture the Tugur on film. 

Flylords: River Tigers takes place on the Tugur River, known for its remoteness and stories of massive duck-eating fish. Tell us about the river’s history and near-collapse.

Adam & Andy: The Tugur River is the world’s greatest stronghold for Siberian taimen. It flows through the Tuguro-Chumikanskiy region of Khabarovskyi Krai (territory) and into the Sea of Okhotsk, providing habitat for over 20 species of fish—from taimen to chum, pink salmon, lenok and grayling—as well as brown bears, foxes, Blakiston’s fish owl, osprey, Steller’s sea lions and white-tailed eagles.
But the Tugur is also the site of a massive poaching epidemic in the recent past. In the early 2000s, poachers were hauling up to 25 tons a season off the river, by netting whole runs of chum salmon and slitting the hens open for their eggs. Starting in 2002, lease holder Alexander Abramov worked with local government and police to patrol the river year-round and kick the poachers out. The chum runs–key food source for the taimen–have returned. In 2020, after decades of advocacy by Wild Salmon Center and other partners, the Governor of Khabarovsk announced the creation of a new, one-million-acre nature reserve on the Tugur, providing taimen with another level of legal protection from poaching and other threats.

Flylords: Outside of rampant poaching, do these salmonids of the Far East face other serious threats?

Adam & Andy: In addition to rampant poaching, taimen face growing threats from climate change, habitat loss, unsustainable sportfishing pressure, mining, damming, road construction, and extractive industries like logging and mining. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that approximately 70 percent of taimen populations in the Russian Far East have either been extirpated or experienced significant declines.

Flylords: How can Taimen inform salmon conservation? 

WSC: Taimen serve as a bellwether for ecological change. Because taimen reach maturity later and live longer than other salmonids, they are more sensitive to changes in their environment and serve as an important indicator of the health of the great rivers of Asia and Europe. Basically, if a watershed has a thriving taimen population, it means that there is a healthy river food web with abundant prey fish and intact habitat.

Flylords: What makes the Tugur River different from productive salmon Rivers in the United States or Canada?

WSC: The Tugur, like roughly half of taimen watersheds in the Russian Far East, is buffered by roadless expanses of larch, Korean pine, northern hardwoods, and spruce. Though pressure is mounting, so far logging, damming, and agriculture have yet to reshape this watershed, and as a result the Tugur stills flows wild and braided—in contrast with the rivers of the Pacific Northwest, most of which require significant restoration work after a century-plus of human development. As a salmon stronghold, the Tugur represents one of our last, best chances to protect truly intact salmon habitat.

Flylords: Does the work and research in the Far East have any implications for recovering salmonids in North America?

WSC: Because taimen are not a commercially harvested species, they’ve been poorly studied until recently. There is still much to learn about taimen reproduction, behavior, and life histories. For example, in Russia, Wild Salmon Center scientists are just beginning to appreciate how much taimen depend on healthy salmon populations for prey. 

Flylords: Russia is almost always the subject of some world news story–let’s leave it at that. I’m almost certain this project was a logistical nightmare, from the potential political hurdles to the challenges of filming in the remote Russian Far East. Tell us about some of the challenges you all had to overcome in order to complete this project.

Adam & Andy: Politics between the U.S. and Russia are certainly a little tense these days, so just getting past Customs in Khabarovsk was a challenge. A favorite moment had to be the look that the Customs lady behind the glass both gave us before she picked up the phone to summon an officer, who took us all to separate rooms for questioning and fingerprints. And then again, the look when they realized we packed 12 cases of crazy camera equipment, including a professional drone. It felt like a minor miracle that we (and our stuff) even made it into the country.
And then from there, we traveled by unimproved road for hours to a remote airstrip in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where we boarded a massive Russian MI-8 chopper to Alexander Abramov’s private fishing lodge in the heart of the vast Konin wilderness. That private chopper is the only way in or out.
Filming on location in the middle of nowhere came with its own set of logistical challenges — namely persistent torrential rain — but thankfully we had plenty of helpers on the ground (all of whom were strangely named Sergei…?). After each wet and frigid day of filming, we were treated with stately amenities back at the lodge, complete with banya (sauna), bottomless vodka, and freshly harvested chum salmon caviar.
And once we made it through all of that, upon our return to Russian civilization, a member of our team was apprehended and questioned by the FSB. “What are those Amerikantsy’s up to?!” Luckily for us, we were able to make it onto our flight out with the footage and equipment intact. Thankfully, we also left secret backup hard drives with our Russian fixers, just in case.

Flylords: Everyone reading this, is now thinking “Ok how the **** did they catch one of these fish?” Well, how does a fly fisher go about targeting and landing one of these dinosaurs?

Adam: The flies are typically 6 to 10-inch unweighted streamers tied on tubes with 3/0 hooks. Taimen seem to love to eat grayling, so a go-to streamer is one like Guido’s Grayling that matches the gray and yellow of the common grayling species in Russia. But there are conditions where gaudy streamers in black and red, chartreuse, or bright orange are more effective, especially in higher, more tannic water when clarity is not ideal. We also discovered that taimen can be surface-oriented, and they’ll aggressively strike custom foam poppers fished dry, like classic largemouth bass poppers on steroids.

Buy your tickets to the 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour, here!

Also, follow along with the film tour @flyfishingfilmtour on Instagram.

For more on the Wild Salmon Center and how you can help, click here!


2021 F3T Behind the Lens: Dropped in the Pacific

2021 F3T Behind the Lens: A Journey Upstream

The 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour: Tickets, Trailers & Schedule

Nonprofit of the Month: The Wild Salmon Center

Simms Releases New Flyweight Collection

Simms is lightening your load with their latest Flyweight Collection. The new line is designed for anglers who crave remote fly fishing adventures and need the lightweight gear that will let them put in the miles on the water without the need for heavy equipment.

From Simms:

“Introducing the all-new Simms Flyweight Collection. Customize your set-up to match any fishing scenario with an integrated 5.11® HEXGRID® platform. Mount pods and other accessories at different angles for smooth ergonomic access and personal preference. Featuring the award-winning Flyweight Stockingfoot Wader, the collection also includes lightweight, versatile packs, outerwear, and accessories. Designed for high-output anglers this entire collection is designed for sunup to sundown missions – because the fish aren’t coming to find you.”

The new collection drops today, March 1, 2021!

Monty Burke Interviews Flylords Founder Jared Zissu on Forbes

Flylords Forbes Monte Burke Jared Zissu

Last week, Monty Burke, a well-known Forbes columnist and author of one of our favorite books of recent years, Lords of the Fly, interviewed Flylords founder Jared Zissu. The pair discuss how Flylords started and grew, how the business model works and how the company has engaged with the explosive growth in the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can read the full article, here!

“Around a Third of Freshwater Fish Species are Threatened with Extinction,” WWF Report Finds

Brook Trout
Courtesy of @gemichaels

A recent World Wildlife Foundation report lays out a grim reality for the planet: “Nearly 1/3 of all freshwater fish are threatened with extinction.” The report, titled The World’s Forgotten Fishes, discusses the condition of freshwater fish throughout the globe. The productivity, biodiversity, and economic importance of freshwater ecosystems is often misunderstood and overlooked. According to the report, nearly 260 million people rely on freshwater fish for their food supply and livelihoods. As avid anglers and recreationists, we understand the value of freshwater fish more than most. Collectively, we power a multi-billion dollar fishing economy that benefits communities throughout the United States and globe. Today, the world’s freshwater fisheries and ecosystems face mounting threats.

These economies and life-supporting resources depend on healthy, productive freshwater ecosystems and our stewardship thereof. Unfortunately, the world’s freshwater ecosystems are in poor condition, and the fish species that inhabit these systems do not fare much better.

The report highlighted some amazing statistics:

  • Populations of migratory fishes – the travellers of the freshwater world, including sturgeon, salmon, hilsa and gilded catfish – have fallen by 76 percent since 1970;
  • We’ve lost 35 percent of the world’s remaining wetlands in the past 50 years;
  • Only a third of rivers over 1000km still flow freely from source to sea;
  • Just 40 percent of Europe’s waters are classified as in good ecological health;
  • 300-400 tons of pollution are dumped into freshwater ecosystems every year;
  • Agriculture uses around 70 percent of all water abstracted globally.

The condition of freshwater ecosystems is not great, but we are not at the point of no return–yet. Scientists have documented the many factors harming freshwater fish and  know what needs to be done. The report’s authors provided a six-pillar plan to restore freshwater ecosystems:

  1. Let rivers flow more naturally;
  2. Improve water quality in freshwater ecosystems;
  3. Protect and restore critical habitats;
  4. End overfishing and unsustainable sand mining in rivers and lakes;
  5. Prevent and control invasions by non-native species;
  6. Protect free-flowing rivers and remove obsolete dams.

“Ensuring a brighter future for the world’s freshwater fishes…will mean a brighter future for people and nature,” the report concluded. In the coming months, governments will convene at the Convention for Biodiversity and have the opportunity to chart a new, exciting path for the planet’s freshwater ecosystems and some of our favorite fisheries.

Cover picture courtesy of @gemichaels


American Rivers: “69 dams Removed in 2020, Reconnecting 624 Miles of Rivers”

Multi-Billion Dollar Plan to Remove the Four Lower Snake River Dams Unveiled

Dry Fly Drying Hack

Fishing dries has to be one of the most satisfying ways of catching a trout on a fly rod. Delicate casts with light tippet, watching your fly float across the waters surface, and blow up takes on the surface. There is just something about watching a trout rise to the surface to smack your dry fly during an explosive hatch on the river. After long hours of fishing dries, they do tend to get waterlogged requiring the use of floatant. While floatant is a great option, there are cheaper and quicker ways to dry your flies. In this tips and tricks video of the week, Lance Egan of Fly Fish Food demonstrates a hack for drying off your dry flies.

Fly Fishing Hack you Say?

A couple of hours worth of fishing will waterlog your dry flies. So how do we combat this?

  1. Using either your dry fly patch or your shirt cuff, dab your dry fly to get the exterior water off of the feathers and materials.
  2. Take a piece of Life Flex (Tying Material) and create a loop with that tying an overhand knot.
  3. Hook your fly over the Life Flex loop and using your fingers to separate the loop, begin strumming your tippet.
  4. The strumming motion will shake out all of the excess water embedded in your dry fly leaving it completely dry.

There you have it. A simple and easy way to completely dry off your dry flies. You can hook the Life Flex loop that you made to your vest, pack, or waders to ensure its always there when you need it. Rubber bands can also be used but will need replaced every so often due to sun rot.

For more fly fishing hacks and tips, check out Fly Fish Food’s YouTube channel by clicking here.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Protects Essential Permit Spawning Habitat

From Bonefish & Tarpon Trust:

In Major Conservation Win, Florida FWC Establishes Permit Spawning Season Closure at Western Dry Rocks.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted today to establish a four-month no fishing closure at Western Dry Rocks, the most important permit spawning site in the Lower Keys. Conservation organizations celebrated the vote, which capped a year-long effort to protect spawning fish that aggregate at the site.

“We thank FWC for taking this decisive action at Western Dry Rocks,” said Jim McDuffie, President of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT). “It continues the agency’s long record of science-based fisheries management and, in this case, will help ensure the sustainability of our valuable inshore fishery for permit and offshore fishery for mutton snapper.”

Guided by science and supported by a broad coalition of fishing and conservation organizations, the closure spans the months of April through July, the heart of spawning season for permit and mutton snapper, and addresses the increasing threat of shark predation in this 1.3-square-mile area.

Research by BTT identified Western Dry Rocks as a critically important spawning site for permit in the Lower Florida Keys, attracting approximately 70 percent of tagged permit that live on Lower Keys flats. Subsequent studies also found that more than one-third of hooked permit at the site were lost to shark predation. Though harvest for permit is prohibited in the Keys during the spawning season, the loss of hooked permit at this scale is impacting the larger Keys permit fishery.

“FWC agreed today that this is not a sustainable level of mortality, especially since it is occurring at a critical spawning site,” McDuffie said. “This four-month closure will ultimately provide anglers and guides with more fishing opportunities throughout the Lower Keys.”

BTT acknowledges the coalition of organizations that supported the closure, including Lower Keys Guides Association, IGFA, American Sportfishing Association, Coastal Conservation AssociationCongressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Fly Fishers International, ​and ​Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation​.​”

Cover picture courtesy of Capt. Jordan Carter.


Save the Horny Fish: An Inside Look at BTT’s Permit Initiative

Nonprofit of the Month: Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

 

Pyramid Lake Angler Lands Potentially Record-Breaking Lahontan Cutthroat

Once declared extinct in the Pyramid Lake system, Lahontan cutthroat trout are certainly doing well since their reintroduction into the system in the early 2000s. So well indeed that an angler landed an estimated 39-inch Lahontan on Valentine’s Day this year. Quinn Pauley was enjoying a quiet day on the banks of the lake after his friends had to leave to celebrate Valentine’s Day back home when he hooked a huge fish.

Quinn Pauley with the approx. 39-in Lahontan that he estimates weighed close to 30 lb. Photo from Reno Gazette Journal.

Now it’s common knowledge that the trout in Pyramid Lake grow to otherworldly proportions, and prior to their declared extinction, were known to hit sizes of 40 lbs and rumored to top the measuring tape out at 50 inches. And Pauley’s catch is supposed to be the largest of the Pilot Peak strain (Raised in Gardnerville at the Lahontan fish hatchery) landed since the reintroduction of the Pilot Peak fish began in the early 2000s.

The fish was a Pilot Peak strain, born and raised at the Lahontan Hatchery in Gardnerville. Quinn said he could tell because the adipose fin had been clipped. After bringing the fish to hand, Quinn managed to capture some video of his catch before safely releasing the fish back to the lake.

You can read the full story of the incredible catch in an interview with Quinn Pauley, here!

Video of the Week: Wild Fly Productions Appalachian Backcountry Adventure

Image Courtesy: Wild Fly Productions

In this weeks Video of the Week we catch up with Scottie in his most recent film about a local adventure into the Appalachian backcountry this past fall. Scottie and his cousin Charlie head out to a favorite trail to do some overnight backpacking and fishing. Good friends, warm fall days, and hungry fish on dries. What’s not to love!

Watching this short film gave us the warm weather bug and cannot wait for wet wading, big dries, and long warm summer nights. If you aren’t already make sure to follow Scotties adventures here: @wildflyproductions 

Check out these other awesome articles as well!

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