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Abel, a leading manufacturer of USA made fly fishing equipment in Montrose, CO, is thrilled to announce its new licensing agreement with Fanatics and Major League Baseball (MLB) that will bring a unique collection of fly fishing reels and nippers featuring MLB team logos to fly fishing enthusiasts worldwide. Launching in February 2024 to coincide with spring training, this collaboration will allow fans to show their team spirit on the water like never before.
“We are incredibly excited to work with Fanatics and Major League Baseball,” said Jeff Patterson, Director of Sales at Mayfly Outdoors. “This agreement allows us to combine the passion for both fly fishing and baseball, creating truly unique products for fans of both sports. It’s really a dream come true for us as lifelong baseball fans and anglers here at our Colorado factory.”
Each reel will feature an MLB team logo laser engraved on the drag knob along with the team colors anodized on the reel. The reel and nipper collection will initially be available in eight teams: Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, Red Sox, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs and Rockies. Fans of these teams will have the opportunity to showcase their loyalty while enjoying the exceptional performance and craftsmanship that Abel Reels is renowned for. Additional MLB teams will also be added to the overall lineup in the future.
At launch, the reel collection will feature the SDF 5/6 and SDS 7/8 models, ensuring a wide range of fishing styles and preferences can be accommodated as well as a line cutting nipper for use anywhere on the water. The nipper engraved with an MLB team logo and anodized team colors is yet another way for anglers to represent their favorite team.
“We understand that fly fishing is not just a hobby, but a way of life for many,” added Patterson. “By combining their passion for fly fishing with the love for their favorite baseball teams, we’re providing a unique and personal experience for our customers.”
Abel is a leading manufacturer of high-quality fly fishing equipment based in Montrose, CO.
With a commitment to excellence and a passion for the sport, Abel Reels continues to
provide anglers with top-of-the-line gear that enhances their fishing experience. For more
information, please visit www.abelreels.com.
The annual Captains for Clean Water “World’s Finest Skiff Raffle” is here, and this year’s Hell’s Bay Professional Skiff will undoubtedly garner a ton of support for CFCW’s tireless efforts to restore South Florida’s waters. CFCW is one of the leading voices calling for real action on restoring the natural flow of water in South Florida and remedying the water quality issues plaguing Florida’s coasts and ecosystems. Hell’s Bay, a long-time CFCW partner, hit the ball out of the park with this year’s skiff donation.
At 17’8″ and drafting just 4.5″, it’s no wonder why the Hell’s Bay Professional get’s its name–this boat is made for the tactical shallow water guides of South Florida. This skiff is impressive enough right out of the factory, but Hell’s Bay, CFCW, and other partners cut no corners building and outfitting this truly one-of-a-kind Professional.
The Grand Prize package includes: a Hell’s Bay Professional, 60hp Mercury Racing Outboard, trailer, Raymarine Axiom 9, custom SeaDek Floor Kit, Power-Pole 6ft. Pro Series, Stiffy Guide Series Graphite 22’ Push Pole, Yeti products, Orvis fly fishing setup, and much more! This raffle is truly a win-win–support the continued progress of CFCW and others to rectify Florida’s decades of poor water management and have the chance to win this incredible prize package!
“We’re so grateful to our friends and partners at Hell’s Bay for their massive support to the fight for clean water with another beautiful skiff up for grabs,” said CFCW Executive Director and Co-founder, Capt. Daniel Andrews.
“This is the fourth boat they’ve donated for our raffle, and they just keep getting better. Over the years, the Hell’s Bay raffle skiff has become so much more than just a boat. It’s really turned into a galvanizing community event and a critical fundraiser to support our efforts—and we’re making major progress because of it. And with the generous support of all the other brand partners involved, it just shows the outdoor industry united at the forefront of efforts to protect our wild places. Each boat raises more awareness and invites more outdoorsmen and women from all over the country to join the fight for clean water.”
Head on over to Captains for Clean Waters’ website to enter into this great raffle and opportunity to support their good work!
If you’ve had your boat in or around Twin Falls, Idaho, this summer, you should inspect your boat for Quagga Mussels. There have been discoveries of larval stages of Quagga Mussels, an invasive aquatic species.
Up until this point, the Columbia River Basin was the only major river system in the US free of these invasive mussels. Your help in spreading the word is essential to ensure we can contain this issue and safeguard the rest of the Columbia River Basin. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat, kayak, or floatation device.
At Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, whale sharks are frequently seen swimming amidst swarms of small carangid baitfish, roughly 10cm in size. These tiny fish were previously believed to accompany the massive sharks for protective reasons.
However, research conducted by Murdoch University’s Harry Butler Institute has unveiled startling revelations. Large schools of trevally, exceeding 30cm in length, have been observed engaging in rapid feeding frenzies, consuming entire schools of baitfish within intervals lasting from two to 45 seconds.
The study, published in Marine Biology, challenges the notion that baitfish cluster around whale sharks, which can reach lengths of up to 18 meters, solely for safety purposes. Christine Barry, the lead author and a Ph.D. candidate at HBI’s Center for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, analyzed footage from cameras affixed to juvenile whale sharks, measuring up to 7 meters in length. An opportune video recorded by a Ningaloo tourism photographer also contributed to the findings.
According to Barry, rather than seeking refuge from predation, the association between baitfish and whale sharks may be driven by potential energy or food acquisition benefits.
“Whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef move throughout the region to locate dense patches of food,” Barry said. “By riding the bow wave, the accompanying baitfish save valuable energy by moving through the water with their whale shark taxis.”
“Furthermore, despite their massive size difference, baitfish and whale sharks eat the same food—such as plankton—but the amount eaten by the baitfishes barely impacts the resources available to the sharks.”
Barry said the advantages of traveling with whale sharks—movement and increased food opportunities—likely led to a commensal relationship that was energetically beneficial to the baitfishes.
“But they are still very vulnerable to predatory fishes when accompanying their giant friends, as the dramatic trevally feeding frenzy videos showed,” she said.
As fly fisherman and blue water fisherman in Australia, and specifically in the Ningaloo Reef, be sure to watch for whale sharks as you might get into some trevally!
The Bitterroot chapter of Trout Unlimited, along with Montana Trout Unlimited and the national Trout Unlimited organization, has dedicated decades of investment and effort to the preservation and enhancement of the Bitterroot Valley’s iconic wild trout fishery.
These investments have encompassed a wide range of initiatives, from ensuring that Painted Rocks Dam maintains trout-friendly water flows to advocating for public access, restoring tributary streams, and even employing a full-time project manager exclusively devoted to the well-being of this watershed.
Given the long-standing commitment to this region, it is with great concern the potential development of a rare earth elements mine in the Sheep Creek tributary of the West Fork Bitterroot River. The West Fork is not only the habitat of some of the watershed’s last remaining native bull trout, a species listed under the Endangered Species Act, but it also encompasses productive agricultural lands, residences, and a vibrant hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation community. Each of these elements lies at the core of the Bitterroot’s local community and economy, and each could face substantial threats should a mining operation be established upstream.
I have been obsessed with the idea since I first discovered it 18 years ago. I found out that the college I attended takes students out backpacking on holiday weekends and I quickly signed up for two. Since those first two trips, I was literally hook, lined, and sinkered. And the doors for possibilities and adventure swung wide open.
Backpacking has taken me to the far reaches of the planet. I have been fortunate enough to trek through the wilds of Patagonia, the bear infested valleys of the Yukon Territory, and even one of the long distance trails in the United States, the 2,650.10-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Of course, between work, I dove into weekend trips, trekking into mountainous destinations all over the country. And that drumbeat continued for 17 years.
Fast forward to now, and things haven’t changed much. A big part of my desire to even get into backpacking was to explore the untapped and barely touched high alpine lakes and streams that are miles from roads and loaded with trout. A driving force behind almost all of my endeavors into the wilderness aside from those first two trips. But on a weird and almost depressing note, I began to get bored. I got unenthusiastic on the idea. The sport blossomed after COVID, and the peaceful tranquility of it began to fade from my psyche.
I began trail running for my after work therapy. Each run I was able to get further and further away both metaphorically and physically the more in shape I got. I just kept running and realized that I was able to achieve destinations in a day that would normally take me two to even three days should I have been backpacking. So I kept running and kept pondering how I could combine my two passions of fly fishing and trail running.
I bought myself a small running vest that had a few pockets and a small space for gear, and I started bringing a Tenkara with me on runs and heading to small creeks. The rod bounced around and the gear rattled against my back, but the trip was successful and I was able to get into fish, combining the two sports.
I kept running and kept fishing until I conceptualized an idea to run over a marathon up and over a range that I have backpacked previously and wanted to see if I could do it in a day. With my running pack strapped and my Tenkara folded and ready to go, I hit the trail and succeeded in running 28.2 miles all the while fishing the high alpine lakes and streams.
But I still had some problems. One, the Tenkara was a perfect setup for my small running vest, and at the time, fishing and running had never been associated with each other. But it failed to reach those fish well into the lake and should I connect with a quality fish, it was no match for the drag-less option.
I also was torn about wanting to go further, not necessarily in a day, but wanting to combine multiple big days in a row, in the backcountry, with what little time I had allotted between work. So I kept running and kept fishing, wondering if it would be possible to combine backpacking, fly fishing, and trail running. As the idea was swirling away in my head, the sport of fastpacking was gaining momentum.
Fastpacking is the combination of trail running and backpacking. Instead of slowly meandering up a trail with a huge backpack and relatively light gear, you move fast and lighter with smaller packs achieving the same goal, but covering double, if not, triple the distance. The gear is somewhat the same, but take everything you own and replace it with an ultra-lite version and shoulder that. So as this concept was evolving and companies began designing packs for this purpose, the light went off in my head and I found the range I wanted to run.
I shouldered my pack, stowed a proper rod and reel in the outside compartment, and hit the trails running across a range that is not only a million acres in size, but has scared me for well over a decade. The size of the wilderness is humbling to say the least, but should I have gone with my original plan of backpacking it, it would easily have taken me over two weeks to hit each lake, each stream, and hike every mile of trail that the range required to achieve. But with the new idea and concept, I could run it in half the time all the while enjoying casting to alpine lakes and setting up a tent in some of the most remote and beautiful terrain in the lower 48.
The pack was light and different than what I was used to, but the idea was amazing and the first night was achieved with arriving to camp early and casting to rising trout. The heaviest part was the food and there was no real way around it as calories are the most important thing when needing to fuel each run every day. So a simple stove that could boil water and ready made meals were the go to.
With calories down the hatch and camp perfectly made, a smile ripped across my face and couldn’t wait to see what else the rest of the trip was to bring. With how light and efficient it was all to be, the only thing that worried me was my body. Putting up with high miles, high alpine weather, and highly dangerous animals should I sneak up on them, the worries of the trip were abundant, but so too was the beauty that kept driving me forward.
Moving fast obviously meant I could cover a lot of ground, but also meant I could sneak up on wildlife. And that is both good and bad. I was able to creep up on a moose cow and calf before they scurried off into the wilderness never to be seen again. The marmot and pika squeaked and groaned as I ran by, begging me to look up from the trail to spot them, threatening my footing and face-planting in the process. And both fortunately and unfortunately, sneaking up on bears and getting a first hand and up close look at these apex and often dangerous predators, was a real possibility.
Being light and fast also meant that setting up camp and taking it down was a breeze. It was epic knowing that I could cast a few in the morning with coffee, then quickly break down camp and hit the trail, all the while getting to a destination that would not only take two to three days of trekking to get to, but also get to before night fall just in time for an afternoon light show and the evening hatch. Checking off double digit days was nothing and it turned out that the hardest part of the trip was simply running past certain lakes and streams all the while getting to another you desire.
It was exhausting trekking above 10,000 feet all the while running and carrying the gear, making nearly 20 miles each day, but the reward was worth the effort. And although the fish brought to hand barely broke the ruler stick, the beauty of each speckled and native fish rivaled even the glow of the mountains while the sun rose and set each day. The beauty was taken in with each mile of passing terrain, but the rapid fire of the run made each day a different perspective than it could ever be backpacking.
The endorphins post run were another epic addition to running the range and moving at the pace I was compared to backpacking often half or less of the speed. Although it needs to be said that there is nothing wrong with backpacking and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life, but the speed at which I was able to move with the light pack and the distance needed to cover before work began, offered a new glimpse into future trips that could open doors I didn’t know could previously be opened.
Being able to also carry enough fly gear, while remaining light enough to run was the biggest challenge of the idea. I always knew that light gear for backpacking existed and as the sport of fastpacking began to evolve, the sport of fly fishing is slow to catch up. The rods may be light, the line and flies also, but the reels are made of metal and as of now, there is no way around that. But thanks to Ross Reels making a small three weight reel and a recently inherited Echo 7’6” four piece three-weight rod, the entire trip was not only possible, but also light and functional.
I was able to cast at the end of the day, and for each water break needed at high altitude that offered both hydration and an opportunity at rising fish. And should the occasion call for a quality fish that occasionally show themselves in high alpine environments, the rod and reel combo shined far greater than the Tenkara could ever dream of. The Tenkara was the stepping-stone, the appetizer before the meal, and they too, also have a place in my kit for further and lighter ideas. But it was a blessing to be able to carry ultra-lite gear on all fronts all the while not sacrificing quality or function while doing so.
The run continued as I left each backpacker I saw in the dust, and the terrain of possibility kept presenting itself with each ibuprofen that went down my throat to soothe my achy bones and joints. Exhaustion was a real thing, but that led to an opportunity to cast further into yet another lake, another stream and presented itself yet another fish to hand to give the legs a break.
Overall, the concept is a win and one that I cannot wait to explore further in more mountain ranges full of fish all over the country and planet. Some of the most remote corners of our planet are often locked away into the depths of remoteness while always teasing us of what else there could be the further we go. But fastpacking and ultra-lite gear are making that door slowly open for what else could be in store. And I cannot wait to keep shouldering this pack to explore further of the untapped an un-fished opportunities that lay out there, begging to be casted to.
Article written by Sean Jansen @jansen_journals. Sean Jansen is a freelance writer for Flylords Magazine, and spends his time in Bozeman, Montana where he guides tours through Yellowstone National Park.
“We fished and filmed in Tsiname Bolivia. It was beginning of the season and we had a massive first run of Sabalos. The Dorado were chasing in groups and we were lucky enough to find many Dorado feeding and capture it on film. At some points, we were able to place our flies in the middle of the frenzy and it was game on!”
In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, Cheech with Fly Fish Food ties another European style nymph that anglers should carry in their box no matter the season, the CDC French Jig.
There is no doubt that over the past few years the European style of nymphing has taken over. Whether it is the rods, line style, or flies, anglers of all backgrounds can at least implement part of the style into their repertoire. The effectiveness is second to none and is just another tool in the quiver to make your time on the water more enjoyable. The CDC French Jig is a European nymphing style fly that you’ll find in most guide boxes and one that you should never head to your local trout river without.
For composition, this pattern is simple yet deadly effective. It includes several materials that are part of all your favorite nymphs including CDC, pheasant tail, and a hot spot. Combined, these materials create a profile that trout simply cannot refuse and will increase your productivity on the water. The most difficult part of the CDC French Jig is the CDC loop, which for novice tyers can be replaced by simply wrapping the CDC feather around the collar.
Throw this fly into your summer dry dropper rig or in a double nymph rig if you want to catch more trout. This is a pattern that will produce in nearly any water where trout live and you’ll be able to quickly tie batches of in your downtime. For variation, you can change the hot spot color to figure out which the trout prefer more in different water. The CDC French Jig is a nymph that all trout anglers should have in their fly box and fish with confidence.
Now you know how to tie the CDC French Jig!
Video and ingredients courtesy of Fly Fish Food.
Is using a barbed hook okay? Check out this video of the Huge Fly Fisherman outlining everything you need to know about barbed hooks.
In this Video of the Week, we catch up with Jim Klug and Josh Mills of Yellow Dog Fly Fishing in their most recent short film exploring Greenland and its fisheries. The crew explores two different lodges in two uniquely different river systems. From skating flies to streamers the guys are treated to world-class fishing, lodging, and views! So sit down and enjoy as Jim and Josh experience what Greenland has to offer from their fishing to their culture!
“Founded in 2000, Yellow Dog currently works with and represents over 245 different lodges in more than 33 different countries. The company was initially founded by Jim Klug, who began work on the infrastructure and creation of the company in 1999 before officially launching Yellow Dog in 2000. In 2005, Yellow Dog’s Ian Davis left Breckenridge Outfitters, moved to Bozeman, and partnered with Yellow Dog.” If you’re looking for a destination fly fishing trip or a unique travel experience, look no further than Yellow Dog.
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