Saturday Shoutout / Killing The Colorado

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It’s hard to be an angler and not care about water.

With most of the U.S. suffering from prolonged drought anglers and the fish they pursue are united in the search for water. In no case is this more evident than the Colorado river. The battle over the waters of the Colorado are legendary, and though it may seen an isolated issue, there are lessons to be learned for water management everywhere.

When Abraham Lustgarten began work on his series “Killing The Colorado” he thought it would be a piece on climate change. It turned out to be much more. It turned out that, in spite of the Colorado suffering from drought for over fifteen years, the bulk of the damage has been done by mismanagement.

It’s a fascinating bit of reporting, and very informative.

YOU CAN READ “KILLING THE COLORADO” HERE

AND LISTEN TO AN INTERVIEW WITH LUSTGARTEN HERE.

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Getting A Grip On Fly Casting: Video

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Watch the Video!

No one grip is right for every casting situation.

In general, there isn’t enough said about grip in fly casting. I spent the first half of my life with a poor casting grip. I finally ran into a gentleman who helped me find a grip that worked for me but for years after that I never thought any more about it. When I started fishing in saltwater that trusty old grip failed me once again.

I got help again and straightened out my cast but it wasn’t until I met Tim Rajeff, and he explained to me how different grips work with different casting strokes, that I fully understood the mechanics of the casting grip. I now have technique and the knowledge about how and when to use it.

It’s made a huge difference in my casting, especially my accuracy. I also have much less trouble with casters elbow. It turned out I was causing myself a lot of pain by combining the wrong grip and casting stroke. It’s been so great for me, I asked Tim to share this quick tip in a video. It helped me become a better caster and I know it will help you.

Watch the video and get a grip on your fly casting!

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Under Armour ISO-Chill, Made Right

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I’M WARY OF GIMMICKS AND MARKETING SLOGANS.

I tend to discount claims made by any company about the magical properties of their products. So when I hear that a piece of clothing will keep me cool when it’s a hundred degrees and there’s not a breath of wind, I don’t even take the time to be skeptical. I just don’t believe it.

So what’s up with Under Armour’s ISO-Chill products? The fine print reads, “Made from yarns with increased surface area that help dissipate heat from the body, creating a cooling effect.” I wouldn’t call that claim magical but I was relieved to find out that ISO-Chill is not some day-glow chemical that’s going to turn me into the Toxic Avenger. The fabric does feel cool to the touch. In fact, the feel of the fabric is one of my favorite things about this gear. Plenty of companies have technical fabric designed to keep you cool. The ISO-Chill works as well as any of them. It’s UPF-30 rated and it dries very quickly. That’s all fine, but it’s not what has made it my favorite micro fiber gear.

What I really like about the Under Armour line is the design. It comes down to fundamentals. What I’m going to call the three Fs. Fit, Fabric and Features. I’m less impressed with claims of proprietary technology than I am with a piece of clothing that is just a pleasure to wear.

FIT

Let’s get this out of the way. I’m a big guy. 6’4″ and a little over 250 pounds. Ok, 260. I have a beer once in a while, so sue me. I’m well over my ideal weight but not Springer fat. I wear an honest XXL. The problem is that most fishing gear is made for Montana trout guides living off boiled eggs and dip. The Under Armour sizing is real-life proportioned. I can wear a XXL without it feeling painted on. I’m comfortable and I’m thinking about my fishing, not my diet.

FABRIC

All of the ISO-Chill fabrics feel great. The texture and the weight of them feel like quality fabrics. They are super comfortable against your skin, they have the right amount of stretch and they hold up really well. They don’t pick and snag, they keep

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Fly Fishing: 3 Great Times to Fish Streamers

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I fell in love with streamer fishing the very first time I cast one. All it took was me bringing one trout to the net on a size 6 white Zonker, and I was hooked. I’ll never forget that beautiful 15″ wild rainbow trout, that I caught and released on a ten foot wide Southern Appalachian blue liner up in North Georgia back in the 90s. I remember the tiny stream being too overgrown and tight for me to make traditional fly casts so I crawled down on a flat boulder, stripped out some fly line and dead drifted the streamer downstream into a pool. Nothing happened at first but I didn’t give up. Instead of retrieving the fly all the way in, like most anglers regularly do, I instead made a few strips in and then let the streamer drift back down into the pool. On my third attempt, that gorgeous wild rainbow trout hammered my streamer and I brought it into my net. I still use that downstream stripping and drift back technique quite a bit when it’s called for. It works equally well with nymphs and dries.

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Use Your Map!

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By Justin Pickett

WHILE IN PATAGONIA THIS PAST WINTER, I HAD HEARD OF A SMALL LAKE FROM THREE SEPARATE INDIVIDUALS DURING MY STAY AT THE LODGE.

I had only been there two days and I’ve had these men explain to me what good fishing it is, and how they’ve all caught some really nice trout, specifically browns, from it. Now this lake is far from the reasons why I came to Patagonia, but by the first night I had already decided that I was going to find this lake.

The days are long during the summers in Patagonia. Really long. The sun is up well before I have risen (usually around 7am) and the sun just finds its way below the horizon around 10pm. The great thing about it is that this provides plenty of time for fishing and exploring. On the fourth day of our trip, we decided to end our fishing by 2pm. The extra time would be for some good R&R, as well as giving the guides extra time to prepare for our three-day float trip that began the next day. Most of the fellas in our group decided to take a siesta. I, on the other hand, had to find this damn lake!

I strung up my rod, grabbed my chest pack, and headed out.

With the resident lodge dog trotting alongside, I marched down a horse trail that followed a small stream that ran through the middle of the property. Surely all I had to do was follow this stream back to its origin and I would certainly find this lake.

About twenty minutes later I did indeed stumble upon a “lake”, or maybe more like a small koi pond. As I stared at this piece of water, I could see several fishing rising to small mayflies dancing on the water’s surface. Thinking that I must have arrived at my destination, I threw out a few casts and managed to get a refusal out of a five or six inch rainbow trout. I sat for a minute, taking the extra effort to pay attention to what kind of fish I was seeing. After a handful of minutes it was clear that this little pond was the home to nothing but baby rainbows, and this was obviously not the lake that I had heard so much about.

I found that this small stream continued on above the small pond, so naturally I kept following it. Along the way I found an old bridge, some pretty horses, and then I found myself trespassing into someone else’s backyard. Now, this no espanol-speaking gringo certainly doesn’t need to get into any kind of trouble while I’m out by myself. Especially not

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Get on the water, without breaking the bank A Guide To Alternative Watercraft

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By Ethan Smith

Are you’re tired of pounding the same water as everyone else?

Tired of public wade fishing access points, and want to get to those spots that have a chance of being slightly less pressured but you don’t have a ton of money to drop on a crazy tricked-out top of the line boat?

You are so in luck! There has never been a better time to be in the market for a boat or watercraft that isn’t considered mainstream or typical. There are plenty of incredibly cool vessels out there to suit any angling need and you can, in most cases, hook them up on a shoestring budget when compared to the prices commanded by some of the top manufacturers’ boats in brand new condition.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking top-dollar boats, they are in fact in many cases superior, and offer some great features. If I could afford a complete stable of specialty boats from the big names I wouldn’t hesitate to find a place in my life for most of them. Boats are sexy and I haven’t met many that I don’t like. There’s a reason that historically boats are referred to in the feminine. They have curves, they can be fussy, high maintenance, and require care and love to maintain a solid relationship. But there isn’t anything more wonderful than taking one out for a little while, and generally just being around them makes me happy.

Over the years I’ve studied hull designs and boat building extensively and even restored boats or various types. I’ve lofted my own plans from scale drawings, then built a wooden strip canoe from those plans. I’ve restored a small Lyman skiff from the mid-1950s, helped my dad restore a ’63 Chris Craft Sea Skiff and am currently helping him restore a Chris Craft Cabin Cruiser.

I have BAS — Boat Acquisition Syndrome — probably more than most, the advent of Craigslist hasn’t helped the situation at all. It’s arguable that the time I’ve spent restoring and working on these boats is more valuable than the money I would have spent if I just bought them in good condition. I have some time to give, but I don’t have much money.

MY MAIN RIDE NOW IS A TOWEE RIVERMASTER CALUSA.

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Sunday Classic / Choosing the Lens That’s Right You

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The most common camera question I get from my friends is “what lens should I buy.” My usual answer is, “the one that costs the most.” It’s a joke, but there is some truth to it. Here are a few tips on choosing a good lens that’s in your budget.

First of all you do get what you pay for and it’s better to save up and buy a good lens than to buy one that you will not be satisfied with and need to replace. Be wary of third party manufacturers. If you have a Nikon camera you are likely better off with a Nikon lens. The term “prosumer” means amateur. These lenses have poor glass and good marketing.

Modern zoom lenses are very good but no one lens can do it all well. Choose a zoom with a modest range like 24-70 not 18-200. Lenses with fast apertures like 1.8 can be wonderful for freezing action but a zoom lens with that kind of aperture will be very expensive. If a fast aperture is important to you you might consider a prime lens like an 85mm f 1.8.

Special purpose lenses like fish eyes are fun but a fish eye is a one trick pony, even if it is a pretty cool trick. A lot of guys see a cool photo taken with a fish eye and run out and buy one. They shoot with it all the time for the first month, then it lives in the bag. If you’ve got the cash, why not, but if your on a budget put that money towards a better quality wide angle.

The other question I get all the time is, “What’s your go to lens for fishing?” Hands down it’s

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