Tag: brownlining

A brownliner thought for the weekend

Fly fishers are known to chase taimen, but that’s technically a ‘blue water’ fish. It’s the thrill of the hunt, for the world’s largest trout. The dirty water crew, on the other hand, are already catching monsters right in their own back yards. How long will it be before they are seeking exotic quarry?

Small Gator
Better bring a lot of wire leader

MG signing off (to tie bimini twists with coax cable)

Fly Fishing: The sport we know and love has been forever changed

Beginning today (with breaking news coming in every moment)

  • Matt Dunn is an outdoorsman. But, the doctor has spoken, and Matt’s now on a heart-healthy kick. In addition, he had a fly rod stolen a few weeks back, and since he hasn’t finished up his Ph.D. just yet his budget for replacement is nill. He still has his camera and television, however, and is now going to spend a bit more time doing nature photography (and watching basketball game archives). See the new and improved journal of his endeavors here.
  • Tom Chandler is ever the innovator. And since recession and global warming climate change have hit, we are all running low on cash for flies and gas and the dwindling snowpack guarantees the flows will be too low for anything but tadpole breeding anyway. The man is now going to save you the time and expense of getting skunked, and this intrepid reporter suspects the Trout Underground Writer’s Network will soon be hosting blogs where you can display your fishing prowess too. View the real future of fly fishing here.
  • And finally…

  • The hunt for the perfect fly never ends, and that’s why everyone who fly fishes is broke and everyone who makes fly tying materials is now producing fish porn from their island nations. But what if the perfect fly was actually invented long ago, and the secret kept away from the rest of us via blood oath and lock n’ key? MidCurrent believes they’ve uncovered just such a conspiracy – it’s a story that could turn the fly fishing world upside down. Drop your socks and grab your….mouse; then click here.

MG signing off (to hock all his gear on eBay before the rush)

UPDATE: This just in…

Brownlining is hot, hot, hot, yet the IGFA chooses to ignore what certainly is part of the nine-foot (+) future – I guess they don’t have any gear to hock. But proving you can’t put a good man or woman down, think tanks have been hard at work, and the culmination of their efforts is the freshly chartered International Brownline Fly Fishing Association. Rumor has it that secretive (at least with photos of his mug) Singlebarbed founder Keith Barton will be chairing the organization, and famed two-hander Jean-Paul Lipton will take the president’s slot.

STILL MORE: This sent in from a source on Long Island who asked that their identity be kept in the strictest of confidence…


Who’d have thought the sport could move so fast?

A ‘Try Not To Smile Too Much’ Moment in Brownlining

Dirty Duner

Snyder wannabe
Wipe that hobo-dodging smirk off your face

Taken on a Barr’s Emerger. And lived to tell about it.

The horror.

Around the world in nine paragraphs flat – 03/30/09

World MapTechnology

– Jeff Bezos spent a week working in one of his own warehouses. When I first heard about it, I thought he was making a shift from strategic to operational, with an eye to cutting some costs. I was right. But I admire the man and the company enough that I can only believe those that were cut were treated right. If they weren’t, I’m assuming those cut couldn’t cut it themselves. I have a couple of friends working their, and have, on occasion, wished I could join the fun.

– Google layed off some sales folks in the past few weeks, and I imagine it’s all for the better. Their top dog of sales, Tim Armstrong, is gone. New blood replaces, and cohesion will be key to Google’s finding their next growth spurt. Will the next chapter in Google’s story be charging full steam into the enterprise? They don’t want to suffer the curse of eBay, but I hope they don’t listen to BusinessWeek either – those guys suggest they first buy Twitter and then get better at acquisitions.

– On that note, Twitter and Facebook are capturing so gosh darn much attention I’d usually be willing to bet that they’ll fizzle out in the blink of an info tech eye. But I don’t actually think that’s going to be the case.


I’m bullish on Twitter and Facebook – just wholeheartedly bearish on all the media who can’t find another story.


And, I’m feeling sorry for the folks on the job hunt after they get their master’s degrees in social networking, as well as those businesses that try hitching a ride based solely on advertising. This is one godawful hype brawl, and plenty of folks are going to get knocked out.


– The S&P has been on a tear the last few weeks, but now it has the Quadruple Confirmed Evil Knievel Formation to contend with. If that technical analysis wizardry isn’t enough for you, there’s another economic bubble about to rear it’s ugly head. It’s called the budget deficit.

– In the luxury goods department, modern art prices are getting slashed and burned as collectors run to the masters. I’m not surprised – tossing a couple of cans of paint on a 20′ X 20′ canvas and calling it a million bucks was bound to fizzle on the business model front. The art world is certainly not without it’s scammers. Top shelf wine lovers are getting a bit more cautious now too – cult wine lists, space on which once sold to the highest bidder (yes, before you got your first bottle), are now looking for the last sucker too. Once the lists start including grape juice in a box, I’m in.

– This morning’s Asian markets were closing on an ugly note, with the Nikkei and Hang Seng off over 4.5%. Meanwhile, some commodities prices are on the skid as well. US markets have been on a tear as of late, but Nouriel Roubini was also saying a few weeks back to expect a bear market rally. I thought he might just be a little tired from all the media attention, and yet things are shaping up for him to be right. Again.

Fly Fishing

– There’s a recession in fly fishing – interest is down and nobody seems to have a solution yet. Still, there are a few folks keen on catching a big trout on the fly – my only suggestion is that instead of putting that goal on a list of things to do before dying, why not try making a habit of it. Easier said than done, and probably a significant part of the reason fly fishing is taking a hit – it’s less instant gratification than constant aggravation. Neverthless, I am, and shall remain, a glutton for punishment.

– Thomas McGuane wrote what is easily my favorite book on fly fishing, The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing. And this last weekend he took aim at shotguns, dogs, and dinner. I’m all for dogs and dinner, as long as the dogs aren’t begging for mine. As for the shooting, I’m pretty sure I’ll be spending more time at the clays course this summer, and I’ll credit the story as well. As for my dog, he’s a herder. Anyone have some spare sheep?

And finally…

– Speaking of the Wall Street Journal, there’s been a lot of hype about ‘brownlining’ over the past few weeks, and with Denver’s urban South Platte on center stage. Fly fishing history is being rewritten, and there’s even a new ‘nation’ for those who’ve been busted scratching rocks with their cleats and are now banished from the clear stuff. Even wholly unprofessional (at fly fishing) jokers such as myself have been fielding inquiries as to how it’s done, as well as a few more that say “great going Gracie…now the the joint is going to be packed all summer.” I don’t know how it’s done (I’m just lucky), and as for the crowds, well the flows looked docile in that WSJ video, but said water level won’t be a crowd pleaser for much longer…

South Platte Flow

MG signing off (to get some more coffee)

The Wall Street Journal does carp on the fly (UPDATED)

wsj-brownliningThe Wall Street Journal just had to see what brownlining was all about, so they sent crack reporter Justin Scheck to investigate:

Brownliners enjoy fly-fishing’s primary perks — the suspense of watching a fly disappear beneath the water’s surface, the struggle of man against beast, the spinning of fish stories. If that doesn’t come with fresh water and clean air, so be it.

The pursuit is an affront to fly-fishing’s traditional ethos. Since English nobles began using bamboo rods and whiplike lines to cast weightless flies to trout, the sport has been associated with pristine wilderness. “More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings,” angling legend Charles Orvis wrote more than a century ago.

Read the whole thing. And don’t forget to watch the video, where my compadre Tom Teasdale catches a honker catfish on a Kenyan Stone. You heard me right – a catfish, on a stonefly. Take that, purists!

Justin and the Carp

But, there’s one thing you won’t learn from that Wall Street Journal masterpiece: business journalists can fly fish! During a shoot break I handed Justin my rig, and he immediately found his groove with the stout eight. Ten minutes later it was fish on. We were not going to let this one get away, and a mad scramble ensued to get this roughly thirteen pound baby into the net. I’d like to take credit for something other than the lousy photo, but Tom and Fat Guy Kyle performed the roundup and lassoing. Additionally, I think the whole bit is a tribute to the quality of the WSJ editorial and staffing honchos – they know a good man when they see ’em. It’s always a good day when everyone in the crew hooks up.

Also undisclosed until this very moment: in order to get the WSJ to pay our ugly water a visit in the first place, I covertly GUARANTEED they’d get some good footage and a storyline. I [tacitly] omitted that fact when roping Mr. Teasdale into the deal, but that’s what fishing friends are for – stretching the truth regarding a day on the water. It was risk-taking at its finest, and the unhedged bet paid out. Further, with my future photojournalist’s career clouded in significant doubt – nobody including the WSJ is ringing for my pics – I’m now stewing on the idea of launching a fly fishing derivatives market-making desk. We’ll write all kinds of risk for brown water and blue, a variety of species, and expire contracts along with the fishing season. I’m going to start recruiting ex-credit default swap traders any day, so boys and girls of AIG…get your resumes ready! I’ll also be hedging the trading desk concept with another business model – picking rigs and flies for real journalists (for a stiff fee, of course) until the ball is rolling.

[singlepic id=95 w=150 h=112.5 float=left] Editor’s note: Special thanks go out to my neighbor Corey Christensen, who loaned me his brand new duck hunting waders so Mr. Scheck stayed safe from passing diaper bags. Unfortunately, Mr. Christensen is now demanding a slice of future trading desk spreads as compensation, so if you have some worn out leaders you can pass my way I’ll deliver them to him as a hush payment. He’s still wondering why I always outfish him despite his being a pretty lucky guy, but the aged monofilament tapers I’m always handing him are my other brand of insurance policy.


St. Paddy’s Day, stinky style

I’m nowhere close to being Irish, but neither is the majority of the populous drinking green beer at lunchtime. I opted out of the brew (at least until this evening), choosing green water instead. It was a tough outing. There were plenty of fish willing to take flies – those in my immediate vicinity had a hankerin’ for JPL’s Rubber-Legged Scorpions, as well as blood worms and Barr’s Emergers, but I just couldn’t put it together. Maybe I just wanted to get back to the office (unlikely, but you’ve got to give me a gold green star for trying).

The Irish aren’t the only ones whose favorite color is green

On the bright side, as I pulled into the parking lot some dude was walking up from his morning outing. He said he’d picked up eight (bastard), but when he tried to start his truck it was full of bologna. So I gave him a jump. I’d done my good deed for the day, although I’d probably trade a whole bunch of fights plus a whole lotta nothing (and a truck that starts) for a slimy net, a dead battery, and a friendly face.

That’s luck of the Irish for ya’.

Total Fly Fishing Emersion Weekend – Day 1

First Day With A FlyrodBut first, a word from our sponsor…

Pete McDonald is on the conservation line today, helping his friend Capt. Gordon Churchill get gill nets banned in North Carolina. Gill nets kick redfish butt, which is a heck of a waste for such a fine species, and they need our help. Further, signing the petition over at Fishing Jones comes with a catch of it’s own – you could wind up with a new Redington Titanium CDL Reel (for 7/8 W Line). No excuses – get over there and sign that petition!

Now, back to our show…

A college buddy of mine sent his wife to Florida, and then called me from DIA to say he was in town and needed fly fishing lessons. Getting me to introduce someone to the sport is kind of like trying to get my dog to eat a pound of ground top sirloin – basic instinct (i.e. gorging) kicks in. But, we had a problem in that classy water is a few hours away – thankfully my friend has almost as little class as I do, so we opted for the stinky water a few miles from the house.

I’m the kind of fly fishing teacher who prefers beating his students into submission, but Chris (being a medium-handicap golfer) understood the concept of letting the tools of the trade do the work – he was making pretty decent casts in under an hour, and by beer o’clock he was dropping flies thirty feet out without much strain (and despite having a decent supply of wind swirling around). I’d like to beam like the proud instructor, but he’s a natural (I’ll drink him under the table this evening so there’s no question who’s boss).

Another benefit of having someone tag along who gets it – I had time to pick up this beast…

Carp or Pig

I watched it suck up every bit of #14 red San Juan Worm, after taking a look at the flashback brown stonefly nymph leading the way. I got a clean upper lip hookset, followed by two attempts at imitating a freight train. My colleague of old then performed an expert-level net sweep, and it was Miller (Lite) time. I can’t tell male from female yet regarding these goldfish, but it was easily pushing twenty el bees.

Tomorrow, we are off at the crack of dawn for the bluest of blue water – chasing early sex-crazed Rainbows and Cutthroats in the mountains (which my friend has never set foot in either).


Editor’s note: Total Fly Fishing Emersion Weekend started on Thursday…just don’t tell my boss. And P.S. – Chris took the pig photo, which means he’s well on his way to a photojournalist’s career should the bond market start continue giving him shit.

Florida crocs go magnetic – fly fishing world sniffs opportunity

Crocodile magnetFrom the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission :

Crocodile-human interactions have increased as the crocodile population has recovered. One technique to resolve these conflicts is translocation. This involves capturing the crocodile and moving it to suitable crocodile habitat as far away as possible, in an attempt to keep it away from an area. However, translocation is seldom effective. FWC biologists have found that translocated crocodiles will travel an average of 10 miles per week to return to their capture site, in a practice called “homing.” Others never make it because they are hit and killed by vehicles as they cross roads. Some may be killed by other crocodiles at the release site or during their journey back.

In an effort to break the “homing” cycle, FWC biologists have initiated a new study. Crocodile agents have been instructed to attach magnets to both sides of the crocodile’s head at the capture site. It is hoped the magnets will disorient the crocodiles and disrupt their navigation, so they can’t find their way back to the capture site. The magnets are removed from the crocodile’s head upon release. Agents will also secure a colored tag to the crocodile’s tail, so returning crocodiles can be identified later.

The reality is there is always some kind of toothy creature problem threatening the otherwise mundane lives of South Floridians – if it’s not the crocs, it’s the alligators, or snakes, or the sea trout (they are not actually a problem, unless you are low on flies). This is just one more example of the government not telling you like it is, as this intrepid reporter found out when he buzzed Flip Pallot for a statement:

No comment. But Gracie, you are a fine American.*

Something strange is afoot at the Circle K, and since fly fishers are the most grounded in the true nature of all things conspiratorial, I’m betting they smell a tourist trap. If you start seeing local fly guides advertising ‘Florida’s Ultimate Brownlining Adventure’ you’ll know they are working on a grant program.

Meanwhile, someone please send Pete McDonald some titanium hooks – he spends way too much time in those backwater canals for his own good. (h/t Slashdot)

Editor’s note: Half the quote from Flip Pallot was in fact taken from real life circumstances. While fishing Indian River, we bumped into him right after he’d been busted for speeding in a new Hell’s Bay skiff during a promotional shoot. Back at the takeout his trailer winch went on the fritz (guess it wasn’t his day), and we provided the tools to get ‘er back in business. Hence, we were deemed “fine Americans.”

And if that constitutes my fifteen minutes, I’m in deep trouble. Need. Better. Fishing. Stories!

Brunch with the Fat Guy

Fat Guy Fly Fisher Kyle Deneen gets Mondays off. On this particular weekday start, he was near Denver (I planted a GPS tracker on his ride during this scene), and since the weather was supposed to be pretty nice I remotely re-calibrated the device so he would wind up near some fishing water. Thankfully, the guy is paranoid when venturing into urban environs, and won’t leave the house without being geared up in case heavy combat ensues. It was a sunny fly fishing brunch, fittingly near an avenue called Florida.

Alas, we hooked one pig between us that never felt a grip around its tail. But we did bump into local carp magnet Tom Teasdale, and were glad when he took off. Reason…he schooled us, with three fish in an hour (Kyle played net boy), including one tipping the scales around fifteen pounds. Pretty much while we were standing elbow to elbow too. Ouch.

Teasdale and Carp

Ok, so the guy fishes the brownwater around a hundred days a year. Still, I’ve got a lot to learn about these goldfish.

Budget brownlining

Who says you can’t fly fish on the cheap?

gear bagI made the call, wanting a rod I could kick around. A master carper convinced me that an 8-weight would work dutifully (as long as it wasn’t a rocket launcher like I previously deployed), and then cut me a sweetheart deal to boot. I walked out with a Temple Fork Professional series. It’s fairly heavy as my quiver goes (it’s a 6-piece after all), but still casts pretty smooth.

Carp setupI dug through the spare gear box, and pulled out an old Lamson LP 3.5 (and an extra spool). While that made it even more burdensome from a heft standpoint, I figure I’ll get a good shoulder workout in the process. Strung one spool with a floater and the other with a sink tip, both lines which I picked up at the same time as the rod (along with five new 10ft, 1X leaders).

My total out-of-pocket, tax, tag, and title – $106.67. That doesn’t include the reel, but I suspect I could have nabbed one of those LP jobs on eBay for around $70, putting my total investment at around $180. The skeptic might say I’m only happy with the price, but I really do like the setup’s feel. And I won’t feel bad if I bang it up a bit either – in other words, I can just go out and have fun.

And that is what fly fishing is supposed to be about.