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Newsflash 2002-11-05


Endagered fish and habitats are constantly on the agenda for many of us. Below some further info:

According to a note from John Tavenner, President, San Juan Guide Association, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is planning on reducing the flows on the San Juan River from a 500 cfs to 250 cfs as a minimum. John states that this will reduce the habitat by 34% and the trout population by 20-30%.
Right now the BOR is conducting a public comment period on these flow reductions. Therefore I have enclosed a sample letter below for you to copy and send to the BOR or any of your US-state representatives if you will.

Bureau of Reclamation
Western Colorado Area Office
835 East Second Ave., Ste. 400
Durango CO 81301

To the Bureau of Reclamation,
I understand that the Bureau of Reclamation(BOR) is proposing changing the flows from Navajo Dam on the San Juan River from a 500 cfs minimum to a 250 cfs minimum. I am an avid fly fisher who has been to the San Juan before and am hoping to do it again in the future. I spend about $_____to fish the San Juan every year. I believe that these types of flows will be detrimental to this great river for several reasons:

  • The areas around the San Juan River will be economically impacted severely, jobs and businesses will be lost.
  • The habitat of the river for the aquatic life, as well as the other wildlife that uses the river, will be decreased by 34%.
  • The trout population that is considered to be one of the healthiest in the US will be decreased by 20-30%.
  • The lack of water flowing through the river will increase sedimentation, thus decreasing the habitat even further.
  • The low flows, especially in the summer months, will allow for more pollution and poorer water quality.
I have been lucky enough in my travels to get a chance to experience the beauty of this area and the wonderful fishing it has to offer. I believe that the low flows will impact this area so greatly that my children and their children will not be able to have the same experience in the future. I hope they do. The BOR should do the right thing and keep the flows at a 500 cfs minimum.
___________________ ___________________ ___________________

Hi all! writes Tore from Sweden: Overfishing is a big problem in all parts of the world. The North Atlantic cod is almost gone due to the trawling and bad management. Read more about it on the WWF site (URL below). Please sign the petition! This time you support the european sportfishers that want's some life in the atlantic and not just sterile water. But the problem is worldwide!
Go to: http://www.panda.org/stopoverfishing/petition/
Naturally you can compose your personal petition on any endangered spieces like Atlantic salmon etc.

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Madison and Gibbon reopened to fishing.

On July 17th, Yellowstone National Park closed the Madison, Firehole and Gibbon Rivers because of thermal runoff and a summer heat wave which had raised the river water temperature into the mid to upper 70s F.[22 C + ] Temperatures in the Madison and Gibbon rivers have remained below 71 F in recent days so those rivers have reopened to fishing. The Firehole River will remain closed because water temperatures are still in the mid 70s F.[22 C+] reports Bob Kloskowski.

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European Union and Sweden in agreement:

Sea trout and Atlantic salmon gets artificial help to survive in a Swedish rescue action to reduce the long term damages to the environment and fish made by the devastating effects of hydroelectric power stations in rivers.

In recent years only about 30 to 100 sea trout per year have succeeded to reach the Sikfors fish ladder in the former famed sea trout river Piteriver (Piteälven) Sweden. The fish also have giant problems so far unsolved to reaching River Vindeln (Vindelälven) again due to a huge man made dam in Norrfors providing Sweden with electricity cutting off the unique Vindel River from the sea.
Like in other ‘destroyed’ rivers where dams were built cutting off the fish from its spawning areas, the wild population of migrating fish spices have been extinct and show similar diminishing numbers of returning fish. Most of the migrating fishes in such rivers are therefore only the result of the work in man made hatcheries. A work initiated as a compensation for the local population and commercial fisheries in the sea for the loss of income due to the devastating effects of the dams on the environment and aquatic life.
Now again money and man-hours are put to work for covering up eventually still more dramatic effects. Because while the wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout suffer the dangers of extinction also in the untouched rivers, the Swedish state and European Union together with local interests have decided to put 50 (fifty) million Swedish crowns which will minimise the visual effects of declining wild populations to the public. They have decided to put the money in the Vindel and Pite Rivers trying to restore the numbers of sea trout in them.
But why actions of that magnitude not are taken to healthy and untouched rivers instead, is one of the great mysteries of the ruling politics that as an example recently have agreed upon rules for the commercial fisheries and fishers that in future well can endanger all our wild fish. Because out there in our natural marine environment its original fish are in grater danger due to fish farming regulations, continuos over fishing, hard cured fish diseases and infections.
Why not voice your questions here on the informative WWF-site to aid.

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Hal Gordon reports from a Flyting Exposition:

Last Saturday we attended the North West Fly Tying Exposition in Eugene, Oregon. The Oregon Council Federation of Fly Fishers sponsors this annual event.
This is the western USA's largest annual fly tying exposition, with over 100 tyers from all over the west. Eight hours of "hard core" fly tying. Tyers tye in two hour sessions. Over 500 people attended.
The highlight of the trip (for me) was watching an older gentleman tying classic Atlantic salmon flys without a vice. He held the hook in his hand and tied the most gorgeous flys with amazing detail. I sat next to him and watched him tie three flys in two hours. I learned a great deal from him, but I have a long way to go to perfect the technique. My goal is to learn the art…
There was a definite bias towards steelhead flys at the show, with fewer trout fly tyers than in previous years. I was able to talk (and get books signed) with Henry Hoffman (developed Hoffman hackles and sold his business to Whiting Hackles), Randall Kaufmann (Kaufmanns Streamborn Flys), Scott Richmond (Author) and many other well known in the fly business. I look forward to next year's event and invite IFFAers to attend. Take care.
Reported Hal Gordon Aloha, Oregon.

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Gary Lafontaine obituary
Gary Lafontaine died today after a 3-year battle with ALS. He is survived by his daughter and her husband.
Gary Lafontaine was well known world wide through articles on fly fishing in more than a dozen different national and regional publications. He authored 5 published books and co-authored many more including the brand new books "Fly Fishing the Yellowstone" wich he co-authored with Bob Jacklin and "Fly Fishing the Madison" (with Craig Mathews). Before he died he was working on a book on Blue-wing Olives.
Gary Lafontaine had a great many friends in the fly fishing world and will be greatly missed.

Read more here!.


Aiming for 10,000 signatures to be registered with the European Parliament the overall petition for Save The Swilly is now more than 9,600 signatures.
A small local shop in Fanad, the Tea Stop, which offers tea, cakes, scones, has single-handedly produced over 500 petition signatures in support of a moratorium on fish-farming in Lough Swilly. These are almost exclusively tourists and sight-seers, from Ireland and overseas.
The petition these tourists signed wasn't a page listing signatures. They read, and asked to sign, individual copies of a version of the Open Letter which was published in local newspapers in February, as well as circulated to local households via mail drop. The owner of the Tea Stop first approached us in the spring, as he had had many queries from tourists about the unsightliness of the cages and requests for explanation about why they were there.
The double-panacea of 'there isn't much tourism in Fanad anyway' and 'aquaculture increases tourism' somewhat questionably trotted out by the industry begins to look as thinly-clothed as most of the other emperors we have discovered. If ever there was a statement that tourists do NOT visit Donegal in order to see aquaculture installations - and are concerned enough to take the time to read a one-page article - the 6-inch pile of signed statements now residing on my desk would have to be it.
Reported John M Mulcahy
AndSave The Swilly website

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The River Test came within a whisker of an environmental disaster yesterday when a road tanker slipped down a bank and came to rest poised above a drop into the hallowed waters.
The tanker pulled in to the side of the road to allow oncoming traffic to cross a narrow road bridge between Stockbridge and Andover, Hampshire, and the road verge had become so soft with all the recent rains that it gave way beneath the weight of the tanker.
Perched above the river, the tanker contained 11,000 litres (2,500+ gallons) of kerosene which would have destroyed most of the river life and ruined the area for years had it plunged in and ruptured.
The police, fire and environment agency staff worked swiftly to secure the tanker and, eventually, it was inched back to safety. No injuries, no leaks. It does bring home to you just how easy it can be for disaster to strike, and we should be thankful that we don't get more incidents like this.
I sort of have a picture in my mind of the trout in the river below holding their breath for the five hours whilst watching those odd humans trying to protect them from a nasty end, and then perhaps a collective wiping of sweat from brows when it was all over. Perhaps that's too much Jack Daniels.
Reported Steve Bexhill from England

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A recent survey commissioned by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) and later published in Outdoors Unlimited, the publication of the Outdoor Writers Association of American, reveals a major increase in women in the sport of Fly Fishing.
There are 6.5 million active fly-fishers age 16 or older in the United States. The Survey indicates that 10.9 million people have fly-fished at least once in the past 12 months. Of this number, 40 percent were men age 45 and older.
Twenty five percent of active fly anglers are women -a marked increase over the 16 percent who reported active involvement in 1995.
The study also revealed that the average fly-fisher has participated in the sport for 16.6 years, and owns more than two rods. 81 percent of the anglers favored freshwater fly fishing, 7 percent the salt fishing and 12 percent enjoyed both. Read more on the AFFTA site report here!.

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What we as flyanglers have suspected long ago now proven!
New Scientist reports that a recent study made by scientists and anglers in two trout streams in New Zealand, now at last konfirm what we flyfishermen have suspected long time ago:
a trout, previously hooked by a fly and released, tend to refuse to bite in a similar or the same fly again.
In a popular river this fact is estimated to effect the catch rate there to only about one third of what un unfished river of the same fish density would produce. So apparently the fish also gets wiser, not only us.
The tests were made in two almost identical rivers with the similar fish population. Also the fishing gear and the anglers were of close match. After hooking the fish, all fish got tagged and released. This way the study also could reveal that individual fish once caught became veary and suspicous and were extra hard to get to bite again.
Well didn't we anglers suspect that already!

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Submit Your Flies to the Museum of the Rockies
Anglers All 2000: Humanity in Midstream, developed by the American Museum of Fly Fishing, makes it national debut on June 3, 2000 in Bozeman. A companion exhibit devoted to the history and lore of fly fishing in the Rocky Mountain region is being produced by the Museum of the Rockies and guest curated by historian Paul Schullery.
"Montana may have no other craft more widely famous than fly tying," said Paul Schullery, historian and guest curator of the exhibit. "Over the past century, Montana fly tiers have participated in one of the richest folk art traditions in this country, and have influenced fly tiers everywhere."

Read more here!.


UPSTREAM: Meditations on Fly Fishing
Essay by Thomas McGuane
Photographs by Charles Lindsay

Upstream is a combination of
two arts merged to convey the essence of
the beauty of the natural world.

Thomas McGuane has written an essay to
accompany the photographs of Charles Lindsay
in which he "The face of creation takes in
everything with a level stare…only in
observation of nature can we recover that

In pursuit of trout and solitude,
Charles Lindsay immerses himself in the
clear, rushing waters of the American West.
Fly rod in hand, Lindsay explores the ancient
rituals between predator and prey.

With his camera in hand, Lindsay
enters the world of the trout. 96 pages 55
images in duotone. Published by Aperture

GREAT WATER GREAT FISH(or Streams of Dreams

as it is called in UK), by John Ross,
is unique in the way that it is the first fly fishing
book printed partly relying on the contacts made on
Internet for its contence.

This comprehensive world wide guide to the finest fly
Fishing waters around, include all the info you need for
the ultimate fly fishing experience.

Great reading on world waters and world fish!!
It includes:
-Discover the most sublime waters for sockeye, rainbow,
char, taimen, sailfish and tarpon….just to mention a few.
-Note the best beats, the best flies, tackle, ghillies and boats.
-Locate fabulous fishing lodges, camps and rances.

This book is ideal for the fly fishing expert or beginner alike
who wants to plan trips to remote locations and know what
to expect from the fishing, the facilites and how to get there.

160 pages and 145 color images, published by Quintet
Publishing Ltd.
and sold here


Margot Wallstrom, the Swedish commissioner for environmental issues, invited all members of EU to an Email chat between 6-8PM CET, February 3.

She invited questions and suggestions concerning the environment.
- I want a straight and open debate, she said, this way hoping to initiate something that hopefully would continue in the future. Unfortunately the given address malfunctioned and many mails was unanswered. So here is her official email address:
Environmental Email to Margot Wallstrom.

FOR SHORT: Apparently there have been heaps of unanswered mail. So this mail link above should give you the direct mail address to Margot Wallstrom. Make your mail short!.

Wallström will take part in an internet chat from Cinquantenaire Park Friday morning September 22. She will answer questions at 11 a.m. European time at http://europa.eu.int/comm/chat/


If you think Red Tag or any other fly of your choice would qualify to be the fly of this Millennium, here is your chance to vote. Just send an email to: My vote for the Millenium Fly.


The Australian Snowy Mountains Angling Region which includes Australia's highest mountain and the Kosciuszko National Park - has been selected as the site of the 1999 World Fly Fishing Competition.

Some of the member countries who compete each year include: Austria, Australia, Finland, Canada, Czech Republic, Norway, Wales, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Belgium, USA , England, New Zealand, Poland, Iceland, Japan, Rumania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Andorra, France and Italy.

All participants are Competing to raise awareness for this event, and for Fly-Fishing as a Conservation-oriented Sport.

The event is sanctioned by F.I.P.S-Mouche (the International Federation of Sport Fly Fishing).
It was reported live from Australia by me here.

Some small info on The 1998 European Fly Fishing Competition can be found here.


The Federation of Fly Fishers has announced the five most endangered
fisheries in the nation at its international conference in Gatlinburg,
Tennessee. These fish habitats face immediate danger, with some of the
world's most prized species on the verge of extinction.

The five fisheries and the reason each is endangered includes:
1. Wolf River, Wisconsin - Potential new mining hazard.
2. Crooked Creek, Arkansas - Existing Gravel Mining degrading water quality.
3. Big Spring Run, Pennsylvania - Improper Hatchery operations creating
poor water quality.
4. Snake River, Idaho - Federal Dams impeding the migration of salmon and
5. San Joaquin River, CA - Devastation of steelhead by development,
logging and mining.

These endangered fisheries represent a snapshot of the appalling state of
many of America's fish habitats. The threats to species like bass and
salmon, and their ecosystems, are urgent and steps must be taken now to
prevent further irreversible decline.


In Djursholm Stockholm the Billecart-Salmon 1959 recently was voted to be the Champagne of the past Millennium. This means that together with the almost extinct wild Atlantic-Salmon, it is one of the most rare "Salmons" of the world. Only some 20 odd bottles left. How many wild atlantic salmons there still are is continously under debate.

But we fly fishers know them to be too few. Don´t we?

Please remember to support endangered spieces.
-you´ll find some links to suitable associations on my links site, or visit Netscape ODP


For interested fellow anglers, in related info, the University
of Wyoming's American Heritage Museum holds an incredible collection of
historic flyfishing, hunting, and outdoor books.

Books such as "Walden" (1st edition, 1854) by Henry David Thoreau,
"The Complete Angler" (6th edition, 1797) by Izaak Walton,
and "Favorite Flies" (1892) by Mary Orvis-Marbury
are held in the museum's Toppan Library, named for a
Jackson Hole resident whose widow, Clara, donated the collection.

Of the many rare angling books present, perhap the extremely rare
copy of "Dry Fly Entomology, First De Luxe edition" (1897) by Frederick
M. Halford with its thick pages that are indented in the center, or with raised
margins if you will, which allows the book to hold actual dry flies tied
in the 19th century is the most impressive.
If you're passing through Laramie, WY, to fish or en route elsewhere,
the Toppan Library's definitely worth the stop.
For further information on the collection, or to make reservations
to view the collection, you can contact collection curator Anne Marie Lane
at 307-766-2565 or at e-mail address amlane@uwyo.edu.

Watch this space!

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