Giveaway: 5 Weeks of Fly Fishing Stocking Stuffers

Last week we brought back our weekly newsletter and we want those of you that aren't already signed up to receive it to do so. We think it's for your own good. Not only will each week's newsletter catch you up on anything you might have missed during the week, it will contain content you won't find anywhere else such as our photo of the week, fly fishing quick tips and more. No spam, no nonsense, just more good fly fishing content. Hopefully, that sounds good enough prompt you to sign up. But, just to be safe, we're going to bribe you.

5 Weeks of Stocking Stuffers Giveaway

Starting on Monday, November 24th, we'll be giving away at least one fly fishing stocking stuffer every week day (sometimes more). In order to be eligible to nab one of them, you'll need to sign up for our weekly newsletter. That's it. Once you've signed up, you'll be entered every day. If you're already signed up, there's nothing to do besides cross your fingers.

The contest features prizes from Simms, RIO, H&H Outfitters, Goat Head Gear and Loon Outdoors. Prizes range in value from $5 to $30.

Take the Wild Steelheaders Pledge

Today, Trout Unlimited launches its much-anticipated Wild Steelhead Initiative with five simultaneous events in Juneau, Seattle, Portland, Boise and Santa Cruz, and the formation of its new steelhead advocacy arm, Wild Steelheaders United.

Trout Unlimited Be Steelheaded

While TU has always been active in steelhead conservation issues, particularly in the Northwest where steelhead are native, the organization hasn’t had the funding or the on-the-ground capacity to truly dive into the sensitive issues surrounding steelhead conservation, or to take on some of the threats to wild steelhead that truly drip with controversy.

With 70 percent of the wild steelhead populations in the Northwest requiring federal protection, the time is right for TU to dive in and help pull all the steelhead conservation groups together for the united cause of keeping wild steelhead—those ocean-going rainbows that anglers love and curse in one single breath—from winking out altogether.

Crooks and Dumbasses

"If you've got a politician that's running for office who thinks he's smarter than 98% of the world's climate scientists, they're crooks. Or, they're dumbasses." That's Patagonia's Yvon Chouinard in the upcoming film CO₂LD Waters, for which the trailer was released yesterday. CO₂LD Waters documents the importance of climate change to anglers, the threat it poses to our fishing and hunting opportunities and what we, as anglers, can do about it.

CO2LD Waters
A still from the film (photo: Conservation Media).

The film features some of the angling community's best known voices and influences, including the aforementioned Chouinard, Craig Matthews, Tim Romano, Steve Hemkens and Todd Tanner.

In the trailer, Tim Romano notes, "As a community of anglers, hunters and outdoors-people, we are a powerful voice and we can change things," adding that it is time for the angling community to "Speak up." And that seems to be the mission behind CO₂LD Waters, motivating us as anglers to be heard, to protect what we hold most dear against those who seek to take it away from us, and to stand up for our children and grandchildren.

The Brotherhood of the Angle

In what’s rapidly becoming an annual tradition, I spent a chunk of this past summer on the road with my buddy Mac. We made a Canadian trip that followed hot on the heels of a few stellar days I spent on Idaho’s Henry’s Fork, and amid all the truck time, weaving back and forth between our temporary base of operations in British Columbia and the half dozen rivers we explored, we had plenty of time to b.s.

Westslope Cuthroat Trout Underwater
A pretty westslope cutthroat fins placidly along the bottom after being released (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Our ongoing conversation was circuitous, rambling over flies and rods and fish - the Westslope Cutt, we both decided, is a hell of a trout, and may be, in it’s own way, as handsome a fish as you’ll ever run across - along with politics, religion, the economy, women, marriage, wilderness and any number of other subjects that seemed germane at the time. We always tied things back into fly fishing, though, and buried in there amid all his other thoughts, Mac mentioned that the thing he missed most about working on the Henry’s Fork, where he and I once guided, was the camaraderie.

Winter Fly Fishing: Leave the Cotton at Home

Anglers have no shortage of options for gear designed to help keep them warm when heading out into the typically frigid conditions encountered when fly fishing in winter. Products based on natural materials like wool and down have been available for as long as most of us can remember and advances in technology continue to make synthetic fabric, insulation and outlayers better and better. Many of the products on the market today, whether a baselayer, warmth-providing midlayer or an expedition-proof, damn-the-elements outlayer allow anglers to get out on the water and stay out longer in the worst of conditions. The best of these products don't come cheap, but anglers are noticing the true value of comfort and safety on the water, and more and more of them are ponying up.

Snowy Winter Stream - Fly Fishing

Some of these anglers, however, continue to handicap their technical winter gear with the heartbreak of cotton. Those bomber waders and the $400 Gore-Tex wading jacket you saved up for all summer aren't going to do their jobs if you're donning blue jeans and a hoody underneath them. But they're not failing because they're over-hyped pieces of junk, they're failing because you crippled them with winter's worst fabric.

Cotton may indeed be the "fabric of our lives," but it has no place on any icy winter stream. Not in any amount. That means your favorite t-shirt stays home and your game-day sweatshirt gets stowed. And don't even think about wearing those old-school waffle-textured long johns. Cotton boxers or socks? Nope. And again, blue jeans? Stop it.