Traful River Patagonia
The Traful River courses through one of the valleys hardest hit by the 2011 Chilean eruption. Today, the river remains crowded with healthy juvenile and adult trout (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Cabulco volcano unlikely to impact Patagonia's fishing

While much of the world marvels at the incredible photos coming out of Chile, where the Calbuco volcano erupted twice over the last few days and spewed a massive cloud of ash high into the sky, there are probably more than a few anglers wondering what might become of their planned trips to Patagonia to chase trout next fall and winter.

Turneffe Atoll Permit
Like many saltwater fish, the appearance of a permit changes depending on its surroundings. This healthy Turneffe Flats permit takes on the purple and blue hues of the skies above (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Last day permit

I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed.

Daniel, my guide for the week at Turneffe Flats in Belize didn’t say it, but it was written all over his face. By all rights, he should have been disgusted. Getting two chances at the same permit or group of permit can be rare. Getting a dozen or possibly even more is unheard of. Permit shots don’t come often, and I was giving them away like they were kittens.

Fly Fishing Guide with Bonefish
Showing off a healthy bonefish (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Help protect Bahamas bonefish by supporting two new national parks

Currently on the desk of the prime minister of the Bahamas are two proposals which seek to expand and create new national park lands that would protect vital bonefish and tarpon habitat. One proposal would expand the Grand Bahama national park system, while the other would establish new protections for areas of Abaco.

Patagonia - Rio Frey - Brown Trout
This pretty brown trout from Patagonia's Rio Frey took a streamer swung accurately stripped through some nice holding water not 15 feet from the boat (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Short casts catch more fish

You would likely be hard pressed to find a fly fisherman that doesn't have an inbuilt tendency to go long. We buy rods that cast father, lines that shoot longer and so on. For the most part, it's easy to see why. For many first time fly casters, casting even 20 feet of line can seem like an insurmountable hurdle. As we begin to get a feel for it, casting a bit farther and controlling more line becomes a bit easier. As our control increases even further, casting longer and longer lines becomes a far simpler task. Control, we all quickly learn, is paramount to fishing success. And so we begin to equate our ability to be in control when fishing with our the ability to cast more line.

Patagonia - Rio Frey - Brown Trout
This pretty brown trout from Patagonia's Rio Frey took a streamer accurately stripped through some nice holding water not 15 feet from the boat (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Plus, it's fun. Watching a well-formed loop unroll on a 50 foot cast is a thing of beauty, and one that any angler can take pride in having created, even if it lasts only for a fraction of a second. The reality, however, is that short casts catch more fish.

Most certainly there are situations when tossing a long cast is a must, but these situations are the exception rather than the rule. Short casts are the norm, at least they should be, and the anglers on the stream that aren't throwing line farther than they need to are often the ones catching the most fish. And there are many good reasons why.

Weber River Utah

Utah stream access advocates win Weber River case

The Utah Stream Access Coalition (USAC), which has been fighting to restore public access to streams and rivers throughout Utah, took a significant stride forward on Friday when they were granted a win in the legal battle involving the Weber River. Judge Keith Kelly of Utah's 3rd District Court ruled to restore public access to the Weber, based on his determination that the Weber is indeed a navigable waterway where it crosses the landowner defendant's property.

Weber River Utah

In his decision, Kelly cited well documented historical records of the Weber in use to float timber down from the Uinta Mountains. According to Kelly, the Weber played a "significant role in developing the railroad and mining industries in northern Utah and the surrounding region."