Airflo Skagit Intermediate Compact
Airflo has made available a new compact skagit head that, unlike your typical compact skagit line, does not feature a full floating head. Instead, this intermediate compact skagit head is comprised of a floating portion in the back and an intermediate sinking portion in the front of the head. The line is a duo-tone line, with the sinking and floating portions colored differently, to allow for easy visibility and control of the head as you're fishing it.

Airflo Skagit Intermediate Compact
Transparent blue for the intermediate front section, Heron Grey for the floating back section.

Designed chiefly by Airflo line designer, Oregon steelhead guide and spey casting instructor Tom Larimer, the AIrflo Skagit Intermediate Compact was built with Great Lakes steelheaders in mind. Great Lakes steelheaders fish on rivers that are different than those out west, which are the inspiration for most skagit head line designs. Great Lakes rivers typically contain more complex and varying surface currents, due to the rougher more varying structure of their river beds, than their western counterparts (though this is not without exception). The result is surface conditions which make getting a fly down into the strike zone for a successful swing much more difficult.

The Lower Mokelumne.
A disturbing new study indicates that the survival rates of wild Chinook salmon may be far less than previously thought. The study, which was conducted on California's Mokelumne River, used an innovative test to determine the proportion of wild to hatchery raised fish in an unmarked population. The study's findings reveal that as few as 4 percent of the fish returning to the Mokelumne to spawn are of wild origin.

Researchers collected over 1000 chinook carcasses and tested their otoliths (ear bones) for sulfur isotopes. Testing for the accumulation of certain chemical elements in bone can tell scientists a great deal about the early stages of a fish's life. In this case, the presence of higher amounts of sulfur isotopes allowed researchers to identify differences in the early dietary influences in individual fish, and thus separate hatchery raised fish from those which fed in the wild.

Early in the removal process of the Glines Canyon Dam (September 2011).
According to a report filed in The Peninsula Daily, efforts to restore the Elwha River's legendary salmon runs are ahead of schedule. Robert Elofson, director of the Lower Elwha ­Klallam River Restoration, detailed the current status of restoration efforts and expectations for the future in a presentation entitled, "Elwha River Ecosystem: After the Dam", which was delivered last night at the Elwha Klallam Heritage Training Center. The long awaited dam removal project began earlier this year.

Only a few thousand salmon have returned thus far, but the dam removal project is still underway, with both dams scheduled for complete removal by early 2014. Earlier this week, an explosion brought down an additional 6 feet of the Glines Canyon Dam. Work on dam removal has just recently begun after a period of work stoppage to allow for a period of fish migration.

Don't you?
If you enjoy eye candy and good, entertaining writing, it's a good time to be a fly fisherman. Now, more than ever, there's a plethora of great publications -- both offline and online -- for the fly fisherman to get his or her fix on destinations, technique, fly patterns, photography, artwork ... you name it. Having just released issue #2 (which is, incidentally, sort of their third issue), Southern Culture on the Fly (SCOF) is welcome addition to the aforementioned plethora. Filled with stories, gear reviews, fly patterns and chock full of top notch photography and artwork, SCOF is not to be missed.

The latest issue is a tribute to the road trip, featuring several stories about winter fishing destinations in places most of us can actually reach, places that don't require a $2,000 plane ticket and $5,000 in outfitter fees to reach. In other words, places you might actually fish before you die.

Don't Suck the Upper Colorado River Dry
Colorado Trout Unlimited is organizing a rally, scheduled for this Thursday December 26th, where opponents of proposed plans to divert the vast majority of the Upper Colorado River's waterflow can voice their concerns. The plans in question, which are part of the long-proposed Windy Gap Firming project, would see up to 80 percent of the Upper Colorado River's water diverted to "firm up" water supplies for expected growth in Front Range residential development. The diverted water would supply the planned 270 million dollar Chimney Hollow Reservoir with water.

Don't Suck the Upper Colorado River Dry

Proponents of the plan maintain that the project is the only way to meet the growing demand for water in Colorado's Front Range. 13 water providers are expected to see the communities they serve double their populations over the next several decades. Insuring that these providers have adequate water storage, advocates say, is the only way to insure that demand can be met during years of lean precipitation.