Playing Politics with Clean Water

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to undermine the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers as the two federal agencies seek to clarify which waters should be protected under the Clean Water Act and which waters should not be regulated.

Trout and Salmon Headwater Stream

In the face of an aggressive lobbying campaign from opponents of the so-called Waters of the United States rule the EPA and the Corps have drafted for public review, the House took up the “anti-government” torch and carried through its chambers in a vote that is largely symbolic, yet wholly troubling. Here’s the gist of this situation, and as anglers, it falls to us to put our politics aside and instead focus on what’s best for our fish—and our fishing, today and for generations to come:

When the Clean Water Act passed in 1972, it protected from unpermitted development the “Waters of the United States,” and those waters included headwater streams, wetlands and other naturally occurring waters—even those intermittent and ephemeral streams that run dry at certain times of the year, but are hugely important for spawning and rearing for trout and salmon.

Fantasy Football is the New Golf

Almost a decade ago, I put my golf clubs down for good. I've never looked back. For many years prior, though, my free time was shared between fly fishing and golf. This split was never even. Considerably more of my time away from work and family went to fishing. But still, a couple evenings and weekend days each month were stolen by golf.

Fantasy Football Draft Board

I took lessons. Went to the driving range. Sat with friends over a beer talking about swing issues and improving my putting. And then I'd hit the links, soak up the sun and fresh air, often making it through three, four or even five holes before the afternoon descended into a profanity-laden, club-throwing horror show.

The reality, which I eventually stepped back to perceive, was that golf made me miserable. It wasn't that golf was an inherently bad sport, it was that I wanted to enjoy golf more than I actually did. The occasional, slowly-climbing long drives straight down the fairway, those 80-yard wedge chips that land softly on the green, the graceful exits from nasty bunkers -- you know, the shots that everyone says are "all it takes to keep you coming back" -- just didn't do all that much for me.

Allen Debuts New, Boldly-Styled Volant Rod Series

If bold, bright red fly rods are your sort of thing, you're no longer limited to Sage's METHOD series. Yesterday, Allen Fly Fishing debuted a new multi-purpose rod series in the Volant. Intended to replace Allen's popular XA series of rods, the Volant is an all-new design based on the same do-it-all design philosophy that produced the XA.

Allen Volant Fly Rod

According to Allen, the Volant "is built around versatility and durability without sacrificing finesse and presentation. Throughout the lineup, we achieved a medium/fast action rod that achieves presentation, power, and accuracy in perfect balance."

Tenkara USA Offering $30 Portable Water Filtration System

Tenkara USA is now offering a very affordable, effortlessly portable water filtration system aimed at fisherman that are looking to dump weight by not having to carry bottles of water for long days on the water. The total solution, which is comprised of a Tenkara USA branded Playtpus water bag and a cylindrical Aquamira filter, weighs in at a paltry 2.8 ounces. The filter is a no-pump, gravity-based filter that can be used standalone or with the included bottle.

Tenkara USA Water Filter

Tenkara USA's Daniel Galhardo calls the solution the best portable water filtration solution he's found over many years of searching for a way to travel lighter and faster on the stream by shedding bulky water bottles. The Aquamira filter that drives the system is known elsewhere as the Frontier Pro and has been well-loved by backpackers and hikers for many years now. Aquamira states that the Frontier Pro removes of 99.9% of Cryptosporidium, Giardia.

New Color-Coded, Low Stretch Sink Tips from RIO

RIO's "ultra-low stretch" ConnectCore technology has received a lot of positive feedback since it was introduced. Put roughly, fly lines are made of a supple plastic coating wrapped around a of supple plastic core line. Supple plastic tends to stretch. And, by in large, if you're looking for quick hook sets, efficient mending and good line feel -- line stretch is bad. With its ConnectCore technology, RIO looked to solve many of these stretch-related issues by creating a line core that with considerably little stretch. Anglers have responded positively, and as a result, RIO has been introducing ConnectCore into more and more of its lines. Most recently, RIO has announced a new line of ConnectCore-based sink tips called the In Touch Level "T".

RIO Level "T" sink tips

The tungsten-powder coated tips come in all the expected sink rates (T-8, T-11, T-14 and T-17). RIO says the lines are supple and kink-free, and that "because they are built on RIO’s ultra-low stretch ConnectCore, the tips are extremely sensitive to soft grabs and ensure fast, solid hook sets." The tips come in 30 foot sections with front and back welded loops. If you're really into sink tips, you can buy the new Level "T" lines in 500-foot spools, too, and cut tips to your desired lengths.