Review: Van Staal VF Series fly reel

Cult favorite spinning reel maker Van Staal makes a second foray into the fly world
The Van Staal VF Series fly reel (photo: Craig Cantelmo).

They may not be a household name in fly fishing circles, but Van Staal spinning reels have achieved cult status amongst surf casters that spend all their free time in the rough interface where ocean meets land. The sealed drag system and reel body permits the reels to operate even under water without threat of intrusion—a big deal for those that don wetsuits and go “skishing,” swimming out to distant rocks to fish, or simply taking advantage of neoprene’s buoyant characteristics to float on the tide, tossing weighted bucktails as they go.

Chemophobia in America: Part I — Rotenone

Saving native fish with poison
On August 23, 2017, 71 years to the day after biologist Eldon Vestal and his associates relocated pure Paiute cutthroat trout to North Fork Cottonwood Creek to create a refuge outside the natural range, the recovery team stocked decedents of those fish in Silver King Creek to augment the population above Llewellyn Falls (photo: USFWS).

The most important tool—in most cases the only tool—for saving native fish from being eaten, outcompeted or hybridized into extirpation or extinction by alien fish is the organic poison rotenone. It's derived from roots of such plants as cubé, barbasco and tuba.

But before fisheries managers recognized that fish are wildlife, too, they used rotenone to eliminate so-called "trash fish"—natives, some of which now face extinction.

Conservation groups cheer passage of sweeping, but imperfect, public lands bill

Bipartisan bill protects hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands, reauthorizes beloved conservation program
Steamboat Creek, part of the proposed Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area (photo: USFS).

Conservation groups are hailing yesterday's House passage of the National Resources Management Act (NRMA), which passed the Senate in a vote roughly two weeks ago, as a historic, bipartisan achievement protecting public lands and wilderness throughout the United States. The NRMA now awaits only signature by Donald Trump.