Save Bristol Bay Hearing to Be Held in Seattle, WA

This Thursday, the EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. It is the only public hearing on the topic that the EPA will hold outside of the state of Alaska, making it one of the few opportunities for opponents of the proposed mining project in the lower 48 states to show their support for the Bristol Bay region and its fishery in person.

Save Bristol Bay Seattle Meeting

According to, "this is one of those times where you can truly make a difference. Please attend this event and let the EPA know how much Bristol Bay matters to Washington state, through the many jobs and businesses it supports; its lure as a world-class sport fishing destination; and the delicious, sustainable fish that graces our restaurants and dinner plates."

Hawaiian fisherman harvesting a large number of bonefish using nylon netting.

Recently, the picture seen below -- which depicts Hawaiian fisherman net harvesting bonefish from Hawaii's waters -- has circulated around the internet and has stirred up a long running debate regarding the practicality of harvesting bonefish as a commercial catch.

Opponents of net harvesting of Hawaiian bonefish, known locally as o'io, are attempting to have these fish placed under gamefish status by Hawaii's governor. Once under gamefish status, killing bonefish would not become illegal, but Hawaiian bonefish would be harvestable only when caught by rod and reel, thus ending the ability of local fisherman to harvest large catches of bonefish via netting.

It was very early into my time as a fly fisherman that I realized that buying machine-made, extruded leaders (typically labeled as "knotless tapered") leaders was a big fat waste of money. Especially as a beginner, given the increased frequency of lost flies, wind knots and the all-too-frequent rat's nests, leaders get chewed up quickly. At anywhere form around $10 to $20 per two-pack of leaders, this starts to add up fast. And, while I've known fishermen who can make a two pack of leaders last an astonishingly long time, that's because those individuals are perfectly adept at rebuilding leaders their leaders with tippet material, thus making their purchase of pre-made leaders relatively pointless.

Despite the nagging suspicion that I was throwing a lot of money down the drain, I wasn't certain of an alternative. Instead of seeking one out, I lazily continued to drop what likely amounted to $100 per year on leaders. A couple of years later, I was turned onto furled leaders. If you're not familiar with furled leaders, take the time to check them out. They offer an excellent alternative to pricey, relatively disposable extruded leaders and they last forever. Though I found several seasons of respite from the extruded leader money pit in furled leaders, I ultimately decided that they weren't for me. Most furled leaders I tried at the time provided a excellent durability and a still unmatched level of streamside convenience, but lacked the sort of stiffness in the butt section that I prefer. To be fair, it's been several years since I've used one and I certainly never tried them all, so things certainly may have changed. Regardless of this one minor perceived shortcoming, furled leaders still stand out as a preposterously more sane alternative to knotless tapered leaders.

Sage Fly Fishing Award

Seattle Business Magazine has awarded Sage it's annual Small Manufacturer of the year. Citing Sage innovations like the Sage ONE line of fly fishing rods, the magazine noted that Sage "continues to introduce new technology" into the vast world of fishing gear. Seattle Business also gave mention to Sage's new line of technical fishing apparel and their innovations on the manufacturing floor, innovations which have led to higher efficiency, cost cutting and improved worker safety.

Referencing nationwide efforts to reverse the declining trend of the US manufacturing sector, Sage Production Manager Schott Tuchel noted that “at Sage we have been actively investing in our people and processes to ensure that we continue to offer our customers cutting edge technology and cutting edge value while doing our part to secure the future of American manufacturing."

Mead Run in Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest

PennEnvironment, one of Pennsylvania's leading environmental advocacy groups, has issued a call to action regarding Pennsylvania House Bill 1904. HB 1904, on the Pennsylvania House of Representative's docket for this week, includes provisions which essentially allow state lawmakers to circumvent federal protections against gas drilling and other operations related to mineral rights within Allegheny National Forest. The group urges that concerned citizens have "less than 24 hours" to act, with HB 1904 on the House docket for 11 am on Tuesday, May 8th.

Allegheny National Forest is Pennsylvania's only national forest and occupies over 800 square miles of land in the heart of Pennsylvania's oil and gas region. The forest includes a myriad of recreational opportunities, including some of the finest warm water fishing in all of Pennsylvania. Smallmouth bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, and channel catfish can be found within the Allegheny Reservoir and other lakes within the forest. The park also includes miles of freestone coldwater streams which offer fishing for stocked brook, brown, and rainbow trout as well as wild populations of native brook trout.

The current conflict regarding mineral rights revolves around the federal government's 1923 purchase of the land that currently comprises Allegheny National Forest, which included the land surface but did not include subsurface mineral rights. Ninety-three percent of these subsurface mineral rights remain held by private individuals. In 2009, the United States Forest Service (USFS) established a policy that determined that drilling for oil and gas within the forest would be governed by the National Environmental Policy Act, making all operations subject to public judgement. However, later in 2009, the Minard Run Oil Co., Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association, Allegheny Forest Alliance and Warren County government sued the United States District Court in Erie, Pennsylvania over the USFS's use of the National Environmental Policy Act to challenge drilling operations within Allegheny National Forest.