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There's a quote that suggests something to the effect of "your own advice is the hardest pill to swallow," a quote which I've realized holds some significant merit. Very recently, I published an article entitled Brookies for Beginners, in which I suggested that beginner fly fishermen, those that are faced with the frustrations and defeats presented by the challenges confronting the novice angler, head for the less demanding and often rewarding waters of mountain brook trout streams. So one might expect, during the early parts of a season in which my time to hit the water has been limited and what time I have had has brought frustrations of its own due to my repeated choice to snobbishly seek wild trout on technical waters, that I might have heeded the advice I felt comfortable to give to others.


Instead, given the opportunity for an afternoon on the water, I chose to visit for the first time one of my home state's most notoriously difficult and demanding waters. Falling Springs Branch Creek is one of the most storied streams on the east coast. Less than 10 feet across in spots, Falling Springs is a tiny, weed choked, classic limestone spring creek like its nearby neighbors Letort Spring Creek and Big Spring Creek. Polluted with food for fish, abundant cover and clean, cold water, Falling Springs grows large, spectacular, wild trout. These fish are educated and reside in a stream where aquatic vegetation strives to destroy every drift you attempt and where glass still waters render water droplets that sprinkle to the surface from your false cast a potential trout spooker. This is not easy fishing.

Even if you've got nimble salad fingers like I do, picking midges, small nymphs and tiny dries out of slit foam fly boxes or the like is an exercise in mounting frustration. Putting them back is worse and you know you're not taking the time, when streamside, to do it gracefully. A messy, disorganized fly box is the result. And, if you're like me, you live with that mess for most of the season instead of tidying it up when you get home.

Over the last couple of years, I've moved away from larger fly boxes and towards smaller boxes in an effort to increase my on-the-stream minimalism as well as the potential for horrific fly box messes. I almost always carry my camera and lenses, in my beloved Patagonia Stormfront Backpack, when I'm on the water. This means a no go for most vests and packs (although some hip packs will work). That said, I'm working only with wader pockets and -- when warm weather hits -- only with shirt pockets. Cutting down on big bulky items is a must. Enter small fly boxes.

In truth, the video that follows isn't about how fly lines are made, it's about how Airflo fly lines are made. If you don't think there's a distinction there, think again. As you'll learn in the video, produced by Todd Moen of Catch Magazine and Todd Moen Creative, Airflo makes fly lines differently than any other company. Starting with the material all their fly lines are coated with, polyurethane (all other fly line manufacturers use PVC), Airflo has an entirely unique process that allows their lines to stand out from the competition.

I've been a big supporter of Airflo fly lines for some time. As I've noted in line reviews such as that of Airflo's Ridge Bonefish / Redfish line, Airflo lines always seem to exceed my performance expectations.

So, if you've ever wondered what goes into creating what Airflo calls the most important and technical member of your troop of fly fishing gear, be sure to check out the video below, entitled "The Airflo Story". It's a well made look at the process from design to shipment and, more importantly, at the folks behind all of it. There are some casting shots that will make you want to get out on the river, pond or field and practice. Don't feel bad though, as Tim Rajeff notes in the video, these people fly fish for a living. Chances are, you don't.

The ranks of the catch and release fisherman, whether fly or otherwise, are growing. Even if you're not a no-kill fisherman, it stands to reason that if the fish you're targeting isn't intended for your dinner plate, it is wise to take care to insure that fish is released safely. Not just released, mind you, but released in a manner that takes all reasonable measures to insure that -- once released -- that fish will survive and live on to be caught another day and hopefully spawn. The fact of the matter is that simply releasing a fish does little to insure it's survival if that fish isn't played and handled correctly.

Following are 10 tips for insuring that your catch makes it back into the water for another angler to pursue. While these guidelines are written from the perspective of the trout and salmon fisherman, virtually all of these guidelines apply to other species as well.

With spring coming to the east and many a fisherman itching to shake off this year's long winter, it seems like a good time to call attention to a wonderfully informative short film about didymo, released last year by Jason du Pont. Most, if not all, of you have heard about didymo, and many others may fish or have fished in waters that have become infected with didymo. For those of you unfamiliar with Didymo, Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata), commonly known as "rock snot", is an invasive algae that thrives in some cold water habitats, forming thick mats on river and stream bottoms.

Despite familiarity with didymo and the threats it poses to the rivers we all hold dear, how many of us have seen didymo first hand? How many of us have experienced the impact of a didymo outbreak? Though we bear in mind the didymo threat and take precautions to avoid helping it spread to water bodies currently not infected but that remain under constant threat because of their proximity to infected streams or rivers, how sincere and extensive are those efforts, espeically for those of us that have no personal experience with the algae itself?