Fishing

The following is a guest post available to all outdoor bloggers who have an interest in the Pebble Mine/Bristol Bay issue.
Please feel free to re-post it on your blog. 

(Passed along from the conservation section over on the OBN ~
Go check it out, copy it from here, copy it from there, but let’s spread the word)

Influential is right, so don’t forget to submit a form from the link near the bottom of post and show your support to those who are fighting for us all.

Thank You Everyone ~ Rebecca

Sportsmen fly to DC to tell president and congress to say no to Pebble Mine

Fly Fishing

Photo by B.O'Keefe

Starting Monday, April 16, more than 30 sportsmen from around the country are traveling to the nation’s capitol to let their elected officials and the president know that protecting Bristol Bay is a top priority for hunters and anglers.

This is an important week to show the folks who have the power to protect Bristol Bay that sportsmen are in this fight. We’ve got folks from Alaska, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, North Carolina, California, Missouri, New York, and Virginia representing this great country and the millions of people who want Bristol Bay to be protected and left just like it is today–pristine and productive.

recent report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation shows that there are 34 million hunters and anglers in the U.S., and we’re a powerful constituency. Every year, we pump $76 billion into the economy in pursuit of our passion, through our spending on gear, licenses, gas, lodging, meals and more. All of that spending and activity directly supports 1.6 million jobs in this country.

We are also an influential group because 80 percent of sportsmen are likely voters – much higher than the national average. And, we also contribute the most money of any group toward government wildlife conservation programs. So, hopefully if we care about an issue and show our support, the decision makers will listen to what we have to say.

In just a few weeks, the EPA will be releasing a draft of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This huge scientific assessment will likely guide future decisions about large-scale mining and other industrial development in the Bristol Bay region. If they find that disposal of waste from the mine would adversely harm the surrounding clean waters or natural resources, the EPA can deny or place restrictions on a required dredge and fill permit. If warranted, we hope the Obama Administration would take that step to protect Bristol Bay.

You can support the fight for one of planet Earth’s finest and most productive fishing and hunting destinations by taking action today. Fill out this simple form that will send a letter to the President and your members of Congress asking them to protect Bristol Bay.  Let’s carry our sportsmen into D.C. with a lot of momentum.

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~The Idaho Native Way of Fishing for Salmon~

In the last 6 weeks I’ve somewhat fallen off the Fly Fishing wagon and traded in my version of Fine Wine fishing for a 12 pack of Keystone light. First I kept a perfectly good fly rod strapped to the front of a warp speed Bass Boat and tried my hand at fishing for Smallies like the Bass Pros do it.

I had a great time, but snuck down to the river confessional later that evening to try for Bass on my Fly Rod. I discovered that if you cheat on your Fly Rod, it does forgive…

Next I left my Fly Fishing gear in the FishCruiser so I could partake in some Salmon gluttony over the next few weekends….the regular old fishing style. I’ve tried to justify this Fly Fishing infraction by the factual circumstances. 1) All my Fly Fishing rivers were closed until the end of May! And 2) If I were to march down on the riverbank to the communal fishing hole with a Fly Rod, I’d get promptly drowned.  May– Salmon season on the Little Salmon— it’s my new Fly Fishing exemption rule to a whole years worth of water swatting.

When I go up Salmon fishing, I encounter another form of fishing community that I’m not part of, but have spent time observing and asking a lot of questions. The Northern Idaho Natives engage in their own form of fishing that to the casual observer might appear ‘easier’ or less difficult than the way we are required to fish for the salmon.

I admit that I used to think the same thing –easier–  in perhaps the same way I’d come to think of Fly Fishing is more difficult than the standard variety of fishing. In regards to gaffing or dip netting, I’ve witnessed how preconceived notions can add a layer of tension over a river. However, in the last few weeks I’ve come to understand the Natives way is indeed difficult and takes skill, practise, patience and know-how that must be learned to catch fish their way. In other words, some catch a lot of fish, some catch a few fish and others barely catch any fish. Fishing, no matter the form, does not show favoritism.

Maybe I’ve been gently knocked off my Fly Fishing high horse over the last month and my horizons have been broadened by being open minded. I’ve caught fish that haven’t been on my radar, I’ve met new and interesting people from all walks of life and I’ve gathered a new respect for all types of fishing……not just the one I personally prefer.

Truth is, fishing comes in all shapes and sizes, forms and techniques and for the record, I’d like to add ’humbling hatchet’ under its definition as well.

Rebecca

Photo Credit:
By my Fishing Friend & Photographer extraordinaire Bryan Forsmann

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~Ok, one gratuitous Salmon picture~

I could write about my last two weekends of salmon fishing, post some more gratuitous pictures of lunkers and spin some tales of pulled muscles and flying sinker missiles, but today, I think I’ll write about something else that occurs out on the banks of water. Fishing Nicknames.

I think if you spend enough time in the Great Outdoors (with other people) you’ll eventually end up getting a few nicknames stamped on your forehead. I’ve been assigned, or inherited, or shamefully earned a few names over the years, but the most recent I’ve been branded with by my fishing buddies is – Rebecca,  Water Swatter

When I do go with my fishy friends I tend to get harassed about my floating line and fake flies because they all fall under the ‘non-fly fisherman’ classification. My stubborn stance on fly fishing along side them opens the door for prime nickname assignments and heckling. With them I never hear, “Hey Rebecca, nice loops!” Nope. I hear things like, “Hey Water Swatter, stop frothin up the water!” All part of the fun because the harassment goes both ways…

The last few weeks of salmon fishing have taken me out of my normal comfort zone in that I’ve been fishing in tight quarters with a large variety of people. The sort of fishing community that forms on the banks of a river that’s chocked full of salmon and people is actually pretty interesting (entertaining)—despite the fact it goes against every ounce of my fly fishing nature.

I’ve discovered that when you put a large group of people fishing together, rules are created, bonds form, friendships happen and generally everyone is there to have a great time. A lot of nicknames also happen. I noticed quite a few people started calling me “Turbo” and I didn’t ask for an explanation. I also christened a few people with new names.

There’s Drifter — lightening could strike down the person next to him and he still wouldn’t miss his turn to drift through the run. And Slayer–the man who counts each and every one’s hook sets, landed fish, broke off fish. Anything less than 30 fish a day and he’s depressed. Next up is Smokes — it’s simply mesmerizing to watch his ability to cast, drift, catch a salmon, fight a salmon, net a salmon, take hook out of salmon all while keeping his lit cigarette firmly between his lips. (never touched by hand) ……and Kuna John & Jumpin’ Jack & Longliner & Indiana & Twitch…

My list could go on and on here…….especially if I included the not so nice nicknames people can earn on the riverbanks. One reliable nickname for this department is ’DipShit’ –basically a generalized nickname for lots of oh so special people.

The thing about outdoor nicknames is someone else has to brand you with it, say it out loud and if enough people repeat it, it’s all yours, like it or not. The scary part about nicknames is one wrong move and the next thing you know everyones calling you –Snags, FoulHook, Slipshot or like someone in my circle who is now known as Blow for accidently blowing up a gas can a few weeks ago—a name you might not have wanted.

So I’m curious about those who are reading this. What sort of nicknames are you stuck with?  

Signed,
Water Swatter……

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In Times of Fishing Need

by Rebecca on May 6, 2010

in Sturgeon Fishing

~A Helping Hand Sturgeon Fishing Last Summer~

This may come as a real surprise to all you, but I can be a stubborn little cuss when I’m engaged in Outdoor activities. I know, I know, thats hard to believe, but it’s true. Maybe it’s pride or maybe it’s a good old fashion Outdoor upbringing (as in, don’t be a pain in the ass) or maybe I’m just rough around the edges, but I like to hold my own out there. Period.

Which makes Sturgeon fishing a real hate/love/hate scenario for me. On one side of the experience, it’s exhilarating to hook into a fish that’s older than me, taller than me, and weighs more than I do. However, it’s the only fish I’ve ever hooked into that has the ability to make me want to cry Uncle! I give up!  Not that I would ever give up, hell no.  Stubborn totally supercedes pain and suffering. I’d rather let the fish rip my arms out of the socket and sacrifice them to the bottom feeders before I handed off the rod to another person.

But ~ The last time I went Sturgeon fishing I did discover I’m not opposed to someone reaching out (during a time of dire fishing need and snapping tendons) and with one hand hold the upper rod for a minute, or two, to give my weary arms a much needed break. That minor break in the order of all things stubborn annoys me, but as I head into a weekend with Sturgeon on the menu I think I’ll accept another helping hand if the mood strikes. I haven’t clarified the rules with anyone, but I don’t think that sort of help would negate my official Sturgeon catch.

A Score To Settle

The last sturgeon I suffered through and landed, thrashed me on the riverbank (mid-photo op) so I enter this weekend with a renewed stubborn mindset and a score to settle. If I never come back here and write another blog entry you all know why.

I ended up armless…..can’t type anymore.

Rebecca

p.s. thank you everyone for the Bass advice here and on Facebook! I’ve made a list, took out a bank loan to buy it all and will do my best to make you all proud. See, I’m not always stubborn. I asked for help here ~ See ya next week…..

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March is for Recovering from a Winter Hangover

March 23, 2010

I’m not sure how other people feel about this time of the year, but I’m fighting off the last lingering effects of Old Man Winter rolling me up into a nice sized cigar and smoking me for personal entertainment purposes. I’m not an indoor person and this Lady Bear doesn’t hibernate peacefully during winter. I tend to pout and pace [...]

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The River High and The River Low

March 2, 2010

When I was out fly fishing last Sunday, one of the comments I got was a general observation, but it’s the one I’ve been thinking about as a general river theme. One man remarked after asking me how the fishing was (not good),”Well the river is pretty low right now.” Yes. And that means? I wanted to ask him, [...]

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Fly Fishing on a stage while playing the Midge

February 16, 2010

On Sunday I took Bandon the Bashful out for a Valentines Day event I knew she would appreciate more than say, a rawhide dipped in chocolate. We went to the local river establishment. A cheap venue, close to home, no-frills sort of date. She’s a dog, she’s easy to please. I went to a new section [...]

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Fish Faces Only a Fish Mama Could Love

February 14, 2010

Once, when I was in Alaska, I was casting into the surf, just to see if I could entice a passing salmon or two. I was delighted when I felt the undeniable pull of a fish and I quickly reeled up my prize onto the sandy beach. The thrill turned to shock when I got a good look at my bounty. If my over-active imagination serves me correctly [...]

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The Kindness of Fishermen

February 10, 2010

I’m not sure what the above fly is called, maybe the man who gave it to me told me, maybe he didn’t. The fly used to have little rubber legs and was a bit more fluffy and distinguished. Now it’s a piece of my vintage fly history and a testament to the kindness I’ve stumbled across while on [...]

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Big Fish, Little Fish…Photo Envy

January 30, 2010

If one were to observe the fishing magazines, or stroll through all the profile portraits on Facebook or even visit various fishing blogs and websites, one might start to think the only fish to be caught were monsters that require a forklift to haul them out of the water. It’s almost enough to nudge those of [...]

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