Friday March 7, 2014
Eric Steel's documentary "Kiss the Water" tells the story of Scottish fly tier Megan Boyd, whose full-dress salmon flies were prized by local guides and UK royals. It's a beautiful film that shows the parent culture of European and American fly-fishing, and sheds light on a gifted but reclusive tier whose flies were both works of art and effective fishing lures.
Click here for the review, and for a special discount for About.com readers to watch "Kiss the Water" online.
Thursday March 6, 2014
Competitive fly-fishing has been "blowing up," as its fans like to say, for the past few years. Hundreds of anglers, many of them young, take part in dozens of competitions, mostly for bragging rights, in a league that keeps score.
But the founder of the TroutLegend league thinks the European-style competition rules of the tournaments are discouraging anglers who fish in what's become a traditional American way: nymphing with split shot and a strike indicator.
Euro-style rules don't allow split shot or indicators, and tackle has evolved accordingly -- mainly long, light rods and really long leaders. But with the new rules for TroutLegend's local, one-day competitions, your regular 9-foot 5-weight will now be right at home.
It will be interesting to see which method is more successful, tight-line or suspension.
Tuesday March 4, 2014
You don't want to hear words like that from the agency that will decide whether your project lives or dies.
The EPA all but declared the proposed Pebble mega-mine an unacceptable risk to the world-class salmon runs of Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska on Feb. 28. Two years of study and more than a million public comments led the agency to invoke its rarely used authority over dredging and filling, and it doesn't sound like Northern Dynasty Minerals will be allowed to dredge or fill.
It is still technically possible for the company to propose a scaled-back version of the project. But there's never been a hint that anything less than North America's largest open-pit mine will suffice to exploit the gold, copper and molybdenum under the salmon-rich headwaters region of Bristol Bay.
The Pebble Mine has faced staunch opposition from Native Alaskans, commercial and recreational fishing interests, conservationists and even the PR-sensitive jewelry industry. In September, Northern Dynasty's much-larger partner in the project bailed out, and in December, a major shareholder said it was considering divesting. Now, its project faces unequivocal opposition from the Obama administration, too.
Here's the latest on reaction to the EPA's bombshell announcement.
Friday February 28, 2014
There's significant news today on the proposal for a massive copper and gold mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. The EPA announced the start of a review that may result in major restrictions on the project, if not an outright ban.
Last month, the agency released an assessment that noted the mine could wipe out more than 90 miles of stream and 5,000 acres of wetlands, threatening the world's largest sockeye salmon run and the Native Alaskan, commercial and recreational fisheries it supports.
Today, the agency notified the Pebble Mine Partnership it will now decide whether to restrict or prohibit the mine. "The Agency is taking this step because it has reason to believe that porphyry copper mining at the scale contemplated at the Pebble deposit would result in significant and unacceptable adverse effects to important fishery areas in the watershed," Regional Administrator Dennis J. McLerran wrote.
In the letter, the agency described at length the potentially disastrous consequences of the project.
Trout Unlimited President Chris Wood said, "Just as significant as the EPA action is the bottom-up nature of the campaign to protect Bristol Bay. It has been driven from the start by people from Alaska--native villages, native corporations, and commercial and recreational fishermen, especially Trout Unlimited members. The game isn't over yet, but we are that much closer."
You can read the EPA letter here, and see About.com's coverage of the Pebble Mine controversy here.