We here at SCOF are not a proud people. We may not shower regularly, or use deodorant, or even know what a lufa is, but every three months we put out an issue despite ourselves. So here it is, the SCOF 2017 Winter “Diplomatic Immunity” Issue. Now leave us alone for three months, we stink. Oh yeah…head on over to our Facebook page to Like, Comment, and Share this post for a chance to win a Simms Dry Creek 2 Sling Pack. We’ll pick the winner next Monday February 2oth. But after you do that please explain the concept of a lufa to us. We’re dying to know.
The SCOF Fly Tying Potluck returns on February 14th at both our HQ in Asheville,NC and our Southern Outpost in Melbourne, FL. Head over to the SCOF Community Calendar to find all the info, and post an event while you’re there.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the virtues of public land and voiced my opposition to their transfer. As I said before, while I do my best to keep this blog out of the political trenches, sometimes issues come along that absolutely require a response. This is that sort of topic.
On Tuesday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced two bills that threaten to undue generations of work that began with TR himself. The first of these bills, HR 621, calls for the sale of 3.3 million acres of federal public lands. Sure, this in only 1% of BLM land, but this is the first crack in the dam.
The second and equally ridiculous bill, HR 622, intends to strip the law enforcement powers of the Forest Service and the BLM. Block grants would be provided to states so that the states could then afford to enforce federal law on federal land.
We saw this coming.
In the runup to the presidential election, Trump explicitly stated that he had no interest in selling off public lands. Should we take him at his word and expect a veto should this legislation reach his desk? Let me know how that works out for you . . .
So, we have options at this point. One option is to put our fingers in our ears, hum our favorite Woodie Guthie tune, and hope for the best as they prove old Woody wrong. The second option, of course, is to do something; that’s the path I’m choosing. I’ve sent emails to and called my representatives, I’ve reaffirmed my support for organizations like BHA, and I am pleading with you to do the same.
This matters to me, it matters to you, and it matters to future generations that are going to be left without public lands on which to hunt and fish unless we do something to preserve them. Do something.
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to view the new film Convergence from Conservation Hawks. While you’ll have to wait until F3T comes to your town to see it, the trailer is below.
The quality of fly fishing films has exploded over the last few years, and the incorporation of drones has made these films almost impossibly beautiful. I tend to favor the expeditionary-type films that portray locales that I’ll likely never fish, but it is always cool to see a place I know depicted in a way I’ve never seen it. Below, you’ll find the teaser video for the 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour, and the International Fly Fishing Film Tour showcases trailers for each film. Find a venue near you, and put it on the calendar. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m going to flirt with a self-imposed line on this one. You don’t visit this site for political opinions, so I generally make a conscious effort to avoid them at all costs – sometimes, I think, to the detriment of a piece. Occasionally, however, issues require discussions of a political nature if understanding is what we’re after.
Lately, the issue of public land transfer has come back to the forefront. To set the stage, it’s important to understand that public lands in the US are held in trust by the federal government for the public. They’re held in trust for you, for me, and for future generations. While a large majority of public land is in the West, those of us in the East are not immune to these concerns. Particularly in the southern Appalachians, large swaths of land are managed by the Forest Service.
Are they managed as efficiently and effectively as they could be? Of course not. But is transferring them to the states a better solution? What about privatization? I don’t think so.
For more information on the topic, I’m going to point you toward a few organizations that have a much more educated perspective on the topic than me. The first two are opposed to land transfer, and the third one is in favor. All I’m asking is that you take a few minutes to learn more about the issue. I think you’re going to be hearing more about it in the news over the next couple of years.
Public land transfer is not about giving this land back to the people; it already belongs to us.
As we head into a new year, I thought we’d take a quick look back at the most viewed posts of 2016. Thank you to everyone who reads this blog; your participation and interest is what keeps it fun for us. We’ve been called irreverent, but I think there’s more to it than that. I hope that while we try to offer up a different perspective, we also introduce you to people you should know and issues you should care about. Most importantly, though, I just hope we never take it too seriously.
Your top posts of 2016 . . .
. . . . . Follow Up: And Open Letter to TU
As the end of the year has grown closer, I’ve been thinking about the things I want to accomplish. I turned thirty this year, and there are a lot of places I’ve yet to visit. I’m afraid that while I’ll continue to slowly knock these places of my list, there are many which will remain undisturbed by the hand of me. So, the question is how to change this predicament, and the obvious answer is a wealthy benefactor.
The historical precedent is immense. Michelangelo, da Vinci, Shakespeare – all enjoyed the support of patrons, and look at what they accomplished. My knowledge on the subject, cobbled together from Western Civ lectures and a brief glance at Wikipedia, leads me to believe that I am the perfect candidate for such an arrangement. I won’t justify that statement here, but I’m happy to discuss it over dinner at the restaurant of my choosing.
What do you, wealthy benefactor, obtain from this relationship? Imagine the joy on Cosimo de’ Medici’s face when Donatello showed him the completed sculpture of David or when he strode beneath Brunelleschi’s dome at the Florence Cathedral. Surely you, patron, would feel the same pride and sense of accomplishment as you scroll through my Instagram feed looking at pictures of me with trevally in the Seychelles, salmon in Iceland, and taimen in Mongolia.
You see, this isn’t purely a selfless endeavor. While your friends are telling you about the new supercar they purchased or the fabulously expensive piece of art that now adorns their wood-paneled study, you would have the opportunity to regale them with tales of my exploits. Is a work by Picasso any more impressive than a 15lb bonefish wrestled from the mangroves after two desperate weeks of toil in the Bahamas? Surely not. I’m willing to go to these lengths, and I’ll send pictures.
So, to all of the fabulously wealthy readers of this fine publication, I humbly ask for your support. I believe I’ve found my calling, and it is to be a gentleman angler roaming the world in search of tarpon that weigh more than me and permit the size of truck tires. Have you ever wondered what sort of fly a manatee would eat? We can find an answer, you and me.
I think an auction format would be best to narrow down what is sure to be a formidable field of applicants. Submit your bids to email@example.com, and I’ll be in touch. We can do great things together, wealthy benefactor. Well, I can do great things, and I’ll tell you all about them.