Trout Vs. Old People…You Decide

So last week we reported that the Federal Game and Wildlife Commission was planning on shutting down a total of nine hatcheries, and lucky us, six just happen to be in the South. One of these hatcheries even feeds fish into the tail waters I fish and guide on. So let me be the first to say that closing these hatcheries is kind of like kicking a homeless guy.  He’s already homeless do you really need to kick him?  It’s not like Appalachia has ever been known for it’s thriving industries…we have tourism and we have old people. If you take away the fish, I’m pretty sure, all we’re left with is old people, and old people smell funny.  The petition has been made and awaits your signature. Even if you don’t like trout you should sign anyway because nobody likes old people.

  • Sponsored by: CONCERNED TAX PAYERS

The federal government is planning to eliminate funding to nine Federal fish hatcheries in GA, TN, KY, UT, MO, ND, and AR, which will result in their closure. The closure of these hatcheries will have a lasting impact on local, State, and federal economies. These facilities also provide enormous ecological and social contributions to local and state communities. Nearly 7 million fish are stocked in waters across the country from only six of these hatcheries. The economic impact is tremendous – over 3,000 jobs created and a total economic output of nearly 300 million dollars is generated by privately owned businesses selling food, lodging and supplies to trout fishermen. For every dollar spent on these fishery programs a return of $67 dollars is generated in the private sector, and for each tax dollar spent producing trout, $2.34 is returned to Washington in federal tax dollars generated from private business.

It is ironic that the Fish and Wildlife Service is celebrating the 140th year of their fisheries program; the oldest program in the agency. They are celebrating this historic event by cutting the entire fisheries program by 12.4 million dollars. They are getting a 47.9 million dollar increase in their overall budget, but have chosen to spend that money on other programs and new programs, and scrap a program that brings revenue into the federal budget at a 2.3 to 1 ratio and supports over 3,000 jobs in the private sector!!!   DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN; STAND UP AND BE HEARD!

Click the here to sign the petition.

– Dave

Tie-One-On-A-Thon Update

So the silence on the blog has been eerie hasn’t it?  I thought I saw a ghost on the about page, but it was just my reflection in the screen.  I do hope that it wasn’t to off-putting, but in our defense we have been kind of busy finalizing the details for what I think will turn out to be, the greatest fly tying event ever held in Steve’s Studio…I mean ever. Check out the webpage for the updated tiers and sponsor lists.  I will say that we have crafted an entertainment equation as such:

Expert Fly Tying + Local Microbrew Beer at PBR Prices + Charred Flesh Of Swine + The  Chance To Ask Your Favorite Tier Why He Makes Three Turns Instead of Two With His Wire Rib = One Rip Roaring Good Time

So tickets are going to be ten dollars and beer and BBQ will be depression era priced with every dollar going to Project  Healing Waters.  Tickets will be available at all Curtis Wright Outfitters locations, at the door, and will called by emailing me with all of you personal information (trust me I know what I am doing)…on second thought you should probably just go to CWO.  There will be an am session ticket and a pm session ticket with both sessions being topped out at fifty tickets…so get your tickets early and often folks.

Check back, as we will be updating the event info right up until the event with more giveaways, tiers, and sponsors.

– Dave

Coastal NC Is No Place For A Nice Striper Like You

(If You Are Not Into Heavy Metal Soundtracks…Turn Down Your Volume)

This came up on the radar a couple of days ago, and just proves the fact that lazy and stupid wins out every time.  Click Here For Newspaper Article

Apparently commercial trawlers off the carolina coast have been leaving a trail of Striper carnage in their wake miles long.  The reason for all the senseless slaughter is that under North Carolina Law there is a 50 fish limit on Striper.  So under the current law these jag offs have been culling (i.e. killing) smaller legal Stripers so they can maximize their profits.  Apparently no one has informed them that killing those stripers is eventually going to kill the fishery and any possible future profits to be gained from it. What it all amounts to is a legal slash and burn on one of the regions most beloved and respected game fish.  The only recourse recreational fisherman have at this point, is to put pressure on the powers that be to change the law to incorporate a quota that is measured in pounds not fish.  To that end here are the powers that be in the coastal counties where the law needs to change…commence the inbox filling.

– Dave

SCOF Presents: The First Annual Tie-One-On-A-Thon benefiting Project Healing Waters

Steve and I figured putting out a new magazine was leaving us a little too much free time on our hands (idle hands are the devil’s workshop and all that jazz), so to remedy the situation, we have decided to try our hands at philanthropy. We are proud to announce our first ever SCOF event, The Tie-One-On-A-Thon, benefiting Project Healing Waters. Have you ever been hit up to pledge for a walk-a-thon? Well, we thought this was a pretty inane way to raise money for something. Walking around in a circle for hours only gets you back to where you started, but tying flies for hours on end gets you a butt load of flies…a much better trade-off in our opinion. So we are inviting some of the region’s best fly tiers down to SCOF headquarters (i.e. Steve’s art studio) on February 27th, for a good old-fashioned winter tying session. The tiers will all collect pledges based on either how many flies they tie or for how many hours they tie.  Since we are gonna have about 25-35 tiers at this thing we can’t exactly keep folks out, so instead, we are gonna charge to get in.  The price of admission will reflect the tough economic times that fly fisherman face these days and will be a small pittance in exchange for a Sunday spent checking out some of the region’s best tiers and how they do (and yes, I am hip enough to say that).We are also gonna be selling Tie-One-On-A-Thon fly collections from all the tiers after the event with 100% of the proceeds from the event going towards healing veterans with fly fishing. Curtis Wright Outfitters has already signed on as a presenting sponsor for the event, which should give a certain whiff of legitimacy to the whole affair, and we have set up an information page on our website for the event (which can be reached off our homepage). So mark your calendars for February 27, 2011 and check the website and blog for updates on details, as we will be throwing them up as we get them. Oh yeah did I mention the local beer and roasted swine on tap? I always forget to mention that. Should be a good one.

– Dave

Local Rules

Today I strapped on my snowshoes Kaczynski-style, and ventured out into the real world. I was apprehensive at first, thinking that in the four days I had been removed, the world must have changed. It wouldn’t have surprised me to see dogs and cats living in perfect harmony, hover cars zooming around, or even a world where trout had evolved to be the dominant species on the planet (kind of like Planet of the Trout). I am pretty sure I freaked out the lady behind the counter at the gas station because as she handed me my smokes she mentioned something about a wild look in my eye. I couldn’t hear her though as I was to busy screaming at the guy behind me in a fit of socialization overload. I eventually regained my composure enough to get on with my wifey assigned task of gift shopping (with a side stop at Lexington Avenue Brewery). Down at the brewery I noticed a poster that sums up our shopping habits here at SCOF.

I was personally kind of hoping that Speedo’s would be the new black, but I digress. This year has been a rough one for most of the fly fishing industry, but none have been hit harder than your local flyshop owner. I am not the first one and hopefully won’t be the last one to say that it’s a good thing to support your local flyshop. The guy who stands across the fly shop counter from you does not drive a Benz, or have millions tied up in Halliburton. He definitely will listen to you every time you have a picture of your newest slab, and he also will probably let you take every rod in the rack out for a test cast while full well knowing you are gonna be back next week to do it all over again. He does all this while making barely enough money to support a family, but the real kick in the nuts is, the poor bastard probably gets to fish even less than you. So this holiday season, we here at SCOF feel that it’s time we all clear our collective “shop rat” consciences and go buy something from the guy down the street. Lord knows he could use the business.

– Dave

A Call To Pens

The headwaters of the E. Fork of the French Broad River outside of Rosman, NC ,is an 8,000 acre tract of land that has miles of brook trout water in the tributaries and 8 miles of river that is prime to become the newest North Carolina delayed harvest trout water adding to the existing delayed harvest section of the East Fork. The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the Conservation Fund have ponied up to purchase the property and have all funding in place. ” Sounds ideal,” you say. Well, it would be except for one minor problem. The NC Wildlife Commission has shown no interest in acquiring the property as an NC Gameland. This happens to be the largest privately owned undeveloped tract of land left in Western North Carolina and the commission has waved it on by like a bad piece of fish at an eastern european restaurant. I am not proposing that the Commissioners have an easy job working with a painfully small budget and managing an insane amount of land, but when an opportunity of this magnitude falls into your lap you jump on it like a Twinkie at fat camp. There will be a Commissioners’ meeting on November 4th, and we as anglers need to bring the brunt of our letter writing prowess to bear. This is a no-brainer as no money needs to be raised, just our voices heard. Click on the logo below to get information on what to write and who to send it to (Letters have to be in by November 3rd). I have already written mine, and I included the head of a brook trout in the envelope just to make sure my point gets across…Corleone style.

Click the Logo To Tell The NC Wildlife Commission What You Think

– Dave

Welcome To The South

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The grass is always greener. This is a concept I am familiar with. I have spent most of my adult life operating on this principle. That hole upstream, that next hot fishing location, that river out west I have heard so much about, these things are what drove me and kept me up at night. I was not alone in my quest for the other side of the mountain, our country was founded and made great on this principle of wanderlust. In recent years though, a new movement has made it’s way into the public’s general vernacular, Keep it Local. Where I call home, the Keep it Local movement drives peoples social, dietary, and economic habits and now I propose we in the South let it start guiding our fishing habits. In the South we have more water then any of us can fish in a lifetime. You can start a three day road trip in the mountains fishing for trout, head to the Piedmont for some top water bass action the next day, and finish the trip on the coast fishing to tailing reds in the grass, all while spending no more then 12 hours in the car. It’s not only the amount of water we have in the South but the beautiful places that water happens to reside. You always here the east coast is in urban wasteland, well while we don’t have the wild vast expanses of the Rocky Mountains, for those willing to look, we do have places that will rival anything in the Rockies for wildness and beauty. So instead of buying into the national fly fishing media’s long standing position of there isn’t anything worth taking a picture of or writing about east of the Mississippi, I have decided to start this website as well as a future online magazine celebrating exactly what we got here right in front of us. The website will be updated often and the first issue of the magazine will be out Fall of 2011. Until then grab a PBR from the fridge pull up the couch and check back with us constantly because all we do here is what matters to y’all.

Your Hapless Guide,