Wildwood


Hugh Falkus
October 19, 2011, 7:22 pm
Filed under: Angling, Wilderness Heroes | Tags: , , ,

Hugh Falkus was a WWII airplane pilot, writer,naturalist, film maker, and most importantly angler. An inspiration to generations of anglers he published several books on fishing including Salmon Fishing and Sea Trout Fishing which established him as  “the father of modern sea trout fishing,” and had a huge impact on modern spey casting.

While working for the BBC Films Natural History Unit, Falkus also produced and wrote many films. One of which I have come across, Salmo the Leaper posted here in its entirety for your viewing pleasure, covers the natural history of the Atlantic salmon along with some great insight and footage of catching one on the fly while properly wearing a waxed canvas jacket.

*All of the parts to this film are great, but if you want what is probably the best moment go to 11:30 on Part 2 of the film.



Fall Fly Fishing
September 29, 2011, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: , , ,

While fall means the start of alot of things we love around here, one of the things we love the most is fall time brook trout fishing. And we figured what better way to get ready and inspired then some vintage fly imagery. This set of images comes courtesy of the classic publication, Trout Fisherman’s Digest by David Richey originally published in 1976.

 

If you want to see more, the rest of the collection is located here.



Stalking Trout
September 13, 2011, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: , , ,

While most anglers in the area still have their attention turned to wide rivers and smallmouth action, this weekend I had brook trout on the mind, and so I headed to a small stream in the mountains to stalk them. However this time of year catching brook trout can prove difficult. With water levels at their lowest, mountain streams are reduced to trickles, and brook trout become easily spooked and pretty skeptical of the fly no matter how well presented to them.

With water this low at times these fish find themselves stuck in small pools of water waiting for the next heavy rain to fill the steam beds and allow them to be freed. Approaching these pools as quietly as possible, slightly hunched over, one barely casts their line rather you gently place your fly in the current hoping you are lucky enough to convince one or two of them to get out of their cool holes for a meal.

Yeah, the fish might be small, but its always a good excuse to get out into the mountains for a bit.



Blue Ridge Bluegills
May 31, 2011, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Angling

 

Finally got a break from work to get out on the canoe this past weekend for the first time this spring. My lady and I hit up one of our favorite small lakes with some great views. Can’t really beat catching bluegills on the fly rod with the blue ridge mountains in the background and after a few beers that water felt pretty damn good as well.

 



Opening Day Trout

Opening day, 1957

The tradition of an “opening day” for trout season has long been a tradition in this country, however here in the Old Dominion the last opening day was April 1st 1995. After that date the state went to a year round season on trout which was obviously popular with many sportsmen.

Early spring on the Rapidan

On opening day trout streams were packed with anglers standing shoulder to shoulder to catch their creel limit for the day. This weekend I had my own ceremonious “opening day” for Spring trout. My experience however was very much the opposite of the old opening days, in fact I only saw two other anglers out there that day.

A brook trout munching on a light cahill

For a first day of spring book trout fishing I couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Water levels were perfect following the rain we have received over the past few weeks and the trout themselves didn’t disappoint. They were striking and jumping  through the air at dry flies all day long. Looking forward to more days like this one and I hope your opening day was as good as mine.

Necessary tools of the trade


Hardy Brothers Archive Films
March 7, 2011, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: , , , ,

The Hardy name has been synonymous with fly fishing for many years. Founded in 1872 in Alnwick, England, the Hardy brothers who were first gunsmiths began producing high quality rods and reels. They were the first to build bamboo rods with hexagonal profiles and their designs for reels became a standard which many companies still try to emulate today.

I am going to stop with the history their, they real reason I am writing about Hardy is because of the archival footage I recently came across. The films recall some of the early history of the company but also showcase some excellent gentlemanly angling.

This film also shows the Hardy techniques of splitting bamboo for the crafting of rods. If you like people wearing waxed canvas jackets and fly fishing then I promise you’ll enjoy these. A few more films can be seen at the Hardy North American page.

 



Bob Clay – Riverwatch Rods
February 15, 2011, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: , , , ,

Bob clay makes beautiful bamboo fly rods. While he makes several different types of single handed rod he is most well known for bamboo spey rods. The rods are unique works of craftsmanship that cast beautifully and also happen to catch trout.  His company Riverwatch Rods is located in the Kispiox Valley in British Columbia, a destination for any angler in search of steelhead fishing.

This is a great short video of Bob talking about steelhead spawning in Canada, if you don’t want to watch the whole thing at least fast forward to min 1:05 and watch one of his rods in action.

*As seen in a Patagonia catalog



Winslow Homer – Outdoorsman
January 11, 2011, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Angling, Art | Tags: , , ,

Winslow Homer, arguably the most important American landscape painter was also an avid outdoorsman and he especially liked to fly fish. Many of his paintings and works that explored these subject matters were done while on his frequent trips to the Adirondacks. An exhibit at the Chicago Institute of Art right now is showing some of Winslow’s works which explore these pastimes of the artist, wish I could get there to see some in person.

 



Low and Clear
January 6, 2011, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: , , ,

This is a beautiful film about fly fishing which I highly recommend whether or not you partake in the sport. It follows a journey for steelhead endured by John Townes “JT” Van Zandt, (the musician John Townes Van Zandt’s son), and his good friend Alex Hall. From the film’s creators Finback Films the piece is, “A meditation on friendship, the film seeks to examine how for some, life can be about fishing. And for others, fishing can be about life.”



Field Tested : Stanley Flask
December 20, 2010, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Angling, Field Tested

Recently I was gifted a new Stanley Classic Flask by my wife for the holidays. I had been talking about it for sometime and when the package came from Campmor I had a hunch as to what it was.

Aside from swigging bourbon from it around my house I decided to take it out with me this weekend when I went flyfishing. While there isn’t much “testing” involved for a flask, I must say it did perform flawlessly on my outing. The flask, which I threw in my chest pack, did not spill a drop of precious bourbon while wading. And when I wanted a sip to keep my spirits lifted the flask delivered its tasty contents with no drips.

The final verdict on the Classic Flask from Stanley, well lets just say it gets is that it gets a seal of approval from The Wildwood. (For whatever that is worth)

 




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