Thursday, September 11, 2014

Strip mining for bass


As an angler it's easy to get down on the coal industry. What they've done to water and air quality over the centuries is a crime. The industry continues to enjoy the protection of both parties at all levels of government. I suppose that's because we like what happens when we throw a light switch but there's clearly room for improvement in how things get done. Of course, in every cloud there is a silver lining and I may have found one in coal.

West Virginia is the place I most associate with coal mining. I'm not sure why that is. I was going to blame it on A Coal Miner's Daughter but it turns out Loretta Lynn is from Kentucky. It also turns out West Virginia isn't at the top of the list. Wyoming produces more than three times the coal of West Virginia; 388 million tons in 2013 down from 457 million tons in 2008

Indiana is also in the top ten. As America has sought energy independence all manner of taxpayer funded incentives have been lavished on the industry. As a result, Indiana's coal production has increased over the past few years reaching an all time high in 2013 at 39 million tons.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Endless Limited Choices

Like you, I have too many fly boxes. This could mean I carry too many flies but I doubt it. In fact, I probably have just enough of a selection to always have the right fly. My primary challenge is to recall a specific
fly's existence at the right moment and then find the damned thing.

Most of the fly boxes I own are the new type with foam slots. While they're easier to use than the old style boxes, they invite chaos. I can put nymphs next to dries and midges next to Hendricksons. If you were to look at my "streamer" box you would also find a dozen bass poppers, some damsel fly nymphs and a couple of big honking dry flies among classic and contemporary streamers. Strangely, you would not find a half dozen purple woolly buggers tied last month that should be here but are living in sin elsewhere.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers.









Thursday, September 4, 2014

Broken Dial

It's small fly time on northeast tailwaters. On the Farmington River folks are fishing the trico hatch. A well tied imitation makes a #20 fly seem like a battleship and 6x look like an anchor chain. I like a brown thread body with a tuft of dun colored CDC and a #24 hook. It's one of the rare times I fish 7x. I'd fish 8x if I had any.

One of the nice things about tailwater hatches is that, despite all the variables that affect any natural process, they're pretty reliable. The hatches line up to fill the angling year. The fish seem as attuned as the anglers and I've spent many evenings fishing a single pattern. Once you're dialed in, you're set. Mostly.

Freestones, untethered to regular, temperate flows, can throw you more curves. Sure, they have the epic hatches that arrive like clockwork every year -- Hendricksons, March Browns, Alders, Cahills, White Flies, Isos -- but mixed in between and among are all manner of chaos. You can always count on some sort of caddis buzzing about, any number of small stones, midges, and BWOs. And, of course, the main events always overlap. It can make tying something on the tippet a total crapshoot.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hike your own hike

Sam on St Johns Ledges. Brutal downhill.
You can see the leg to my walker on in the
lower left.
When you're two miles in with thirty pounds on your back you realize two things. First, thirty pounds weighs more on the trail than it did in your dining room. Second, two miles on foot has no relationship whatsoever with two miles in any conveyance. You also realize that leaving behind the rod, reel and fly box just to save a pound or two may have been the wrong decision though that's an easy regret to have when faced with a startling green pool in a fast moving mountain river. Such regrets will evaporate twenty miles onward when the ounces crush your arches and leaden the spirit.

On a recent Friday evening, my son and I camped along the banks of the Housatonic River. The relatively short hike into the Ten Mile River campground allowed us a jump off point for an early start on Saturday. Sam has aspirations to do a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail after high school. He has read alluring tales of the AT penned by AWOL and Bryson and his mind has been captured with the epic adventure of it all. I figured a taste of the reality of an encumbered walk in the woods would provide data for a more informed decision. We planned to go north as far as we could muster. At a minimum we'd get to test out knees and muscles and equipment against a fine summer day or two on the AT.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Hubris: The Certainty of the Mining Industry

Mount Polley Mine Tailings Pond Dam. Water almost meets water standards according to mine CEO 
There's a tired old joke about discerning lying politicians by observing the mobility of their lips and there is a close parallel to mines and their assertions about the hazards of their operations.

Before a mine can begin operation in the US, owners must submit Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) to the federal government. The percentage of mines that predict low impacts to water quality in their EISs is 100%, according to a 2008 report by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In actuality, the number that actually pollute ground and surface waters is summed up in the report by a simple phrase: "the majority".
 
You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers.