Decorating the Trees.....Fly Shop Style

Betsie River SnagFly fishing is a greatly satisfying sport once you've figured out how to lay a fly somewhat close to the target zone, but for beginners, it can be quite frustrating and expensive.  Equipment costs seem to be way out of reach when greenhorns first look into it but most soon figure out that things can be quite realistic if everyone keeps their wits about them.

The only thing the angler needs to be worried about are the consumable costs like those for leaders and flies once the major purchases have been made, and tying your own can slightly mitigate the issue.  But it only softens the impact slightly when it seems the only things you can catch are trees, logs, rocks, bridge supports, dock pilings, power lines, and other miscellaneous tackle grabbers.  The most innocuous little twig can be an absolute hook magnet when positioned right over the best run or hole along the stream or shoreline, and you can just about figure out where the fish are without ever having seen one.  Just look for all the tackle above a regularly productive hole .  Can you imagine how many other anglers have felt the exact same urge to tuck a nearly impossible cast right up under the same overhanging branch?  It seems that God's sense of humor was working overtime when he gave us beautiful fish in spectacular locations but surrounded them with impossible casting situations.

I sometimes joke with customers that I consider the day to be a success when I can return home with half my fly selection intact and the rods in the same number of pieces as when I left.  I also mention that as a matter of good taste and style, they need to spread their lovingly-selected flies around and avoid sticking them all in the same piece of foliage.  My own advice is sometimes hard to heed once I actually set my feet in the water and spy a tantalizingly perfect piece of water just begging to be probed.  I recently donated a complete rig (two flies, split shot, and strike indicator) to the cause in a particularly nice tree along the "Fly Only" section of the Pere Marquette River in Michigan.  There was a beautiful pod of salmon working a gravel bed 3/4 of the way across the stream along with a  half dozen steelhead lying in wait for the salmon eggs to drift down to their waiting mouths.  It was too good to pass up so I gathered my thoughts, entered a zen-like trance, and with a prowess and finesse rarely demonstrated by mortal men, deposited a magnificently tied egg and bugger tandem straight into a tree branch hanging from a most superbly positioned tree behind me.  Lest you think I was the only one skilled enough to find the only obstacle to success within a hundred yards, I'm here to tell you that branch was nicely populated by a wide selection of flies tied in every color of the rainbow.  It was wonderfully decorative although not a terribly effective fishing technique.  I was frustrated at first but eventually resigned myself to the undeniable fact that these things are bound to occur when participating in the sport of fly fishing.  We often say that you aren't really trying if your aren't losing a fly to the bushes and bottom structure every so often.

The thing to glean from this all too obvious lesson is that you can't get too frustrated by these issues since it's part of the game,  and you just have to pay attention to your immediate surroundings before rearing back to launch a cast.  Also, be sure to take pictures of any flies purchased while on a trip because you might not possess them long enough to enjoy their company.  Besides, without a picture you won't remember what patterns to tie when you return to the vise in preparation for the next adventure.

Remember that Christmas is coming up so be sure to decorate with a sense of balance and style....  The wildlife will appreciate it on December 25th.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Let Them Live To Fight Another Day

Peacock BassJust about anyone that knows me is likely to tell you that it takes a bit to get my dander up and participating in an emotionally charged discussion just isn’t in my nature.  That’s not to say that I don’t have deeply held beliefs and the passion to back it up, but rather I can judge when the conversation has degraded to the point where two folks should stop shouting at each other and just agree to disagree.

All that being said, I was dragged into a debate on the proper way to handle fish while taking a picture or just releasing them in general.  The other person insisted that holding large 30+ pound redfish vertically (by the mouth and/or the gill plates, while trying not to actually injure the gills) causes little or no harm to the fish.  He claims to have photographic proof that he’s caught the same fish multiple times over a several year period, “proving” there’s no harm done.  It’s his opinion that holding other fish that way is bad for them and could increase mortality, but redfish, being a fairly robust species aren’t as fragile.

I disagreed whole heartedly, insisting that all fish (big and small, regardless of species) should be supported at the head and mid body as recommended by most conservation groups.  But I quickly figured out that neither of us was going to change the other’s mind, and tried to back out of the argument by pointing out that we had reached an impasse.

Not being one to let things go, I did a bit of internet searching on the subject and found exactly what I expected.  Most professionals agree that holding any fish vertically could cause damage to:  a) the jaw, its muscles, and connective tissue due to the fact that they’re not designed to support the weight; b) internal organs as they shift around in the body cavity because their mass is normally supported horizontally by the water.  Only one site recommended holding fish vertically and that instance was limited to bass under three pounds.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a very in depth section on its website dedicated to proper techniques for handling fish in general and it’s well worth taking a look at if you get a chance.  The industry by and large recommends that certain steps be taken if you plan on practicing CPR with your catch.  These steps include:

  • Use tackle that’s appropriate for the species and size of fish you are pursuing.

  • Have a plan of action for hook removal and picture taking before actually hooking your trophy.

  • Remove hooks quickly and cut the line rather than trying to remove hooks that are so deeply engaged that removal would cause further injury.

  • Wet your hands before touching fish to help prevent excessive protective slime removal.

  • Use a rubber mesh net instead of those made of coarse nylon or other abrasive materials.

  • Avoid laying your catch on the ground or any other surface.

  • Use two hands to hold the fish, one at the head with the other supporting the body.

  • Only keep the fish out of the water approximately 30 seconds or only as long as you can comfortably hold your breath.

  • Support the fish in the water for as long as it takes to resuscitate and swim off normally.

So, as you can see there are accepted practices related to handling our aquatic friends, but as always it’s a matter of personal conviction and attitude; and each of us has to determine for ourselves how we’re going to conduct business on the water.  Personally, I’ve a great deal of respect for the fish I pursue and make it part of my modus operandi to do as little harm as possible.  We’re participating in a blood sport for sure but we can do our part to limit unnecessary fish mortality by taking a few simple steps and eliminating the traditional “Grip-and-Grin” photographs of improperly handled fish from our angling routines.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Wolverine State Steel

Rogue RiverI’ve wanted to fish for steelhead in Michigan ever since I hooked my first one in Pennsylvania on a cold early winter day in November, but it took almost two years of dreaming, planning, and pouring over books and maps before I would finally be able to board the plane, bound for the wolverine state.  A fishing buddy and I had it figured out and were going to catch loads of fish, or so we thought.

We crisscrossed the state hitting seven different and beautiful rivers over the course of seven days but the fishing wasn’t quite as productive as either of us expected with fish numbers being a bit lower than optimal, but a few were landed and the scenery was absolutely spectacular once we got out of the city and into the country side.  Famed steelhead rivers like the Pere Marquette, Manistee, Little Manistee, and the Grand, were but a few of the waterways we trod in search of cooperative fish.  The Platt, Betsie, and Rogue added a flavor of their own, delivering some of the most unique topography, and streambed variety I’ve ever experienced. The Pere Marquette and Little Manistee were my favorites because of the intimate nature of the waterway and the sheer beauty they each exhibited.  I’ve never taken so many pictures of trees, water, rocks, and leaves in my life, but it seemed like there was something else to capture every time I turned a bend in the river.

The fishing its self was tougher than any I’ve done, both mentally and ……..  well, just mentally.  The conditions and weather were perfect and the physical aspect of the trip was fairly manageable, but casting for hours without result can make you question your sanity.  However, fishermen being what they are, will continue to cast into the abyss while hoping something worth catching happens to be living somewhere in the depths.  I found myself drifting off while the rod seemed to cast with robotic regularity at some times but then I’d move around the next bend and start casting with new energy and optimism.

We each did hook into a good number of fish over the seven day period but I was the only one lucky enough to land anything better than a tree branch.  A king salmon, steelhead, and rainbow each came to hand fulfilling a longtime dream of fishing a new and legendary location with even a small measure of success.  Sure, we could have taken a guided trip but there’s something greatly satisfying about doing it on your own with limited help other than a few tips from local shops and what you’ve read in books and magazines.

Pere Marquette SteelheadEach fish provided a special ingredient to what became a successful trip in anyone’s book, and I’ll always remember the steelhead’s first jump as it erupted from the crystalline depths, the kings shear power and weight as it surged into the rolling riffles, and the rainbows hidden hues I could only get a glimpse of when I turned the fish “just right” in the sunlight.  Truly amazing and awe inspiring!

Do yourself a favor and head north in the near future and experience the sights and sounds of Michigan by visiting its streams, forests, and lakes.  You won’t believe how easy it is to get lost as you explore what’s around the next bend, and the next, and the next, and the next…

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Viewing Florida By Airboat

Airboat WakeThere are a quite few things everyone owes it to themselves to try once if they’re coming down to Florida for a visit and taking an airboat tour should rank high on the list.  Surprisingly though, a great number of natives or full time transplanted residents have never taken the time to enjoy what tourists go out of their way to experience.  Maybe we take too much of what our state has to offer for granted.

Hitching a ride on an airboat is quite easy since there are tour locations all across the state.  Just about anywhere there’s water and swamp will create a perfect backdrop for an experience you and your loved ones will never forget.  Zipping across the grass, through creeks and slews, into the cypress forests, and cutting a wake across open water gives you the sensation of gliding across ice with limited control.  The ride is a series of coordinated skids and slides, skillfully executed by gentle increases of power and steering inputs.  Animals of every variety pass by the gunnels as you seek them out in their watery haunts.  Alligators, herons, ducks, turtles, eagles, spiders (very large and creepy), egrets, and many other wild and domestic critters stand by for a few clicks of the camera before heading out for more private hiding spots.

My family and I were able to take a ride with Midway Airboat Rides with some close family who are in town for a visit, and let me tell you that everyone aboard gained a new appreciation for our St. Johns River system and the wildlife that inhabits the waterway.  We were greeted by a vast body of water swollen by the large amount of summer rain so we knew the animals would be scattered to the four corners of the world in search of dry ground, but our optimism was rewarded by a good number of animals that hung around long enough for some photographs.  It’s hard to comprehend the variety of landscapes within the river basin until you’re able to experience them for yourselves and the airboats are the only means of transport that make it possible year round.

There’s so much to see out there besides the theme parks (I’m not knocking them by any means), that I truly believe everyone should take a break from the crowds and get out there with the critters and the water.  There’s nothing like being pushed across the open water and grassland by a giant roaring fan, except the quiet solitude of the cypress forests where the creaking of the trees themselves is the only sound you can hear.  Both are unique experiences you won’t find any other way and in very few other places on earth.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Trash Fish or Day Savers?

BluefishFlorida residents are quite lucky when it comes to fish to chase and the destinations to visit in this pursuit.  We’ve got so many different species of fish that sometimes we forget that even the lowliest of them can be worthy of our efforts.  In fact, they can prove to be the best game in town when nothing else wants to come out and play.   Tarpon, snook, bonefish, permit, redfish, and seatrout may be what people think of when they contemplate fly fishing around the coast but it’s players like ladyfish, bluefish, mackerel, jacks, and catfish that account for more bent rods than we all want to admit.

The fall bait run is a giant fish magnet that draws anglers and fish with equal power and with the exception of some tarpon and snook, people are chasing after some of the others on the list.  Their numbers are mystifying and they have appetites and attitudes well beyond their diminished status among anglers.  They may not be a premier species but they’re plentiful and widespread at this time of year.

The best thing about chasing these lesser desired fish is that you don’t have to be fancy with your equipment to have a great deal of success.  A moderately sized rod and a pocket full of Clouser Minnows will be the ticket for a day full of fun and excitement when you hit the tide and location perfectly.  Hundred fish days are quite possible when things come together.  Oh yeah, don’t forget to carry plenty of spare leaders and tippet material since many of these guy have teeth that’ll wear through lightweight mono pronto.Ladyfish

Trash fish, by-catch, whatever you want to call them, they’re well worth taking time to catch while you can, and stock up the memories before the winter hits and things slow down.  These species are tailor made for kids and the uninitiated who just want to catch a lot of fish in a short period of time.  Just be sure to keep everyone’s fingers safe and sound when handling these wonderful but toothy and slimy critters.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Get Your Ducks In A Row

Fall has always been my favorite time of year for many reasons, not the least of which is the increased opportunities to get out in the woods chasing squirrels, grouse, rabbits, pheasants, and maybe if the weather was bad enough, some migratory ducks.  I loved hunting for them all but I never quite got the hang of duck hunting despite my father’s efforts to take me under his wing so to speak.

He was a member of the Northwest Pennsylvania Duck Hunters Association and those guys took their ducks pretty seriously, and believe me when I say they loved each and every one of those feathered wonders.  It wasn’t like they had a secret handshake or anything, but it was obvious that they had a passion for the sport and the game they pursued.  I can remember hanging duck boxes for woodies in the dead of winter when the beaver ponds were frozen over and then studying flash cards of birds in flight so we could identify our game when the time came to bring my shotgun to bare.  They did things to help sustain populations along with other organizations like Ducks Unlimited and to provide hunting opportunities for handicapped outdoorsmen as well as children.  So growing up around a bunch of conscientious hunters means I try to toe the line in my own hunting and fishing efforts.

But speaking about duck season would be incomplete if we didn’t mention some of the unusual byproducts of the industry and that would be the collectable decoys, calls, guns, shell boxes, and other equipment from “back in the day.”  Even though these artifacts were designed and built with the intent that they be used, and used hard, in the field, they have now become collectable antiques that can fetch a pretty hefty price on the market.  I actually had two gentlemen offer me $800.00 apiece for a pair of mallard decoys sitting on a shelf in the fly shop.  I doubted that they had all their marbles in one basket right up to the point where they correctly identified the manufacturer from over ten feet away.  I subsequently found three more mallards by the same company and have since moved them to places of high visibility and prominence.  Do you have any old decoys sitting in your garage?

Duck hunting has a history that many people would like to forget, especially when you figure in the meat hunting days around the great depression, but conservation efforts across the country coupled with stricter waterfowl regulations have allowed my generation to see great success as compared to 50 years ago.  Recently though, duck hunting has moved a bit more into the mainstream due to popular TV shows and everyone’s realization that proper game management includes some hunting and not a total “hands off” approach.  One of my favorite vacation destinations has always been Easton, Maryland for the Waterfowl Festival, where we used to marvel at the paintings and carvings crafted in a common theme.  Outdoor enthusiast owe it to themselves to visit the festival and maybe even join in on the calling contests.  You just might know how to speak “Pintailese.”

The season is almost here, so now is the time to check out your decoys, tied new anchor lines, gather up all your calls, and hit the skeet field for some practice.  Go through your collection to see if you have anything collectible worth putting on the market to bring in some money for a new shotgun.  Look up a local organization and lend a hand with their conservation effort and ensure that there are ducks around for years and years to come, so that your kids have something to chase when their time comes.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Why Fishing Rods Break

Anyone who spends a lot of time on the water is eventually going to utter words that we’ve heard many times over while working in the fishing industry.  “I don’t know what happened, the rod just broke while I was casting it like I’ve done a thousand times before.”  For the most part, people don’t really know what actually caused the break and are quite likely to want to put the blame on the manufacturer rather than just chalking it up to “Things happen.”  But let’s be honest here for a second, the rods are pretty well made and breakages are rarely due to a manufacturing defect or something the companies are responsible for, but rather we do it to ourselves most of the time.  I’ve broken three rods while fishing and every one was my fault, while at the same time I’ve seen numerous rods broken by customers while “demonstrating” a rods capabilities.  All of these were avoidable if we follow a few simple rules.

Rule #1.  Do not “demonstrate” how much a rod can flex by bending the tip over by hand.  Rods are only meant to bend in a curve determined by the placement of the rod guides and the tension of the line running through them (from the reel all the way to the tip of the rod).  Few rods on the market today can do the “Ugly Stik Bend.”

Rule #2.  Never high stick a fish.  This means don’t lift the rod tip too high when the fish is close at hand because it creates too sharp a bend in the top quarter of the rod.  Remember that power is generated through the butt section of the rod rather than the tip.

Rule #3.  Don’t assemble rods in rooms with ceiling fans.  Seems pretty self-explanatory but everyone does it at some point.  Eventually the fan is going to have your rod for lunch.

Rule #4.  Avoid hitting the rod tip with weighted objects during a casting stroke.  Clouser Minnows and the like will score and gouge the rod blank creating minute cuts in the material.  Eventually the rod will snap right at that score mark, kind of like cutting glass pipettes in high school chemistry class.

Rule #5.  Don’t swing fish into the boat or onto shore with a fly rod.  This type of rod was not designed nor intended to carry the free-hanging weight of a fish.  Try doing it too many times and you’re bound to have a snapped off tip.

Rule #6.  Set up your system to sacrifice a fly or lure before breaking the rod.  Leaders and tippets are there to protect your investment as well as provide an element of challenge so don’t set them up so strong that they won’t break when the need arises.

Rule #7.  Never set a rod on the ground or anyplace where it may be crushed.  I try to listen when my inner voice screams “That’s a bad idea!”

Rule #8.  Store conventional rods in a rack that adequately supports them, store fly rods in a rack or in tubes designed for the purpose.

Rule #9.  Avoid jamming the guides against hard objects because either an insert will pop out or the guide frame itself will break.

I could go on and on about a thousand and one ways that rods get broken but in the end they’re tools made of millions of graphite/glass fibers, stainless steel, aluminum, and cork; that are subjected to a great deal of stress and abuse.  And then we wonder why they break occasionally?  Use the rods for as intended and protect them while not in use and they’ll provide years and years of service.   They’re well-made but not indestructible.

Brian “Beastman”

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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IFFF Florida Council Conclave October 11 & 12, 2014

Set aside some time during the second week of October to visit with folks that have truly devoted themselves to a hobby that soon becomes a way of life for those with a bit of dedication and perseverance just like you did.

The Florida Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers is holding its annual conclave October 11th and 12th in Crystal River, Florida and you owe it to yourselves to take a day away from the pressures of every day life to see what's going on with the sport and explore what the council is doing to promote it and the opportunities we sometimes take for granted here in our home state.  Bob Clouser (arguably one of the most innovative tiers of our generation) and Wanda Taylor headline the event but there are so many other things going on that you'll quickly lose track of time while exploring all the exhibits and visiting with other anglers with similar passions.

Here are a few of the seminars and exhibits taking place at the conclave: 

  • "IFFF-certified fly casting instructors and fly tiers teaching their skills."
  • "Hands-on clinics, demonstrations and workshops include instruction for beginning through advanced fly casters, outdoor photography classes, fly fishing techniques, building first-aid kits for boat and trail, tying effective new fly patterns, fly casting accuracy and distance and much more."
  • "Florida Fly Fishing Expo also offers resource-awareness exhibits and indoor and outdoor and displays of the newest fly rods, reels, lines, clothing, kayaks, and other gear."

 

As you see there should be more than enough to keep you and your family entertained while possibly teaching everyone a thing or two.  I think every fly angler can agree that they never stop growing and expanding their horizons, and the council is here to help along the way.  Saver your pennies between now and then so you can join everyone at this year's event.  Maybe I'll see you there.

 

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Riding In Cars With Dogs

Drive down the highway in any metropolitan area across the country and you’re sure to see something that’s an increasing trend and hazard on the roadways according to many experts and lawmakers.  I’m talking about drivers who allow their pets to roam freely around the car while driving, or even worse, letting them sit in their lap as they try to keep their attention on the road.  We have to admit that it’s highly unlikely that those drivers are much better off than those that still insist on texting whether it’s at 75 miles an hour on the interstate or in bumper to bumper traffic.

I did some research on the subject and found that it’s actually illegal in a couple of states to have a dog on your lap/unrestrained in the car, and a good bunch of other states will issue “Distracted Driver” citations if they notice you driving erratically and they suspect that your “attention” is more focused on the animal than the road.  I did find where it is illegal to have a dog in the bed of a truck unless it’s restrained (tethered to the bed) by at least two attachment points, or in a crate or box that’s affixed to the bed.  Now you tell me how many times you’ve seen some pooch running from rail to rail in a truck bed while the driver rolls down the highway.

I know we all love our dogs and want them to be free to move around but most of these same people wouldn’t even consider letting a child ride unrestrained, yet they allow another member of the family to do the same.  The laws of physics are pretty straight forward on the matter, turning Fifi or Fido into a furry missile when involved in a collision, potentially causing injury to themselves or the other passengers.  I was once involved in a rollover accident wherein our young Beagle “Brandy” was ejected through a side window.  Let me tell you that the mental scars were just as bad if not worse for her as a result of being unceremoniously thrown into oncoming traffic on I-79 in Pennsylvania.  We should be protecting our pets by restraining them the same way we would any other member of the family.

There are a great many products available to provided restraint or control while our pets are riding in the car with us and it’s in everyone’s interest that we investigate the options.  Crates, carriers (even crash test proven), harnesses, leashes, barriers, and all kinds of other things meant to protect our pet while in the car, keep them out of our laps, and our attention on the road.

I wish I could issue citations to drivers that allow their dogs to sit in their laps or roam uncontrolled in the cars, but since that’s not possible, maybe this little essay will get people to spread the word about the dangers to both themselves and their pets.  I’ll do my best to make sure my girls come up with a travel solution for their animals since I know my wife and I would be very upset if anything happened to our “Grandpuppys.”

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Practice Makes Proficient

Coaching new casters has provided a great deal of satisfaction for all of us in the fly shop but as anyone could guess, there are days when nothing seems to go right with the student’s casting other than their aptitude for tying the neatest and tightest wind knots humanly possible.  Eventually someone has to ask “How long does it take to become a good caster?” 

I truly believe that skill with a fly rod is one of the most rewarding endeavors I’ve ever taken on and even after nearly 20 years with a fly rod in hand at least a few hours each week, there’s a long way to go to reach the level of skill I hope to ultimately achieve.  I tell everyone that you never stop getting better (given a certain level of dedication) and your stroke is constantly evolving, for better or for worse.  But there is one absolute when it comes to casting that it took quite a while for me to figure out.

Practice Makes Proficient!  Not “Perfect” mind you because perfect doesn’t leave any room for further growth or improvement, and besides, I don’t think anyone is perfect no matter how talented.  Every one of us will occasionally chuck a fly right into the tightest tangle of bushes, just like the number one golfer in the world is bound to shank one into the woods.  The best we can hope for is to avoid doing it on a regular basis.

Practicing off the water or at least with the fish removed from the equation is the only way to gain skill and build the muscle memory needed to be able to put the fly where you want it in more than a random manner.  Accuracy, distance, control, and stroke variety need to be practiced without having to worry about what the fish are doing while the fly is in the water.  Actually fishing instead of practicing is what kept me from excelling quicker as a fly angler and I only wish I had spent more time on grass in combination with time on the water.

In order to get the most out of your casting sessions, focus on specific skills you’ll need or situations you might encounter.  Place particular emphasis on the situations that provide the greatest amount of difficulty like roll casting in cover, reaching back under mangroves or docks, threading the needle between trees, landing the fly within inches of your target, or even reaching out there and touching a distant fish.  Just be sure to focus your efforts on a particular outcome and don’t just throw the fly.

Evaluating ability can take the form of competition if you create some obstacles to cast around or some targets to hit.  Hoola Hoops, traffic cones, Frisbees and other household objects can provide some variety to your time on the lawn as can PVC piping glued together to form interesting casting situations.  Ultimately, there are organized (yet low key) tournaments put together, like the Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Club’s “Big Gun Shootout,” where you can test your abilities to the maximum. The simulated situations they create will eventually occur on the water if you stick with it long enough so putting some pressure on yourself to perform on the grass will give you a sense of  “Déjà vu” when you try to hit the mark on the water.

Skill of any type comes with time and not just from having equipment capable of performing the task, although that is part of the game.  Hit the water with all the weapons ready to go and your time will be better spent.  More fishing will be possible even under less than favorable conditions, and more fish will come to hand in the end.  I promise that your level of satisfaction will continue to increase as does your ability, and pretty soon, newcomers will be saying to their buddies, “I sure hope I can cast like him some day.”

 

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Sometimes Size Does Matter

People say some interesting things when they stop in the fly shop like “They pay you to work here?  I’d do it for free” and “What’s the best fly for carp?”  But one of my personal favorites happens when folks pick up one of the size 20 Zebra Midges and exclaim “What do you catch on these tiny things?”  That inquiry normally comes from bass fisherman who’ve grown accustomed to hooking fish with a mouth large enough to swallow a softball or a small duck, depending on which one its overly large appetite can handle.  It doesn’t seem to occur to some that you don’t need an overly large fly/hook to land some truly gigantic fish.

Flies come in all different sizes depending on a couple different factors including 1) The size of the quarry, 2) the size of the prey you’re imitating.  But you don’t necessarily need to throw gigantic objects to catch gigantic fish since many times going smaller can lead to bigger results.  All you need to do is look at the diet of the predator, the prevalent food items, and then match it to a hook capable of holding onto the fish once you’ve hooked up.  It might have taken a monstrous hook to hold onto a fish weighing over 200 pounds back in the day when hooks were made of weaker, less robust metals, but today with the modern forged and chemically sharpened hook materials, we can go lighter and smaller; leading to smaller and more lifelike and imitative flies.

Just take a look at the two flies in the picture above.  They are the largest and smallest flies currently in my fly collection.  The streamer (tied for near shore shark fishing) is on a forged 7/0 Gamakatsu Inline Octopus Circle.  That hook is more than large enough to grab hold of and remain latched to the sharks I’d chase off Cape Canaveral provided I can get them to eat in the first place, hence the large and colorful material.  You need to get them interested in a pretty substantial meal in order to entice a strike.  The size 14 Wired Caddis on the other hand is meant to imitate as specific size and species of bug that trout would be snacking on regularly, so as a result, the material is lighter and less bulky; and the chosen hook is appropriate for remaining attached after the strike.

Although the 7/0 fly is quite large in the grand scheme of “normal” fly fishing, a size 14 isn’t even considered “small” by trout fishing standards.  Dry flies are routinely tied on hooks as small as size 22, while nymphs and emergers like a WD-40 that imitate midges may be tied as small as size 24 (and possibly smaller).  Now THAT is small indeed.  Tippet size must be decreased down to 7X or even 8X just to thread through the eye, and I don’t even know if I could tie a knot in material that light. Rigs of this diminutive size are obviously meant for small trout, light rods, and highly technical presentations.

What about throwing small flies for big fish?  Tarpon well beyond 100 pound can be caught on flies tied on hooks as light as #1 or 1/0 depending on the material so don’t be afraid of lightening up.  You don’t have much choice but to find a lightweight but strong option when the prey item is small like a Palolo worm in the Florida Keys, or a glass minnow along the east coast beaches.  Scale the hook size up as you approach mullet, pinfish, or herring size imitations, using a model that offers just the right amount of shank length, strength, and weight so as to make an effective fly presentation. 

Fish will eat (or at least “try” to eat) just about anything small enough to fit in their mouths so it’s quite likely that your target’s diet is quite diverse whether you know it or not.  Seasonal favorites provide variety and you need to be ready if you expect to enjoy success year round.  Tie flies in numerous sizes and see what works.   Make sure the lifelike imitations are scaled to match the real thing and use a hook that provides a good platform for fly construction and the strength to land the big one.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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The Reel Florida Boys of Summer

Summer’s truly here and with the coming of the heat, whole bunch of premiere species rise to the top of the heap when it comes to fun and excitement.  Specifically Snook and Tarpon!  Even though they’re available somewhere in Florida year-round, summertime means that those of us in the central part of the state don’t have to travel too far from home to find and catch them.

Snook are one of the most sought after species available to the inshore angler and people travel from around the world to chase something we sometimes take for granted.  I’m sure some folks have changed their attitudes after the winter freezes of 2010 and 2011 when hundreds of thousands of snook died due to the plummeting water temperatures.  I think a lot more people appreciate the fishery we have close to home.

Although they really don’t “migrate” in the traditional sense of the word, snook do move around a bit as the seasons change.  They range from the backcountry creeks to the flats, then passes and beaches, and ultimately returning to the backwaters they call their winter home.  Hitting them along the beach is absolutely one of my favorite fisheries of the year.  And let’s get one thing straight, Florida has a lot of beaches to fish.  True snook anglers prefer the beaches from Cocoa Beach south on the east coast and Honeymoon Island south on the west.  These waters are warm enough to sustain a healthy population and they have deep-water brackish creeks for the snook to find shelter in the winter.  Nothing beats walking along the beach in Sanibel on the lookout for some baitfish or a yellow fin, black lateral line, or conspicuous black eye.

Finding the tarpon can be a pretty easy deal but the catching on the other hand can be quite difficult even for folks that know exactly what they’re doing.  I’m not one of those guys so I count myself lucky each and every time I hook into on land one of the most acrobatic fish in the sea.  Tarpon are near the top of my list of favorites so when they start surfacing you can bet your last dollar that my phone will be busy searching them out.

The big boys start showing up sometime in May as they migrate north along both coasts, hot on the heels of the baitfish schools, and in preparation for the spring spawn.  They may or may not stop for very long so guys have to be prepared to hit the water quickly when the word hits the street.  West coast sandbars are favorites among fly anglers, while bait and artificial anglers do pretty well along the east coast.  The summer fish that we chase though are the little guys that live here year-round in the ditches and canals lining the intercoastal waterway islands and peninsulas.

Those little guys can range from about the size of medium largemouth to a thirty or forty pounds so a wide range of tackle can be used depending on the anticipated size and location.  Five weights through nine weights seem to cover the range well enough so it can be kept pretty simple.  Getting one to eat is the trick though since we all have a tendency to throw flies that are much larger than necessary, but we’re learning to down size accordingly so the success rates are pretty good when folks hit the water on the right day.  Jumping (hooking, catching air, then losing a fish) five or six fish in an afternoon is quite possible, while landing two or three of those is considered a good day.

We all look forward to summer and the fun and increased fishing opportunities it brings, including the tarpon and snook.  It would be great if they stuck around in fishable locations all year but kind of like Christmas, it wouldn’t be special if it happened year round.  We’re quite lucky to have them at all so take care of them and enjoy the sport they provide while the time lasts.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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"Cioppino," Fisherman's stew with an Italian Flavor

Hunters and fishermen have always tried very hard to use the bounties of the field, forest, and waters responsibly and to its fullest rather than waste anything that might be useful as food, clothing, or even tools.  Nowhere is that more obvious than food staples like pot luck stew, gumbo, and a more recent culinary discovery of my wife, Cioppino.

Cioppino itself is a traditional Italian-American dish that originated in the North Beach region of San Francisco, where Italian fishermen, many of whom were from Genoa, Italy, created a type of seafood stew made up of the catch of the day.  Crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and fish are combined with fresh tomatoes and a wine sauce to create an absolutely wonderful dish that’s perfect on a cold day.  Throw in some sourdough bread and you’ve got the quintessential San Francisco meal which everyone with a taste for seafood should try.

My wife and I decided that we just had to sample some when we visited San Francisco because it’s supposed to be one of the signature dishes of the region, as much as Rice-a-Roni, and sourdough bread.  We accomplished two of the three at restaurants right down on the waterfront close to Fisherman’s Warf where you can find just about anything touristy you can think of, along with some spectacular eateries.

We enjoyed our meal while sitting under the mid-day sun on the sidewalk at a restaurant called, you guessed it “Cioppino’s.”  Their namesake dish proved to be as yummy as we were hoping and the atmosphere helped to make our lunch a truly special way to conclude our trip to the west coast.

Being on something of a healthy eating kick has required us to seek out recipes with a lot of fish and shellfish to supplement our pork, chicken, and beef dishes.  Although squid isn’t normally something we eat regularly, it’s one of those seafood items that we really enjoy when done well.  And boy do they do it right!

Vacations are wonderful times to get out there and sample the local flavor so try to break out of your shell (no pun intended) and look for something different on the menus when you stop for dinner.  I don’t know if I have enough guts to go as far as Andrew Zimmern on “Bizarre Foods” but I have become a bit more adventurous over the past 20 years.

So do yourself a favor and step out of your food comfort zone while on vacation.  Seek out local favorites and signature dishes instead of the same old burger and fries.  You might just discover something you can add to your own recipe book.

 

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Hiking Among The Giants

My wife and I have been lucky enough over the past 22 years or so to be able do a little bit of traveling around the country and we keep checking places off the list that one or the other of us has been to that we feel the other should experience.  I’ve traveled a bit more so I tend to say “Been there” more often but she’s quickly catching up and now that we’re empty nesters, we’ve got the freedom to get away every so often.

One place (or thing more properly) that I always felt she should see was the Redwoods in California.  I’d seen them when I was about seven years old and can still remember how awe inspiring it was then.  It proved to be just as wonderful during her first visit as it was for my long anticipated return.  The Coastal Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are absolutely magnificent examples of nature’s splendor when left alone but also a testament to how man can adversely affected the natural world around us.  As gigantic as these trees are, reaching nearly 380 feet tall and almost 1800 years old, just imagine the splendor we’d have been lucky enough to experience if development and expansionism hadn’t led to so many being cut down in the mid 1800’s.  Their rail-straight trunks and hard wood nearly spelled their own demise but we’re lucky to still have a few virgin trees left standing thanks to some forward thinking conservationists.

There are numerous locations around San Francisco where you can view the majestic redwoods in all their splendor and I can’t imagine anyone taking a trip to the area and not making a detour to one or the other.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park is a beautiful retreat that contains landscapes and terrain varying from creek bottom to redwood forests and then to grass covered rolling hills just begging to be climbed.  We experienced breathtaking vistas every time we turned a corner and the sheer number of photographs is proof that I couldn’t put the camera down.  Every critter, tree, flower, and fungus that struck my eye had its picture taken whether it wanted to or not.  Thank goodness we live in the digital age. 

Muir Woods National Park is another location where these wonderful trees can be seen as they would have been when settlers first viewed them.  Just be prepared to either get there early to find a parking place, or walk a mile or so from the satellite parking to the entrance.  Did you know that Muir Woods was the location of a good number of key scenes in a 2011 science fiction movie? “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” visits the forest when Caesar is young then returns when he leads his fellow apes out of human captivity and into the safety of the virgin forest.  They couldn’t have picked a more perfect location to escape to.

We had a wonderful time picnicking with family under the giants and then hiking along the trails that wound through their midst.  It’s almost impossible to fully grasp the scale of these trees and your neck is sure to be sore after leaning back to view their tops stretching into the heavens.  Don’t miss a chance to experience a true wonder of the natural world so do yourself and your children a favor, visit one of these parks and spend a bit of time feeling the majesty around you.  Reflect upon the history these wonderful trees have lived through and you’ll start feeling very, very small in the grand scheme of things.  It sure will put your troubles in perspective.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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My Family Reunion Memories

Family ReunionSummer is here and the Fourth of July is just a few days away.  For those of us here in the south it might be sort of business as usual with barbeques, picnics, and trips to the beach, but when I was growing up in the northeast, we looked forward to the 4th as one of the biggest parties of the year and a chance to catch up with family we hadn’t seen in a long time.

Our yearly family reunion occurred on the weekend of the fourth for as long as I can remember.  Everyone gathered at “The Cottage” on the cliffs overlooking Lake Erie starting relatively early in the morning when my Great Uncle Mark would hold morning mass for family members and special guests.  From that point on, folks would begin to show up in earnest, coming from all corners of the United States to celebrate our independence and family.

Great Uncle Lee (who owned the cottage along with Aunt Edith) was a great jokester, who along with his brother Aaron, played with the kids, scared the women folk with firecrackers, and generally spread good cheer.  Uncle Mark counselled on matters of faith, the heart, and life in general.  All while the women (both young and old) worked the kitchen which was full of goodies including ham, meatballs, pickled eggs (my mother’s purple specialty), brownies, slaw, macaroni salad, Jell-O, and all the fixings for Smith's hotdogs cooked over a perfect campfire burning on the cliff right next to the lake.

When I was a youngster, this gathering was all about playing games with my cousins that were able to make it but all along every one of us wanted to grow up so we could be fellow conspirators with Lee and Aaron as they had people jumping with the reports of firecrackers.  But instead I can remember heated badminton matches with my Great Aunts Alice and Dorothy; thrilling tether ball games with my brother, and Frisbee throwing on a grand scale.  The family softball game was an all-inclusive affair with people of all ages participating in the friendly competition that pitted brother against brother, and husband against wife, but for the life of me I can’t remember anyone actually “winning” a game.

Once the games were concluded, it was time for the half mile trek to the lake for an afternoon swim on the rocky shore.  My wife (who grew up in Pensacola) insisted that it wasn’t a beach because of all the large rocks threatening to stub your toes, but for all the youngsters in attendance, it was heaven on earth, right up until the point when a piece of slimy seaweed brushed up against your leg.  We loved playing in the cool water and would have stayed in it till our ears turned blue if it weren’t for the lure of Cracker Jacks, single-serving ice cream cups, and watermelon back at the cottage.  Things would slow down at this point as folks with long drives ahead of them would begin hitting the road, but most of the older men just found a spot for an afternoon nap in a hammock, sitting  in an lounger, or just on a blanket in the shade.  My own father had a favorite place in one of two hammocks next to the fire and you were sure to find him there after an excellent meal and wonderful conversation.

A family fireworks display served as the moon-lit closing ceremony and we all gasped as Uncle Lee would light the fuses then scurry away from the dangerous pyrotechnics even though they were pipsqueaks compared to the commercial displays.  Regardless of their simplicity, they were awe inspiring to a throng of idolizing youngsters.

We always hit the road wishing the day wouldn’t end, while at the same time we dreamt of hitting a grand slam during next year’s softball game.  I look back on years past and think about the wonderful times, the lovely memories, and the people that made it all possible.  Most of the older generation have passed on along with a surprising and saddening number of their children, and it just occurred to me that I’m now at the age where I should be throwing firecrackers under the women’s chairs.  When did I become the crazy old uncle? 

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country, but it’s also time to celebrate the family and create memories that our children will remember for a lifetime. Remember those treasured members of the family that have passed away over the last year and celebrate their lives and the important part they played in your family history.  Hit the road, visit some relatives you haven’t seen in a while, and open up a box of Cracker Jacks.  You’ll get more out of it than just the prize hidden at the bottom of the box.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Visiting "The Rock"

What do Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Al Capone, and I have in common?  We’ve all spent time on Alcatraz, or “The Rock” as it’s more famously known.  Although only one of us did hard time on the island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, I can at least say that we share some common ground.  Thankfully all but one person in that group were able to come and go as we pleased.

My wife and I finally got a chance to visit San Francisco and many of the landmarks that make it famous as a tourist destination.  We spent time at The Golden Gate Bridge (which I have now driven, walked, and flown over as well as floated under), Fisherman’s Warf, The Presidio, Sonoma Raceway, and Point Reyes, but the federal penitentiary on Alcatraz was awe inspiring as we experienced the measures our society has gone through to house some of the most violent criminals in our nation’s history.  The island’s history goes back well beyond the time of the penitentiary to its time as a military installation, stockade, and ultimately, a prison.  Touring the facility and hearing the audio commentary from former guards and inmates alike really gives you a feeling of what it must have been like locked behind the cell doors, walking along the cell block, “relaxing” in the library, or pulling up a bench in the dining hall.  Privacy was the last thing they could expect on this island, so they got used to being with a bunch of guys in the same situation.

One of the most surprising things you can find on the island today is a beauty beyond what you would expect from a pile of rock, concrete, and iron bars.  The Alcatraz gardens are an amazing example of what can be accomplished by men looking to make the best of a situation beyond their control.  The gardens are maintained today by volunteers who care as much for the plants as did the men who originally planted them, and even though the buildings may be deteriorating, nature is reclaiming the island structures in a glorious way.  Bird life abounds all across the grounds with nesting populations of gull, egrets, and herons taking up residence wherever they can, sometimes in the most hostile and exposed corner imaginable.

I can almost see Machine Gun Kelly, The Bird Man, Scarface, and more spending their days locked up in general population or on “D” Block where inmates are housed when they need time for “Solitary” meditation.  I coaxed my wife into one of the cells but she wouldn’t let me close the door.  Strange.

Cell BlockOne of the tour highlights was visiting the cells of the most famous escapees ever and the basis of “Escape from Alcatraz” with Clint Eastwood.  The ventilation grates are still removed and there’s a mannequin in one of the racks just like there was on the morning of the jailbreak.  Did you know that the escaped men were never seen again?  Did you also know there were multiple other escape attempts when guards and inmates alike perished?  One section of floor in “The Crossroads” still bears the scars from grenades used to prevent an escape by six inmates.

Alcatraz is more than just a bunch of concrete and bars sitting atop on island in the bay.  It’s history both good and bad, so visiting can bring on a mixture of emotions.  Spending the money for a tour money well spent, so think about hopping the boat for a short trip.  Enjoy yourself and be glad that your trip isn’t one-way.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Bonsai and Fly Fishing?

BonsaiWhen I told one of my coworkers about wanting to write about the connection between the hobbies of raising bonsai trees and fly fishing he exclaimed “I don’t get it,” to which I exclaimed, “You’re kidding me, right?”  I thought it was obvious.

Well maybe not obvious, but it becomes much more so once you look at a culture that practices both with devotion and tradition, especially with the increasing popularity of a particular style of fly fishing.  The Japanese people have a long tradition of both fly fishing (a bit of a surprise to some people) and bonsai.  The discipline required to participate in both is similar and the patience you have to possess to enjoy success in either is daunting to some but the rewards can be extremely fulfilling.

Bonsai, the practice of growing miniatures trees in shallow pots, has been a part of Japanese and Chinese culture for hundreds, possibly thousands of years, and practitioners have created some of the most beautiful botanical wonders I’ve ever seen.  Formal upright, slanting, root over rock, broom, cascade, and group are but a few of the styles employed by growers to imitated naturally occurring trees in miniature form, and each one can take your breath away when done expertly.  The art of bonsai has always held a special place in my heart but until recently I never thought I had the ability to practice without killing tree, after tree, after tree.  Thanks to a family friend, some websites, and a few good books, I’ve learned just enough to be dangerous.  There are even bonsai clubs all over the world. Although it’ll take years and years to be considered anything but a novice, the result can be visually stunning and personally satisfying.

Now where does the fly fishing connection come in?  Tenkara of course.  Tenkara is a form of fly fishing originally practiced in Japan wherein the tackle is kept simple and to a minimum so much so that there isn’t a reel involved, just a telescopic rod approaching 14 feet long, a line, leader, and flies.  Even the flies are simple and somewhat rough looking versions of typical patterns.  Basic, uncluttered, and uncomplicated; those are the best words to describe this ancient, but recently revitalized, method of fly fishing.  There’s a time and place to use tenkara equipment just like any other method, so it isn’t for everyone or every location.  Small to medium trout streams are tailor made for this type of fishing so if you’re looking for a simpler way to go….Look into it.

So you see, there’s a definite connection between bonsai and fly fishing.  The Japanese culture has two totally different “hobbies” that can be much more than that.  They can be a way of life.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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What Makes a Fly?

This is a question as old as fly rods and folks sitting around the campfire with adult beverages, but you'd think that after all these years there would be some kind of consensus about what makes a fly, a fly.  Well sorry…nothing could be further from the truth.

I had a gentleman recently explain to me that he was going to throw small, pre-manufactured soft baits on his fly rod for snook in a few weeks, to which the anglers in attendance exclaimed “That’s not fly fishing!”  We all agreed that he had crossed some kind of line that bordered on sacrilegious, or at the very least, in very bad taste when it comes to angling in the spirit of the sport.  Lee Wulff would be spitting mad were he alive today.  Fly fishing isn’t always about catching the most fish possible, but rather about “How” you’re catching fish.  So what makes a fly, a fly?  Here’s the best I can come up with.

A fly might be defined as:

  • A lightweight fishing lure originally designed to be thrown in the traditional manner with a single or double handed fly rod.
  • Constructed by hand by attaching natural or synthetic materials to a single or multiple hooks using thread.
  • Designed to appeal to a fish’s senses of sight, hearing, or touch.
  • Instigates a purposeful strike out of hunger, aggression, or fear.
  • Hooks the fish in the mouth.

I realize that this won’t settle the longtime argument among flyfishermen as to whether or not a wet fly or nymph is actually “a fly,” but it fits the definition as best I can figure.  And many of our European customers look at what we throw for saltwater and can’t help but exclaim, “That’s not a proper fly!” but by definition, it is.  Our flies are designed to meet the above criteria and are specially suited to our fishing needs whether it’s the overall size, colors, weighting, or what it’s meant to imitate.

Now throwing a mass produced soft bait on your fly rod and calling it fly fishing….That aint Cricket!

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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The Party Boat Option

Party Boat RailI know there are plenty of people out there that really enjoy fishing but for one reason or another don’t have access to a boat and are thus limited to fishing from shore and affixed structures like bridges and piers.  Well there are other options that can put some fish in the freezer if you want it or just provide a change of pace and a good time with friends or family.

The party boat fleets set sail from many of the east and west coast ports daily offering an inexpensive way to enjoy the saltwater fishing and possibly put a wonderful meal on the dinner table.  They provide the tackle (similar to the Penn Senetor/Slammer Rod Combo), licenses, bait, some food and drink (boat specific), and the assistance you need to land the big ones.  The deck hands constantly roam the boat lending a hand as needed when it comes to rigging, removing from the hooks and identifying the fish as they come across the rail, and in many cases, fish cleaning services upon reaching shore.  These guys bust their butts trying to make sure that everyone has a successful and safe trip.  The captains know the hottest fishing locations of the region so rest assured that fish will be landed, but keep in mind that it’s still fishing and many factors can determine the difference between success and failure.  Fishing is called fishing, not catching.Brittany and Black Sea Bass

My youngest daughter spent part of her tax refund to get us aboard a local party boat and we I just spent a wonderful Sunday fishing out of Port Canaveral.  She landed the only two fish between us, proving that I should pretty much stick to shallow water and fly rods.  It was a splendid day together talking, sunning, laughing, and playing with the bait, but conditions (full boat and screaming undersea currents) made the fishing tough for us and everyone aboard.  We enjoyed ourselves none the less  and rekindled our love of fishing together.

Give the party boats a try and you may just discover a simple, cost effective way to get some fresh fish; and enjoy the company of loved ones and fellow fishermen.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Fly Fishing Therapy

CastingA friend of the shop came in for some casting help after a long absence and he let me know that he’d been gone so long because he was diagnosed with colon cancer and had been going through the treatment regimen which had left him with little energy or stamina.  He desperately wanted us to know how much he looked forward to getting back on the water and how much he appreciated reading the newsletter each month.  The prospect of fly fishing again kept his spirits up and gave him something to work towards.

I’ve long believed that being in the outdoors by itself can be a manner of therapy for folks that need to get away from things.  Lord knows my dad spent a lot of time in the woods when my brother and I were growing up.  Fly fishing in particular can serve as a type of therapy by releasing your tensions to the wind and water with each cast and presentation, regardless of whether or not a fish is hooked. There are a few organizations out there that introduce fly fishing to folks that need something to take their minds off the troubles they’re experiencing.  Both men and women alike can take advantage of programs that are tailored to their needs and expectations.

Project Healing Waters is for disabled veterans looking for something to help them recover a sense of normalcy as well as providing a low impact physical therapy they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Casting for Recovery has been dedicated to helping women recovering from breast cancer since 1996 and holds no-cost clinics across the nation.

Reel Recovery, started in 2003, is an organization devoted to aiding men diagnosed with all types of cancer through physical and emotional therapy and support.

All of these organizations are supported by various equipment manufacturers who donate a portion of the proceeds on select merchandise to the groups.  They hold clinics throughout the year at an increasing number of locations across the country.  And if you would like to help out, volunteers are welcome and appreciated.

On the lighter side, “Fly Fishing Through The Midlife Crisis” by Howell Raines has been a godsend for me over the years when things look a little bleak and I just needed to put things back in perspective.  So, check out one of these awesome groups or a good book or if you or someone you love needs a helping hand or a different perspective.  Fly fishing can offer more than just a means to provide dinner.  It’s on-the-water therapy that can help in more ways than you can imagine.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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