Yearly Archives: 2010

38 posts

A Man Without a Hobby is a Much to be Pitied Individual

Illustration from Outing, vol. 14
Illustration from Outing, vol. 14

It’s fun to skim through these old books and read how familiar some of this sounds even today. In Outing, Volume 14, which is a collection of essays written in 1889, the pieces cover all kinds of outdoor pastimes. The fishing section of the book starts with a chapter titled, “The Pleasures of Fly Fishing,” by W. Holberton:

“It is generally admitted that every man should have a good, healthy hobby, and if he can ride it out of doors, among the grand old forests or along the sparkling trout streams, so much the better for him. A man without a hobby is a much-to-be-pitied individual.”

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Fly Fishing Gear Made in the USA

Lamson Reel
Lamson made in the USA and living the good life, N. Fork Thornton River, Shenandoah National Park

Many people describe the slide in prosperity in the United States as a result of our eroding manufacturing base and “exporting” our industrial production overseas. Maybe. Now that our holiday shopping for everyone else is finished, maybe we can learn something from the domestic fly fishing industry and help our economy as we shop for new gear…

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Happy Holidays aka No Brook Trout Fishing for Months!

Fly Fishing Christmas Tree
The new bass fly?

The holiday season is here. It’s the time of year we celebrate pleasant moments with loved ones. We eat. We sing. It’s a fine time. No need to elaborate on all that good stuff. But let’s also consider what we’re stuck with. It’s winter. Cold weather. Crowded roads. The burden of holiday shopping. It’s enough to make some of us convince ourselves that cold weather fishing is fine, and to make me write something to jolt myself out of the pre-holiday funk.

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Build a Portable Fly Tying Bench to Drive the Winter Blues Away
DIY Portable Fly Tying Bench at

Great idea for a building a portable fly tying bench at The Naturalist’s Angle blog. A relatively easy DIY project if you have some basic tools including a power miter saw, a drill and a hammer, and some nails and glue. Great idea for those of us who want to plunk down in various spots around the house to tie flies without making a semi-permanent disaster zone for our family to growl about. As he mentions, he got the idea from the Global Fly Fisher’s article about building a fly tying bench.

If you can’t do it yourself, Oasis Benches sells their own line of fly tying benches as well as other accessories. Great Christmas gift idea.

Winterizing Your Fly Fishing Gear

Zane Grey Tackle
Take care of all that gear this winter

It’s that sad time of the year for a lot of people. Winter. Darkness and cold. Ice and (ack) holiday shopping. Time to go through all your stuff, treat it and put it away for the long winter. Even if you’re going to keep fishing, you’ll likely be doing it a little less and maybe not using every piece of gear like you might during the three better seasons. So here are some tips collected to make sure you didn’t forget all the stuff sitting in your closet. Or the trunk of your car. Or in your friend’s garage.

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Bamboo Rod Builder Jeff Hatton on Cork and Old Fishing Rods

I saw this link to a video of bamboo rod builder and historian Jeff Hatton on the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog. Some interesting stuff. Jeff says the introduction of cork handles in the past century is the worst thing rod builders have ever done since it reduces the feel of the rod, and since so much about fishing is feel, from casting to detecting strikes he regards this as a setback in rod design. He builds what look like beautiful and I’m sure expensive pieces using a large diameter wood handle, which he says results in a fast action bamboo rod. Gets me thinking about all the choices we have in rods and how something like this would work for catching brookies on small streams. Even more fascinating are some of the old rods he has in his collection. A ten minute video, well worth watching.

Mark Madoff, Abel Reels Co-Owner, Dead by Suicide

Mark Madoff, son of convicted megaswindler Bernie Madoff, was found dead in an apparent suicide in his SoHo apartment in New York City yesterday morning. Madoff, along with his younger brother Andrew, led the group that took ownership of Abel Reels in November, 2007. Madoff was an avid fly fisherman and, tragically, steeped in the mess of his father’s scandal. Another extremely sad chapter in this whole Madoff story.