Monthly Archives: June 2011

10 posts

Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation

Gas Drilling Rig

Just received an email from Trout Unlimited mentioning a group I was not familiar with, the Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation. They have a video about the concerns associated with gas drilling in Pennsylvania and you can also listen to a recent podcast about the Sportsmen Alliance with Chris Wood, TU’s CEO, and Katy Dunlap, Director of the TU’s Eastern Water Project.

I think their focus is well-stated:

“The Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation (Sportsmen Alliance) is a coalition of sportsmen and women working together to identify and propose solutions to mitigate the impacts caused by gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale on hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor sporting activities. The coalition is not opposed to gas drilling and recognizes the potential economic and social benefits. Rather, the Sportsmen Alliance is concerned that the current state and local policies governing gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale do not adequately protect valuable and irreplaceable natural resources, including clean water and critical habitat for fish and wildlife.”

You can also read more about the Sportsmen Alliance in an article from the Wall Street Journal. Some troubling things the group has found include the following:

“Already, preliminary water testing by sportsmen is showing consistently high levels of bromides and total dissolved solids in some streams near fracking operations, Dufalla said. Bromide is a salt that reacts with the chlorine disinfectants used by drinking water systems and creates trihalomethanes.”

Keeping on top of how energy companies extract natural gas is critical. There is no good way to clean up contaminated ground water and we certainly want to avoid contaminating streams and drinking water supplies near these drilling operations. I’ve written about the dangers of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region quite a bit previously. The threat to brook trout streams is real.

Brook Trout Resources Page Updated

I added some more info about Pennsylvania brook trout fishing spots in northeastern PA including Lackawanna State Forest, and also a new section for New Jersey brook trout resources. I will visit some of the areas mentioned this summer, notably the places I’ve marked, “Might have some brook trout.” Gotta find out.

If there is any info you have that may be useful just contact me and I’ll consider adding it to the resources page.

Fontinalis Rising: Sixteen Inch Brook Trout

Sixteen Inch Brook Trout
Fontanalis Rising - A biggie.

I think he lives in Michigan, but almost no matter where you go a sixteen inch brook trout is worth a dance. He did note:

If you’re new to fishing or haven’t fished for brook trout, a 16 inch brook trout is a big deal.  It may not sound big, but the average brookie, especially in small streams, is about 6-8 inches.  Ten is a nice fish, 12″ is big, 14″ rare and makes your season- 16 inches, in a small stream?  Lifetime.  It’s roughly equivalent to a 24 inch brown.  There’s bigger fish out there, but not many, and there’s only a handful of areas, usually remote, such as Labrador, northern Quebec and Ontario that regularly produce fish bigger than that.  Thus my excitement.

Maryland Trout Stocking Schedule June 3 2011

Bonus stocking of 500 brown trout on Owens Creek in the catch and release section on June 1st. That’s about it.

Bonus troubling news, in case you hadn’t read this, is that whirling disease was found in 8,000 rainbow trout stocked in western Maryland streams. Maryland has a real campaign to prevent the spread of invasive species and whirling disease, which includes a ban on felt soled wading boots and the maintenance of cleaning stations for waders and boots at many streams throughout the state. Heed their advice and be responsible.

Nice compendium of stocked Maryland streams on the map below…


View MD Frederick Co Trout Management Areas in a larger map

Virginia Trout Stocking Schedule June 3 2011

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Uh oh. It’s that time of year. Summer approaches, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries trout stocking program tapers off until the Fall. It’s light this week for sure.

Meanwhile, in the mountains the brook trout are hitting dry flies to the maximum extent. Go there now. Have a great weekend!


Craig Co.
Potts Creek (05/28)
Scott Co.
Bark Camp Lake (05/28)
Washington Co.
Whitetop Laurel (Upper) (05/31)
Whitetop Laurel (Lower) (05/31)
Tennessee Laurel (05/31)

Orvis News: Monster Brook Trout, Labrador Canada

Six pound Labrador Brook Trout
Six pound Labrador Brook Trout!

Orvis News has the first part of an article about fly fishing for monster brook trout on Atikonak Lake in Labrador. Writes the author, Erik Rickstad, “[S]ince I hail from the Land of the 10-Inch Trophy Squaretail (aka Vermont) I’m not yet acclimated to the absurdity of the place,” and goes on to describe brook trout that need two hands to hold. Like a normal sized fish, I guess. We’ve covered all that before. I think it was John Gierach who wrote that the objective may not be the size of the fish you catch but the smallest sized fish you’re happy to catch. Certainly true for those of us who love catching brookies.

You cannot call this fish a “brookie,” though. Too cutesy for a brute like that.

Atikonak Lake is right about here:

View Larger Map


Non-Slip Mono Loop Knot

Non-Slip Mono Loop Knot

MidCurrent has a good video of how to tie the non-slip mono loop knot. A little more involved than a simple clinch knot, this is another knot I have not tried. Looks like it would be good for streamers and, as mentioned in the video, nymphs. Lifelike action and strong.

I wonder how this compares to the Duncan loop, the other loop that I am familiar with but rarely use. I am a clinch knot man (improved clinch knot really) and that serves me well for almost everything. But I can’t help thinking I’m missing some fish by not using a knot that can make a fly work with a little more life in some circumstances.

Along with the Davy knot, I now have two new knots to play around with this month.

The Davy Knot


Davy Knot

A new knot for me to try, the Davy knot. The claim is that it is not only very simple and quick to tie but is among the best knots for breaking strength and wastes very little tippet.

We all get habitual about our knots. You learn two or three knots well and those are the ones you use forever. I’ve tried to learn new knots regularly, but usually they are more complicated than the ones I already know (the improved clinch knot, blood knot, nail and needle knots, surgeon’s loop and perfection loop are my go-to knots) and are usually for more specialized situations. But the Davy knot is worth a good look. I’m certainly willing to try it on small dry flies for brook trout. If I get some confidence with it then the next step is to try it on flies for larger fish on which I’m much warier conducting experiments.