“The revelation by a former Environmental Protection Agency official that a member of Vice President Dick Cheney's staff altered the politically damaging testimony of an EPA colleague is only the latest evidence of Cheney's influence and power in shaping the nation's environmental policy.”
From the Los Angeles Times: "Dick Cheney battles Laura Bush over protecting Pacific Ocean:"
From the New York Times:
"Dick Cheney’s Last-Gasp Fight Against Clean Air"
Isn't enough enough? A hero? You tell me...
I was surprised to learn from this story in the Honolulu Star Bulletin that between December 26th and 29th Yellowstone National Park experienced more than 250 small earthquakes. Scientists wonder if that's a sign of a big volcanic eruption brewing. Yellowstone sits atop a super volcano that, if it blows, would make Mt. Saint Helens explosion seem like a burp (last time Yellowstone erupted, it apparently spewed 2,500 times the ash of Saint Helens).
Who needs TMZ? For the real gossip skinny on the flyfishing world, just check out this latest juicy tidbit from our good pal Tom Bie at The Drake. I'll leave the commentary to you folks, but not before nominating this video clip for the CF4S Hall of Fame.
I think a lot of flyfishing books and articles overcomplicate things. Most of the best tips I've learned came from guides who have figured out a way to explain something in in 30 seconds or less. As such, I've been working with Charlie Meyers of the Denver Post on a little "tip book" that shoots straight guide insights without the cumbersome, sometimes frustrating, theories.
Here's a taste:
"Flick the Tomato"
The best casting motion involves a gradual, controlled acceleration to an abrupt stop. Imagine it this way: If you have a tomato stuck on the end of a stick, and you want to fling that tomato into a bucket, say, 20 feet away, how do you do it? If you “whip” the stick, you end up covered in ketchup. But if you gradually fling the tomato off the stick, you might get it there. Same deal and same feel with the fly cast.
"Watch Your Thumb"
There have been countless articles and books written to coach people on the best ways to keep that proper casting plane at “10 and 2” on the imaginary clock face, and in my experience, most explanations overcomplicate both symptoms and cures. When you start thinking about too many moving parts during the cast, you get confused and your problems compound.
The best “homespun” tip I ever learned to straighten out the issue of going too far and/or over-cocking your wrist on the backcast came from Dan Stein, a guide on the Bighorn River in Montana. He simply suggests you keep your casting thumb in your peripheral vision at all times. Lose sight of your thumb, and you’re going back too far.
What do you think? We're thinking about producing some of these with video, and putting them on the site (as in "The Cosmic Mend" several weeks ago).
You have any tips I can steal? I'll give you credit...
It's the most wonderful time of the year alright... and that means we get bombarded every time we turn on the television with the gifts that keep on giving... holiday commercials! (Hey, at least they are better than political ads!) If you really want a fix on the state of our nation, take a while and notice those ads. Ah... the best gift ever, from Lexus. Oh... "He Went to Jared..." How sweet.
Wal-Mart has the most ads of all, and different ones too!! My favorite of all is the family bouncing around the living room to Pat Benatar music (that, right there, should be enough to turn you off) after mom went to Wal-Mart, and bought the "Guitar Hero" video game extra cheap (rated T for "teen," though all the kids bouncing in the commercial are in footie pajamas). Because mom got that video game, bless her soul... "their family is always together!" How wonderful!
If that's not a sign of the impending apocalypse, I don't know what is.
Here's a commercial: Go to a fly shop for your last minute shopping. You don't have to spend a ton. Buy some socks. Or a book. Or a half dozen flies. Or a baseball cap. Or some lip balm. Of course, if you want to get something to inspire family togetherness that doesn't involve eating Cheetos and playing video games... like, oh, say getting a kid a fly rod... that's up to you. But go to a family business. Go to a place where the people care about flyfishing. And then buy at least one little thing, if for no other reason than to show those folks you care. Because I can tell you that they need us now, more than ever.
I promise it will put you in the holiday spirit much more than any television ad will.
Is Sue B. E-mail me at email@example.com. You can bring Glenn, of course, and we'll just figure out a good time to go float that gorge. I'll see if I can talk Timmy into it... we'll make a story/adventure out of it. I'm thinking late summer, after the stonefly craziness, when we can catch some big ones the old-fashioned way.
Wags... you were right there... we're also going fishing somewhere, sometime next season. Hit me up and we'll plan it.
Truth is, there were many great responses, and I deeply appreciate all of them. Stay tuned for other such posts... I'd like to fish with all of you!
Shhh. Don't tell anyone, but I already got my Christmas gift... by way of this unintentionally-noticed "gift list," drawn up by my eight-year-old son, Paul (see below). Looks like Grandma Sallie is going to get a she (sea) shell, or a book. Great (meaning great-grandma), is in for a book or an ornament. And down there at the bottom... old dad is going to either get a new truck to replace his old one, a fishing pole, or Paul's school picture. For the record, Mom is on the other side of the list. He's thinking "parfum," a sweater, or a tree ornament. (He has exactly $8 in his wallet.)
As for me, I'm hoping for the picture. Funny, I have a (toy) truck and a fishing rod on my list for him... but don't tell!
I guess it's never too early to get into the holiday spirit. Here's wishing you, and all of yours, a very healthy, happy holiday season...
Okay... I'll assume it's a given that you all are religious readers of Field & Stream magazine. I know... you love the insightful, detailed, sometimes lyrical, stories on flyfishing that you find there...
But what I'm wondering is, what else do you read? Other magazines? Websites? Other blogs?
And do you turn to certain media for specific reasons? I, for one, like to read The Drake. I check out Midcurrent every day. I'm a fan of Fly Rod & Reel and some others. I read some for the tips. Others for the stories/writers.
Ultimately, however, I think there's an awful lot of clutter out there, relative to flyfishing. Maybe too much. Maybe I'm wrong. What do you think?
(Sure, this is blatant self-serving market research, but I am legitimately interested.)
Are you concerned whether you'll be on Santa's good list or bad list this year? Here's a little guide that will help you forecast whether you'll get that tender new 3-weight, or a lump of coal:
Excessive streamer fishing, even in clear water... naughty. Dry fly fishing... nice. Nymph fishing only... stupid.
San Juan shuffling. Very naughty. Seining a river, and telling others what you see... nice.
"Yielding" to your buddy a run "where you caught some fish last time," then going to the run where the fish really are, while buddy is parked out of harm's way for an hour or two... pretty naughty. Leaving your marooned friend with a bottle of water and an energy bar... nice.
Guides: putting a loudmouth know-it-all in a run, and asking that person to cast up-wind into a 30 mph breeze with a double weighted nymph rig (humility training 101)... naughty. Putting the Mrs. on all the big fish... nice.
Cigarette butts in the river... very, very naughty (shame on you). Picking up stuff you didn't leave on the bank... nice.
Engaging in a Fly Talk blog conversation... nice. Making said conversation revolve around "corn"... naughty.
Loaning your buddy a pair of waders... nice; knowing that they leak... naughty. Suggesting to your attractive female friend that "wet wading is the way to go" even though the air temp is 56-degrees, and it's runoff... both naughty and nice.
Secret spots, secret flies, and secret tricks... all naughty. Taking a kid flyfishing and sharing all those secrets... very, very nice. So much so, that I think this one trumps all the other naughty things you do over the course of a fishing season, and guarantees your spot on the good list.
At least I'm hoping it does...