RIO HOW TO: The Double Haul

Check out this incredibly informative video explaining the double-haul in fly fishing. Fly fishing techniques can be intimidating, but this video really breaks it down and makes it easy!

The Ozark Fly Fisher Journal

From RIO:

In this episode of RIO’s “How To” series, RIO brand manager Simon Gawesworth shows how easy it is to learn the double haul – a highly useful casting skill that will give you more distance, greater line control and more effect in a tough wind. The Double Haul is an essential skill to master for anyone who wants to fish in saltwater.

RIO’s “How To” videos are a series of short films that explain all you need to know to learn a particular way to fish, or cast. Where applicable, each film talks through the gear that you need, shows how to rig the gear, how to read the water, and how to fish that particular technique.

These invaluable lessons for the fly fisher are packed with information and top tips, and each one is bought to you by a RIO employee or a RIO brand ambassador.

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Awash in Microplastics: Great Lakes Studies Raise Questions

A very interesting article about micro plastics. It’s not just microbeads that are the problem for the Great Lakes and their tributaries. A very worthwhile read!

The Outdoor Journal

16807991226_08b707d645_o Schooner Inland Seas sails on  Grand Traverse Bay as students study microplastics in the Great Lakes. Photo courtesy of ISEA.

By Howard Meyerson

When the schooner Inland Seas slips her berth at Suttons Bay on June 24, her captain, crew and passengers will share in a voyage of discovery—a two-hour educational journey under sail to learn about microplastics, an emerging environmental problem that ills the Great Lakes.

The two-year-old program, called “Exploring Microplastics,” is offered by the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA), a nonprofit that teaches Great Lakes science aboard the 61-foot schooner. Its passengers will examine what crew members find while conducting a fine-mesh trawl for plankton. They will learn how tiny plastic particles enter the food chain and a lot more about how microplastics foul Great Lakes waters.

Jeanie Williams, ISEA’s lead scientist and education specialist, says plastic pollution is common in Lake Michigan. She and the ship’s…

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Opening weekend of fishing season

The day so many anglers have waited for is finally almost here! Game fish season opens in Wisconsin tomorrow.  Of course, in the north, where I live, musky season isn’t open yet and smallmouth is catch and release only until June… but it still marks the beginning of what every angler hopes is another successful season. It does not matter if you are on the water in search of dinner, or to bring home tournament winnings. If you love fishing, this weekend is something that gets you excited.

Now, that is not to say that all of us head out on opening weekend.  Quite the contrary. To me, I prefer to let the tourists and the weekend warriors fill the boat ramps (sometimes for up to 20 minutes while they prep their boat, which should have been done long before they moved into the actual launching lane….). This year I don’t have a tournament that I’m prefishing for, so I might just stay off the water on Saturday.  If I were to have prefishing plans, though, I’d launch at first light and attempt to be off the water by 11.  But, for many bodies of water in northern Wisconsin, that can be the best idea anyway.  For the most part, you have the water to yourself with other fishermen when you fish early.  The later in the day it gets… well, I think it goes without saying.

I’d really like to wish everyone a successful weekend, but more than that I hope you all stay safe.  I’ve already seen an ambulance go by three times this evening, and most people aren’t even on the water yet.  If you haven’t towed your boat anywhere since last fall, please check over your wheels, tires and trailer. Sometimes we get so excited to get out fishing finally that we forget the simple things. And, to be honest, a bunch of the people towing a boat to their opening day destination don’t tow anything that often.  If a trailer tire blows, it can cause a huge issue the they aren’t prepared to deal with.  It can happen.  I think many of us have seen it. A lot of these problems can be rectified by doing some basic maintenance before leaving home. It’s not only a good idea, it could save a life.

I also hope everyone stays safe once they get to the water. No one who doesn’t already wear their life jacket all the time wants to hear, “wear your life jacket,” but I’m going to say it anyway.  I want you to be here tomorrow and next week and next year, reading my blog and wondering if I ate lead paint as a child (I think I might have, but you can hardly tell anymore!). Things happen on the water, and they happen quickly. Our best defense is a good offense, as the saying goes.  Wearing a life jacket, especially when water temps are low – most reports I’ve heard are in the 50s – may save your life.  I recently read that it is not hypothermia that kills 75% of the people who fall into cold water.  The biggest killer, they say, is the involuntary gasp reflex when a person hits that cold water.  It’s a reflex, and it’s not something you can prevent.  It just happens.  With that reflex, water enters your lungs.  If you are wearing a life jacket that can hold your head above water, your chances of expelling that water and getting back to safety are much, much better.  I wear an automatic inflatable, pretty much from the time I step on the dock until I have the boat back on the trailer.  I don’t swim, so it’s really important to me. But, even if you see yourself as a strong swimmer, life jackets are still a good idea.  If you should happen to fall out of the boat and hit your head – I won’t finish that.  I’m sure you can fill in the blank.

But, enough about life jackets.  I hope you wear one.  I hope you make everyone in your boat wear one.  Okay, one more thing:  I heard this statistic and I think it’s probably pretty close.  I was told it came from the Fish and Wildlife Service, but I don’t know that to be true.  So, here it is: 90% of fishermen who drown (males) are found with their zipper down.  So, don’t think drowning just happens when you’re running across the lake, hit a big wake wrong and fly out of your boat. Is it true?  Who knows for sure, but it’s a fun fact, so I like to throw it out there.

From what I’m hearing, the weekend should set up pretty well for fishing. We’ve got a pretty good front coming through right now as I write this and the temperature is dropping, but that’s to be expected when the mercury head over 80 in May (Wait.  do they still use mercury?).  The wind has picked up quite a bit from the time I sat down at the keyboard, and I am hearing a bit of thunder.  The radar looks ugly to the north.  From Park Falls through Minocqua and Eagle River are getting a pretty good size thunder storm and it seems to be heading my way.  That could change things up a bit for fishing tomorrow, but I think it will still be a great day.  The walleye are done spawning in many lakes and should even be coming out of their post-spawn funk.  So, if that’s what you’re targeting, I hope you find your dinner.  Make sure to check the signs at the launch ramps for any size and slot limits.

For pan fishermen, you should also be sure to check the signage at the ramp.  There are three new panfish regulations in place that might change the number and kinds of fish you can take. The regulations have changed bag limits on 93 lakes in Wisconsin and are part of a 10-year management plan.  The idea is to see which plan on various types of lakes achieves the goal of more panfish and larger panfish.

The 25/10 rule states that 25 is the daily bag limit of panfish, but an angler may take no more than 10 of any one species.

The Spawning Season 15/5 rule says that only 15 panfish may be taken during the months of May and June, and only 5 of those may be of any one species.

Under the 15/5 rule, only 15 panfish may be kept and only 5 of those may be of any one species.

Obviously, not all lake are affected by these rules. But anglers should make sure they check any signage at the launch ramp, or check with a local bait shop, to see if bag limits on their destination lake have changed.

I wish you all good luck and tight lines this weekend.  And remember – hook sets are free!

 

 

Spring hearings

Everywhere in Wisconsin tonight, in every county, outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen had the chance to voice their opinions. They had the chance to attend a spring hearings meeting to let the DNR know what they thought of any proposed rules and also to vote on some resolutions proposed by their peers.  _DSC0727.JPG

This was the scene in Oneida County.  There were approximately 70 people who stayed for the meeting.  Of course, there was the option to fill out the questionnaire and then leave.  And  few people did that.  I think it’s great that they took the time to come out and voice their opinions. I understand that everyone is super-busy and it’s hard to find the time to go and do these things.

One thing was interesting, and I just thought of it writing this.  There was only one kid in the room tonight, and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone bring their children to the spring hearings in the last several years that I’ve attended. Outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen talk quite a bit about the next generation and what is best for them.  Yet they never bring their children to one of the best events every year, where kids can learn how the rule process works and how they can challenge the status quo in the world of the outdoors.  For kids who are the future of our outdoor sporting heritage, venues such as this give them a chance to think about what is important to them. They have a chance to learn and grow as thinking people. They will see not only their parents’ point of view, but the point of view and ideas of others. From there they can make their own informed decisions, and maybe even do more research, about different things that do and will effect the future of the sports we love.  Why are there no children at these events?  It’s puzzling. That one kid, by the way, is now a youth member of our CDAC, and I applaud him for stepping up. I also applaud his parents for allowing him to get involved in something he cares about and in something where he can make a difference.

Another thing that was sorely lacking – all of the people who have griped about columns I’ve written or articles I’ve penned in the local newspaper over the last six months.  Those people, the same ones who will call me in the months to come, as rules and regulations change, and complain that they don’t like those changes, they were the other element that was missing tonight. I did not see one of them there.  It seems not one of them was really willing to stand up for the things they call me or email me about. I understand it is much easier to sit in the tavern and complain to your buddies about what is wrong and how you could fix the whole system.  But the problem is, if you are given an avenue to comment, and you refuse to take the time to do so, then it truly cannot be that important to you.  So, before I hear from twenty of you when I print the statewide results (once they are available), please remember one thing.  It’s kind of like the election for president (or any other office) – if you didn’t vote, you don’t have the right to ….. gripe ….. about it.  Seriously.  Get out and make some meaningful change, if that is what you think needs to happen.

For all of you who made it to the spring hearings in your county, whether just to fill out your ballot, or if you stayed for the entire meeting, I applaud you.  I thank you, no matter if your opinion matches with mine or not, for taking the time to show you care about the future of the outdoors.  I wish there were more people like you.

It has to open eventually, right?

Ice forming.jpgThis time of year is always tough on “soft water” anglers, I think.  I’m not one to really head out on the ice and go ice fishing, so I am one of those people looking out the window, hoping the sun will come out and warm things up enough to melt the snow and ice and let me get back to fishing.

Today was a really nice day, 50 degrees on the way home from work.  And tomorrow is projected to be nice as well.  I can even deal with a couple of days of rain – that helps, too.  But then comes the weekend with highs in the 30s once again. But it has to go away eventually, right?  Right? Some years it seems like that won’t be the case.

I suppose we really shouldn’t complain too much.  We did have a fairly mild winter.  We didn’t get a lot of snow and it was not too drastically cold for too long.  But spring sure is taking its sweet time getting here!

I do still have plenty to do before I hit the open water.  I’ve got line to spool on reels, treble hooks to change on crankbaits.  It’s just that both of those things are much more enjoyable when I sit in front of the picture window and I’m not looking out on a snow-covered landscape.  That being said, I guess I better get those tasks done before the weekend!

I know some people have been out fishing already in the BFLs, Opens, and Angler’s Choice, and it’s been great to see some people I know finish so well.  And walleye tournaments around the state are getting ready to get started as early as this weekend – stay safe and wear your life jackets! I hope you all have a great year on the water, with even a personal best or two thrown in there for good measure.

We have fishing season and buying season

In Wisconsin winters are long and cold.  That goes without saying.  We expect it and we always know it’s coming.  But we’re still sad when we put our boats away for the winter and think about having to wait it out until April, at least, to get back onto “soft water”.

But at least we have “buying season” to keep us entertained, right?   I don’t know about anyone else, but for me this is a great time to… well, buy stuff.  As soon as the season ends, I’m making lists of what I need to replenish for next year. Terminal tackle, line, soft plastics. There is no doubt I will need all of these things before the next season starts.

Part of this “buying season”, though, is also “Throwing season.” We all have stuff that we thought we would use the crap out of during the season.  As it winds up, we bought four packs each of three different colors, tied one on for three different tournaments, and never even threw it once.  Those plastics are going to sit at the bottom of a bin somewhere on the outside chance that we’ll dig them out and use them again some day… I mean actually use them, not just tie them on and throw them in the bottom of the boat without ever even throwing them.

When it comes to that part of “buying season”, I think we should all look around.  We should see who might really use that stuff that we bought and never threw. Is there a youth group, a high school team, or just a kid you see at the launch ramp all the time who could use that stuff that you’re about to throw into a bin or a closet somewhere and forget about for a few years? I’m guessing there is a better use for those things we all hang on to and will never use.  There is a kid at every launch ramp asking a hundred different questions about fishing. He’ll show you his Zebco 33 or she will tell you about the “one that got away” from that dock just last week.

They are the future of our sport.  And I think it makes sense to feed that passion.  It makes sense to take a few minutes and help him learn how to cast or to show her how to put a worm on her hook.  We all do it.  Most of us take that time.  So, next time, while we are taking the time to talk to those kids, why not take some of our baits we will probably never use anyway. Let’s face it, we have our confidence baits. Those are what we catch our fish on.  But we will still try out other baits.  Maybe that bait will become the confidence bait of a 10-year-old at your local park or launch ramp. Why not pull that stuff out of wherever we have it hidden and make sure we have a pack of baits to throw to a kid when we see them? Not only will it make a great connection between our generation and the next… but it will leave us more room for “buying season”!  But, honestly, if we have it laying around, chances are really good that there is a kid out there that would love to have just a pack or two of baits of his or her own.  And I think we owe it to the future of our sport.  I’m going to go look in my “throw away” bin right now… and I hope you do, too.

KastKing launches awesome new line!

KastKing Launches Tournament Grade 
Monofilament Fishing Line
 
Advanced chemical formula from KastKing® creates dynamic Masters Mono fishing line for anglers who demand the best. 
(For Immediate Release – Garden City, Long Island NY – November  30, 2015) The KastKing® division of Eposeidon, Inc. (www.eposeidon.com) that manufactures fishing reels, rods, and line will offer a new high grade fishing line – KastKing® Masters Monofilament Fishing Line for 2016.
KastKing Masters Mono Introduced for 2016

KastKing® Masters professional tournament grade monofilament fishing line features outstanding smoothness for farther casting distance and more abrasion resistance than standard mono line.  Its unique chemical formula blend results in lower friction through fishing rod line guides. KastKing® Masters Mono has minimum stretch for improved hook-setting and low line memory for better control.  It also has more clarity under water than typical monofilament lines, which is an important factor when targeting line-shy species.

“KastKing® Masters Monofilament Fishing Line is exceptional.  It is a superior mono line product for tournament anglers looking for ultimate performance mono line at an affordable price,” says Tom Gahan marketing director at Eposeidon. “Its quality and features are extraordinary.”

KastKing® worked with chemical engineers from around the world and used new manufacturing methods and equipment developed to produce Masters Mono. “We will also continue to make our current KastKing® mono line, which is good stuff. KastKing® Masters Monofilament Fishing Line is for pros and recreational anglers looking for an edge,” added Gahan.

Crystal Clear KastKing® Masters Monofilament fishing line  comes in attractive packaging and is available on 300 yard/ 274 meter spools in 4 lb. / 1.8 kg., 6 lb. / 2.7 kg., 8 lb. / 3.6 kg., 10 lb. / 4.5 kg., 12 lb. / 5.4 kg., 14 lb. / 6.3 kg., 17 lb. / 7.7 kg., 20 lb. / 9.0 kg. , 25 lb. / 11.3 kg., and 30 lb. / 13.6 kg. test.  MSRP 4 lb. $10.98 USD, 6 lb. $11.98 USD, all other sizes are $12.98 USD.

KastKing® Masters Monofilament fishing line will sell below $10 USD throughwww.eposeidon.com,  http://www.kastking.com , Amazon.com, and other exclusive online retailers

View the KastKing® Masters Monofilament Fishing Line trailer here: