Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Tongass: America's Salmon Forest

Here in Texas, we worry about oil spills and red tides harming our Coastal waters. The close encounter of an Alligator as it tries to figure out what you are, since the kayak you're floating in is the same size and shape that it is. A flash flood while on the river, or stepping over a poisonous snake as you make that last step into the water to start your wade.

When you are not a  seasoned fly fisherman like myself, you tend to do a lot of web searching for articles to assist you and often come across items that you can assist with. Last year through Trout Unlimited I learned about the effort to try and stop Pebble Mines in Bristol Bay. Now I come across an effort to stop the initiatives to privatize large areas of land on the Tongass in Alaska for development with proposals for Hydroelectric dams and mining.
Trout Unlimited  collaborated with scientists, fisherman, land managers and others to develop a strategy called Tongass 77 to protect the valued Salmon and Trout watersheds. With the help of sportsman they are urging Congress to enact Tongass 77 legislation to ensure that this area remains America's Salmon forest for generations.
Whenever I read an article or watch a video about Alaska I'm in awe of the beauty that this state has to offer. When you think about this area a few things that come to mind are cold weather, awesome fishery, and bears. I had no idea that there was even a Rainforest there, much less one that covers around 17 million acres. With it's over 40,000 miles of streams and 20,000 lakes and ponds, you can see why this would be a worthwhile cause.

Photo Credit: Ian Majszak

After researching this area I now understand why this area needs to be protected. Not just to protect a fishery, but to protect the living of all of the people that need the resources that it provides. Although I am lucky enough to live in an area that has Rainbow trout it would still be an unreal feeling to fish a place like this and absorb its beauty.
While I am only one voice, it would be nice to see others take an interest in the need to protect America's Salmon Forest.

This is my submission to the Trout Unlimited 2013 Blogger Tour sponsored by Fishpond, Tenkara USA and RIO, and hosted by the Outdoor Blogger Network.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Red Quest

Determined to catch Redfish on a fly rod this year. I set out to meet three friends along the Texas coast for a weekend of fishing. A cold front had passed through the area on Thursday and had the water a little off color from the rain and high winds.

We arrived Saturday and unloaded gear then prepped for an afternoon launch. Launching the kayaks we were met with strong winds and low waters.

Using the afternoon to explore and fish, we came across some reds in the low water but they were spooked. Seeing one cruising to my right, I laid a cast with a shrimp clouser in front of it's path and patiently waited as it approached. When it came close to the fly I made a short hop and started stripping it in only to have the red boil on it but missed hooking up. This would be the best chance that I had for the rest of the day due to the setting sun.

After a night of good food and laughs, we woke up to a wicked wind and decided to wait awhile before hitting the launch.

The wind finally died down (some) so we headed out to continue the search. The water was still low so we made the most of it by catching some small crabs and rigging them up and testing out the channel. This proved to provide some action as we managed to bring in a few fish.

I took my SUPerFISHal out the next morning and paddled the flats searching for reds. Saw a few but no takers but I did run across quite a few rays which put a reminder to slide my feet when wading.

Always a great time hanging out with friends, no matter what the fishing is like. I will catch a redfish on the fly soon.