Monthly Archives: March 2008
They appeal to the audience. Apparently.
I haven’t watched a fly fishing show in a long long time. Fly Fishing America used to be pretty good. The saltwater ones are good for about 10 minutes, then you get irritated that they are doing all this in some location that would cost you the price of a year’s tuition in a local university to fish and you zap the screen. Fly Fishing “Adventure” movies and shows are now getting to that point. I like what AEG, Felt Sole Media, etc. have done to an extent, but I am completely disconnected from it. Nobody I know has the means to trot the world doing that stuff so it seems more like scifi than angling.
Then there are the big fish. Which are cool and all, but I kind of get bored just watching people catch big fish. I tend to think there are other folks like me that would rather see really cool locations, not stream locations, but interesting surroundings in vague regions of states that middle class fishermen like me can realistically expect to find. I also want to see native species and some more conservation, science, journalism and ecology thrown in. Trout Unlimited is really pumping up their new show, which in theory has promise to involve those aspects. The host of the show is a guide from Colorado who was one of the anglers on Felt Sole Media’s ‘Running Down The Man’ catching roosterfish in Baja. That alone makes me real skeptical that much quality of those listed attributes will be met. Now that movie is great, but it in essence meets those above mentioned things that I don’t like about new fishing media. The host being a western guide, I also don’t anticipate much seeking of small native salmonids like 5″ westslope cutthroat in an alpine trickle, conchos trout in the Mexican desert or 6″ brookies in West Virginia for that matter. That’s the kind of stuff I’d like to see, but fat chance it’ll get air. Also, on the Itinerant Angler podcast said host mentioned that he was amazed at the work that TU was doing in other places. Personally I’d prefer the host of this new show be someone who is already well informed about TU matters from state to state. An entire season of doing nothing but fishing and talking with the NLC rep from every state TU council would be intensely interesting. The NLC reps could explain what is going in their state and show a bit of fishing for native species in their state. How cool would that be? I’m not going to pass my official judgement though until I see it.
It was bound to happen again. When you carry camera equipment on the stream, sooner or later the stream will bite.
Today I stopped for a quick fish on a small Fayette County stream on the way home from working in Greenbrier County. I didn’t have long, but I wanted to get some more video and while I was suiting up I decided to shoot some more film of some brown trout. I don’t have a whole lot of artistic brown trout shots so I figured “why not”? So I grabbed my SLR, my digital point and shoot, my digital video camera (mounted on a tripod) and my underwater digital camera – yes, that’s 4 cameras.
I set up the tripod, slipped down into the water and on my first cast I nailed a nice 13″ brown trout. This is what it’s all about right? Well, it was such a beautiful fish that I decided right off to let the camera roll and at the same time get the SLR into action and take a few nice macro shots of the great colors on this brown. My stupid SLR does this thing to me every now and then where it absolutely will not allow a photo to be taken in macro mode. I do not know why it does this, but it is the source of much cursing streamside when it happens. I held the fish underwater for a minute while I fought with it (turning the camera on and off several times sometimes cures it, but not this time). I hated to not get a shot of the fish so I decided to try the underwater camera. The fish didn’t cooperate much and slipped out the wrong way while I was working the camera. The only decent shot was out of focus so I did a little editing (see below). Turns out, while I was fooling with the underwater shots my SLR was dangling into the water the whole time without me knowing it. DUMB DUMB DUMB. I rushed it back to the car and took the lens off for drying.
So with that loss, I went ahead upstream and about 10 minutes into filming the second hole I decided to move the video camera location. I set down the tripod and it was a little off kilter, but I figured it’d be fine until I moved it again. DUMB DUMB DUMB. The tripod teetered over and before I could catch it, splash went the camera. Two down.
This is the second video camera I’ve dunked. The first one is still in my posession, but has a permanent lens fog that will not go away and is essentially junk for my purpose of commercial film making. All I can do tonight is beg God to have mercy on me and not junk the second edition. I bought an extended warranty on this camera knowing this was bound to happen. I only hope that it is still in effect and I can get a replacement. Hope to find out tomorrow.
So it seems as though I’m still shooting .000 on catching a carp on the fly. Turns out the “carp” I thought I was catching on the Kanawha on streamers were actually “Buffalo” which are a completely seperate, and native, species. According to WVU research, buffalo are the most prevalant gamefish in the Kanawha River.
My experience with real carp is fairly limited. When I used to work at an environmental laboratory in Spencer my two coworkers and I would leave work at 5:00 and head to Spring Creek, between Reedy and Spencer, to tackle giant carp. Man that was a barrel of monkeys. Of course, we were using spinning rods in those days and normally baited up with corn. One time we were into so many giant carp that when storm clouds so thick they blotted out the sun arrived we decided to keep fishing instead of ducking for cover. That was a mistake. We were creekside when a lightening bolt hit about 50 yards from where we were standing. In order to get back to the car we had to run across a large open hayfield so instead we humped up in the willows along the edge of the creek and got battered with hail.
Those were the glory days for me and carp fishing. Hadn’t gone back after them at all until about 2 years ago when Lee and I decided that catching a giant carp on a flyrod seemed like a happening thing to do. That’s when we recruited the services of my good friend Andy who owns a flats skiff to take us out on the shallows along the Ohio River in search of giant carp. We found them alright, but no matter what we threw at them, we could not elicit a strike. I even tried chumming with real corn and then using a corn fly…that’s how desperate I was. Hey, it is a freaking carp, what ethics?!
On flyfisherman.com there is a messageboard solely dedicated to carp fly angling. We inquired the experts and found that carp will often suck up your fly and spit it out almost instantly once detected. In the depth of water we were fishing there was no way to tell if we had gotten strikes or not. Geez this ain’t gonna be easy. So it is back to the drawing board. I do intend to pull this off this summer, along with catching a gar on the fly.
Took me exactly 2 months to break the formula. I wanted to try to do a highlight video of each month. But since February was so freaking cold I had to grab a few footage shots from early March to complete a 4 minute video worth watching.
On these videos, nothing is scripted or preplanned…at least not normally. Sometimes I have an idea for a shot, but it rarely turns out as expected anyway. The music is also rarely preplanned. This is normally how it goes on these short clips: I use Windows Movie Maker for the short films, I randomly drag and drop clips, add a few effects like speed ups-sharpening/darkening/lightening images-time trails-etc., maybe an occasional interesting transition (none on this one though), then I import about 3 or 4 random mp3’s from a big library of songs and drop each one onto the time frame and listen to it, if it flows okay it sticks. Simple as that. Maybe some adjustments of clips to match certain elements within the song. In the case of this video, I put the underwater shots of gratefulphisher’s 15″ rainbow when the guitar picks up heavyness. Some stuff like that.
There is a short clip of the capitol and one of Jack Williams declining to comment on a certain day’s activity in the legislature – those from WV will understand why I included these otherwise non-flowing clips into this “February Highlight” video. The legislative session is over now thank God. Now we can focus 100% on the business of fishing.
A mixtape of stuff worth plying your ears to en route to the cobbler, barber or gynecologist’s office. Wherever you go, there you are, and you should have some good music to make the trip worthwhile.
Architecture In Helsinke – Heart It Races
Worth at least a dozen listens before you write them off. The band is a collection of brilliant art major geeks best I can tell, but awesome. The artwork on their website is really cool too. On Youtube there is also a version of Heart It Races that they did live in a street that is really cool. Here is the official video…
LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk is Playing at My House
Techno-Indy? Good stuff. North American Scum is also a must on a good ipod selection.
Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent
Just listen. No, watch, what a strange video.
The Blow – True Affection
So NA tells me that the Korkers hiking/wading shoes are pretty good. I think there is an underutilized market for wading boots that hold up well and are functional for long distance hiking. So many places I go require pretty long jaunts. I often wear my hikers and tie the laces of my wading boots together and sling them around my neck or over my shoulder, which gets old.
So I’m in the business of looking for some hybrid wading/hiking boots. Anyone else have any input on this? Comment below.
In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of advertising genious that I won’t get paid for. Of course, it’s my creation therefore lacking corp logos.
I used to be a big fan of Mystery Science Theater 3K…in small doses. After 30 minutes of it I couldn’t handle it anymore, I wigged out. But since it has been so long since I last saw a MST3K episode I got pretty pumped when I heard about the new Cinematic Titanic. Essentially the creator of MST started this and most of the same writers are involved. Anyway, if you’re a fan of MST you might dig this…
The buzzer went off at 5:15 yesterday morning and the sun rose to a 70 degree sunny day. Man, it was awesome weather. I took a day of annual leave (vacation) and drove to God’s Country, USA – (Pocahontas County, WV) – except my trip was not fishing related. I was to meet with a group of constituents from the US Forest Service to discuss a project for Trout Unlimited on a grazing alotment on the head of Mullenax Run. Mullenax and Crooked Fork meet to essentially form Old Field Fork, which is well known because Old Field and Big Spring then meet to form the Elk River which is one of WV’s most famed watersheds as it bilaterally divides the state in two and the Elk has some really interesting characteristics.
The grazing alotment consists of 37 acres and currently the cattle can access the length of the creek there which is causing erosion as well as having some runoff issues. We spent several hours going over plans to fix these problems with fencing, road repairs, hard crossings and a bridge. After we finished, I had very little time to do any fishing before needing to return home. I decided to go against my better judgement and pass on looking for some warmed up brook trout and go to the Elk River below Elk Springs to see if there was anything hatching/rising. I drove to the tressle hole and took a look to discover quite a few midges and a smattering of other insects about, but no fish moving at all. I would imagine that the warm weather causing snowmelt had turned the water quite cold and the fish would not be cooperative. I fished a triple soft hackle rig with a lot of weight by swinging it on the bottom. I did this for about 40 minutes and did not move any fish. Being bored with this I decided to head home. I’m not a big fan of fishing rivers and I’ve yet to ever have a good experience on the Elk in the wintertime.
I wish I’d have spent my alotted hour on a brook trout creek, but my reward for the day was giving back through TU work, not taking. A lot of folks claim they don’t “have time” to help with TU or maybe they have issues with someone within TU. In my mind, Trout Unlimited does more for trout and trout fishing in WV than any other non-profit citizen group in the state and the WV Council does more for trout than many other state councils. I take vacation time if necessary to give back. Pouting over policy differences or personal snits is unacceptable to me. I also have a issues with those who make a living via trout water that don’t do much to give back to the resource like outfitters and guide services that do not get involved. I would like to see TU national produce a pamphlet of national and local businesses that support trout through giving, volunteer time or other impacts. In my case, I would only support those businesses and not the others. I’ve proposed this concept through our NLC rep, but have not heard back on it yet.