olive fly fishing books

Redington and Trout Unlimited team up for conservation

Anyone who has been fly fishing for a length of time understands that fishing and convservation go hand-in-hand. In fact, if one cares about the very fish that are ultimately the goal of going fishing, then that same person knows that preserving the resource is paramount to the future of angling. In other words, if we want to have something to cast a fly to, we must all be conservation-minded in our pursuit of those fish.

 

It’s no secret that, here at Olive the Woolly Bugger, we like Redington and Trout Unlimited.

Redington and Trout Unlimited have teamed up on Facebook to get new anglers more aware of conservation efforts through a Facebook application:

Enter to win Redington gear!
Trout Unlimited and Redington are teaming up to test your fly-fishing knowledge. 10 Lucky Winners per day and one Grand Prize winner!
Click here for complete terms and conditions.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Redington and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for this promotion.

If you’re inclined toward the Facebook thing, give this contest a look.  You may learn a few new things and win some great Redington gear.

Help Olive, help kids, and help fish via Greenfish Gear!

If you look to the right sidebar you’ll see a graphic that proudly states that I am a Greenfish Ambassador. What that signifies is that I like what Greenfish stands for, and because of my involvement as an author in the fly fishing community, I’ve been granted status as an Ambassador. In that capacity I am not obligated to do anything, but I do stand by the Greenfish mission to support sustainable fisheries. It’s a good deal. They’re a company promoting not only their brand, but conservation.

Greenfish donates 5% of every sale to a conservation group of your designation. From the Greenfish website:

GreenFish partners with various companies and organizations that we support financially as well as philosophically. Through the “GreenFish Gives” program, each time you buy a product from us you can select one of our partner organizations where you would like 5% of your purchase to be donated. GreenFish then makes a quarterly donation to each of these groups who support our mission based on your purchases. All GreenFish partners share common values: to encourage sustainable fishing as a means of protecting fisheries and the environment while also promoting the sport of recreational fishing.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. Because of my status as a Greenfish Ambassador, I can offer you an opportunity to purchase Greenfish gear at a 20% discount by simply using this discount code when you place your order: 00145CW.

Yes, there is a benefit to me.

I get 10% of sales that are made using my discount code. However, and this is the key–I am not pocketing that 10%.

Through sales of my Olive books I support Casting 4 A Cure and am participating in their fundraiser in Victor, Idaho in August. Casting 4 A Cure, if you are not aware, is an organization that uses two annual fly fishing events to raise funding for research to find a cure for Rett Syndrome, which is a cruel neurological disorder affecting mostly young girls. A buddy of mine is joining me on this trip and I am trying to raise $4000 for our entry fees.

So when you place a Greenfish order, you’re contributing to conservation, getting a 20% discount on some sweet swag, kicking 10% my way, which in turn goes directly to Casting 4 a Cure. Pretty cool, eh?

This promotion expires September 1, 2011- but please don’t wait because I need to raise the money for Casting 4 A Cure by the end of June.

Please repost this – pass the discount code around to others who you think might be interested, and thanks for your help and support. Here is the code once again: 00145CW. Click on over to Greenfish and check out their cool stuff, please.

Kirk

 

Exciting news that I can’t talk about


Have you ever been really excited about something? You know, something really exciting? But you’re sworn to secrecy and you can’t say anything to anyone about it yet?

Kinda like when you’re out fishing by yourself and you land that epic fish, and you even have a photo of it, but you can’t tell anyone about the fish or even show them the photo?

Most people wouldn’t even believe you without proof. Anglers are notorious liars, so the doubt is understandable.

Well, you’re just going to have to take my word for it: something pretty cool is brewing for Olive the woolly bugger.

Believe me, when the time is right you’ll be the first to hear about it.

A fishing memory lasts a lifetime

Thanks to a writing prompt over at the Outdoor Blogger Network I decided to dredge up some recollections of a very fond fly fishing experience I had as a kid. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I was first introduced to fly fishing by Lloyd Lewis, a friend and co-worker of my dad, but I’m thinking it had to have been around the age of 10 or 11.

Lloyd was a fanatical fly fisherman who enjoyed visiting my family cabin on the shores of Hood Canal, where the sea run cutthroat fishing used to be quite excellent.  My dad recalls a time when he and Lloyd were trolling an incoming tide: my dad dragging some sort of lure behind his spinning setup;  Lloyd casting and stripping probably some sort of saltwater baitfish pattern. My dad still talks about the monster cutt that Lloyd landed on that trip. While fishermen always tend to exaggerate, and as time passes the size of the fish has likely grown considerably, my dad maintains that it was a 20 inch fish that ran far and jumped several times before Lloyd finally landed it. The fish was released, I am sure, and I’m not saying my dad is a liar, but without photographic proof I’ll never know how big that fish really was.  I wasn’t on the boat that day.

But back to the point of this entry, which is not the second hand memory of a great cutthroat trout caught by Lloyd Lewis. The reason for mentioning Lloyd is simply to thank him for introducing me to fly fishing as a kid. So grateful am I to Lloyd that I dedicated the second Olive book, Olive and The Big Stream, to him.  He is ultimately responsible not only for my current fly fishing passion, but also for a particular fond memory I had while fishing one evening in British Columbia back country.

I was fortunate to be involved in a Boy Scout troop (#668 of the Chief Seattle Council, by the way) that had the support and involvement of many great leaders: dads and even some dad-aged men whose boys were no longer active in the troop. Thanks to these dedicated men, my troop took regular weekend backpacking trips in the Cascade mountains of western Washington.  Once a year, each summer, these same leaders would organize 2 week-long “50 Milers” which never ended up being only 5o miles (more like 60-70+ miles). We did one of these trips in the Yellowstone back country, and another in the North Cascades along the Pacific Crest Trail (with a few days spent on a particularly cruel path aptly named the Three Fools Trail). I recall both trips fondly (and with a bit of painful resentment), but it was a trip to Bowron Lake Provincial Park that left an indelible mark on my fly fishing memory. The trip took place in August of 1976, when I was 13 years old.

Bowron Lake Provincial Park is a chain of lakes that forms a circuit totaling 72 miles by canoe.  The lakes are not quite completely connected by water: between the six major lakes of the chain are overland portages of various lengths.  I seem to recall a couple of these portages as being quite easy and short, while a few of them were a bit longer and not quite so easy. Part of our preparation for the trip was to select a canoe partner with whom we would spend a great deal of time with during the entire 10 or so days. A wise scout would choose a partner who was much bigger and stronger than they were, and in my wisdom I chose my friend, Mark Aldape, as my paddling buddy.

Me and my friend Mark Aldape (right) at the entrance to Bowron Lake Provincial Park, 1976.

Each canoe partner was responsible for building their own “yoke” which would be used to help carry 50% of the canoe across land, on their shoulders. After constructing the yokes, which were comprised of a plywood frame with thick foam attached using copious amounts of duct tape, each team had to qualify for the trip by carrying the canoe on their shoulders, for a distance of two miles (if my memory serves correct). This test was performed on the track at the local junior high school, and I must have completed the test successfully because I was a passenger in the caravan of vehicles that departed Seattle for the 550 mile drive north.

There is an awful lot about this trip I don’t recall specifically, though a few events still linger in the forefront of my memory:

Smooth Sailing?

A particularly long day on one of the big lakes found us paddling in a very strong wind. Due to canoes heavily laden with camping gear, we had to stay close to the shorelines in the event of a swamping, which luckily didn’t occur. The wind was at our backs, which was preferable to a headwind, but paddling was still an arduous task. The air continued to move with force well into the evening after we’d reached camp, and four of us decided to rope our two canoes together to form a catamaran of sorts, erecting a tent rain-fly as a makeshift spinnaker. Our hopes were that the brutal wind would continue the next day and we could sail effortlessly toward the next destination, laughing at the naysayers as we glided past them. Of course the wind died down and never picked up again, and rowing two canoes lashed together proved to be much more difficult than two separate canoes.

Hypothermia sets in.

Another memorable event took place on the evening when one of our scout leaders, Mr. Pete Baird, himself a savvy outdoorsmen and a fly fisherman, went for a swim and remained a bit too long in the cold lake water.  By the time he emerged, he was suffering from the effects of moderate hypothermia, and admitted as much.  He had the uncontrollable shivers and his motor skills were slightly affected. Fortunately he was in good company (the Scout Motto is “Be Prepared”), and we wrapped him in a sleeping bag, seated him close by a fire and plied him with a warm beverage.  His core temperature rose and he was none the worse for the wear after that. But a lesson was learned.

Disaster avoided.

The other standout memory is the day when we knowingly would have to navigate a section of a river with strong current and a sharp dogleg bend. Maneuvering this corner was causing some anxiety amongst the leaders, and the troop sent canoes through one by one. Each canoe pulled over safely to the bank as we awaited for the final pair of paddlers to launch their descent into the chute.  As fate would have it, this final boat failed to execute the bend in the river and swamped as the canoe got sideways in the current. Luckily again, the Boy Scouts were prepared and quickly extracted the canoe, the gear, and the paddlers safely from the river. Had there not been a rescue contingent on hand, the results might have been disastrous.

The Royal Coachman reigns King.

Of the entire trip, one event left me with the fondest memory: the evening we made camp along the shore where a small river spilled into the lake. After setting up camp, preparing dinner and cleaning up after the meal, the sun began to fade and in doing so made for a beautiful evening. The surface of the lake resembled a mill pond and the riseforms of dozens of fish could be seen a few yards off shore, where the stream dumped it’s waters into the lake.  I grabbed my Eddie Bauer 7-1/2 foot fiberglass rod (a gift from Lloyd Lewis), attached my Cortland Crown click and pawl reel spooled with floating line and set out in the canoe. Floating within 25 years of the shoreline, I fondly recall catching fish after fish on a Royal Coachman. The fish were small Kokanee (land-locked Sockeye salmon) that were probably no larger than 10-12 inches.  It didn’t matter the size, and I don’t recall specifically how many I caught and released (probably far fewer than my memory serves). I do remember that I fished until it was too dark to see, and it was the bigger picture that left an impression on me and instilled the understanding that there’s more to fishing than catching fish.

Introduce a kid to fishing. You never know the impact it may have on them throughout their lives.