Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund

How do you feel about the natural world all around you? Do you take it for granted? Do you not take the time to sniff its pleasant aromas, to touch its perfect body? Without the natural world, we are hollow, with nothing to look forward to but the daily grind and the same bland buildings. Without the natural world, we would have no soul, and there’s no fun or beauty in that. It is our responsibility to protect the natural world by any means necessary, to conserve places like the Colorado River for future generations. How then do we go about this? By urging Congress to take stronger measures – that’s how. That’s what Randy Newberg of the Great Falls Tribune believes.

He writes, “I was almost a year old when Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). A new idea to invest a small royalty revenue from offshore oil and gas leases into land, water and recreation areas for the public. A creative conservation idea that’s not used a single dime of taxpayer money. An obvious need 50 years ago is even more critical today. As America grows its economy and develops its natural resources, rank-and-file Americans are losing traditional access to the great outdoors.”

Newberg’s impassioned plea is inspiring. He understands the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. While it provides a boost to the economy, which is good, but just as important is the need for Americans to have access to the great outdoors. It is our right as human beings, as Americans, and we need to make sure that this land is available for future generations. 

If you love this land, places like the Colorado River, then get in touch with your local congressional representative or state senator and urge them to keep the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund going and going strong. We at Lees Ferry Fly Fishing certainly will! 

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Big Monsters in the Colorado River

There are many heroes in our line of work, whether the fishers waking up in the early morning hours to pluck the waters or the conservationists who work tirelessly to make sure that the beautiful lands of this country are healthy and taken care of, there are plenty of people doing whatever it takes to make sure we can do what we love. Some of these heroes are interested in learning new things about the waters of the world, one such person being Zeb Hogan, and his quest has brought him to the Colorado River. Hogan is famous world over for his fishing expertise.

According to this Wired article about him, “Zeb Hogan was already familiar with the legendary Mekong giant catfish. After all, he’d been studying the beasts, which grow to hundreds and hundreds of pounds, for years. But when a colleague in Thailand phoned him up in 2005 to say that fishermen had hauled a 646-pounder ashore, it seemed…unprecedented. So Hogan, a biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, did some poking around. He found some records that showed that it was not only the biggest Mekong giant catfish, but the biggest recorded freshwater fish ever caught.”

This sent Hogan on a whirlwind tour of freshwater fish. He has become obsessed with finding the biggest freshwater fish the world has to offer, and that has brought him to the Colorado River. He is particularly interested in the Colorado River and it’s little-known giant, the Colorado pikeminnow, and has been on a quest to learn more about it. Are you familiar with the Colorado pikeminnow? What is the largest freshwater fish you’ve come across? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Practice of Fooling the Fish

Fly fishing is essentially the practice of fooling the fish. Fishermen do this in a variety of ways: picking the right spot, the right time, the right season, the right cast, the right reel, and, arguably most importantly, the right lure. Now, store-bought lures are getting better and better. But there’s an art to fly tying that can’t be matched by anything you buy in a store. And it’s tricky. It takes a lot of practice. If you’re tying for the first time we recommend starting with something simple that imitates a bunch of different insects that trout love: the wooly bugger.

If tied correctly, the wooly bugger will attract trout that are after leeches, salamanders, crayfish, tadpoles, or even dragonflies. To do it right, you’ll need a strung marabou black, black chenile, black hackle, black thread, gold beads that’ll fit on the hook, lead wire for your weight, size 6-12 streamer hooks, and head cement or nail polish.

First, place the bead on the straight end of the hook. Then tie on your thread. Use the thread to attach the black marabou, leaving an inch between the tie site and the bead. Then coil the lead wire around the hook between the marabou and the bead. Next, tie the chenile at the marabou site. Start with the thinnest part of the hackle and tie it on the back. tie off along with the chenile to clean it up. Finally, apply the head cement or nail polish over all tied ends.

Play around with colors and angles of marabous. The more wooly buggers you’ve got in your tacklebox, the more you’ve got to play with once you’re out scouting for trout. Fly tying is an art, which means there’s plenty of room for experimentation. Time and experience will give you more confidence in what works and what doesn’t.

For more tips and tricks regarding fly fishing, casting, and tying, keep up with our blog! And for all of your fly fishing needs, contact Lees Ferry Fly Fishing today!

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Many Reasons to Go Fishing

Whether you’ve only gone fishing a few times or it’s something you do as often as you can, you may not be aware of all of the reasons why fishing is great activity. Of course there are the obvious reasons, like doing it to relax and hang out with friends and family members, but there are several additional benefits that come along with fishing. The following are just a few of the reasons why you should go fishing at least a few times a year.

Fishing can actually be a great boost to the economy, mostly because the sale of licenses generates millions of dollars in both state and local taxes. In turn, these tax dollars go on to support the area in a number of ways, including funding new jobs for thousands of Arizonans.   

Of course there are actually several health benefits that come with regular fishing. While the activity itself isn’t overly intensive, simply being outside can help you feel healthier in both your mind and body. In addition, a well prepared fish is one of the healthiest meals you could ever eat, and catching fish yourself in the wild is better than eating something from the grocery store that may have come into contact with chemicals.

Finally, fishing is a great way to contribute to conservation efforts. The sale of fishing licenses contributes to several conservation programs throughout the state, and the money can even benefit education efforts and public land purchases.

It’s easy to overlook these benefits when you’re out on the water enjoying the day, but don’t overlook the importance and benefits of regular fishing.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to Dress for Fly Fishing

With warmer weather conditions rolling in, now is the perfect time to talk about how you can comfortably dress for your next fly fishing trip. While your outfit is ultimately up to you, there are a few things you should take note of before heading out. This is especially true if you plan on fly fishing for most of the day. The last thing you want to be is uncomfortable when you’re trying to enjoy a fun filled day of fly fishing.

Some people are tempted to wear shorts while fly fishing, but that is not always the best option. The sun and insects can be harmful to your legs, so if you choose shorts you’ll want to bring along some sunscreen and repellent. If you choose to wear pants, you can go for a nylon pair that will both cover your legs and keep you cool.

Another common mistake is to wear flip flops on a hot day. Unfortunately, while flip flops may be perfect for the beach, they aren’t quite suited for fly fishing. You’ll likely be standing and walking on wet surfaces, and most flip flops have no traction whatsoever. You also don’t want to have soaked feet the entire day. When it comes to footwear, your best option is to choose some type of wading boots.

For shirts, most button down or t-shirts are fine, but you may want to wear a vest or something with a few more pockets. Being prepared is always a good idea, especially during long fly fishing trips

With the right attire, you can make sure you have a comfortable and successful experience!

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