I took my kids to the Wasatch Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo over the weekend and we had a great time. I had a good time wandering and watching the guys doing fly tying demos and checking out a few of the booths. The kids really enjoyed catching bugs from the Stonefly Society entomology trays. They had some massive stoneflies that came from a local creek. It is cool to see them as they aren’t common around these parts. We also had fun at the kids fly tying desk. The kids both tied some mean looking wooly buggers and as a result were entered into a kids only drawing for a Cabela’s fly fishing outfit. Unfortunately, we didn’t win that one, but I did manage to pick up a killer wet/dry bag for my waders in the silent ticket auction, so I was happy about that. The best part of it all was connecting with old friends from my days hanging out in the fly shop, some of whom I haven’t seen for probably 25 years. It was a great time. Looking forward to next year already.
I have an opportunity next week to go float the Green River with some friends and I couldn’t be more stoked. These recent posts about the Green have had me thinking and then out of the blue some old friends emailed to invite me to fish with them. I have started tying bugs including some foamergers and compar-a-mergers and am hoping to get a few chubby muffins in the box. I should be set to go there. Should be a great trip!
If you need something to do this weekend and you are in Salt Lake City, be sure to stop by the Wasatch Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo (March 27) at the Karen Gail Miller Conference Center at Salt Lake Community College in Sandy.
There will be plenty of demonstrations and exhibits to see. You can pick up tips from local fly tiers and fly fishermen. Be sure to check it out. For more information, click here.
The National Parks Service has just announced that admission to all national parks in the US is free during National Park Week. What a great time to take a quick trip to your closest park and enjoy. Spring is a great time in the parks. Yellowstone is particularly fun as the elk and bison are calving at that time and the animals are very active. It is also a great time to see bears as the search for food to make up for months of hibernation. Start making your plans. http://www.nps.gov/npweek/
Yesterday at lunch I stepped outside to hear a chorus of cedar waxwings nearby. I glanced around for them and they were congregated in my neighbors rain gutter getting a drink as best I could tell. They hung out for a while so I snapped some photos and the video below. I guess there were about 12 or so in the group, which as I learned from iBird, is called an ear-full or a museum (two places you can find wax, clever).
I need to get a better camera.
The Associated Press is reporting that for the first time in the decade, the number of active anglers has increased. Two studies show increased activity and one of them said the increase was the most significant jump since the 1970′s. I imagine that the economy may have a role to play in this with people vacationing closer to home and probably also viewing fishing as a way to put food on the table. Great to see that more people are enjoying this great pass time. I also can’t help but think how short sighted those in the Utah State Legislature are in passing HB141. Now that more people are fishing, let’s reduce the amount of fishable water. Yeah, great idea.
Gone fishing? More Americans did in 2009 (AP via Deseret News)
On Saturday I was playing soccer in the backyard with my son, when a chickadee came to a feeder rather close to me. I got the idea to turn on the chickadee song from iBird to see what kind of reaction I would get. I sat the phone on a fence post and let it play. This curious and brave little chickadee was very neighborly and sang beautifully to my phone and at one point jumps on it, before flying off to eat again. Perhaps not as funny or dangerous as Messin’ with Sasquatch, but still not a bad few minutes of entertainment. I hope you enjoy.
I really enjoy reading historical books and especially those about the Old West. Journal of a Trapper is one of my favorite such books. As the title suggests, this book is the journal of fur trapper Osborne Russell which documents the 9 years he spent in the Rocky Mountains trapping and hunting. I am envious of those who got to see this region in it’s nearly pristine state and Russell does an excellent job describing the experience. One amazing passage describes how he had to wait on the trail for a couple of hours while a massive herd of bison migrates in front of him. Sadly towards the end of his writings he notes the absence of these great herds and how it is less and less common to even see a bison. I also enjoyed his entries about winter in what is now Ogden, UT and how, when he needed me, he would just hike up to the foothills of the Wasatch mountains and shoot a big horn sheep. It sounds that they were plentiful in his day and of course now, I doubt there are even any transplanted sheep in the hills above Ogden. Interestingly, at the time I read this book, I happened to travel to Yellowstone and fished at the site of one of his encampments at the confluence of the Lewis Fork of the Snake River and the Snake River (it was full of whitefish by the way). It was cool to be standing right where he did some 170 years earlier.
I marvel that hearty souls like Osborne Russel could make a living in the rugged and wild terrain that is the Rocky Mountains. Reading this text is close to being there.
Journal of a Trapper by Osborne Russell, 1921
If you want to pick it up from Amazon go here:
Osborne Russell’s Journal of a Trapper and maps of his travels in the Rocky Mountains
Trying to be eco-conscious, I have decided to recycle this post as it is more timely than ever. Word on the web is that Governor Herbert will decide by Wednesday how he will proceed with HB141. The hopes and prayers of those that enjoy the outdoors are that he will veto it. Also, on a positive note, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Governor took time meet with some representatives of those who oppose the bill, including the head of the Outdoor Retailer’s Association. I also want to thank Senator Neiderhauser for supporting the rights of citizens in this state and opposing HB141. Given that those who support the bill think that more study is needed to determine its impact (they are establishing a committee to do so) I don’t understand the rush to sign this bill. I say study first, decide later. Please take a moment and send Governor Herbert an email with this form letting him know he should veto this bill.
Outdoor recreation in Utah was dealt a serious blow yesterday with the passage if HB141, a bill that strips citizens of the right to use their legally accessed flowing public waters on private land. Our only hope now is that Utah state Governor Gary Herbert either vetoes or simply doesn’t sign the bill (I have since learned that not signing = signing in Utah…WHAT?!?!). Signing the bill would be a HUGE mistake and many, including me, expect it to have a real economic impact on the state in the form of lost tourist dollars. This is basically a grab for what many land owners have assumed they owned for many years, the public’s water and easement to use it. State Supreme Court rulings over the years have been unanimous and to the contrary stating that waters flow by providence and no single person can use them, but rather they are the right of all citizens to use. This is the first step towards a UK like system with pay to play fishing on tightly controlled beats. We don’t want this kind of imperialistic set up here in Utah.
Governor Herbert, please do the right thing and kill this bill now!!!!