Month: February 2014

Buy some stuff, save the Skeena


Good people doing good things for good places. There seems to be a lot of that going around lately. Unfortunately that’s because there are bad people doing bad things to good places.  These good places need our help.


Photo by Brian Huntington

One such good place is the Skeena Watershed, in Northwestern British Columbia (that’s in Canada). If you look at a map of many rivers that make up the Skeena watershed, it reads like a Who’s Who list of world-renowned steelhead rivers: the Skeena is the namesake river of the region, with tribs such as the Morice, Bulkley, Babine and Kispiox, to name just a few. You’ve heard of them. If you haven’t here’s an article from Midcurrent that will get you in the mood to go: British Columbia: Rivers of Steel

I’ve never been (yet), but it’s near the top of my bucket list, and I have a preconceived idea of an area that is pristine and wild; unpolluted if not untouched by man. But like the Bristol Bay region in Alaska, another pristine watershed, the Skeena has been threatened by corporate greed. In a nutshell, here’s the scoop:

In 2004, Shell Canada (now Royal Dutch Shell) was awarded a 400,000 hectare tenure to develop coalbed methane (CBM) in the Sacred Headwaters in northwest British Columbia.  Due to massive opposition throughout the region and within the Province of BC, the BC Government made a great decision and imposed a 4 year moratorium stalling the development in its tracks.  That moratorium expires this December!!  Learn how to help—see more at Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition Sacred Headwaters Campaign 

Which brings us to a special auction event taking place March 3-7, 2014: The Skeena Angler’s Auction. During this fund raising event you can buy some gear, the proceeds from which will go toward continuing to fight this battle. Check out the auction items here—surely there’s something you need or want. Or maybe you neither need nor want for anything, but you want to contribute to the cause. Whatever the case, please consider helping. There are some great items from Patagonia, Hardy, St. Croix, Rainbow Alley Cane Fly Rods, Loon Outdoors, Wilson’s Fergus Fly Shop, Skeena Wild Conservation Trust, Clear Cure Goo, Valley Custom Rods, a whole bunch of different fly selections.

Some great stuff for a great cause.

View the auction goods HERE.


The Open Fly Podcast, Show 6

Hard to believe that we’re already 5 shows into a podcast that we didn’t think would make it past the second episode. However, the people have spoken: they want more Open Fly.


This episode is chock full of more good stuff—high caliber programming that you’ve come to expect from the Open Fly Podcast. Our Guide Series features Alaska and Montana fly fishing guide Rick Matney. Rick is a seriously passionate guy who lives large—the results of which are that he has developed a very unique steelhead guiding business in SE Alaska: think small rivers and reel-smoking fish that are often minutes out of the salt. Check out Rick’s Alaska ChromeChasers website for more information about booking a trip. After he returns from Alaska each year, Rick can be found guiding for trout in the Bozeman area for Montana Troutfitters. In the show Rick hints at the best time to fish one of the country’s best rubber hatches.


Our conservation segment features Andrea Matzke, president of Wild Washington Rivers. Andrea was previously president of Save the Sky River, so she knows the issues and has been fighting the good fight against a Snohomish County Public Utilities Disrtrict-proposed dam on a pristine section of the Skykomish River in Washington state. I’ve been following this for some time and wrote a bit about it previously. This is not JUST a local issue—these money-driven types of projects pose a threat in more backyards than just our own.

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions, which we will read on the air. As a reward for your time you may win something as cool as an Open Fly Podcast hat or sticker. And if you contribute a couple bucks to the Open Fly Podcast your name will be entered into a raffle for some more desirable items. Also, if you contribute to one of our conservation segment groups, send us your receipt and we’ll enter you into the next raffle as well.

So quit reading this Drivel® and go check out the latest podcast. As always you can listen on the Open Fly Podcast website, or subscribe via iTunes, or Stitcher radio.



The Open Fly Podcast, Show 5

The latest episode of The Open Fly Podcast is now live, and riddled with great content, lively banter, sophomoric humor and plenty of duck quacks.

Our conservation spotlight this week is the Madison River Foundation. Executive Director Hans Figi joins us to discuss the vast and important work that the foundation does to preserve, protect and enhance one of Montana’s—nay, the World’s—great trout fisheries. This is the 10th year of the Foundation and we’re very pleased to have Hans take us time away from his busy schedule to tell us about the work the Foundation continues to do. As we do with each conservation guest, we ask that our listeners consider a donation to the group. Email your receipt to us and we’ll enter you into our next raffle for some nice schwag.


Our Guide Stories segment features something a little different this week in that we speak with fly fishing guide Cinda Howard, owner of Fly Fish Arizona. The desert southwest is what one typically thinks of as a fishing destination, but after listening to Cinda we think you’ll change your tune. She also sets Derek straight with his assertion that Cinda guides for Carp in Trailer Parks.  Tune in, won’t you?

The podcast is available, as always, on The Open Fly Podcast as well as iTunes.  Check it out and stick around to find out how you can win one of these sweet Open Fly hats (creepy rubber boy not included).

The Open Fly Podcast, Show 4

The cool thing about participating in this Open Fly Podcast thing is that I get to sit around and talk about fly fishing during a time of year when there’s not much fly fishing taking place. Co-hosts Evan and Derek are mostly enjoyable fellas but much better than that is the chance to talk with interesting folks from near and far about matters pertaining to fly fishing.

On the 4th installment of The Open Fly we chat with Patrick Timmins of the Rawah Ranch in remote northern Colorado. Pat’s Orvis Endorsed outfit sounds like something truly special and unique. After listening to what the ranch offers, I think you’ll agree that it’s one of those places that must be visited. And you gotta love Pat’s hat. It’s very similar to my lucky fishing hat, except that his catches fish, whereas mine just makes me look taller.

Breaking from our standard format this week, we don’t have a conservation topic. Instead we bring you none other than Hank Patterson, YOUR Fly Fishing Guide. Everyone with their finger on the pulse of social media knows who Hank Patterson is, but do you know the why of Hank Patterson?  We think you’ll be surprised to hear the reason for Hank when we interview Travis Schwartz Swartz, the man behind Hank Patterson.

As always, you can listen to the podcast on our website, HERE, or on iTunes. If you subscribe on iTunes, the podcast will automatically download each time we post a new show.

I’m confident you’ll really enjoy this week’s show. Please have a listen and send us your comments, either via email or via our online comment form: Contact the Open Fly Podcast