Category: Public Service Announcements (UAPSA) (Page 1 of 2)

For you, because I care.

Wild Reverence: See this film

Say what?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that Pacific wild steelhead are facing troubled times: Loss of habitat, over-harvest and fisheries mismanagement are all contributing factors to the decline of this West coast icon.

In order to stop the decline and save these fish from the brink of extinction, we need to understand the issues. Information is powerful medicine.

Wild Reverence “The Plight of the American Wild Steelhead” chronicles one of the most sought after fish on the planet and the severe decline of wild populations with hope and solutions for a wild future.

I was fortunate to see a sneak preview of the film a few months ago at a gathering hosted by the Wild Steelhead Coalition, and I cannot overstate the importance of this film, by Shane Anderson of North Fork Studios.

Watch the trailer HERE.

And then check the schedule for a showing near you:

Spokane Sept 12th

Bozeman Sept 16th

Boise Sept 17th

Reno Sept 18th

Tahoe Sept 20th

Portland Sept 28th

Seattle Oct 2nd

Bring yourself and a friend. Bring your family. Bring your kids. Perhaps most importantly, bring people who may not be fishermen or have any hint of what’s really happening to our wild fish. Information is power.

Empower yourself.

Keep the wild, wild.


Show your support for wild fish: Take the Adipose Pledge



Wild fish recovery depends on many factors. One of those factors involves hatchery fish, or more specifically, less of them.

A group of anglers, not affiliated with any conservation organization, has pulled together to raise funding to let the folks at the Native Fish Society know that they’ve got support in the face of other groups who oppose the Native Fish Society’s stand on the matter of reducing hatchery fish.

The Adipose Pledge can be your way of sending a message of support for wild fish.  Consider taking the pledge, HERE.

And thank you for your time.


60 Minutes: April Vokey and Andy Rooney?

What would Andy Rooney think?

I didn’t even know there was a 60 Minutes of the sporting world until I heard of an upcoming episode featuring April Vokey. I promise you I am not posting this for the sole purpose of boosting my Google Stats. I honestly feel that this episode of 60 Minutes Sports is something the readers of the Unaccomplished Angler may enjoy seeing. If you’re like me, however, you won’t get to see it because you don’t subscribe to Showtime. If anyone out there does get Showtime, could you please record it on your VHS and send me a copy of the tape? I’d appreciate it. But please, no Betamax—that technology is so 1975.

Episode airs November 6th at 10PM Eastern/Pacific

Tip the Big Hole

As a friendly gesture you can Tip your Hat (a good thing).


As a show of appreciation you can Tip your Waiter (provided they’re deserving of it).

You can also Tip your Boat (generally not a good thing).

Now you can Tip the Big Hole River, and that’s a very good thing.

A fundraiser is being hosted to benefit the Big Hole Watershed Committee.

My buddy Joe Willauer who resides over Evolution Anglers writes:

Introducing the first annual Big Hole Watershed Committee “Tip the Big Hole” fundraising event, June 22nd at the Sunrise Fly Shop in Melrose, MT. For the event every guide on the Big Hole that signs up to participate will be donating their tip from the day to the Big Hole Watershed Committee. These funds will be used to aid in the upkeep and maintenance of the in-stream flow monitoring gages. These gages are routinely used by the fishing and guiding community, and are essential to the river management. Reps from the biggest companies in the industry will have booths set up including Simms, Scott, Winston, Rising Tools as well as Montana FWP and many others. Dinner will be provided to all participating guides and for purchase to anybody who stops by. Donations from everyone on the river that day is encouraged, all you have to do is stop by the Big Hole Watershed Committee booth. All participating guides will also get a gift bag, event t-shirt, free beer and entered into a raffle. If you are in the Melrose area, make sure to come by and see what’s going on, grab a mule at the hitching post, and help give back to the Big Hole River and the Big Hole Watershed Committee.

Keep checking back here and the Facebook event page for more info as the date gets closer.

WHEN: June 22, 3-7p.m.
WHERE: Sunrise Fly Shop.  Melrose, MT
WHO:  Guides will be donating their tips, but everybody is invited to show up, meet some great people and enjoy the BBQ and festivities and help contribute to the Big Hole River.
WHY: To raise money for the Big Hole Watershed Committee to support the USGS river gages
MORE INFO: or email me: joe (at) evoanglers (dot) com

Occupy Skagit – April 6th

The Skagit River

The Skagit River in my home state of Washington probably needs little introduction. After all, even if you live on the other side of the world you’ve probably heard of Skagit casting and Skagit lines for Spey and switch rods. In the event that you’re still not familiar with the Skagit our good friends at Wikipedia offer a thorough description HERE.

The Skagit is a vast river system historically held in high acclaim among anglers as a destination fishery for wild steelhead. It wasn’t many decades ago that steelhead runs were plentiful throughout all rivers in this damp corner of the United States, but unfortunately the cumulative effects from overharvest, habitat loss and other environmental factors have not been kind to these fish. Wild Pacific Northwest steelhead have since been listed under the Endangered Species Act because their populations are either endangered or threatened.

While many Pacific Northwest rivers have greatly diminished runs of wild steelhead, the Skagit runs remain comparatively strong. That’s not to say that Skagit fish numbers aren’t down from historical peaks, but on its own the Skagit probably would not have been listed under the ESA.

Until 2010 a catch-and-release (C&R) season used to run through the end of April on the Skagit system. What used to be a wonderful time of year for anglers on the Skagit and it’s most notable tributary, the Sauk, is a thing of the past due to closures by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The Osprey Steelhead News does a very good job of detailing this whole matter.

After reviewing the evidence used by WDFW to justify the closure it is the belief of the grassroots Occupy Skagit movement that the evidence is flawed; that a well-managed, catch-and-release (C&R) season on the Skagit would not be inconsistent with the recovery of its wild winter steelhead.

Rather than reguritate (poorly, I might add) the information, I am posting here a piece written by an Occupy Skagit member to answer the many questions posed by fellow steelhead anglers on a Northwest online bulletin board.

It’s pretty clear to those of us who fish that no fish ever benefited by being hooked and caught by an angler. Complete preservation, of fish and their habitat, is the perfect solution from a fish’s point of view. But Occupy Skagit (OS) is not about the fish’s point of view.

OS is about steelheaders who would rather fish than see their favorite river closed to fishing forevermore. Realistically, that is the present outlook simply because there is no plan to ever open the Skagit to fishing for wild steelhead again. OS is about developing such a plan, as soon as possible, so that anglers may fish the Skagit again in their lifetimes.

The concept that we must let the fish recover before we can fish for them again is a discussion based on false assumptions and unrealistic expectations. Wild Skagit steelhead are a population in no particular need of recovery. “What?” you say, “It’s consistently produced run sizes lower than the escapement goal.” But that’s not the whole story.

Wild Skagit steelhead are the most abundant in Puget Sound. Since 1978, the run size has averaged 7,822 fish, ranging from a low of around 2,600 to a high of 16,000. The spawning escapement has averaged 6,857 steelhead after harvest, both incidental and directed. As far as anyone can know for certain, this variation in population size is completely normal. There are good years, and there are bad years. Freshwater floods and droughts limit the out-migrating smolt population from year to year. The freshwater habitat has not really changed much in the last 30 years. Some parts have degraded further, and some parts have improved. On balance, it would be hard to quantify any significant change. And marine survival factors limit the percentage of smolts that survive to adulthood and return from the ocean each year. Given what we know about run sizes and escapement over a more than 30-year period, there is no logical reason to believe that wild Skagit steelhead runs will ever consistently average above the present spawning escapement floor value.

The escapement goal is an artifact of uncertainty. The aggregate model that escapement goals were developed from in the 1980s calculated a Skagit spawning escapement goal far above 20,000. Since that seemed impractable and unrealistic, biologists rather arbitrarily picked 10,000 as an escapement guideline. In the 1980s, when marine survival was higher than it is now, that value appeared realistic. As more data were collected and analyzed, it was apparent that the Maximum Sustained Yield / Maximum Sustained Harvest escapement goal would be much lower, slightly less than 4,000. That seems low for such a large river basin, so the co-managers settled on 6,000 as a buffered escapement floor for some interim period. The take-home message in this paragraph is that no relationship exists between the Skagit wild steelhead spawning escapement goal and the actual productivity and capacity of the Skagit River basin to produce steelhead. Please re-read the last sentence and be certain that you understand it.

The last paragraph means that the Skagit wild steelhead spawning escapement goal is arbitrary, and possibly capricious. It’s meaning is primarily make-believe then. This leads me to the question of for what purpose are Skagit steelhead managed? Is it strictly species preservation, like a petting zoo, except you can’t actually pet the animals? Or is the purpose to conserve the population for the mutual long-term benefit of the species as well as human social and economic benefits. If the purpose is the former, then the present course is the one to stay on. If the latter, then a change is required.

A reinstatement of the previous C&R season will require a petition from WDFW to the National Marine Fisheries Service for a permit that establishes basin-specific allowable impacts (as is currently being done with Puget Sound Chinook).

To bring attention to this matter Occupy Skagit is calling for as many anglers as possible to turn out on April 6th and cast hookless chunks of yarn into the waters of the Skagit and Sauk rivers. The plan is to meet at Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport, WA at 9 AM. For more information  visit the Occupy Skagit Facebook Page:

Sometimes you have to dump a little tea into the harbor…



April 16th, 2009 – Last C&R season on the Sauk River

Outdoor Recreation is big business

Anyone who reads the Unaccomplished Angler with any sort of regularity knows that we here in the editorial office don’t take ourselves too seriously. We rarely tackle any subject matter that deals with significant and important issues. But when we do, you can rest assured it’s for good reason. And so when a report from the Outdoor Industry Association came across the newswires, we couldn’t let it fade into internet obscurity without giving it some attention.

Those of us who recreate outdoors, be it hiking, camping, boating, hunting, fishing, etc, understand the value of being able to do so. But most of us don’t look beyond the social importance of outdoor recreation and consider the economical value, unless we somehow work in the outdoor industry. Outdoor recreation is big business.

Direct consumer spending in the outdoor recreation industry is $646 billion (a figure that would blow Dr. Evil’s mind). That’s more than Pharmaceuticals ($331B); Motor Vehicles and parts ($340B); Gas and other fuels ($345B); Household utilities ($309B).

There are more than 6 million jobs directly dependent on outdoor recreation. That’s greater than Real Estate/Rentals & Leasing (2M). Bigger than Oil & Gas (2.1M). Information (2.5M). Education (3.5M). Transportation and Warehousing (4.3M). Construction (5.5M). Finance and Insurance (5.8M). That’s a whole lotta people earning a living in the outdoor industry.

You get the point. Outdoor recreation is huge. So, all is peachy keen in the industry, right?  Not so fast. Economic activity in the outdoor industry is directly tied to habitat. Without habitat there is no opportunity for said recreation. Starting to make sense now?  As a passionate fly anglerman, I understand the importance of having a a healthy river system to support the very fish that I persue; the availability of having a place to go wave my stick. Without either of those two components, we anglers wouldn’t be anglers.

We need local, state and federal publics lands and waters. This is a network that is as important to the economical health of our country as other public works infrastructure such as schools, water treatment, roads and airports that we all depend on. Outdoor recreation is not a boutique industry.

So, what about all this?  What does it mean for you?  Tom Sandler says it best on the Middle River Dispatch:

When the policy makers and politicians demean our public lands they show either their ignorance (to be charitable) or there political bigotry (more likely). While politicians can be expected to say what they think will get them elected, ignorance has no place in policy making. This report is a powerful, factual tool that should be part of every debate on the value of our public lands and the importance of conservation of those resources.

Thanks to Tom (AKA Wyatt Earp), for providing a lot of this information that was paraphrased here, and for fighting the good fight and bringing this matter to the forefront of the blogasphere.

Recreational venues in our nation, such as seashores, forests, parks, and wilderness, must be recognized for the important role they play in the economy. These public venues form the foundation of a national outdoor recreation system. Our policy makers should invest more, not less in these important assets to our nation’s economy.

This new report arms us with facts that must be used to show our elected officials just how important outdoor recreation is to our economy. These are undeniable economic, social and health benefits that are no longer “nice to have,” they are a “must have.”

I’m just helping to spread the word. You can help by emailing the report (here’s the link) to your elected officials. Just tell them: “Outdoor recreation means business, read this!”

Thank you. As you were.

There’s an app for that


As much as I try my darnedest to segregate endeavors, I would be remiss if I didn’t announce the availability of my recently-launched apps for iPad: Olive the Woolly Bugger and Chuckin’ Bugs.

Olive the Woolly Bugger is an interactive book app based on my print book series. In addition to the entertaining and educational story, there are several interactive pop-up screens that describe certain aspects of fly fishing: fly patterns, insects, fish, water currents, etc. Additionally there are a bunch of fun animations to further entertain young readers.  Speaking of young readers, there are two modes for reading the app. Those old enough to read on their own can do so, while younger kids can have the story read to them thanks to recorded narration.

Download Olive the Woolly Bugger for $1.99

There is also a bonus feature included in the Olive app: Chuckin’ Bugs. This is a simple yet challenging game in which kids (and big kids) help Lefty Crayfish toss buzzing bugs to feeding fish. This game is also available as a standalone app.

Download Chuckin’ Bugs for free

Rather than tell you all about the apps, this video does a much better job of showing you.


Sportsmen Descend on DC to Save Bristol Bay ~ Pass it Along

I’m not even changing the headline because in this case redundancy is a good thing. In fact, all I am doing is copying and pasting what was posted over on The Outdooress blog today, which was first posted on the Outdoor Blogger Network.


The following is a guest post available to all outdoor bloggers who have an interest in the Pebble Mine/Bristol Bay issue.
Please feel free to re-post it on your blog. 

(Passed along from the conservation section over on the OBN ~
Go check it out, copy it from here, copy it from there, but let’s spread the word)

Sportsmen fly to DC to tell president and congress to say no to Pebble Mine

Fly FishingPhoto by B.O’Keefe

Starting Monday, April 16, more than 30 sportsmen from around the country are traveling to the nation’s capitol to let their elected officials and the president know that protecting Bristol Bay is a top priority for hunters and anglers.

This is an important week to show the folks who have the power to protect Bristol Bay that sportsmen are in this fight. We’ve got folks from Alaska, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, North Carolina, California, Missouri, New York, and Virginia representing this great country and the millions of people who want Bristol Bay to be protected and left just like it is today–pristine and productive.

recent report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation shows that there are 34 million hunters and anglers in the U.S., and we’re a powerful constituency. Every year, we pump $76 billion into the economy in pursuit of our passion, through our spending on gear, licenses, gas, lodging, meals and more. All of that spending and activity directly supports 1.6 million jobs in this country.

We are also an influential group because 80 percent of sportsmen are likely voters – much higher than the national average. And, we also contribute the most money of any group toward government wildlife conservation programs. So, hopefully if we care about an issue and show our support, the decision makers will listen to what we have to say.

In just a few weeks, the EPA will be releasing a draft of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This huge scientific assessment will likely guide future decisions about large-scale mining and other industrial development in the Bristol Bay region. If they find that disposal of waste from the mine would adversely harm the surrounding clean waters or natural resources, the EPA can deny or place restrictions on a required dredge and fill permit. If warranted, we hope the Obama Administration would take that step to protect Bristol Bay.

You can support the fight for one of planet Earth’s finest and most productive fishing and hunting destinations by taking action today. Fill out this simple form that will send a letter to the President and your members of Congress asking them to protect Bristol Bay.  Let’s carry our sportsmen into D.C. with a lot of momentum.


Go ahead: Copy and paste. Fill out the form on the Trout Unlimited website and submit it. Keep the ball rolling. Stop the Pebble Mine.


Stop this dam project before it gets going


I rarely post topics like this, but this one I can’t let pass unannounced.

I was recently contacted by a friend who I went to high school with. She wrote me to let me know that she recently gave up a good-paying job in LA to move back to the Pacific Northwet for the sole purpose of fighting a dam proposal on her favorite river, the Skykomish, on which she learned to fly fish.

The lower Skykomish is only 8 miles from where I live and I’ve fished it many times for steelhead, having even been successful on one occasion. I also caught a bull trout/Dolly Varden once, so I guess that’s two successes. But I digress…

The Snohmish County PUD has filed for a preliminary permit to build a small hydroelectric dam on an upper stretch of the Skykomish. It’s just insane to even be thinking about adding dams in this day and age where there is widespread opposition to any structures that block fish passage and flowing water. This dam would produce an insignificant about of hydro power but would damage a river that is only one of 4 rivers designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers by the  Washington state legislature.

Please take a moment to visit the website for Save the Skykomish and sign the petition.

This damn idea is bad and needs to be stopped.

Thanks for your help.

I like Canada

In response to a bit of an uproar (from at least two readers, that is) regarding last week’s post about the Pebble Mine, I wanted to go on record as stating that I have issues with neither Canada nor it’s fine citizens. In fact, Canada has always been very good to me.

When I was a kid traveled to BC to play in a youth soccer game, and I remember the host family to have been the kindest of folks. When I was about 9 years old I endured a family trip to Victoria to visit Butchart Gardens. It wasn’t what I would exactly call an enjoyable time, but it was a forced family vacation to see decorative foliage so how what do you expect? Certainly it was no fault of Canada that I didn’t enjoy myself. That unfortunate trip was offset by another youthful trip on which I visited Bowron Lake Provincial Park to partake of a 10 day canoe trip with the Boy Scouts. That trip left me with fond and permanent fly fishing memories and was largely responsible for my current obsession. On at least two other occasions since then I’ve enjoyed the hospitality of Canada’s good people, most recently a year ago when I fished Nootka Sound. And I hope to be allowed back across the border for a trip or two to fish again in the future.

Canada is a great country with good people, and one needn’t look very far before it becomes readily apparent that Canada has greatly contributed to the world. In addition to this list of well known Canadians, I’d also like to add April Vokey.

I like Canada. I like Canadians. And I’d like to go fishing with April Vokey.

But for the record I do not like the Pebble Mine.

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