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Archive for October, 2010

Photo Courtesty Winston Rods

Winston is without a doubt "the" fly rod of Montana. Located in Twin Bridges Montana , some of the best spring creeks in the world flow right outside Winston's back door. Winston's unparalled commitment to rod building perfection and environmental conservation is exemplary. So I'm tremendously excited that the great folks at Winston Rods have come onboard as the film's exclusive rod sponsor!   Winston owner David Ondaatje has pledged his company's full support to Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout.  "We are very excited about your film, obviously the subject is near and dear to us and our Montana neighbors.  We look forward to working with you."  says Winston's Leslie Clark. R.L. Winston has had their finger on the pulse of fly fishing for decades and NO other rod company exemplifies the Montana culture of trout stream fly fishing like Winston.  Thanks to everyone at Winston!         More Later       T>       

Photo Courtesy Winston Rods



The Globe and Mail's Mark Hume

   Two years ago, when I first found out that Big White (the local ski resort) wanted to drain almost three billion litres of H2O from the headwaters of the Kettle River, I hit the media PANIC button. I called and e-mailed everyone I know  in the media and urged them to get the story out. One of the first people I contacted was Mark Hume, national correspondent for The Globe and Mail. Mark penned an article the very next week condemning Big White for wanting to drain the Kettle River to fill hot tubs on the hill with water. Mark did this because (like me) he knows and loves the Kettle River. If you read his wonderful article Charm of the Kettle River at you'll get an understanding of why we both do. Mark has agreed to appear in Spring Creek and discuss the situation facing the Kettle River and why Campbell's Liberal government favours development over conservation.  I'm tremendously excited that Mark has agreed to appear in the film, because if you live in Canada and you care about fish, you read Mark Hume.      I asked Mark to wade into  this debate for this blog entry and this is  just a taste of  his take on the British Columbia Liberal party and their pro development! what environment? policies.      
The climate is changing. It is getting warmer. On Vancouver Island fisheries biologists have been building impoundments in headwaters, anticipating the day in the not too distant future when they will have to make cold water releases in the summer just to keep steelhead, salmon and trout alive. But not in the Okanagan. Not in the desert, where the government sees the potential for development at Big White and appears blind to the needs of trout in the Kettle River.People ask, what can we do? There’s only one answer. You have to make sure you vote for politicians who care about the environment. If you don’t you might wake up one day to find a beautiful lake has been drained,  or a trout stream has been put in a hot tub.             
View Mark Hume's Biography.      More Later      T>       
27 Oct

Remember these guys?

Author: Travis 0 comments

The Great Gore-Tex Fly Fishing Campaign

The power of advertising is undeniable. This ad, perhaps more than anything, shaped the way I think about fly fishing. These three guys, Paul Dubas, Bob Krumm and Mike Craig, they made fly fishing COOL! These guys were completely different than anything that I saw going on in BC's stillwater fly fishing scene.  Back home in British Columbia, nobody wore breathable waders or coats. They wore neoprene waders and trolled a Doc Sprately pattern behind their belly boat or 12' aluminum car topper decked out in a plaid lumber jack number. I balked at the idea of interior BC stillwater trout fishing. To me it was BORING and LAME. Chironomids, hand twist retrieves and 20' leaders........ are you kidding me? I wanted to be like the guys in the GORE ad, I saw them as neo western gunslingers, who carried light weight Winston rods, small Abel reels and Brodin nets instead of six shooters. This was the complete antithesis of what I was used to in the interior of British Columbia. I swore off stillwater fly fishing instantly and instead tried to head down to mecca of trout stream fly fishing, Montana, as many times as I could.     A big thanks to Steve Shuster from Gore, Steve is the man behind this ad. If you look closely at the ad you`ll see where Dubas, Krumm and Craig  have all autographed it. That`s because Steve pulled the ad down off his wall and scanned it for me to use in Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout. Thanks as well to W.L. Gore for allowing the use of the ad in the film.      More Later      T.

Nice Abel reel... I'm mean nice steelhead

Honestly steelheading has never been my thing. Sure, I threw a spey rod on the Thompson 10 years ago, until I realized I was never going to catch a fish. Steelhead are a fish of a thousand casts, me I prefer to cast over a thousand fish so give me Montana any day. I like odds like the Beaverhead's 3500 trout per mile. Hey, that's just me.  But my mate Nick from Trout Waters Fly and Tackle has got the bug big time. Nick just returned from his two week pilgramige to Smithers for a couple of fish! Reports are a lot of rain have made the fishing tough this season. The water was high and dirty during Nick's time on the Bulkley, Copper and the Maurice.  He did manage to tag a few steelies though. This buck taped out to 36"and came to a sparesly tied black and blue marabou tube fly from Nick's own vice.... ( he prolly just took from the fly boxes at the store!). Notice the sweet Abel Golden Trout patterned reel. Nice Nick! Only trouble is I'm not really sure it's his hand in the picture! Is that a Winston too? What do you own a fly shop man?  More Later  T>
22 Oct

Abel Reels on board…

Author: Travis 0 comments

The Derek DeYoung Signature Series Abel Reel

 I'm extremely happy to announce that "Abel Reels, the best and most dependable gear in the world" has agreed to become Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout exclusive reel sponsor. This morning, I had the pleaseure to speak with Don R. Swanson, Abel's presidnet .  Don, very patiently listened to me haphazardly describe my documentary and then said "we're in!".  I will have more on Abel's involvement soon. More Later T>

The Master himself.........

I love trout and by extension trout artwork. All art is subjective and so for me, Derek DeYoung is the best artist in the world at capturing the intrinsic beauty of trout on canvas. A beauty that is unrivaled in nature (unless by woman, wife made me add that...). Chances are you're familiar with DeYoung's work, you may (like me) even wear it on your body with one of the DeYoung Simms T-shirts. Perhaps you've seen Abel's incredible DeYoung Signature Series reels or maybe, just maybe, you're lucky enough to own a Derek DeYoung original painting.  Whatever the case, once you've seen DeYoung's work you'll agree, Derek's love of trout goes beyond the norm. His ability to capture the essence of a trout sets him apart from other artists of the genre. Naturally, I wanted to find out more about this talent and so when I discovered that Derek and his wife Janelle (also an artist) had set up shop in Livingston, only minutes away from the most famous spring creeks in Montana, I contacted him right away and asked if he would like to be a featured angler in Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout. Derek graciously agreed. But the more we spoke  and the more I found out about his career, the more I realised that a small segment in the film just didn't seem to do his art or his story justice. And so I'm extremely happy to announce that Derek and I have agreed to produce a documentary short featuring "the man and his art". We're only in the pre-production phase of the project right now but plans are underway for a spring 2011 shoot at Derek's studios. Of course "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy" so we'll probably have to slip over to Armstrong's for a day of fishing an filming as well.    If you don't know Derek's work, you should.   THE BIO:   Derek DeYoung is one of those artists that was born painting. By age six, he was declaring to his schoolmates and family that he would one day be a famous artist. Few people who knew him well ever doubted this prediction. His parents say he was a stubborn little kid, but that very stubbornness is what now gives him the strength to persevere the hardships that accompany the life of an artist.    “I’ve committed my life to being an artist, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To be an artist is more then just painting a scene on canvas. An artist sees the world differently then most people. I am always seeking out the beauty in life and in the world, searching for that magical experience or vision that will inspire me to paint at a higher level. The act of pursuing trout and steelhead with a fly rod contains so many of these magical moments. For me the truly inspirational vision, both as an artist and as an angler, comes once I’ve landed a particularly beautiful fish. I hold it up, tilting the fish back and forth in the sunlight, allowing all the subtle colors and patterns to come alive.”   DeYoung’s work has veered off from the traditional fish illustration style. His paintings are very contemporary, placing more importance on using a unique style and palette rather than painting a fish to look photo realistic.   Now days it’s less important to Derek to become that “Famous Artist” he told everyone he would become. He’s just happy to have built his life around his two loves, painting and fly fishing.   More Later,   T>

Guardian of the World's Waterways, Mark Angelo

Mark Angelo will appear in Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout to discuss the situation facing the Kettle River and why the Kettle tops the Outdoor Recreation Council's " Most Endangered River's List" in British Columbia. Mark is responsible for the ORC's yearly" Top 10 Most Endangered Rivers List" and writes a report ranking the province's endangered rivers. In early November, I'll be heading down to Vancouver to interview Mark at the British Columbia Institute of Technology where he's the program head of the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Program as well as the head of the Rivers Institute. Check out Mark's Bio: Mark Angelo hails from Burnaby, British Columbia and is an internationally-celebrated river conservationist. He is the founder of both BC Rivers Day and World Rivers Day and heads the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He has received the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada (his country's highest honour) in recognition of his river conservation efforts over the past four decades. Among his many other awards are the inaugural United Nations Stewardship Award and the National River Conservation Award. As an avid paddler, Mark has traveled along hundreds of rivers around the world. From 2003 to 2005, his acclaimed Riverworld program played to sold-out audiences across North America and the program's website had more than 40 million visits. In 2007, his follow-up program, Wild Water, Wild Earth, a sequel to Riverworld, enjoyed similar success. Mark continues to work on conservation issues, both across Canada and elsewhere in the world. He has written close to 300 articles and essays about his experiences and related conservation issues. He is a regular contributor to the Vancouver Sun and other newspaper travel sections and is the Deputy Chair of the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. Mark also served as the first non-government provincial representative and Chair of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board More Later, T>
The Kettle River is the only river within two hours of my home that provides a trout stream fishery. It's also British Columbia's Most Endangered River due to "water extraction and development". Last monday I was on the Kettle River for the day. On a whim, I took a drive down a road punched in to the West Kettle River for a new development called Cottonwood Bend. What I saw on lot number B01 was a 5 acre clear cut right up to the river bank. Just the kind of irresponsible, unstainable and environmentally unsound development that has put the Kettle at the head of the Most Endangered River's List. When I got home I immediately sent out an e-mail to the Ministry of Environment about the logging on the property with out leaving a riparian zone. I was assured by the Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Kettle River, Tara White, that the Minsitry was "all over it". I haven't heard anything more about. We'll see if anything happens about it. As president of the local TU Chapter, I will make sure that we follow it this up. More Later T>

Craig Matthews

  Craig Matthews is a tireless conservationist. He's also a busy man.  When I contacted him the other day about participating in the film, Craig responded to me right away "I am working on 3 other film projects next summer but will be able to break away for a day".  When I asked him to describe the spring creek angling experience, Craig quoted an old friend "Nick Lyons, once wrote that when I go forth to meet and fish a spring creek I always feel that the world and I are moments from being born."  Craig went on to say that "A spring creek reads like an open book, if you let it. And, listen to the creek, it will tell you what to do to be successful." It's sage advice like that, that compelled me to seek out Craig Matthews and involve him in the film. Craig's intricant fly patterns famous are amongst spring creek afficiandos, and form the back bone of his West Yellowstone fly shop, Blue Ribbon Flies.  A passionate spring creek angler, rumour has it that Craig married his high school sweetheart Jackie on the banks of  a spring creek.  Craig keeps a lease on O'Dell Creek at the Granger and Longhorn Ranches. I look forward spending a day with Craig next summer. Here is Craig's bio: Craig Mathews, former police chief of West Yellowstone, Mt, and Fly Rod and Reel’s Angler of the Year in 2005, is founder and owner of Blue Ribbon Flies and The Yellowstone Park Company, both in West Yellowstone, Mt.In 2001, with Yvon Chouinard, owner of Patagonia Inc, .he founded the 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that contribute at least 1 percent of their annual revenues to groups on a list of researched and approved environmental organizations. This organization has over 1600 business members and has funded over $60 million in conservation and environmental programs.He has fished and studied the Golden Triangle for forty years. He is the author and co-author of 6 important fly fishing books: Western Fly-Fishing Strategies, Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide, Fishing Yellowstone Hatches, Fly Patterns of Yellowstone, Fly Fishing the Madison River, and Vol 2 of Fly Patterns of Yellowstone.He has narrated and produced four Telly Award winning DVDs on fly fishing; Fly Fishing Yellowstone Hatches, Fly Tying Yellowstone Hatches and Bone Fishing the Flats. His latest DVD, Fly Fishing the Madison River, was released in May, 2007.Craig, and his wife Jackie’s, Blue Ribbon Flies, has been awarded many conservation and environmental awards for helping preserve, protect and enhance western trout waters for future generations. Awards like the Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s Business Award, The Protector of Yellowstone Award from Yellowstone National Park, Trout Unlimited, The Madison River Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy’s business awards for Blue Ribbon Flies conservation work, The State of Montana award for their work to preserve The $3.00 Bridge area along the Madison River, and The Federation of Fly Fishers Conservation and Environmental Award for Blue Ribbon Flies work in the Yellowstone area, and many other honors. Craig’s philosophy of business is simple; when a business makes a living from a healthy environment such as clean water and air and healthy-wild trout populations that business must give back to continue that healthy business cycle; sort of like an earth tax. This is the reason his business gives back over 1% of its gross sales to conservation and environmental causes through the 1% for the Planet Club. This ensures that all future generations might fish and enjoy wild places, and wild fishes! Check out piece on Climate Change featuring Craig that aired on PBS:

Roma McCoy and Dave Keller


As the onset of winter slows filming on Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout, I’m busy lining production for next summer. My plan is to get into the Paradise Valley and profile the “Big 3” but I’ll also be returning to a few locations to pick up some shots. One of those locations will be the phenomenal fishery at Circle 3 Ranch. The Circle 3 spring creek is home to some of the biggest Brown Trout I’ve ever seen and one day on location was just not enough. Not to mention the fact that Poncho McCoy (who manages the ranch) has invited me back, hopefully this time I can get him to pick up a rod for the camera. Poncho McCoy is recognized as pioneer in the spring creek angling/ranching field. Fifteen years ago Poncho began some unheard of ranching practices. Those, along with some extensive stream restoration work created the incredible fishery that exists at his former ranch McCoy Spring Creeks. New owner Cliff Inge has taken up where Poncho left off and the new McCoy Spring Creeks will be featured extensively in Spring Creek: Ranchers, Anglers, Water and Trout. Poncho's daughter Roma, was lucky enough to grow up on a spring creek and learned to cast a fly rod on some of the best waters in Montana.  She's pictured above with boyfriend Dave Keller (also an accomplished fly fisher) at the Circle 3 Ranch this summer.  The fat rainbow Roma is holding, fell to a hopper pattern and was taken above the pond, on the upper stretch of the Circle 3 spring creek.  Thanks to Poncho McCoy for the picture and his hospitality. More Later T>