Thank You For Reading My Blog

This blog is about my life as a fly fisherman, guide, and fly fishing instructor in and around Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fletcher's Cove Dock Access

For background on the issue of dock access at Fletcher's Cove, please reference Erin Block's MidCurrent article.

Ok, now that you are caught up, the National Park Service (NPS) invited us to a discussion on the topic at their head quarters near the Tidal Basin.



If it wasn't winter I would have gotten there early and stayed late to fish.








Beau Beasley carpooled with me to the event. We got in the car over an hour before the event started and it took about 45 min to drive the 10 miles. I can't complain about the ride as it gave Beau and I a chance to catch up. We are always too busy at events to chit chat.





50+ individuals showed up from a variety of groups from the Boy Scouts, Trout Unlimited, Urban Angler, Potomac Riverkeeper, Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders, Potomac River Smallmouth Club, Key Bridge Boat House, Coastal Conservation Association, Fletcher's Cove, DC Department of Environment, Surfrider Foundation, and author Beau Beasley. Beau fights for our rights to fish public waters.

We were shown a PowerPoint presentation of the history of the cove and how the cove has become filled with sediment over the past century. Captain John Smith would not recognize the murky brown water of today if his boat were to return to Fletcher's Cove.

 The NPS additionally presented the history of the cove with regards to remediation of the cove from past dredges, flood events etc. Over the years soil from the Metro tunnel construction (it was dumped above Fletcher's Cove late one night back in the day) has filled in the cove. Further, sediment from up river (the Potomac has a MASSIVE drainage system) has washed in and filled the cove. The water and shape of the cove conducts the water into an eddy bringing water up into the cove. Massive trees, detritus, and litter from upstream also fill in the cove, the parking lot, and picnic areas during spring flood and late season tropical storm events.

Some of the key talking points were:

  • What is the short term and long term solutions
  • Who owns river bottom vs the water vs the shoreline
  • Working with army corps of engineers? How long will that take?????
  • DC Fish and Wildlife receives  60% of their revenue from Fletcher's fishing license sales (they want the dock and access to be fixed or they will loose all that money)
  • Is the Federal Government operating there considered commercial enterprise?
  • Who is paying for the work? DC or Feds
  • Dredge the cove and fill dyke marsh wetland restoration
  • 71 days to fix temporarily before March 1


Here are some of the slides:


 A temporary solution to get anglers to the boats by April 1 for the shad run. An aluminum plank on wheels that can be pulled back during flood events.





 A full room of concerned anglers and non-anglers.

 Beau



 

So that is where we stand now. The NPS is willing to work with us to get a temporary and long term solution to the issue.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ethics for Winter Fishing | Don't Fish For Warm Water Species

This is from the bass podcast from over the summer. I learned A LOT about largemouth bass while researching for the podcast. One of the more interesting tid bits was the potential mortality of a winter caught bass.

These fish are designed to be most active in warm temperatures. During winter their metabolism slows down. These fish are the same temperature as the water. They need to conserve as much energy as possible to make it through the winter and even more so for when they spawn. They will spawn when water temps warm up. They will utilize their stored energy for building and guarding nests and for spawning.

To maintain this low metabolic rate they will not move a whole lot. Maybe between shallow and deep water to gain some sunlight. They will also move to darker substrate which will have absorbed solar radiation and be warmer. If their metabolism is high enough they might have the energy to chase down some prey and digest it. Digestion is a huge consumer of energy.

Winter bass might not feed but for every fortnight. When you do get one to eat you will cause this fish to use up its stored energy as it fights for its life. You may release this fish alive but it will most definitely go belly up.

I'm not talking about fishing in Florida over the winter, I'm talking about fishing where the water temperature is near, at, above, or below freezing. If you caught and released that fish and it does survive, well you just destroyed all potential energy that fish had stored over several months of feeding.

We will fish Four Mile Run exclusively this winter. The water there will be 65F which is perfect temperature for a bass to thrive. We won't hold them out of the water if the air temps are below freezing.


Thus if you do plan on fishing for warm water species (i.e., family Centrarchidae- I'm amazed I can still spell that word after 17 years) over the winter, please do so with the utmost respect for your fishery. If you kill those big bass they won't be around in spring to make more bass and they won't be around for you to catch.

Here is proof about cold temps killing fish. Granted they are tropical and sub-tropical species. But the same thermodynamics apply.  The 2010 snook kill off.

Be ethical when you fish this winter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fishing Spam

For the second time in a year I have recieved this e-mail. Please feel free to respond to Christopher for me:

cwalter_associates@yahoo.com


Message - Hello, My name is Christopher Walter and i will like to enquire if there is availability for 5 persons whom will be coming to spend their ten days vacation trip with your company....our company has requested we present our preferred period for our vacation, which we have chosen to spend on a fishing, as such i will like you to present me with your free days on your fishing periods for the year 2015 Please note that we would require a boat or two depending on space for our vacation holiday...on this note i kindly request you get back to me with availability stands and accommodation if any...then present me with the sum-total cost for all running through a period of ten days We are all looking forward to arriving at your base and having our desire fun filled vacation for the specified period of time, which we hope to be memorable to initiate such subsequent fishing vacation trips we would like you to arrange this below mentioned packages for us. (1)lodging(if available) (2)fishing guides and 2 boat(optional) running for 8hr each day(we did go for one boat if you have one big enough for the 5persons). (3)total packages. Hope this is clear enough..,as such i await a response from you via a reply email to this email address, so we can proceed and possibly book/hold down our reservation /spot... NB: mode of payment; Credit card.... Best Regards, Christopher Walter London, UK

On a side note, spam is one of the best baits out there. Put a sugar cube size piece on a hook and drop it in. The problem is it might fall off if you try to cast it, and turtle slove the stuff. Taking a turtle off a hook is no fun.  They hiss and will go for your fingertips. And some of  your fishing buddies might try to eat it. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kramer Hates Sand Too

Watching some Seinfeld right now, the one where George pretends to be a marine biologist.

I hate sand, a lot. I can't stand the stuff. It gets in your clothes, food, hair, eyes, and where the sun don't shine (unless you are on a nudy beach.) I still have sand in a backpack from riding a ATV through the Namib Desert in 1998.

I avoid the beach as if it were covered in basset hounds and scorpions. And this episode has someone who doesn't like sand either.


Yes, I wear flip flops at the beach too. Can't stand the feel of sand on my feet. Gives me the willies.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Hour To Benefit Frogman Outdoors | Special Operations Command Veterans

LogoJanuary 13 at Heist in DC. Your $20 donation goes directly to Frogman Outdoors.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Picks For Holiday Gifts

In no particular order. Pick them up at your local fly shop, order them on Amazon Prime (and help PHWF), or get your loved ones to get them for you:

If none of these work you can always use the Random Gift Generator.

Shakoolie. For your shower beer. You come off the water in the summer and you need a can of activity beer stat and a shower. Combine them.

A shirt from Snikwah I was thoroughly impressed with the design of these shirts. Pick up one for me too. 
mens-tribal-back-black


Boomerang Tool. This stuff will cut any fishing line you have. Retractors and LED light built in.


Yeti Rambler   I have been enjoying hot or cold drinks in this since July. It travels with me everywhere.
YETI Rambler 20 and 30 ounce Tumbler

Rite bobbin It will change how you tie flies. You will need more than one. Trust. 


 
Regal Vise. I've been using them for 10 years now. 
Regal Vise

Activated Charcoal Pills. Because wader farts can be prevented. Especially when you are wearing someone elses waders.
Nature's Way Charcoal Activated, 100 Capsules, 280 mg

A Flyin The Flats shirt. We've been wearing them for several months and they fit great and are terribly comfy. The wife wears hers to sleep.
Charleston Blue LS Back on White

Potato Ricer. Your mashed taters are lumpy. Trust me on this one.
 

Cablz. Been wearing them for two years and haven't noticed them. I walk in the door and hang my Costas on the thermostat.
 


Fly Vines. From your wrist to a dog leash. 
Bracelets 
Simms fold over mitts aka Glommits. 
ExStream Foldover Mitt

Angling Art by Andrea Larko. She has the Midas touch. 
 





Cholula green pepper. I discovered this near SRNY. I will get a case on Amazon. 


 Drink Like a Honey Badger Novelty Flask


For Reference




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

That Trip To NYC | Donger Need Food

Last month the wife and I drove up to New York City to walk around and eat. Its not often we get to travel with out the pixie. That means several things. I can use profanity, I can day drink, I can stay up late and go out, I can sleep in.

We are going to start up a business where people pay my wife (hey you perv, get your mind out of the gutter)  to suggest where to eat in certain cities. I came up with that after she took me around NYC with a list of places to eat. 100% of her spots were amazing.

Here are the pictures from our trip:

Always enjoyed the rock structures in Jersey before we cross the river. 

 First look at the new Freedom building.
 The boss on the ferry. We parked at my cousin's and took the boat over. Only fish I saw was a Coney Island White Fish.
 Walked past this place. Meatballs on top of your Christmas Tree!
 My first trip into Central Park. Bumped into this guy fly fishing. I got a few casts in. Lots of bluegill.

 The boss.
 This guy was displaying some fantastic raunchy porno spreads.
 Me casting.
 After a few drinks the wife decided to play hide and seek in the hotel.
 Our first eat was at Halal Guys. Then off to the slurp shop.

 Ramen. this stuff is legit.
 A lady in a horse head buying a falafel. Cus why not.
 Yup.
 Then desert at a David Chang place. I was not impressed.
 I love the old architecture of the city.
 Post dinner slice.
 Cool ovens and fridge.
 The wife had to eat here. I passed. I don't do sweets at breakfast.

 Off to the High Line. This place was awesome. So tacticle and visual. Every grass had a different hue and feel. Look for this show http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/tag/high-line/
 This section was my favorite.
 Trees through the rail tracks. Red berries if you can't see the color red.
 These lounges are on the tracks and can be moved back and forth.
 Asteracae in bloom and at seed. Every plant is in a specific place for a specific reason for their color, height, seed, berry, etc. It really is artwork.
 Fall crocus. Didn't know it existed.

 Hey now.




 "Two Weeks"
 Blueprints and bulbs.
 Always glad to have a camera to capture moments like this.



 Always get excited for Equisetum


 First beer of the day at the Corner Bistro.
 These were about 90% vodka then some tomato juice.
 Robert DiNero and Anthony Hopkins trailers for a movie.
 Blind Tiger ran out of TP. This stuff only happens to me you see. I sat there on the terlet and texted and called the boss. She didn't pick up. Then I called the bar 3 times and it was busy. Then I got through. The bar tender handed me a stack of tiny 4"x4" cocktail napkins. Then the wife noticed I was gone. She thought I was trapped. Then I hear someone else say 'is he trapped' then another person. It was starting to draw attention. Sigh.
 Craft beer.
 I sat next to an amateur photographer from Portland. We had a lot to talk about.

 I always visit the west Village when in NYC. My parents lived there in the 60's and I consider it part of my family's neighborhood. I was threatened and kicked out of  John's Pizza on Bleaker when I was a kid. I was all decked out in Red Sox swag. They did not approve.
 Then off to Buvette. Damn. I mean seriously. I could have spent the entire day there.


 My neighbors and a pheasant.
 I only do pate when I have wine. This was brilliant.
 Salad nicoise. I grew up eating this.
 OMG.
 They have this at Whole Foods. Buy it.

 Then we walked around the city. This TV show was being taped live. I made goofy faces at them.
 Then off to this noodle joint.
 This was spicy. This guy does not like his chicken this spicy. Glad there was a napkin dispenser in front of me. I was schvitzing gallons. It was terrible fun. This must be the same fun one get from having a chick beat them with a whip.
 Too much cumin for me in this lamb burger.

 View from hotel.
 I had to get a falafel.

 Remember that I just ate dinner? There is always room for falafel.

Walked by Philippe's poster. That was funny.


What a selection of bourbon.
 
 Wanted to steal it.
 Picking up order for my dad.

Back to Jersey. They know how to make a sandwich in Jersey.

 I was pleased.
 Water on the way back. Never seen anyone fish these tidal salt ponds. Why?

 
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