Precious Metal

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

In England and still throughout Commonwealth countries, local roads made of crushed granite fragments are often called “metal roads” or “metalled roads,”  since “metalling” was defined as the practice of binding gravel or crushed stone in a bit of tar to render a rural road durable. If such a term can be applied to overland routes, perhaps a tiny little river that cuts its way through a canyon of granite slabs and litters its bed with the shards of those rocks can be figuratively called “metal” as well.

And so as I type this, I think back on yesterday’s fishing outing with the kind of feeling I suspect the old prospectors might have had when they struck a vein — when men like George Hearst or Pablo Flores hit a shiny seam or mother lode that put a family on the historical map. I think back to the mountain stream I fished yesterday, called the Silver Fork, and I realize that I too have struck “precious metal.”

In this case the effect was to take me off-map, rather than put me on. The Silver Fork of the American River is a tiny tributary of the American River’s South Fork, which itself is one of three separate larger forks of the total Californian American River watershed. The Silver Fork joins the South Fork from a small granite side-canyon high in the tall pines eco-zone; it is a flow of which relatively few are aware, given that most folks scream past the diminutive confluence bent only on shaving a minute off their time to or from the Tahoe casinos.

In this mountain range, such a stream setting is as classic as it gets. Across time, the Silver Fork has carved a small but noteworthy channel through High Sierra granite slabs, and even now slides mostly across them. Although there are loose pebbles in abundance, it is not really a freestone waterway because its real base is largely solid rock. As a result, insect life variety and quantity is somewhat less than what other river bottoms can sustain, and that affects fish growth rates. Terrestrial food supplies are a predominant source of nourishment here. Most water is shallow, and it’s all as clear as the air above it. Roll casts are indispensable, and floating fly lines are the only type that make any sense.

Continue reading → Precious Metal

Trout Shack

Guest Blogger: Brandon Sausner

Last winter I bought a run-down house in Deposit N.Y. on the Upper west Branch of the Delaware river. It was once the one room schoolhouse for the town of Deposit New York. For the last twenty years or more it was a storage shack with no electricity or plumbing owned by a man from New York City who also had a mobile home across the street. The man had a dream where he sold one property and built on to my shack and spent summers in it with his wife. It seems time and age caught up with him and at age eighty-five he sold the property to me. He said that after his wife passed, he just didn’t come up to the Catskills anymore. I bought it from him and hatched my dry fly getaway dreams.

The property around the cabin was covered with ticks and weeds and general debris. The shack itself was solid enough to rebuild but generally a total disaster. Some of my buddies my stickers with a picture of the place that said “Brandy’s trout shack” and put them everywhere I would find them but most were eager to lend a hand at getting the place rolling. It took two forty-yard dumpsters, several trailer trips to the dump and everyone I could find to get the place turned around. It also includes, a new roof, a new well pump and tank, and brand new two-hundred-amp panel.

I bought this cabin for many reasons. The two most prominent are that I love fishing that river and I want a place for me and all my friends and family to gather and enjoy it. I always come to understand things a little to late. The local fly shop closed, and I never understood what it meant to the local fishing community until after. Covid hit and I finally realize that fishing with friends and creating an experience is more valuable than I had ever known. I watched my father work until he was 67 years old and then move to his little house on a trout river. I’m not waiting that long and I’m taking my buddies with me.

Three Great Spots to Go Fly Fishing in Florida

Looking for some super fly fishing? Check out this list of three great spots to go fly fishing in Florida before putting together your next trip.

Florida has no shortage of incredible fly fishing locations. Whether you’re planning a trip for next weekend or next winter, searching for the perfect fishing spot can be daunting. To narrow down your search, check out these three great spots to go fly fishing in Florida.

Mosquito Lagoon
Mosquito Lagoon is less than an hour outside Orlando, Florida, is a perfect spot to watch the sunset. And, beyond the view, Mosquito Lagoon is worth visiting for the fishing. Fly fishing enthusiasts flock to Mosquito Lagoon for tarpon, redfish, and snook. Nestled within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore, Mosquito Lagoon offers some excellent flats fishing. Redfish can be caught all year, but the conditions vary month to month. In the winter and spring, the water is clear, cool, and low and makes for easy sight fishing throughout the day. Come the warmer months, the lagoon gets foggy and its best to get your time in very early or later in the afternoon. Whatever time of year you choose, you’ll find some great fly fishing.

Naples & Vicinity
Naples is gorgeous town on its own, and it is particularly great for fly fishing during the summer and fall months. While visiting the city, you can use Naples as your home base as you visit renowned fly fishing spots such as the Everglades and Ten-Thousand Islands. Sitting on the southwest coast of Florida, Naples’ has backcountry mangrove shorelines and creeks where you’ll find redfish, snook, tarpon, and barracudas. On the other hand, offshore fish near Naples includes some big game like mako sharks, grouper, tuna, and marlin – always a real challenge to catch ‘on the fly’.

Florida Keys
We’re saved the best for last – the Keys, home to some of the best saltwater fly fishing in the world. Besides the warm weather, the wide-ranging variety of prey – most notably permit, bonefish, and tarpon – makes the Keys one of the great spots to go fly fishing in Florida, or anywhere else, for that matter. Any time of the year you head to the Keys, you’ll find fish to catch. Expect a healthy supply of bonefish in the summer months. September brings calm conditions, warm water, and fewer people and is one of the top months for Florida Keys fly fishing.

Whichever one of these hotspots speaks to you the most, be sure to grab your essential gear, like these fly tying supplies, before planning your trip. As with the Keys, you can visit Naples and Mosquito Lagoon great fly fishing now and later in the fall season.