Exciting Fishing Sites You Should Follow

Nominations for the 2012 IFishWrite Big Splash Award for Excellence in Angling Journalism

Providing knowledge is part of the value, but bringing it to you in an entertaining, inspiring manner feeds the dream. We’re constantly looking for angling sites that provide a number of criteria in a highly interesting manner. If you know of such a site we may have not yet seen or analyzed please share it by contacting us here.

Let’s Make A Splash!

And for that reason I have selected the following sites as the most outstanding angling urls thus far in my personal experience. (I have friends who will hate me–but I have a policy in place as well.) These site recommendations are nominees at this point, not winners. I’ll post more as I come across them and find them worthy of attention. I have a selected  review board of anglers who have agreed to participate as Judges in this first annual IFishWrite BIG SPLASH Award for Online Excellence in Angling Journalism.

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I’m awarding four categories for this annual recognition:

Best of Content

Best of Photography

Best Outfitter

Best All-Around

Best Outfitter

Please participate with me by posting your recommendations in the comment section. We’ll consider and weigh every site suggested–please no spam–we’ll reject that and I’ll report you! I’m asking for legitimate site recommendations that have to do with FISHING.

I’ll post the winners of 2012 competition on or about January 1st of 2013. I have a select Board of Judges whom I’ll name at that time with links to their sites. (No they are not allowed to recommend themselves, nor am I. Read the Policy here.) Our idea is to link you to what’s really good and who does it, so that we can all improve our sites.

Here’s my list of contenders so far:

Bass Angling Archives (Content) Angling writers Terry Battisti and Pete Robbins combine their skills to bring their readers the best in bass angling history.

Tosh Brown (Photography)Texas-based Tosh Brown is a full time outdoor photographer and writer whose willingness to share technique and lore makes him exceptional.

Deneki Outdoors (Outfitters) Operators of quality fly fishing lodges in the Bahamas, British Columbia, and Alaska, these bloggers provide food of vision to inspire fishers of adventure.

Catch Magazine  (All Around)

The Criteria

Our selection is based on a review of these qualifying characteristics.  Does their site encourage, promote or have:

1) Original Content with rich purpose, crafted use of the language and a gift for insight

2) Captures and enhances the world of fishing for everyone

3) Inspires young and old alike to take up a rod of any sort and get on the water

4) Encourages anglers the world over of all ages to respect the water and all fish species.  to good ethics and principles of healthy conservation including harvest where appropriate

5) Promotes ethical relationships to the industry as well as principles of healthy conservation including harvest where appropriate

6) Educates on issues important to local, national and world fisheries management

7) Provide innovative, creative presentation of content including uniqueness of style in photographs and video

8) Teaches technique in presentation including the reasons why some products produce better results.

9) Provides links and promote other sites as well as their own

10) Uses Social Media effectively to enhance angling awareness

11) Promotes or provides stories and facts about the history of angling

12) Promotes safety through awareness

13) Carries relevance to today’s angling challenges

14) Demonstrates excellence in media presentation

Answers to the above questions are rated from one to ten. If you would like to suggest a qualifying question or become one of our deciding Board of Advisors, please contact us here. If you would like to suggest a website for consideration of the 2013 IFishWrite Award of Excellence in Angling Journalism, please contact us here.

All recommendations are reviewed for consideration by our select Board of Advisors. Nominations for next year’s awards will close at midnight Pacific Standard Time, December 15, 2012.

Good luck!

~Dwayne Parsons on Twitter @IFishWrite

 

 

 

 

Lake Pend Oreille: A Tell Tale Sign in the Water

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Predator of Another Kind

I had just pushed off Go Fish Charter’s Fishing Guide, Chad Landrum, and his happy 3-man charter from my dock where they had come into lunch and share their stories of a good morning on walleye. As the boat moved out and took current under his engine, I saw this carcass floating right beside the dock. At first glance I thought it was small mouth bass, and told Chad on the phone that’s what I thought I had seen. He told me he had seen it as well and that he thought it was a tench, and ancient holdover generally considered a scrap fish.

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The Phenomenon

Chad was right. when I processed the digital and looked at it more carefully, I could see that it was indeed a tench. Though the eyes are the same color as that of a small mouth, the head is shaped differently, showing the bottom feeder of a non-predatory genealogy. What I found most interesting was the way in which the obviously dead fish had been eaten. The bite and scratch marks were not recognizably like anything I had ever seen on aquatic carrion in North Idaho. I went on about my business just kind of puzzled, trying to think what kind of animal or bird would have eaten a dead fish in that manner.

It wasn’t until the following day when we hosted the Cofrances family of kids and two of their close friends that the mystery came to light. I heard one of the older teens, Bob Byrum’s daughter, Beth Byrum, exclaim that there was a large turtle in the water at the edge of the sandy shoreline. Beth is the youngest member of an incredible singing group, Sarabeth, that I hope to feature sometime on this or another site.

I expected to see a Painted Turtle, a variety common to these waters; instead, I was surprised to see, when she picked it up, that it was in fact a non-native Snapping Turtle. I had seen them before on a trip through the South.

That was now several days ago. I’ve mentioned it to half a dozen people I know and was surprised to learn that others who’ve lived around Lake Pend Oreille all of their lives have seen them before also. My brother-in-law for one had heard something scratching in his garage a year ago or so and was shocked to find a Snapping Turtle sitting on the seat of his riding lawnmower.

Invasive Species

How they got here is anybody’s guess. I say probably an aquarium release of a young turtle or two when someone moved. Who knows. I can only guess at this point that they are reproducing. This one was a male. It was obvious–let’s just leave it at that.

I certainly intend to question Idaho Department of Fish & Game officials about it. I’ll show them the photos if they laugh at me. And if I learn more, I’ll share it here on IFishWrite.

~Dwayne on Twitter @IFishWrite

 

Fulfillment Is The Dream Come True

Something Really Large Is Swimming In Your River

When we land a river-run rainbow this size on a fly, we know we've completed something begging inside. Tom Gower knows for sure.

There’s something fulfilling swimming in every good river and it’s part of the upcoming story co-authored by Montana Guide, Russell Moore and myself in a new book In Clear Water due out this June.

When we’re boys just learning (it happens to girls too) a trout the size of the one above is only a dream. A stream-caught trout eight-inches long is as rewarding to a child as the one caught here was for Tom.

Incredibly, while we’re still young, the stream on occasion gives up a relatively large fish, like the 16-inch Brookie I remember from Berry Creek. I was 10, shaking in the cold dew of a June morning and I caught it on a fly. You weren’t there, I know; but it was a dandy! We’re always dazzled by a fish bigger than the norm, and once dazzled we advance the dream. The great thing about fly fishing the dream is that it promotes catch and release, which translates to sustainability and fish that grow as large as this one.

If we continue to fish as we grow older and manage to keep that dream alive, one day we walk out of the river and photograph a memory like the one Tom Gower gives us in this photo. But it only happens if we believe and if we’re fortunate enough to learn from a fly fishing guide as qualified as Russell Moore. It’s as much about understanding the fish, the aquatic life and the moods of a river as it is about the art of casting and presenting flies, whether dry flies or nymphs.

Russell has been fly fishing, guiding and teaching fly fishers for more than 30 years. He’s added a lot of knowledge to fly fishers like Tom whose great trout we admire in the photo above. Many of today’s fly fishers learned to cast and present from Russell or someone like him. Having Russell Moore on board for this upcoming book is not only an honor; it’s like a scoop on a hot news story.

If we believe, we learn; if we dream, we believe. Figure it out. A truly large fish like this one can be understood and caught; but you’ve got to go to the experts to find out how.

When I was in high school some forty years ago, we thought we’d run out of good fishing. But the fact is, thanks to sound management and people who care to release fish back into the water from which they came, we enjoy today some of the finest fishing the world has ever known.

To help revitalize your dream, stay tuned for the upcoming book, In Clear Water, by Russell Moore and Dwayne Parsons. It will soon be available online as well as in book stores and fly shops near you. It’s a treasure of method, story and dream spiraling through the pages of experience and memory, with new techniques and river wisdom you just won’t want to miss.

# Dwayne Parsons  @ifishwrite on Twitter