Wednesday, October 19, 2011

3rd Annual Truckee River One-fly Tournament

We finished the third year of the tournament and it was the best yet. Jan came through with some great Orvis prizes and the local Corona distributor provided us with some awesome raffle prizes. Outback Steakhouse ended up donating the meat to UNR AFS and helped us increase our bottom line tremendously. Thanks to Bobby Jones for setting up the food deal and cooking for such a big group with the help of my brother Robert. In all, we raised over $1600 that will go directly into the Truckee River watershed. None of this could have been done without the help of the awesome volunteers from the University of Nevada, Reno American Fisheries Society Student subunit.

Local fly fishing guide Mike Curtis ended up winning the tournament with an 18 inch brown. In the giving spirit of the One-fly, Mike Curtis donated the grand prize, a Hydros 9'6" 6 wt. rod back to UNR AFS to raise more money through a blind auction. When Mikey Wier won the 1st annual One-fly, he did the same thing and we raised an additional $500. Hopefully this year we can do the same. The auction is open to everyone, so if you want to bid before November 1, just leave me a message.

This year we had people from Reno, Sparks, Carson, Susanville, San Francisco, and Las Vegas come out for the tournament. Really, a great response from a great group of anglers. Next year all registration will be online and will be limited to the first 10 teams of two that sign up. I am looking forward to yet another great group of anglers and raising more money to make the Truckee River watershed a better place to live and fish for all. I'll post the work being done with the generous donations here on my blog and it will also be available on the UNR AFS website and our Facebook page.

Independence Lake

Since I learned about Independence Lake and its significance in the landscape, I have been compelled to try and help the many agencies that are making a difference up there. Last weekend we were up at IL with the UNR American Fisheries Society to enjoy the lake and get some work done. Of course, I forgot my camera on the trip to upper Independence Creek, by far the most impressive portion of the basin, so I only have pictures stolen from the UNR AFS Facebook page, but I will say that it reminded me of the many Alaskan streams I crossed a few years ago. There was a real sense of wildness to the creek and you couldn't help but feel like you were among the special few who have ventured into this place. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but it is definitely a place worth visiting.
The fishing at IL seems like it would be easier than it was due t the relative lack of angler visitation, but I managed to get skunked two weeks in a row. It had recently snowed the first week I was there, but the temps were warm and the lake was putting off a low fog throughout the day. The fog made for a surreal experience in the morning and gave a sort of mystical quality to the water throughout the day as the fog hugged the surface of the lake in the windless bays.
My wife and I fished most of the afternoon and she was the only one to catch anything. I blame this on the fact that I gave her my best flies and spent the majority of my time teaching her ow to cast. The reality is that I always get spanked when I teach her a new hobby; It happened with rock climbing too. Regardless of who caught fish, I was happy to see some healthy Mountain Whitefish in the lake, but disappointed that I never got to see the LCT that make the lake such a unique place to be. For those of you that don't know, Independence Lake is one of only two places in the world where a surviving and naturally reproducing population of original Lahontan cutthroats still exist. The native fish assemblage of the ancient Lake Lahontan still exists in the lake and only crayfish, Kokanee salmon, Brooks and Brown trout spoil the lake from its ancient composition. I think it's sad that the list is that long, but The Nature Conservancy and USGS are doing some great things to try and shorten that list.
One of the many things that The Nature Conservancy is doing to try and keep the list of introductions short is offering motorized boats every other week and unpowered craft, like kayaks and pontoon boats, every week from when they open in the Spring to November 1st. I think I planned my choice of boats unwisely when I visited IL. I used the motor boat on the calm weekend and chose a cold and windy weekend to try fishing from a kayak for the first time. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have just hiked to upper Independence Creek on the windy day and given up fishing all together. On second thought, I never give up a chance to fish, even if the wind is howling and there is no way I'm going to catch a fish. After all, I like fishing for the somewhat ridiculous notion that I have the ability to tie a fly that looks good enough to fool a fish into believing it's the real thing. Catching fish is just a bonus on top of being able to enjoy the amazing rivers and lakes that are out there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Possible UNR AFS logo

In my limited spare time I have been trying to get back into art and most of the time I find that my energy is focused at our new UNR American Fisheries Society subunit. I have been messing around with Adobe Illustrator quite a bit and I'm feeling more comfortable with it every time I use it. My first product was the stonefly in the title banner of this blog and my second is an attempt to create a logo for UNR AFS that looks good and says something without being too busy. I sat down and thought of words that I would try to convey in the logo and Reno and fish kept coming up. So...the current version of our logo incorporates Reno and fish in the most parsimonious fashion.

I'll run it by the members next Tuesday and see what they think. If it doesn't end up as our logo, I think it will make a pretty cool shirt that will be marketable to everyone in a fundraiser or something. We'll see. Let me know what you think; any comments are appreciated (but save your wrist the trouble of telling me it looks like the Patagonia logo, I already know).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PRE: Truckee River One-fly tournament

Three years ago, Jan Nemec and I stood around talking about how great it would be if there were an annual fly fishing event on the Truckee River. We talked about the various formats-one fly, two-fly, one pattern, straight tournament-but we settled on a one-fly tournament like the one made famous in Jackson. The first year was a pilot and we didn't even know if we would gather the momentum needed to carry on another year. It turns out that the response from those 18 who came out to fish was positive, so we decided to give it another go. The second annual one-fly almost didn't happen. I was busy and had virtually no time to plan. The awesome people I have met through the years came through that year and we had prizes to draw in a crowd. The second year only drew a few people, twelve I think, but we had a great time. This year, the third, I find myself getting nervous about having too many people (never thought I would have that problem). The idea of this tournament from the beginning was to bring together the people and businesses that operate in the fishing world and make it a tighter community. What I have learned through the years is that the people come together, but the businesses are not so eager to join forces. With the challenge of getting participants behind me (hopefully), I am looking forward to the next challenge: bringing together the businesses around a common goal.
On that note, I would like to give credit to the businesses that have worked with us over the years: Jan from Orvis (though it seems he's been everywhere), Patti and Chris from The Nature Conservancy (who gave us access to McCarran Ranch), Eric from Sportsman's warehouse and Jamie from Cabela's have been instrumental in helping us raise funds for restoration work on the Truckee. In future years I would like to see this list grow and raise enough money to get a community led project completed on the river. This event continues to evolve and my hope is that one day it becomes a model of anglers, conservationists and businesses coming together for the good of the river. If you have ideas or want to help, please leave a comeent below. Stay tuned for the "POST: Truckee River One-fly tournament" entry coming next week. Wish us luck!
And a special thanks to David calvert for the photos in this post. He is an amazing photographer and volunteered his time and equipment to document our second year. Check out his website to see more 2010 One-fly pictures.