For the past 8 years Tim Lussow, a biology teacher at Colony High School and friend of StreamWorks, has helped expose the world of fly fishing to hundreds of students through a uniquely designed course called, “Alaska Wildlife.”
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Carp used to get a bad rep as big, ugly, dumb fish. Over the past few years though, fly anglers are coming around and starting to view carp as more than just a “trash” fish. There are a lot of good reasons, too. Carp are widely available all around the United States, and they’re a fun challenge to fish for. Plus there’s something particularly satisfying about pulling a giant fish out of the water. If you have kids fishing alongside you, they’ll love it even more than you do. Let’s talk about the ins and outs of fly fishing for carp.
Today’s fly tiers are participating in a tradition that goes back thousands of years. The tradition has evolved remarkably as new technologies, methods, and materials have been developed. However, the core of the practice looks much the same as it did in ancient China or 19th-century England. Let’s take a closer look at the history of fly tying.
Early History of Fly Tying
When looking at the history of fly tying, we can’t say precisely when the first person created an artificial fly for fishing, but there’s evidence that flies were used in ancient China as early as 3,000 BC. Chinese fishermen used a feather from a kingfisher attached to a hook. A few thousand years later, in about 200 AD, we have evidence that Macedonians used similar artificial flies. They used dyed wool for the fly’s body and a rooster’s feathers for the wings.
Any angler who is familiar with ancient Lake Lahontan in Nevada will have heard about The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. The Lahontan Cutthroat is native to all of the small rivers in the Great Basin of North America. These rivers once fed ancient Lake Lahontan during the Ice Ages. At it’s peak, ancient Lake Lahontan covered over 8,000 square miles of land. All that is left of ancient Lake Lahontan today are smaller lakes such as Pyramid Lake, Walker Lake and Lake Tahoe.
Over the years I have had many conversations with people who are interested in giving fly fishing a try. Their eyes light up when they talk about how it looks like a lot of fun or that it seems like a great way to relax and connect with nature. Then, their hopes begin to fade as they start talking about one thing in particular. So, what is the biggest lie in the fly fishing industry?
StreamWorks has a lot of friends around the world. Some of them are insanely talented. We would like to introduce you to Christian Howarth of Drawings on the Fly. Christian lives in Eugene, Oregon and is an avid fly fisherman and artist. His artwork focuses on fly fishing and flies and some of them are so real that it’s hard to tell them apart from the photos. He is a big fan of StreamWorks and constantly helps spread the good word about us to other anglers. There are some examples of his work at the bottom of this article.
My fishing life began at the young age of three out at Topaz Lake, a treasure of Nevada. I was there more for a chance to be out of the house and my Dad was the one doing most of the fishing. Being a fourth generation Nevadan, my entire life has revolved around being an outdoorsman. Fishing at three, sitting in a duck blind by four holding a red rider, and of course the big game hunting that my brother and I got to tag along for starting at eight years old. I’ve thrown spinners and bait as well as fly fished since I was a boy. So, let’s talk about fly fishing vs spin fishing.
The topic of catch and release has become a very heated discussion in the fly fishing world. I’d like to start by saying that I’m not against keeping fish. I’m not against eating fish. I’m not saying you need to release the fish that you catch. The purpose of this article is to explain catch and release techniques so that if you choose to release a fish you do it in a way that will limit damage and minimize fatality rates. Since I’m not trying to convince people to release fish, you don’t have to keep reading if you never plan on releasing any fish that you catch.