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qualiry flies sold through pro shops. The unique patterns include designs from Gary Bulla, a pioneer of surf fishing in Southern California and in the various Baja fisheries.

Also, Jay Paulson is tying for Idyl-wilde. Paulson designed the Ka-Cudda fly for the company. It is a proven barracuda pattern that holds up to multiple fish. The new patterns will be introduced in September and become available in local pro shops in January 2009. To see Idylwilde's complete line of flies, go to www.idylwilde.com.

Tarpon

(UYA Films, 2008; wtuiu. thebookmailer.com) DVD, approximately 53 minutes; $34.95

For years, bootleg copies of the classic 1974 film Tarpon have been floating around, but the hard-to-find gem has finally been released commercially in the U.S. If you haven't seen it yet, get a copy.

Restored by UYA Films, Tarpon is a documentary set in Key West featuring rare interviews with legendary guides Steve Huff, Woody Sexton and Gil Drake. The movie captures the essence of the sport with absolutely incredible video footage and commentary by popular authors of the day Thomas McGuane, Jim Harrison and Richard Brautigan. Jimmy Buffett even composed the original music for the film.

Directed by Christian Odasso and Guy de la Valdene, Tarpon was not met with initial commercial success. Its hard-hitting stance against killing fish was accompanied by somewhat graphic video, which kept distributors at arm's length. In reality, the film was ahead of its time, and the insightful, candid interviews chronicle some of the early observations and concerns regarding the future of the species and the importance of releasing fish.

Tarpon is more a work of art than a fishing video. Saltwater fly-fishers everywhere will enjoy it.

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HELL'S BAY ACQUIRES GORDON BOATWORKS

Hell's Bay Boatworks in early July announced that it acquired rival skiff company Gordon Boatworks for an undisclosed sum.

"The buyout brings together two powerhouses in the shallow-water boat market. It also is a reunion of sorts. Tom Gordon, an expert boatbuilder who worked as Hell's Bay's plant manager from 1999 to 2005, returns to the company after nearly a four-year stint operating his own business.

All Gordon Boatworks' intellectual property and models — including its popular 16- and 18-foot Waterman and Ambush designs — will move from its Oak Hill, Florida, facility to Hell's Bay headquarters in neighboring Titusville.

"We're very excited about joining together these two shallow-water fishing industry leaders," said Hell's Bay president Chris Peterson, who purchased the 10-year-old company two years ago and has been steadily rebuilding its longstanding heritage. "Gordon Boatworks

Gordon Boatworks Ambush
Hell's Bay president Chris Peterson (left) welcomes back longtime boatbuilder Tom Gordon.

has a loyal following among avid anglers, boaters and guides around the world."

Peterson said it was Gordon's intimate knowledge of boats that led to his success and that "Hell's Bay considered Gordon Boatworks the only legitimate competition for a truly technical poling skiff." Furthermore, Peterson rationalized that since the companies were located so close together, "it just makes a lot of sense to consolidate the operations into one company in one location."

The Hell's Bay operation now boasts an impressive 11 models of shallow-water skiffs in the 14- to 18-foot range.

Said Gordon: "We have the ideal skiff for every type of shallow-water fishing now. It will be exciting to offer such a depth of product to the fishing enthusiast."

SIX TO BE INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

Six individuals will be inducted into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame on October 18. Ed Van Put, Francis Betters, Art Neuman, George Griffith, Dave Whitlock and Ed Zern will join 54 of the biggest names in the sport already inducted, including Fly Fishing in Salt Waters contributors Lefty Kreh and Lou Tabory.

The ceremony and reception will be held at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum in Livingston Manor, New York, at 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Visit www .cffcm.net for more information.

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NEW FLY SHOP TO OPEN IN KEY WEST

The Angling Company, a new, 2,100-square-foot Hy shop in Key West, Florida, is scheduled to open its doors rhis November. Owner Nathaniel C. Linville, who has lived in rhe area tor three years, says the shop will cater ro rhe fly-fishing public and the local guide community.

While the shop will be open for business in November, The Angling Company's grand opening is scheduled for January 6. Swing by for great music and food and a chance to chat with other fly-fishers. The store is located at 333 Simonton Street. Visit www.theanglingco.com for more details.

TFO ADDS CLOUSER TO ADVISORY STAFF

Temple Fork Outfitters has added legend Bob Clouser to its impressive lineup of advisory-stafF endorsers. Clouser, whose Deep Minnow was introduced in 1984 and has since become one of the most popular fly patterns in the history of the sport, will assist TFO in rhe design of rods and related products. He will also assist in casting schools, educational programs and general business planning.

Clouser, who has been involved in every aspect of the sport — from rod design to tying to producing books, videos and instruction — joins a TFO staff that includes Lefty Kreh, Jim Teeny, Ed Jaworowski and Gary and Wanda Taylor.

KILPATRICK WINS WOMEN'S TARPON TOURNEY

Jayne Kilpatrick and Capt. Joe Rodriguez won the 32nd Annual Women's Fly Series Tarpon Tournament June 13 in Islamorada, Florida.

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During the two-day event, Kilpatrick hooked 13 tarpon and managed to catch and release six, each measuring longer than 4 feet. Kilpatrick, of Summerland Key, fished in Florida Bay, where she relied on a White Lightning fly. She edged Kathy Hoar, who had five tarpon releases fishing with Capt. Tad Burke. Second runner-up was Leslie Duncan, who released three tarpon fishing with Capt. Billy Knowles.

The event hosted 11 lady anglers, who released a total of 20 tarpon.

CALENDAR • FFSW Events

September

5-7 Mercury Redbone Celebrity S.L.A.M. Tournament, Key West, Florida. Call 305-664-2002 or e-mail [email protected],

13-14 Herman Lucerne Memorial Tournament, Key Largo, Florida. Call 305-664-2444 or e-mail [email protected].

14-16 Nantucket Slam, Nantucket, Massachusetts. Call 800-966-0444 or e-mail [email protected].

16-19 Islamorada Invitational Fall Fly Bonefish Tournament, Islamorada, Florida. Call 305-664-2444 or e-mail [email protected].

24-26 Boomer Esiason Montauk Slam, Long Island, New York. Call 305-664-2002 or e-mail [email protected].

25-28 Marathon International Bonefish Tournament, Marathon, Florida. Call 305-743-7368 or e-mail j°mheu;[email protected].

October

3-6 Women's World Invitational Fly Bonefish Series, Islamorada, Florida. Call Sue Moret at 305-664-5423 or e-mail [email protected].

6-8 Mercury Baybone Celebrity Tournament, Key Largo, Florida. Call 305-664-2002 or e-mail [email protected]. 13-15 Take Stock in Children Back-country Challenge, Key Largo, Florida. Call 305-451-2467 or e-mail [email protected].

16-18 Chipper Jones Family Foundation Mosquito Lagoon Celebrity Fishing Tournament, New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Call 321-255-5010 or e-mail [email protected].

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Bluefin may be a thrill on fly gear, but the species is in dire straits.

The Bluefin Dilemma

Declining Stocks and Threat of Extinction

Justify Moratorium

BY CAPT. JOHN MCMURRAY

tlantic bluefin tuna are the new hip fish to target with a fly rod, and for good reason.

They get big, are extremely strong and are one of the fastest fish in the sea. I speak from experience that there is nothing quite as intense as chasing schools

The decline of this apex predator due to commercial demand — and the high price it brings on the sushi market — is well documented. The size of the western breeding population, which spawns in the Gulf of Mexico, is estimated to be just 10 percent of what it was in the 1970s, and it is still declining.

After years of filling quota, the United States' commercial bluefin industry only managed to catch 14 percent of its allocation in 2007 and 10 percent in 2006. Until a few years ago, such quotas were overshot annually. But fishing efforts remain strong, and such harvest decline is almost certainly due to a lack of fish. Recent research indicates that bluefin caught off the eastern U.S. include many fish from the larger eastern breeding population. That leads many to believe that low U.S. catch numbers could mean the decline of the western stock is even worse than previously thought.

Scientists predict an imminent collapse of the western stock and severe problems with the eastern stock unless decisive action is taken immediately.

SHORT-TERM INTERESTS VS. LONG-TERM VIABILITY

Bluefin tuna are managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Unfortunately, ICCAT has never met its mandate to maintain fish populations at levels allowing "maximum sustainable catches." Instead, it consistently proposes quotas considerably larger than those recommended by scientists, primarily because of heavy industry lobbying and interference by politicians who claim to act on behalf of their constituents. In fact, they work against their constituent communities' long-term interests.

"So many people have interfered with the scientific process in order to keep catches high," writes Carl Safina, president of the Blue Ocean Institute. "The irony is that the western Atlantic bluefin population is crashing, and those who sought high catches are now witnessing catches that are under 10 percent of the quota, with the resulting loss of economic activity."

The bluefin's problems are just one glaring example of how management fails if good science is subordinated to short-term economic concerns.

"The focus has been on the business side of this fishery for far too long, and greed has been the driving force in its management," says Charles Witek, vice chairman of the Coastal Conservation Association's National Government Relations Committee. "CCA has long known that focusing on anything other than the health of the resource is the first step to ensuring its demise. Bluefin are another tragic example of what happens when you put business and fishermen first."

MORATORIUM: THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION

Safina writes that all of this points "toward the wisdom of temporarily ceasing all fishing of Atlantic bluefin tuna, revamping fisheries-management commissions such that scientific advice is independent and insulated from lobbying, and mandating managers to limit fisheries catches to levels recommended by those independent scientists."

CCA's board of directors is calling for a reduction of the Adantic harvest of of 100-pound fish and lobbing flies at them while they blast baitfish on the surface. That's why it pains me to say that it's time anglers consider a moratorium.

Bluefin may be a thrill on fly gear, but the species is in dire straits.

Donald Huff Titusville

HELL'S BAY BOATWORKS I 321.383.8223 I 1520 CHAFFEE DR. TITUSVILLE, FL 32780

bluefin tuna to levels supported by science. They are urging ICCAT to require all member nations to adopt such quotas by emergency action. It ICCAT fails to do so (which is likely), CCA believes that the only alternative is a complete closure of the Atlantic bluefin fishery and an international curtailment of trade.

Even the suggestion of such a closure has caused waves of discontent nor only with commercial fishers but among anglers. Even the fly-fishing community, particularly on Cape Cod, is uneasy about such a closure, as bluefin now account for a significant portion of the fly-fishing charter business.

Some argue that the recreational angling community is not responsible for these declines, since the largest source of mortality for the western-stock spawners seems to be emanating from the longline industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

However, U.S. recreational fishermen are killing too many juveniles. Its a surprising fact that recreational catches account for 70 percent of the total U.S.

catch by weight. By number, anglers account for about 90 percent of the fishing mortality.

Bluefin that spawn in the Gulf of Mexico don't mature until about age 12 (as opposed to eastern-stock fish that mature at age 5), so the reality is that anglers are "robbing the cradle." Juveniles are now crucial to rebuilding the bluefin population. Anglers killed approximately 15,500 juvenile bluefin in the second half of 2007. If the average recreational catch is 47 inches and 66 pounds (legal size is between 27 to 73 inches), that's 11 recreationally caught juveniles for every adult caught in the commercial fishery. Natural mortality of juveniles is low, as a 66-pound fish has few predators. Thus, to say anglers are not currently part of the bluefin's woes is factually incorrect.

Undoubtedly, commercial interests decimated stocks in the first place. Yet, as Dr. Russell Nelson, CCA's Gulf Fisheries consultant, correctly notes, "as is so often the case, the American fisherman is not responsible for driving bluefin tuna to the brink of collapse, but they are going to have to be a part of the solution to salvage what is left."

Continued decline appears inevitable unless catches are reduced to near zero. A moratorium on possession of bluefin tuna throughout the western Atlantic is not unreasonable. And a closure of Gulf of Mexico spawning areas for all gear capable of catching bluefin as bycatch is also warranted.

In the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, harvest should he halted until quotas and management-area boundaries adequately address the mixing of western fish with eastern fish and until scientifically-supportable regulations are imposed and adequately enforced.

The western stock probably won't survive if fishing of any kind continues.

Says Safina: "Recreational groups must now join forces to spearhead the kind of last-chance recovery that worked for striped bass. If you don't want to give up bluefin forever, recognize that what's needed now is a five-year moratorium on bluefin landings."

HELL'S BAY BOATWORKS I 321.383.8223 I 1520 CHAFFEE DR. TITUSVILLE, FL 32780

Tinkering Around

Renewed Mackerel Migrations Spawn Effective Baitfish Pattern BY HENRY COWEN

hile growing up in the mid- to late 1970s in Brooklyn, New York, I remember one of the hottest lures for striped bass was a 4- or 5'/2-inch mackerel-colored Cotton Cordell Redfin. It was simply a killer swim bait, and with a fishery that stretched the entire Staten Island shoreline as well as the seawall that runs under the Verrazano Bridge, that mackerel-colored Redfin accounted for more fish than I could have ever dreamed of.

Lefty Kreh Fish

In those days, tinker (juvenile) mackerel were one of the most prominent forage fish in these waters. Anglers in most of the mid-Atlantic region and throughout New England would await their arrival to catch hordes of striped bass, bluefish, weakfish and bluefin tuna. The migration lasted well into the mid-1980s. Then one day, just as if someone had turned off a light switch, the tinkers disappeared. Some areas along the coast occasionally saw a smattering of these vermiculated little speedsters, but the glory days of this much-anticipated run were over, and we set our sights on baby bunker, sand eels and silversides to catch game fish.

RETURN OF THE TINKER

Over the past 3 to 4 years, however, fly-fishermen have begun seeing tinker mackerel again, both in New England and the mid-Adantic regions. Tinkers usually range in size from 2Vi to 10 inches long, but most fly-toting whippy stickers tend to look for them in the 3- to 5-inch range. These are the specimens that typically show up in July and mill around until October.

While tinkers are prime striped bass bait, they are generating the most buzz these days with bluefin tuna. Tinkers are a migratory species, and like most other fish in the Northeast, they make an annual north-south journey. When tuna get the taste of tinkers, you'd better have a fly that matches the hatch; bluefins — especially the babies — can be notoriously finicky.

I was fishing in the Newport section of Rhode Island in the summer of 2006 when we happened upon some veiy finicky baby BFTs. These were fish in the 15- to 40-pound range, perfect-sized specimens for a 10-weight rod. We were throwing traditional bay anchovy-type patterns with little success. Pod after pod of bluefins would surface, only to refuse most everything we threw at them, then my fishing partner, Scott Smith, turned and said, "These things must be on some bigger bait." He asked if I had brought any tinker mackerel patterns. Taking his hint, 1 swapped out my bay anchovy fly and hooked up immediately on the very next pod. Once boated, the bluefin spit up a mouthful of 3'/2-inch tinkers before we released it. The code was cracked!

DON'T FORGET THE STRIPERS

I had a similar experience last summer with Capt. Joe Mustari. We were fishing around the Breezy Point Jetty one

July morning when the ocean turned from calm to churning. Keeper-sized striped bass were doing back flips on the water's surface. These were happy fish, and along with three or four other boats in the area, we had the time of our lives — the bass chased tinkers on the surface for the better part of two hours. It looked like something you would expect to see at Montauk Point in October.

Capt. Joe said he had seen this run of tinkers the past couple of years in New York Bight, and using a tinker mackerel pattern, we put over 15 stripers in the boat during that melee, many of which were 28 to 32 inches long. These were certainly not finicky fish, but my epoxy tinker mackerel pattern worked like a charm.

Cowens Tinker Mackerel is nothing more than a Surf Candy-type design. What makes it a bit different is that Polar Fibre is used in place of the more commonly found Super Hair or Ultra Hair. Polar Fibre is much more supple than other synthetic materials commonly used in saltwater fly designs. This material allows supreme breathability and action in the water, and it is nearly lifelike beneath the surface.

One distinct characteristic of the tinker mackerel is its vermiculated green-and-black back. When tying a fly to match these markings, a barred saddle hackle works nicely. The rest of the mackerel is basically a white belly with a slight greenish-blue shoulder. Fluorescent-white Polar Fibre is used for the body, which produces a near-perfect color match. Simple and quick to tie, I have been using this epoxy pattern for the past several seasons with great success. Thanks to Bob Popovics' idea of

epoxy-coating the body, this fly is virtually bulletproof and can last long into the day.

By the time you read this, we should be smack dab in the middle of the Northeast's tinker mackerel run. Twist up a couple of these little devils and put them in your fly box. You never know what the fish will be chowing down on. As my dad, a former Eagle Scout, would say to me before hitting the water: Always be prepared!

Materials

HOOK: Tiemco 81 IS, size #1 to 2/0 THREAD: Danville monofilament, size .006 fine WING: Fluorescent-white Polar Fibre BELLY: Fluorescent-white Polar Fibre BACK: 1\vo green-barred saddle hackles FLASH: Krystal Flash, pearl

BODY: E-Z Body braid (natural or white) in sizes medium or large, depending on size of fly

EYES: Prismatic stick-on, silver with black pupil in size #2 to #4, depending on length of fly EPOXY: Devcon (5- to 30-minute epoxy)

Tying Instructions

With hook point facing up in vice, tie in the white Polar Fibre belly near eye of hook (leave about Vs-inch of room at the eye of hook to properly finish fly).

With hook point facing down in vice, tie in the white Polar Fibre wing directly on top of belly.

Tie in pearl Krystal Flash along both sides of fly. Tie in two green-barred saddle hackles (tented) on top of white Polar Fibre wing.

Step 5 Prepare E-Z Body braid by cutting the rear end on a 45-degree angle, allowing a small piece to trail off the top of the hook bend and prevent fouling. E-Z Body has two white strings that keep the braid from unraveling. Pull out one of the white strings of the E-Z Body that will be placed on the top side of the fly. Leave one white string on the E-Z Body braid that will be the belly of the fly. Slide the braid over the dressed fly and lash down at the eye of the hook. Affix Prismatic stick-on eyes. Mix two-part epoxy and apply one light coat only to the E-Z Body head and body. (NOTE: Using one light coat of epoxy on the E-Z Body gives this fly a preferable, scale-like finish when dry. Adding a second coat makes the fly dry crystal clear.)

Tinker Mackerel

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Responses

  • Marmaduc
    How to tie the white lightning fly?
    8 years ago
  • josephine
    How to tie the ka cudda?
    2 years ago

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