My Blog List

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!

A Screaming Reel Means Happiness!

Not a Good Idea!


Daniel Bravo a friend of the Manifesto on the West Coast doing what he does BEST!
Catching West Coast Steelhead.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Got Cracked Hands?

Winter Steelhead or Trout Fishing is very hard on your hands. Your skin is normally smooth and supple and soft if you’re a woman but starting in September, hands can start turn red, chapped, and rough but as winter goes on, your hands can even be cracked. When that happens it can actually become a painful condition and no fun.

What is the main culprit? Is the lack of moisture to start?

During winter, the humidity in the outside air starts to plunge. Inside, things are even drier, thanks to indoor heating. If you're washing your hands frequently to avoid catching a cold or the flu, you can take whatever natural oils are left in your skin. Not to mention bait fishermen use of cures for spawn and that will dry your hands out very quick!

That can leave your hands so dehydrated that they crack, peel, and sometimes even bleed.

Is your skin strong or do you have a weak Barrier?
How well your hands can withstand winter's harsh conditions has a lot to do with the strength of your skin barrier. The skin barrier is a mix of proteins, lipids, and oils. These things protect your skin, but how good of a job it does is mostly about your genes. Yes it’s genetic.

If you have a weak skin barrier, you're hands a more prone to symptoms of sensitive skin, such as itching, inflammation, and cracking. Your hands are also more likely to become very dry in winter. I personally have a weak barrier and bad genes.

If you have suffered from chapped hands in the past year, you may be more likely to have that happen again every winter. So you must be prepared every year to deal with this like me.
Protection means, Moisturize!

To treat dry and chapped hands, you need to replace the moisture that your skin so desperately needs.

"It's the moisturizer applied directly to the skin that will keep water from evaporating and give your skin a healthy look. Start moisturizing before there's a problem. Start in the summer and remember "The best prevention is to begin using a moisturizer before your hands show signs of dryness". Its skin maintenance.

Putting moisturizer on once a day is inadequate and does not do the job. You will need to apply moisturizer more frequently, it’s recommended by dermatologists five or six applications a day actually. Anything is better than nothing.

Remember to rub the hand cream or lotion over your cuticles and nails as well.

If you’re suffering already from cracked hands here is a Great Tip

Get yourself some good hand cream such as O’Keeffe’s Hand Cream it costs around $6.00 at your local pharmacy. Apply a thick covering of lotion on your hands and cuticles and then put on a pair of rubber latex gloves. This way your hands will have all night to absorb the moisturizer. When you wake up your hands will love you. 
Nothing gets on your pillows and no mess. This is providing you do not have a latex allergy. If so they make gloves non latex. You do not want to add to the problem. I'm no Doctor by any means I just know what has worked for me. Remember your hands are a pretty important piece of equipment. Take good care of them.

Winter fishing can be a great time of year to get and enjoy a great day on the water. Don't let dry and cracked hands ruin it. Get outside this winter the river and fish are waiting. 
Thanks so much for stopping by. Feel free to share this article on Facebook or Twitter or comment below. Have a great Winter Season.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Passion meets Courage (The Winter Steel Header)

Courage; think about that word for a moment. When we use that word what do we think of? Is it a story of someone saving someone’s life? Or some bold, daring rescue maybe? The passage is titled this because any man who is truly passionate about Steelhead fishing must have some courage to fish in the winter time. Only a man with a burning passion or desire could pursue a fish when freezing temperatures would send any other person packing for the car or staying home. All this comes with a price though. A wintertime Steelheader will tell you it’s not easy.

Where you could spend all day freezing, or spend the day very cold, wet, and miserable. It’s not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure. What drives a man to endure these kinds of conditions?  Only too suffer and catch nothing all day or catch his quarry only to release it. A madman some people say.

But those willing to brave the elements or accept the challenge, the rewards can be great on many levels. My favorite reaction is when you stop at the gas station pulling a drift boat. People say “What are you nuts? Going fishing on a day like this? On a boat?” This is the time of year a Winter Steelhead angler lives for. Land a Steelhead and you’ll understand. No one is out there; you have the river to yourself. I have never met an angler who enjoys or welcomes combat fishing.

We love the challenge of a fish that can be so finicky, it could drive you insane. Only the right presentation or perfect drift will do. A fish that’s unwilling to move more than just a few inches for your Fly. Which means your drift must be perfect by inches. If you can master that, it will result in a bent rod.

The real purpose of this article is not point out that we’re nuts (we already know that) or to teach you the latest technique or method. The point is what it really means to be a Winter Steel-Header. There is a life lesson to be taught here to everyone, even non fishers and the like. Some people may need a reminder or maybe they should look a little deeper into the obvious.

The obvious is when a person is so committed to something or is so passionate about it; they will endure harsh conditions or even the icy cold waters. Where after all day you got nothing, but yet you leave happy or fulfilled inside. A true river angler will agree that the river is where you go to get soothed and healed.

The winter Steelheader is a person everyone should know or maybe even fish with. Why you ask? This is someone who is mentally tough. This person is committed not half way, but there all in. They have the passion and guts along with the courage to overcome, to stay tough, and be committed to something. Why, I’m thinking this should be a requirement for everyone! We all should become a Winter Steel-Header, right?

Nope, that’s a bad idea on second thought. I kind of like those winter holes all to myself. Being the only one on the river, where you find that inner peace and solitude, which can only, can come from a lonely cold winter’s day. I call it Soul Fishing! After all rivers are in beautiful places and Steelhead are such a special fish. It’s you against the Gray Ghost of the river.

I’m thinking what a person needs to get from this article is that Winter Steel-Headers are not crazy, but these are the people that when they die, everyone can say “Wow, I wish I were as passionate about something in life as a Fly fisherman.” It’s only then they realize; they wish they had the courage to be so passionate about something. If everyone found a passion like fishing they would live a much fulfilled life, for fly fishing is truly a lifelong journey.

The problem with people is they think they have time. Life is short and we all at some point will end up downstream if you know what I mean. Everyone must walk their own path in life; I just choose to spend my time on the river.

Think about that when you hold that next steelhead and release it. True happiness just left your hands. Always practice CPR…. Photo, Catch and Release. These special fish deserve it. So Get a thermos and get out here this winter; it’s were courage meets passion and boy, life is good.

Roger Hinchcliff

Oldie but Goodie! Funny

OMG! I have seen it all!

Hank Patterson's Holiday Extravaganza!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Urgent! The Au Sable needs our HELP!

Dear Members, 

You and the more than 700 other members of this organization are known far and wide for pulling together and doing whatever it takes to protect the Au Sable River. Once again, we need your help. Once again, the Au Sable is under threat of new oil and gas drilling.

In late October, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources auctioned nearly 2,800 acres in and near the Au Sable Holy Waters corridor (between the Whirlpool and Thendara) for potential oil and gas development. Most if not all of these leases were purchased by Encana, the Canadian company which is using massive amounts of water for deep-fracking wells in the Manistee River basin.

A number of these proposed leases could allow surface wells, pumping stations, and pipelines. Many of these parcels are in the Rayburn Tract. This wonderful piece of state land was once private, and slated for development. Only the efforts of dedicated conservationists prevented condominium development on the parcel, and allowed it to become public land, accessible to all.
We urged the DNR not to lease these lands. They did it anyway.
There's one more opportunity to stop this. A few minutes of your time could really help.   

While the auction is complete, the final decision on whether or not to finalize the leases will come on December 12. Before that comes to pass, please let DNR Director Keith Creagh know that you support leaving the Holy Waters undeveloped. Personalized letters are best. Form letters are not helpful.
As late as November 25th, we met with DNR Director Creagh, and requested that he not authorize these new Holy Water leases.  At this meeting he requested letters from our membership supporting our position. 

You can write to: DNR Director Keith Creagh | Executive Division | PO Box 30028 Lansing, MI 48909. Or you can send an email to Please do not call on the telephone as this will simply overwhelm and alienate DNR staff.
Also, if you copy us on your communications to Director Creagh, we can hand-deliver all member comments to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission on December 12 where the final decision on the leases will be made. To do so, send a copy of your communications to

Finally, we can't tell you what to write and we suspect emotions among many members will run high because of this news. But it is most helpful if your communications to the DNR are professional and well-reasoned rather than emotional rants.

More Background...
The DNR tells us that if drilling occurs on these Holy Water parcels, they'll be "able to protect the valuable surface features" of the area. We don't buy it. You either think it's a good idea to have oil and gas development along the Au Sable River, or you don't. We emphatically do not.

A growing chorus is asking DNR Director Creagh to cancel the auction of these parcels. We're now joined by the Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Au Sable Big Water Preservation Association, North Branch Foundation, Au Sable Watershed Restoration Committee, Michigan Trout Unlimited (and it's Mason-Griffith and Headwaters Chapters), the Great Lakes Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers, and the Au Sable Property Owners Association.

In practice, these leases are a significant change of DNR policy. In the past, the DNR has refrained from offering these leases in or right next to this prized river corridor. The Anglers Board of Directors believes the DNR should never have put a "Development" designation on any parcel near the river corridor, nor leased such parcels for potential oil and gas development. We fear the DNR is saying the Au Sable corridor is "open for business" to oil and gas developers.

As we all remember very clearly, this entire organization, most notably its founder Rusty Gates, has worked tirelessly to extinguish these kinds of threats to the river we all love. We won the Mason Tract fight. We won the Kolke Creek fight. We don't go looking for these fights, but Rusty would surely demand that we continue to "keep a perch eye on it."  

A word about "optimizing revenue"...
In a recent letter to the Anglers, Director Creagh said he planned to go forward with these leases and noted the "DNR is responsible for managing state-owned mineral rights in a matter than ensures protection of natural resource values, while optimizing revenue for the people of the state."

The only industry which really stands to benefit from these leases is oil and gas. Their potential gain comes at the risk to too many others.

The October auction results are not yet fully public. But recent auction trends suggest the DNR is likely to fetch less than $100,000 for these Holy Water leases. And the state would eventually collect a royalty of one-sixth the value of production. Statewide, oil and gas wells average roughly $3,000 each in annual royalties to the state.

Altogether, that's a pittance compared to the current value of the existing river economy.
Sport fishing in Michigan is a $2 billion annual economy, with Grayling as one of its epicenters.

Riverfront property owners in Crawford County have a combined property market value of $275 million and pay more than $3.3 million in annual property taxes. That's nearly a quarter of all property taxes paid in the county, according to a recent study conducted for Anglers of the Au Sable by Public Sector Consultants, Inc.

Stay tuned...
There's more to come. We will have additional news soon about other oil and gas developments in and near the river corridors this organization is duty-bound to protect.

What's more important: the currently thriving river economy or a low-return gamble on oil and gas development next to the Au Sable River - one of Pure Michigan's purest assets?

We think the DNR is making a horrible choice on this one. We need your help to reverse it.

We're sure many of you will have questions about all of this. Feel free to email Tom at for more information. 

Also, Anglers board members will have maps, displays, handouts and more information about this issue available at the fly tying show in Holt on December 7th. Please stop in and chat with us.

Thank you for your consideration - and for your dedication to the Au Sable River. Rusty would be proud. 

Bruce Pregler, President
Thomas Baird, First Vice-President

Idaho has got some BIG FISH!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Swing North!

Swing North- Teaser from California Trout on Vimeo.

Conservation - Consciousness Runs Deep

Soul River challenges traditional media by embracing the unconventional with their production of Conservation - Consciousness Runs Deep. Created and written by creative director Chad Brown, Conservation captures modern urban mythology with the message of consciousness and awareness of responsibility we have as urban dwellers and environmental protectors.
This short film mixes art, mythology, music, and poetry to provide a fresh perspective through the personal lens of environmental justice and the outdoors inspired by the sport fly fishing. In this film, a young man goes through his life in the city and morphs with his consciousness by the guidance of a Naiad. Conservation provides a breath of fresh air from a young, urban, and hip approach and inspires our consciousness to run deep and become ambassadors of the outdoors.

Conservation - Consciousness Runs Deep from Soul River on Vimeo.


Snake from Travis Bradford on Vimeo.

Monday, December 2, 2013

DamNation Trailer!

2013 Wader Shootout

Wow the Fly Shop Yellowstone Angler did an awesome job on some wader testing. Please visit there site and check it out. If your thinking of making a new wader purchase these tests may help you decide. I highly recommend you check it out even if your not buying waders right now. Its definitely a good read for anyone that wears waders and there is videos of the testing.

My personal favorite is Simms, but that's just my two cents.