exploration

Wet Dreams, Vol. 2

When Justin mentioned doing a series of post's dedicated to our "bucket list" fishing trips, my mind instantly began to race. Like Justin, I spend a lot of time dreaming about fishing far off locales and even more time trying to figure out how to make it happen. Most of us aren't fortunate enough to be able to ride off into the sunset at the drop of hat. Aside from the money, the biggest hurdle is finding the free time. Most of us answer to the man from 8 to 5 and to the family the rest. Those that are fortunate enough to travel the world and fish, consider this guy jealous of you! Again like Justin, my first bucket list trip has been there since I picked this sport up many years ago. I cut my teeth fishing the Chattahoochee River for trout and have always been a trout guy at heart. Big Brown Trout really get my motor going. And while I think the south is way underrated when it comes to fishing opportunities on the fly, specifically trout, my mind as a young fly flinger was constantly wandering to the crystal clear waters of New Zealand and the over-sized Brown's that inhabit its waters.

The south island has been drawing fly fisherman to its bright blue waters for many years. Rivers like the Mataura, which runs through the town of Gore, (known as the Brown Trout capital of the world) are known for not only their beautiful scenery but also their high density of 2 to 5 lb Brown's. The opportunities on New Zealand's south island range from from spring fed creeks, to glacial lakes and from some easily accessed locations to heli-fishing trips. The south islands numerous rivers are noted for their reliable hatches and if you're unfamiliar with the year of the mouse, do yourself a favor and check out On The Fly Production's 2006 film "Once in a Blue Moon". If the footage from that film doesn't make you want to hop a plane the next day then you may want to have your pulse checked! Seeing footage of huge Rainbows devouring mouse patterns will ruin anyone, much less a young kid with Trout fever. Trips to the south island can run upwards of $8,000 for 7 days, but you can't put a price on a bucket list trip can you?

Drop us a comment if you have a far off destination that keeps waking you up at night with damp sheets!

30th Century Fisherman

Last month, two days after my own birthday, an invention that changed the way I fish turned 10 years old.  It has surely changed more than just the way we fish; it has changed life for us all.  In a world of technology where anything seems possible, it’s easy to overlook how something so widespread has changed the sport of fishing forever.  A big part of fishing for us all is the mystery of the unknown.  Whether that be what lurks in that dark, deep pool or what’s around the next bend of a new, unexplored body of water. This invention unshrouds a bit of the mystery making the unknown more obvious and the unexplored more accessible.  It gives us a peek at the man behind the curtain.  Any guesses what the invention I’m speaking of is? If you guess Google Earth, than you’re an exploration geek like me.

The invention of Google Earth was supposedly predicted in a 1998 speech by the then-US Vice-President Al Gore, who imagined a "Digital Earth", which would help causes such as environmental protection and international diplomacy. Three years later, the IT firm Keyhole launched a new program called "Earthviewer". It looked like Gore's vision, but its creators had a more simplistic idea.  It was designed for home buyers to survey the area around potential homes

In 2003, the program brought major attention when news casts began using its application to show battlefronts during the war. Shortly thereafter, In-Q-Tel, a "non -profit" company funded by the CIA (37 million tax payer bones a year), invested in Keyhole, presuming Earthviewer could have intelligence applications. But when Google purchased all of Keyhole in 2004 for a cool 2.2 million, the owners had no idea the potential of their product.

Much of the imagery in Google Earth is commercially available data from US military satellites.  So if you ever wondered why Google offered satellite images for free, they weren't free.  You payed for them in your tax dollars via a CIA funded company (that's deep for a fishing blog right?).  Although widely used and imagined for travelers to find directions, it allows not just fishermen but all outdoorsmen to survey terrain and water as they never have before.  If you haven’t used it, and still can’t figure out the benefits, let me name a few;

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Planning trips: Not only can you find close parking, view forestry service roads and check on elevations changes, you can also check mileage if you’re planning a canoe or kayak river trip.

Historical Data: Google earth lets you view images in areas as far back as the 1930’s. Yeah, mind blowing.  Without it, I wouldn’t have known GA’s trophy bass lake (Ocmulgee PFA) is now better suited for a quail hunt.  The dam had problems and it’s bone dry.  Good thing I didn’t make a special trip.

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I can say I haven’t visited new water since Google Earth inception in 2005 without viewing satellite images first.  It’s truly revolutionized the way I explore and fish.  Surely it’s done the same for others.  And if you aren’t familiar with all of its features, it’s time you do some desktop exploring and see what new water and adventures you can find.