The 65th Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament was recently held in Cuba, marking the first time since 2003 that the U.S. government allowed its citizens to sail boats in from American waters. Phil Thompson, a competitor in the tournament, also organized the “Support the Cuban People Fishing Program,” where American anglers shared their knowledge of fly fishing techniques and equipment with Cubans interested in the charter fishing industry. “Mr. Thompson’s program is providing and empowering the Cuban society in a non-governmental way by providing resources and expertise that can benefit the local Cuban economy,” says Jeffrey Boutwell, board member with the Latin America Working Group Education Fund in Washington, D.C. Via The Tampa Tribune.
The American Museum of Fly Fishing’s 2015 Heritage Award was given to Tom Brokaw. This video features Brokaw’s acceptance speech, which was rich in fishing anecdotes, at the recent Heritage Award dinner.
- Spending a day on the water might put you in a good mood for a reason. New research out of Stanford, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, finds nature may be an important part of our mental health and well-being. Read more via Stanford News.
- Before hiring a guide, don’t miss Phil Monahan’s tips for being a “good client” and learn the most you can from the experience. Via Orvis.
- To protect king salmon runs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has banned non-local residents from fishing in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. “The goal is to ensure that kings reach spawning grounds and that if there are enough, people who rely on salmon for subsistence get them,” writes Lisa Demer in The Alaska Dispatch News.
- “Fish with a tenkara rod long enough and you will start looking for ways to push the envelope,” writes Tom Sadler. Read more about his foray into mousing with a tenkara rod via Hatch Magazine.
- In a recent instructional video, John McMillan, science director for Trout Unlimited’s Wild Steelhead Initiative, demonstrates science-based techniques for fighting, landing, and releasing steelhead safely. Via Trout Unlimited.
- Due to Level 4 drought conditions in B.C., fishing has been banned in some streams on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. “As we experience warmer and drier weather, it is important that we are able to react quickly to protect vulnerable fish stocks,” says Steve Thomson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations. Via CBC News.
- Preparing materials and taking the time to pre-bead and de-barb hooks can significantly cut down your time at the tying bench. Check out Kent Klewein’s advice for tying twice the flies in half the time, via Gink & Gasoline.
- Conservationists are pushing for fishing closures on rivers in British Columbia, as a prolonged heat wave combined with low water flows continues, creating conditions that increase stress on fish. Via CBC News.
Research recently published in the scientific journal Fish and Fisheries appears to settle the debate of whether fish are able to feel pain. “‘We are not diminishing the importance of welfare considerations for fish, but we do reject the view that mental welfare is a legitimate concern,” says Jim Rose, professor of zoology and physiology at the University of Wisconsin and lead scientist on the study. Read more via The Daily Mail.
- Copi Vojta interviews photographer Russell Schnitzer in a recent issue of The Flyfish Journal, covering everything from philosophy of the craft to film projects. The conversation can also be read in full online.
- Terrestrial fly patterns aren’t just for summer. Tom Rosenbauer details how you can put these topwater patterns to use even in the early season in a recent article via Orvis.
- A $3.2 million project will begin this summer at Arroyo Sequit Creek near Malibu to restore habitat for the endangered Southern California steelhead trout. Read more via The Los Angeles Daily News.