Learning to Fly
Hunter Parrish landed this tripletail on a bend back shrimp pattern off Anna Maria Island.

Learning to Fly

Unlike most species, to have the best chance of a bite by a tripletail, you need to strip the fly right into the face of the fish.

Continue Reading Learning to Fly
What happened to catch and release?
Keeping big fish like tarpon in the water is critical. Andy Mill measures a tarpon while Captain Doug Kilpatrick assists. – Rusty Chinnis | Sun

What happened to catch and release?

Catch and release used to be an accepted practice that acknowledged that fish populations are not the bottomless resource they were once thought to be. Proper catch-and-release methods are more important now than ever. Lately, however, a lot of posts of dead fish are appearing on social media that seem to be taken more to impress others and get likes than to provide a meal.

Continue Reading What happened to catch and release?
Hooking Up with the Fall Fish Frenzy
The little tunny (locally known as bonito) is my favorite fish species to pursue. These members of the tuna family are notable for their stamina, long, smoking runs, and their ferocious feeding blitzes.

Hooking Up with the Fall Fish Frenzy

Shifting seasons bring welcome changes to the Gulf coast, especially those Fall fronts that are the couriers of cooling temperatures and lower humidity. The arrival of massive bait schools in the passes and along the beaches are harbingers of the king mackerel, cobia, Spanish mackerel, and little tunny that are never far behind. While I love to fish for all these species, the little tunny (locally known as bonito) is my favorite to pursue.

Continue Reading Hooking Up with the Fall Fish Frenzy

The Madison Valley and Yellowstone

The world’s first national park and the largest in North America, Yellowstone sits atop North America’s largest volcanic field. The caldera (a large cauldron-like hollow) was formed when land collapsed following the last of three super-eruptions that took place over the past 2.1 million years. It’s a land of steaming springs, geysers, bubbling mud pots and soaring landscapes that almost defy imagination.

Continue Reading The Madison Valley and Yellowstone

Reel Time on The Road: Montana’s Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers

When Robert Redford introduced fly fishing to popular American culture in the 1992 movie, “A River Runs Through It,” he also introduced them to the storied trout streams and rivers of Montana. Although I had been a fly fisher for some time, this movie was my introduction to this beautiful part of the world. It was a trip to Oregon last year, however, that taught me to take breaks from fishing to sit back and really appreciate the scenery.

Continue Reading Reel Time on The Road: Montana’s Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers
Passing On The Passion for the Outdoors
Captain Logan Bystrom lands a tarpon for Ruth Marsh.

Passing On The Passion for the Outdoors

Thinking back at the significance fishing and the outdoors has had on my life, I’m constantly reminded of the importance of protecting the resource so future generations have access to the same opportunities we’ve had. That’s why you read so much in this column of the need to get involved in issues revolving around water quality. What’s equally important is how we introduce children to the natural world and fishing.

Continue Reading Passing On The Passion for the Outdoors
Fly Casting Fundamentals
The best place to practice is on grass but real world experience is as close as the beach on a calm summer day. - Rusty Chinnis | Sun

Fly Casting Fundamentals

Teaching fly casting has taught me some valuable lessons. Chief among them is the fact that it’s most often easier to learn from scratch using the fundamentals (physics) of the cast than it is to correct bad habits that have been developed over time. This isn’t bad news for longtime casters who have been using improper techniques but points out the necessity of practice to “reteach” the brain how to move the rod.

Continue Reading Fly Casting Fundamentals
The Quality of Our Fishing Future
Algae clogs an inlet to Robinson Preserve. – Rusty Chinnis | Sun

The Quality of Our Fishing Future

Fishing and the outdoors experiences have played a pivotal role in my life for almost seven decades and made me passionate about working to protect the natural world. That’s why I keep coming back to what I think is a crucial responsibility: being aware of how elected officials voted when it comes to the quality of the air I breathe, the water I drink, and the water that the fish I love to pursue swim in. It’s become painfully apparent to me that the politicians we elect all too often have a different agenda. That’s why I have decided I’m not a Republican or a Democrat. What I am is an environmental voter.

Continue Reading The Quality of Our Fishing Future
Get in Some Great Fishing and a Bike Ride, Too
I like to bike and I love to fish. It occurred to me a long time ago that I might be able to access some great fishing spots by bike. More often than not though, my fishing adventures involved a boat. That is until I started pedaling to Longboat Pass to fish from the bridge and to the bay to explore local public docks. What I discovered was a way to get in some excellent fishing without having to do the work to get a boat in and out of the water, with all that’s involved.

Get in Some Great Fishing and a Bike Ride, Too

I like to bike and I love to fish, and it occurred to me a long time ago that I might be able to access some great fishing spots by bike. What I discovered was a way to get in some excellent fishing without having to do the work to get a boat in and out of the water, with all that’s involved. It opened up a new avenue for getting my fishing fix and a bike ride, too.

Continue Reading Get in Some Great Fishing and a Bike Ride, Too