March Newsletter

On The Fly South March 2021

While the states of the upper South are still recovering from the recent winter blast of weather and now facing heavy rains that promise flooding, the Deep South is getting spring like conditions. Such mixed weather is the nature of March. It is much like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

Add to that the continued damper on travel that the coronavirus imposes and most of us are suffering a form of cabin fever, while looking down the road to sunshiny days and “herd immunity” to set us free. That day is coming, but we’ll just have to be patient.

Meanwhile, On The Fly South’s March edition later this month will take you along as we search for native brook trout on Virginia’s Guys Run, track the action on the spawning run of white bass in Georgia and join Capt. Eddie Adams to battle redfish on Lake Herman in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

If you haven’t already signed up for a FREE subscription to On The Fly South, please do. That is the life blood that keeps the information coming. Also, tell a friend about us and get them signed up too! It is easy to do through the form on our homepage.

UNI PRODUCTS

Around the South:

The Waterman Fly Fishing Tournament

Tampa, Florida

Reel Time

By Rusty Chinnis

The Waterman Fly Fishing Tournament is a two-day, redfish-on-fly tournament with the proceeds directly benefiting Tampa Bay Waterkeeper. Proceeds raised during the event will be used to promote the organization’s mission. Organizers have assembled an amazing raffle lineup with a number of high-end fly products to award at the awards ceremony and dinner.

The Waterman Tournament will raise awareness as well as money to support our fisheries.

The tournament is a two-day, fly-fishing-only, catch-and-release redfish tournament with an optional Snook Calcutta with a 50/50 cash payout. The proceeds from entry fees, 50% of the Snook Calcutta and raffle ticket purchases directly benefit Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. There is no in-person captain’s meeting and the weigh-in will be conducted by photo and email. The tournament is limited to 50 teams or 100 anglers total. There will be prizes, an award ceremony, dinner (sponsored by Hells Bay Boatworks) and the raffle. The schedule is as follows.

Friday, March 12

8 p.m. Mandatory virtual captains meeting via Google Meet. Only one member of each team must attend. Format and rules will be discussed and questions answered. The link to the Google Meet will be provided by email.

Saturday, March 13 – Tournament day #1

7 a.m. Lines in!

4 p.m. Lines out!

4:15 p.m. Deadline to email weigh-in photos

Sunday, March 14 – Tournament day #2

8 a.m. Lines in!

3 p.m. Lines out!

3:15 p.m. Deadline to email weigh-in photos

6 p.m. Awards ceremony, dinner and raffle at the Bradenton Yacht Club, 4307 13th St. W., Palmetto, Florida.

6:30 p.m. Deadline to check-in at the awards ceremony to be eligible for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.

NOTE: Daylight Savings Time takes effect at 2 a.m. on March 14. The later “lines in” time is intended to exclude dock light fishing. The earlier “lines out” time is intended to accommodate travel time to the awards ceremony. Anglers must check in by 6:30 p.m. to be eligible for awards.

Two-angler team – $250 (per team)
Includes two, long-sleeve microfiber tournament shirts, two Tampa Bay Waterkeeper hats, dinner for two anglers at the awards ceremony, and one raffle ticket for each angler.

Solo-angler team – $125
Includes one long-sleeve microfiber tournament shirt, one Tampa Bay Waterkeeper hat, dinner for one angler at the awards ceremony, one raffle ticket.

Raffle tickets

  • Additional raffle tickets may be purchased at the awards ceremony by cash or card.
  • Raffle tickets may only be purchased by tournament anglers.
  • Raffle tickets will be $20 each or six tickets for $100.

Note: Tournament fees and raffle ticket purchases are direct contributions to Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The tournament covers Florida’s west coast from the southern tip of Sanibel Island to the southern edge of the Crystal River Power Plant main channel. Anglers may launch at any ramp but must fish within the stated boundaries.

Redfish photos (with measuring tape, tournament placard, team number and daily code word visible) and Calcutta Snook photos (with tournament placard, team number and daily code word visible) must be sent by email to thewaterman@tampawaterkeeper.org within 15 minutes of lines out on each tournament day (4:15 p.m. on Day 1 and 3:15 p.m. on Day 2).

The weigh-in email should have a subject line as follows:

“Waterman weigh-in – team name and team number – Day 1.”

Emails received after 4:15 p.m. on Day 1 will be disqualified.

Emails received after 3:15 p.m. on Day 2 will be disqualified.

Each team will receive a response email indicating that their weigh-in was received on time, with the length of each fish weighed in as determined by tournament officials.

Please do not send more than two redfish photos and one snook photo per day.

Anglers are required to have their weigh-in photos available for inspection at the awards ceremony/dinner, if necessary.

After sending the weigh-in email, we ask that each team post their weigh-in photos and individual photos of the angler holding the fish on their social media accounts with hashtags #tampabaywaterkeeper and #thewaterman prior to the awards banquet. For more information visit the Tampa Bay Waterkeepers website and be a part of the solution!

Fly Fishing the South

FLY FISH BLACK CREEK

Oklahoma Fishing Trail

Oklahoma Department of Tourism

What better way to “reel” in the new year than by finding a great fishing spot? New Oklahoma Fishing Trail signs going up around the state will help make it even easier for anglers to find the state’s top fishing destinations.

In partnership with the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is erecting roadside signs indicating the location of the Oklahoma Fishing Trail loops. Designed to promote the state’s unique fishing opportunities and increase revenue, the trail highlights lakes and rivers around the state.

“I’m so excited to see these new signs going up around the state,” said Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who is also the state’s Secretary of Tourism & Branding. “We’ve been thrilled with the positive response and economic impact to the fishing trail so far, and these signs are such a great way for us to spread awareness about the trail and Oklahoma’s incredible fishing opportunities.”

The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department selected the locations and ODOT is erecting 815 signs across the six fishing trail loops statewide that will alert visitors to prime fishing spots in the region.

Planning for the sign installation endeavor began in 2019. The first signs are currently being installed in southwestern Oklahoma with a statewide installation goal by the end of March. The markers will be placed under highway identification signs at state highway junctions and will indicate to anglers which loop of the fishing trail they are near. Each loop is designated by a color: northeastern (green), southeastern (orange), south central (blue), central (purple), southwestern (gold) and northwestern (red), each having a variety of fish available. The 18 inch x 24 inch signs are the same color as the designated region, display a rod with a lure and read “Oklahoma Fishing Trail.”

“ODOT is very excited to be a part of such a positive initiative driven by the Tourism Department and to be able to provide guidance to drivers seeking that special fishing spot,” said Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz.

The signs initially cost OTRD $35 per sign, and ODOT will provide maintenance.

In June 2019, the state launched the Oklahoma Fishing Trail as a joint initiative between OTRD and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The trail highlights 40 of Oklahoma’s top fishing lakes and rivers and an additional 20 fishing experiences that are part of the Wildlife Department’s “Close to Home” fishing program. More information on the Close to Home fishing destinations can be found at www.wildlifedepartment.com.

Digital promotion of the Oklahoma Fishing Trail has resulted in $8.2 million in projected lodging revenue, creating a 90-to-1 return on investment based on digital spend.

For more information on the Oklahoma Fishing Trail, visit the OTRD website at FishinOK.com or order or download the Oklahoma Fishing Trail brochure at TravelOK.com/Brochures.

Maryland Winter Trout Stocking

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources plans to stock about 300,000 trout, which includes rainbow, golden, and brown trout, for statewide distribution between now and April 30.

The annual stocking will be completed in three bursts: preseason (January and February), March 15 –26, and April 19 – 30. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and staff safety protocols, scheduled stocking and allotments may be altered, and the department will not have a published stocking schedule.

The department will announce areas that have been stocked within a short time. All stocked locations that fall under a closure period will be announced prior to the traditional opening day March 27.

For updates, visit the department’s trout stocking website or sign up to get daily stocking notifications via email, or anglers may also call 800-688-3467 and press option 1 to get a recorded weekly update when stocking has occurred (usually updated on Fridays).

Mangrove Protection in Costa Rica

The Fishing Wire

By Thomas Hickey & Courtney Durham,

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Costa Rica has a proud history of protecting its natural heritage. With more than a quarter of Costa Rica’s lands designated as national parks, an energy grid that runs on 100% renewable energy most days of the year, and a national plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the country has placed environmental stewardship at the core of its national identity.

Costa Rica is one of several countries placing its protection of its coastal wetlands—in particular its mangroves—at the heart of its plans.

Scientists and policymakers are increasingly recognizing the “triple win” that mangrove protections provide for people, nature, and the climate, specifically in advancing the Paris Agreement’s goal to “protect, enhance and restore natural carbon sinks.” Nature-based solutions such as protecting coastal wetlands are also anticipated to feature prominently at the 26th Conference to the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, scheduled for November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Mangroves are one of only three marine ecosystems—alongside saltmarsh and seagrass—currently recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as methodologies that can make measurable contributions to help a country reduce its emissions. These “blue carbon” systems not only sequester carbon at a rate three to five times greater than that of terrestrial forests, but they also then store this carbon, often for millennia, within their submerged soils.

Furthermore, this sequestration and storage value is only one of a slew of benefits that mangroves provide for people and nature. Others include acting as storm barriers, filtering water, mitigating the effects of soil erosion, and acting as a refuge and nursery for a wealth of fish, mammal, and bird species.

Despite these benefits, nearly half of the world’s mangroves have been lost in the past 50 years—a distressing trend that deprives people and the planet of the aforementioned benefits while further contributing to climate change as the carbon locked in mangrove soils is released.

However, to sustain and grow the momentum behind coastal wetlands and nature-based solutions more broadly, parties to the Paris Agreement must lead in moving their NDCs from aspiration to action. Costa Rica’s latest NDC takes exactly this bold step, outlining specific and timebound commitments, including protection of 100% of the coastal wetlands currently recorded within the country’s National Wetland Inventory—including 21,727 hectares of mangroves—by 2025.

“Costa Rica has long recognized the benefits to people in protecting our natural environment, translating cutting-edge science into firm policy and community-driven action,” said Haydee Rodriguez, Costa Rica’s vice-minister for water and the ocean. “Protection of our blue carbon ecosystems in our next NDC can have real benefits in helping mitigate and adapt to climate change, both within Costa Rica and more broadly in supporting similarly ambitious countries.”

Pew is working in partnership with Conservation International and regional experts at the Costa Rica-based Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) to support the country’s ambition to include the carbon storage and sequestration values of mangrove protections in its net greenhouse gas emissions. This, in turn, should provide the basis for a further facet of the partnership: exploring how the expansion of conservation financing mechanisms such as the country’s PES scheme can support implementation.

“Understanding the precise flows of carbon and drivers of change are critical to ensuring we maximize the actual benefits,” said Miguel Cifuentes, director at CATIE. “These methodological advances can not only help Costa Rica meet its own climate commitments, but help inform our understanding of precisely how nature can most impactfully help in tackling climate change.”

By working to translate science into policy and policy into action, Costa Rica is leading in recognizing the power of coastal wetlands to help mitigate climate change, and helping drive global momentum toward broader use of nature-based solutions to a challenge the world must confront urgently.

Sarasota, Florida

Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota, Florida will hold an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Saturday, March 13, 2021. The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, will focus on basic fly casting principles, improving casting skills and correcting faults.

Instructor Capt. Rick Grassett, will also cover saltwater fly fishing techniques, leader construction and fly selection. Cost for the class, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., is $195 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle, workbook and lunch.

Optional instructional guided fly fishing trips are also available for an additional fee. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or info@cbsoutfitters.com to make reservations

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