Jacob is a fly fishing guide with a passion for conservation and brook trout. He is an accomplished rod builder and restorationist.
Jillian is an outdoor photographer and blogger, using her voice for Public Lands and Cold Water Conservation. She specializes in trying to out fish jacob whenever she puts the camera down.
The morning light is filtered and grey and ominous. The kind that reaches out and covers everything, from the tops of the mountains to the bottom of the valleys.
The air is heavy and wet, not quite raining, but nowhere near dry either. It's not that cold out, but the dampness makes it almost unbearable. Layers upon layers are applied. You fill up your travel mug with the hottest coffee you can stand.
You question your sanity.
My fishing career began like most others, dunking worms. Just a couple of years old, with pigtails and bangs, pink spinning rod, and a squirming creature at the end of a hook. My grandfather was a proud spinner fisherman, never picked up a fly rod and never wanted to. He got me out on the water; he was the reason I developed a fascination with fish. But, my tender child heart soon turned from fascination to complete horror. Not only was I to rip worms in half, but then we were hooking a fishing for our sick human pleasure? Um, no thank you. At the time, as far as I was concerned, my fishing career ended at the young age of four.
Recently I've been working on some really fun, tapered rod bags.
These are great for builders looking for a more "vintage" bag or fitting some of the smaller diameter rod tubes on the market. The top of the bag is the same as my signature standard rod bag, then tapers down to a much smaller width at the bottom.
I've come to view fishing as being a burdensome activity. Yup, I admitted it, going fishing is no longer fun. That's a pretty extreme thing for a fly fishing blogger to confess, but I do, wholeheartedly.
I've kept my fishing stuff neatly stored away in the corner of my office, and it taunts me every time I see it out of the corner of my eye. I feel guilty about it. I feel like a fraud every time I open my computer or post a photo of a decorated trout.
You could tell the fish had been severely mishandled, most likely with dry hands or gloves. I asked Jacob to scoop him into the net so I could try and get a shot or two of the damage. There was another pretty horrific spot near his tail, but I didn't want to cause him any more stress by additional handling. It's most likely that this fish died because of ignorance.
It's that magical time of year here in Western North Carolina when everything transforms to gold. The river is no exception.
There are a great many opinions about this debate, whether it takes the form of states rights, freedoms, energy independence or leans towards preservation, uniqueness, and keeping our public lands in public hands. Everyone has their opinion and their right to that conclusion, but here are a few reasons why we should take a closer look at the following argument of keeping public lands in public hands.
It was a Sunday afternoon at Animas River Brewing. The Broncos were on the TV and it was packed. People were covering every corner of the place, from out on the patio to huddled around the bar, just finished with their morning bike ride, trail run, or just families getting out of the house for the game. Jacob and I spotted our fellow anglers and squished in beside them. Pale ales and IPA's started flowing and so did the fishing stories. We heard about a recent trip to Honduras and the sound your reel makes when you hook into a permit. Plans were laid out for an upcoming trip to Belize this winter and how someone could make their way there through various channels from other parts of South America. Guiding, clients, and debates on float boats soon followed. Eventually, a few beers in, we broke out the map and began narrowing down just where in Durango Jacob and I needed to fish.