The Rats Nest

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Very Worthy Cause

So Ed Mitchell contacted me a week or two ago and made me aware of some really interesting stuff in reference to Striped Bass Research.  Read on:

Release 2/ 12/ 2011                                       Contact Ed Mitchell  e.mitchell6@
                                                                                                         Tel. 860-529-0685
 Stripers Forever
Subject: Mycobacteriosis Research Initiative     

 Stripers Forever, the conservation organization advocating for responsible stewardship of wild striped bass along the Atlantic Coast, has announced an outreach initiative to raise money for research on mycobacteriosis, a deadly fish disease that is increasingly prevalent in the Chesapeake Bay where the bulk of stripers that migrate up and down the Atlantic Coast are spawned.
 “Myco” is believed to be nearly always fatal to infected striped bass and can create serious health problems for anglers and anyone else handling those fish before they are cooked. Fishery scientists estimate that more than 75 percent of all striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay system are infected with myco. There is at present no known cure for this insidious disease which represents a major threat to the well-being of stripers and thus the future of recreational and commercial striped bass fishing from Maine to North Carolina.
 The fund raising appeal being administered by Stripers Forever is called The Mycobacteriosis Research Initiative (MRI).  Donations to MRI will benefit Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), the leading authority on myco. Checks should be made payable to “VIMS Foundation” (write “For Myco Research” on the memo line) and mailed to VIMS Foundation, P.O. Box 1693, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8779.
 A link to a secure site for credit card donations appears along with more information about myco under featured links on the left side of the Stripers Forever home page  (  All contributions are tax deductible and will go into a dedicated myco research account.
 Visitors to the site can sign up for membership in Stripers Forever at no charge.

Mycobacteriosis of Striped Bass in Chesapeake Bay: A Lethal Bacterial Disease
 Mycobacteriosis is an emerging infectious disease that affects well over 75% of the resident striped bass in Chesapeake Bay.  Signs of the disease include unsightly skin ulcers  and pale gray nodular lesions in the internal organs, mainly the spleen.  It is believed that once infected, striped bass ultimately die.  Annual striped bass tag-recapture studies in Maryland and Virginia waters indicate that since the late 1990’s and concurrent with the first reports of this disease, natural mortality (e.g. mortality other than that attributable to fishing) has gone up significantly in the Bay.  This has generated concern among scientists, fishermen, and resource managers that the disease is having a significant adverse impact on the stock.  One of our recent studies has provided the first evidence that disease-associated mortality is in fact occurring in Chesapeake Bay striped bass. However, we do not yet know the extent of this mortality, nor do we understand the ecology of the mycobacteria (e.g. where in the environment they are found), the routes of transmission for the infection, or the environmental stressors (e.g. temperature, hypoxia etc.) that modulate disease expression.   We believe this infectious disease is a grave concern and that additional research is desperately needed to find answers to the many remaining scientific questions.  
To conduct the necessary research we have assembled a multi-disciplinary team of scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and at Old Dominion University.  We are using field-based modeling approaches  to investigate the disease impacts (mortality), as well as laboratory disease challenges in the  new state-of-the-art VIMS Seawater Research Laboratory  to address routes of disease transmission and the role of environmental factors in disease expression. Our long-term goals are:  1) to develop a better understanding of disease dynamics, 2) to clarify potential stock impacts, and most importantly, 3) to develop predictive models of the disease and more effective management strategies aimed at better protecting this vital fishery resource.
Our research directly addresses a primary Stripers Forever goal which is to “further define and overcome the impact of mycobacteriosis on stripers and humans as part of the fisheries management process”. Contributions from Stripers Forever would directly support mycobacteriosis research in the laboratory of Dr. Wolfgang Vogelbein at VIMS ( It could be used to fully or partially support a graduate student (e.g. tuition, assistantship, research supplies, boat time etc) or it might be used to fund a specific study that addresses a particular research question (e.g. a laboratory challenge study investigating the impacts of temperature on disease transmission/progression). It might also be used to help us build the infrastructure necessary to better support this type of research at VIMS (e.g., construction of aquatic disease challenge systems, fish holding systems etc).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The goods showed up today

All of my clients will be fishing with sports car reels this season. Need I say more

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Opportunities For CS

I have made the jump, I have always been the guy who blazes his own path, and the Hatch Reel company is very like minded.  When they jumped into the reel making business they were told they couldn't do a lot of the things that they set out to do.  In short notice they not only accomplished all of them, they far surpassed anything they had imagined.  Hatch reels define performance and durability and are purely bad ass in hand.  I am very happy to be a part of a great team, and the opportunity to represent this company was one I just couldn't pass up.  From here on out, Hatch reels will be used on guide trips and personal outings.  Stay tuned for an exciting season...........

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rich's Winter Stone Continuing To Pierce Lips In The Northeast

Just shy of 19
Frequent fly customer Paul reported back yesterday with another 3 hour round of success on the winter stone pattern.   This time a brown colored stone in a 16 was the ticket, accounting for the majority of the 9 fish he landed, apparently the remainder fell to the classified caddis pupa.   Although yesterdays weather was refreshing, last night's temperature drop and flurries were a harsh reminder that  we are definitely not out of the woods yet with the winter.  A couple of warmer days are back in store for us later this week, heck I may even get out there and break the fishing-less streak I am currently on.   If you are interested in purchasing some of these stones, now's the time, I have an abundance of materials for these on hand as we speak, and they will work just about anywhere right now.  You know where to find me............

Ouch, somebody stung me!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Great Day, And An Unveiling Of Sorts

The Beach Comber
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to talk about the Farmington River and tie some of my more noteworthy flies with a great bunch of people who call the Bedford Sportsman their home fishing store.  When Charles informed me that it was an RSVP event I was a bit taken back.  Needless to say they packed the shop like a sardine can with people as all the seats were occupied and there was literally a line of people standing up the stairs and into the first floor to watch. 

Keeping things even more interesting, a nice intermission with all kinds of food and beverages rounded things out and some great conversations followed.  After some pure gluttony, we meandered back downstairs into the tying room and I whipped up a few of my more notable flies for the crowd of on lookers.  At the end, I unveiled The Beach Comber to the masses, and the shop was buzzing.  All the folks in the shop who fished the salt were really liking the looks of this little guy, not to mention how simple a tie it is and the options it could open up for a lot of fresh water species as well.  Charles and Todd are a great couple of guys, and if you're in the area stop in and say hi.   Stay tuned for a whole compliment of color schemes to follow for this new fly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Flies, And A Customer Report

Caught on a #16 Black Rich's Winter Stone
So a repeat customer of mine was fortunate enough to find some time yesterday to do some fishing on a local tail-water.   On his first drift with one of his recently purchased size 16 Black Rich's Winter Stone, bam, he hooks this guy.  For a short outing he managed 4 fish, 3 of which fell to the black stone.  I guess it's pretty safe to say that the winter stones are starting to get active, might behoove you to tie one on on your next excursion

Flies orders are at a nice pace for me right now, smaller orders of no more than 3 dozen are what I like as I truly am limited for time.  When my patterns are up and available with Pacific Fly Group, I will be sure to have a listing for you to peruse.
Size 22 Black Crippled Midges

Aside from stones, I have been busily tying midges for myself and others as well.  Here are some really small midges from a recent order, I guess you get the gist of the size, real big eh?

Size 6 Cellar Dweller's in Gray, Brown and Olive
I have also been tying up some streamers for the mail as well.  The last picture shows some of the new Cellar Dwellers that just hit the mail. 

I will keep you posted on new flies and some spring promos in the weeks to come, and, some more flies added to the store page

Monday, February 7, 2011

More Stones Out The Door

Size 16 Micro Stones, mmm tasty!
Size 6 Black Shimmer Stones, Even Tastier!
Seems like lately stonefly nymphs have been the hot item.  Here are a few of my micro stones from one order in the three color configurations available.  These are nice simple little flies that catch well.  So you know, these are size 16, thought the business card would give you some scale.

The next photo shows some black Shimmer Stones that are going in another order.  I must say these little black knights look pretty evil, and they also catch well.  I will also be unveiling a new color in these guys shortly, and one that I have been hearing from my steelhead friends has been cleaning up this winter,  stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another Order Complete, Well Only Halfway

Here is tonight's fare, some more size 4 Ice Pick Streamers in an assortment, with some Intruder style tied lead eyed Mophead Streamers in Olive and Black.  They look pretty tasty, I'm sure some poor fish will have a sore mouth from these guys this spring.  Only half of the order though, as some nymphs were supposed to go with them.  Hareline has a package in transit hoping to arrive later this week to finish this one off. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recent Mini Fly Order

Recent small order of size 4 Ice Pick Streamers to hit the mail today.  Black, Grizzly, White, Tan and Olive.  These are exactly 3 inches long and a perfect size for any fish. 

Blog Archive