Fly Fishing Links
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PHWFF

The Hook & Hackle Company encourages support of those "Wounded Warriors" who have suffered physical and/or emotional injury as a result of their service to our great country.

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Rose River Farm, Virginia's finest private water trout fishing experience, has just gotten even better. Now in addition to over a mile of private water managed for Trophy Trout (all strictly on the fly and catch and release) they have added luxury rental cabins. As an introductory special ....

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PHWFF

The Hook & Hackle Company highly endorses this fine bonefish, tarpon & permit fishing destination. Our recent visit there exceeded our expectations many times over.

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Nora's colorful artwork just blow's me away! Best known for her watercolors, Nora has spent time painting on location all over the U.S.

 

I recently purchased a couple of prints from her Rich Pool Series which have become instant favorites!

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From time to time, we will feature different folks who are making a difference to fly fishing, conservation, outdoor art, helping others & so on. We welcome your suggestions for this column.


Peter C. Thompson, artist, writer, fly fisher & conservationist is our current feature.

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The USA Youth Fly Fishing Team is a carefully selected group of young anglers from across the United States

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Landlocked Arctic Char, October 2012, Fish of the Month!

A. Sunapee (Golden) trout

Salvelinus alpinus aureolus

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. Quebec Red trout

Salvelinus alpinus marstoni

 

 

 

 

 

 

C. Blueback trout

Salvelinus alpinus oquassa

Local Names:

A. Golden trout, Sunapee trout, Gray trout

B. Red trout, Lake char, Char, Marston' trout

C. Trout, Blueback

Average Size:

8 to 16 inches

0.5 to 1 lb.

(In certain fertile northern waters, landlocked Arctic char attain much larger than average size.)

Distinguishing Field Marks:

Color and color pattern are reliable distinguishing field marks for this species. (See the illustration.)

North American Range:

These three elegant chars have very small New England and Southeastern Canadian ranges and have not been widely transplanted. Maps to the right shows approximate range in North America.

Diet:

Young landlocked Arctic char feed on aquatic insects and other invertebrates. As they are available, small forage fishes become a staple in the diets of larger adults.

Biology:

Both landlocked and sea-run Arctic char spawn in the early fall in the northern reaches of their range and later in the south. The spawning period is from September through early December. Spawning takes place either in shallow lake water or in quiet pools of rivers. Spawning is not as showy as in other salmonid species. When the female has opened a nest site, she is joined by one male which usually attends her through her entire release of eggs, fertilizing them as they are deposited. Individual males may breed with more than one female.

In most of their range, female Arctic char spawn only every second or third year.

The fertilized eggs incubate in the gravel through the winter months and usually hatch around early April, but remain in the nest gravel until as late as early July.

Landlocked Arctic char may be spawned in tributary streams or in the lake itself. They grow more slowly and attain generally smaller sizes than their sea-run counterparts.

Fly Fishing for Landlocked Arctic char:

I'm including these three subspecies not because anyone would be well advised to book a fly-fishing trip into their ranges, but rather because they are a "canary in the mine" statement of how our human behavior regarding fish can cause irreparable damage, and because they are all quite elegantly beautiful. Because their homes are in sterile, short growing season northern habitats, these chars are extremely vulnerable to both fishing and habitat degradation pressures, including the introduction of competing fish species. It is only in the far north of their range that populations of landlocked Arctic char have remained intact.

Should you find yourself in char waters and choose to fish for them, in most cases, you're likely to need equipment no heavier than 5 or 6 weight. Depending on what forage is available, hatch-matching dries, nymphs, wets, and small streamer flies are appropriate. Again, only in the northern parts of their range will these fish be readily available to fly-rodders for more than a few weeks in spring and fall. Like both Brook trout and Lake trout, these chars prefer water temperatures in the mid-50s. This preference will have them near the surface of lakes and ponds only when those waters have "turned over" and are about the same temperature from top to bottom. During the warmer summer months, chars will sink deeper and deeper as does the thermocline. As we know, every rule has exceptions, and so it is with these fish. In some of their northern native waters, which they share with Brook trout, these char can grow to impressive size and, because of their latitudes, will see both Brook trout and char surface feeding throughout the season.