The Wednesday forecast suggests a 90% chance of rain and snow, and it comes at a time when I’ve already seen all the snow I want to see.

In fact, I’ve seen way more snow than that, especially since I shipped a time-sapping project and finally have time to get out on the river.

With the Upper Sacramento running at 1300 cfs (and looking just a little off-color), tomorrow’s precip is critical; if it’s a warm rain that melts low-level snow, the Sac will rise and turn off-color.

If it’s snow, then I’ll simply take my own life. If you’re the Evil Weather God, that’s a win-win.


We’re Newsy!

Over the last few days, I’ve accumulated a sizable backlog of interesting stories that prove truth is far more interesting than fiction, and since I’m possessed of all the ambition found in your below-average stalk of celery, I’m not going to provide all the usual snarky insight*.

(*Not exactly true)

Instead, I’m just going to throw ’em all down here for the perusal, judgement and amusement of the Undergrounders.

Spring Fishing

In Eastern Tennessee, Ian & Charity Rutter are back on the guide treadmill bigtime, and the hatches (and trout) are apparently ratcheting themselves up for what looks like a good spring.

Naturally, I’m envious; I first started fishing Tennessee because interesting things were happening there when damned little was going on here.

Today’s Spiritual Awakening: Rubbing people’s noses in good spring fishing is more fun when you’re doing the rubbing.

The Writer’s Code

In this inspired post, Alistair of the Urban Fly Angler rewrites a previous spring fishing post that didn’t quite fall within the guidelines promulgated by the Manly Fly Fishing Writer’s Association, which specifies (nay, demands) a certain minimum level of testosterone in every sentence.

Alistair responded in classic outdoor writer fashion; he simply invented a “shadow cast” of his own:

I decided on what is called a “Windmill” cast – you spin your rod tip around so fast that the line follows it in a circle – once you have done this for several minutes building up sufficient momentum to cast 10 yards of line you let fly – I let fly! I was glad I had been pumping iron on specifically that arm for the whole winter especially for this moment…

We applaud Alistair’s initiative.

Dam Stuff

MidCurrent clues us in to the removal of the Little Blackfoot Milltown dam this Friday, which will create a wall of water several feet high. Marshal even provides a URL to a webcam so you can watch it happen live (7 a.m. PST).

If you want to watch the event as it happens, tune in to the Clark Fork Coalition Web site at 8:00 AM (MT) on Friday morning and watch the “Milltown Dam Cam.” Should be quite a show.

Will I watch? Damn straight.

More Dam Stuff

While dams are coming down in saner locales, those wacky dam fans in Colorado want to put another one up. Via Ralph Maughan’s most-excellent Wildlife News blog, we discover a dam project threatening the Cache La Poudre:

The dam is said to be justified by projected growth of new homes. Instead it is a massive subsidy for the continuation of a bad idea and an economy destroying practice.

The governments in this country are having a hard time adjusting to the fact that the home building boom is over. Now they should take a “time out” and consider all they have done to facilitate the creation of an unsustainable hosing market directed at the upper class and the upper middle class* — how many resources were unnecessarily sacrificed. They also need to consider their ethics, or more likely lack thereof, and get out of bed with the developers.


Aquafornia reminds us that California has one of the lowest Fish & Game Warden staffing levels in the country, a fact which is clearly not lost on poachers.

Despite the recent busting of a local poacher, it’s the wild west out there:

In California, a state of 37.4 million people, there are only 198 Fish and Game Wardens in the field working to prevent and prosecute polluters, and protect fisheries, wildlife, fauna, and the public. This staffing level is the same as in the 1950s in actual personnel. This state level of wardens per capita to the general populace is the “worst in America,” according to the “2007 California Fish and Game Warden Expose Update.”

More Damnit

If you’ve been wondering why so many clearly endangered species have escaped listing under the ESA, The High Country News blog reminds us; it’s because the Fish & Wildlife Service’s political appointees don’t want to:

You’ll have to read down the article a ways, but the juicy stuff is in there. For example, the Post reports that one memo read: Employees “can use info from files that refutes petitions but not anything that supports, per Doug” (That’s Douglas Krofta, head of the Endangered Species Program’s listing branch).

Let’s End on a Happy, Big-Dollar Note

You know those Nattering Naybobs of Negativity who say there’s no money in fly fishing? They’re wrong, damnit.

Why, the right person can make upwards of $110K a year, living large on the payroll of none other than the AFFTA — fly fishing’s trade association.

With past Prez Robert Ramsay headed for other pastures, AFFTA is looking for his replacement. Those who would rather administer than fish will find this is the job they’ve been waiting all their lives for.

See you on the river, Tom Chandler.

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