Thursday, May 24, 2018

THE FLYFISH JOURNAL - BahamaCon 2018

For the past several years The Flyfish Journal has assembled a ragtag group of anglers, writers and photographers for a junket at Andros South on a trip that they've dubbed "BahamaCon".  One of these years I need to figure out a way to end up there as it looks like a stellar time with a solid group of anglers.

As in years past, this trip makes for some excellent online content with a video, words and images which can be enjoyed on The Flyfish Journal website on the BahamaCon 2018 microsite.


Words and images are great but Steve Duda read his piece "Impossibly Violent and Savagely Fast" as part of Episode 15 of The Fly Tapes which is well worth a listen today.

Visit the BahamaCon 2018 webpage to see and read about this year's trip and if you haven't subscribed to The Flyfish Journal already, well you need to do that too.

COSTA X BUREO - The Untangled Collection

Costa Sunglasses is taking their commitment to the Kick Plastic campaign to a new level with a collaboration with Bureo with the Untangled Collection, which is a collection of sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets which are available in four different frames with 580 Lightweight lenses.

Bureo has been on my radar for awhile for the Skateboards and Jenga Ocean game that they make of recycled fishing nets and the collection of sunglasses with Costa is an innovative step forward in taking something that is negatively affecting our oceans and upcycling in a positive way.



From the Costa Sunglasses presser...  "Costa Sunglasses, the leader in world-class performance sunglasses and the initiator of the growing Kick Plastic campaign, is helping to bring positive solutions to the growing issue of ocean plastic pollution through its new Untangled Collection—a collection of frames made entirely from recycled fishing nets.

The brand is partnering with Bureo, the pioneer in recycled fishnet products, to turn discarded fishing nets into quality sunglass frames. Identified as the most harmful form of ocean plastic, discarded fishing nets and gear account for ten percent of ocean plastic pollution, which grows by an estimated 640,000 tons every year. The new collection will be available at retailers nationwide and online in late May.

“Healthy oceans have always been a crucial part of our core mission at Costa,” said Holly Rush, CEO, Costa Sunglasses. “The Untangled Collection is helping to raise awareness and provide a solution to keep discarded fishing nets from being lost in our oceans each year. Through this important program, we will also help Bureo scale and replicate its net collection program to a growing number of fishing communities.”

The collection will include four new frame styles made from 100 percent recycled fishing nets, each featuring mineral glass polarized lenses, recycled aluminum Costa logos, PLUSfoam recyclable temple and nose pads, and a unique tumbled finish. The Untangled Collection includes two male/unisex styles, Pescador and Baffin; and two female styles, Victoria and Caldera. All styles feature Costa’s patented 580 Lightwave® Glass lenses, providing 100 percent UV protection and polarization to offer the clearest lenses on the planet. The Costa 580® color-enhancing lens technology selectively filters out harsh yellow light for superior contrast and definition and absorbs high-energy blue light to cut haze and enhance sharpness. In addition, Costa’s lens technology reduces glare and eye fatigue.

“Aligning with partners that really want to support us and expand our mission is how we’ve grown over the past five years,” said David Stover, CEO and co-founder of Bureo. “Working with Costa to develop the Untangled Collection is another step in the right direction—not only for us, but for the replication of solutions to secure a healthy future for our ocean and its ecosystems.”

Bureo’s Net+Positiva recycling program is working to prevent fishing net pollution by partnering directly with fishermen to collect back discarded nets at their end of life and providing funds to local communities for every pound of fishing net collected. This in turn creates value in the discarded material, to generate a net positive impact for this once harmful material. Costa’s Untangled Collection supports Bureo’s ongoing efforts where they have collected more than 220,000 pounds of discarded fishing nets to date.

Once collected, the discarded fishing nets are washed and prepared for a mechanical recycling process. Within this process, they are shredded and fed through a pelletizer where they are melted and cut into small recycled pellets. These pellets are then injected into steel molds to form products, which most recently includes Costa’s Untangled Collection.

“Nets lost at sea are four times more harmful than all other forms of ocean plastic pollution combined,” added Rush. “This new collection is a positive step towards untangling our oceans and creating awareness for the dangers our oceans are facing.”

Visit the Costa Sunglasses and Bureo websites for more information or to place an order. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Belikin With Mr. Lincoln Westby

The alarm clock on my iPhone went off at 4:00 a.m. and I tilted the driver's seat forward, stretched and gathered up a backpack, duffel and three fly rods bundled together to carry on the flight from Atlanta to Belize City.  I had arrived at the airport after midnight and had gotten a few hours of somewhat restful sleep parked in the darkest corner that I could find in the airport parking lot with the noise of jet planes taking off and touching down while I snoozed.

Six hours and three flights later I was standing at the tiny airport in Dangriga waiting for the shuttle to Hopkins.  Scott Thompson of Blue Horizon Belize and Dave Student of Umpqua had arrived the day before and rode along with Wassan who loaded my bags and drove us, along with a newly married and fresh faced couple from the St. Louis, to Hopkins Bay Resort where we'd be for the next couple of days.

On the forty-five minute drive from Dangriga to Hopkins, we passed through town, homes up on stilts, fenced pastures, fruit orchards and jungle before passing into town again.  This was as much inland as I'd seen of southern Belize and enjoyed taking it all from the backseat of the air conditioned shuttle van.


After I settled into the upstairs bedroom of our beach house at Hopkins Bay Resort, Scott suggested that we ask Wassan to drive us through Hopkins to the other end of town to show us around.  We piled into Wassan's small sedan that doubles as a taxi car and after a slow drive through town, ended up at The Curve Bar which overlooks the Sittee River and the marina.  We watched as the occasional panga moved up and down the river.  One went by with a couple of anglers on the bench seat with a guide at the back of the boat who likely coming back from a day on the nearby flats, another panga with several local fisherman and still other pangas with sun burnt tourists returning from different water based excursions.

As afternoon turned to evening, two pangas traveling after each other rounded the corner of the river and we saw that Lincoln Westby and Ransom Nunez at the wheel of each boat as they eased their way into the marina to dock for the night.  After gassing and prepping their pangas for trips the next day, they both came up bar and sat down at the table to enjoy a cold Belikin and a few laughs before heading home to their families.

The next hour or so was spent with Lincoln holding court between sips from his beer bottle.  He recounted stories from the flats both old and new, talked permit behavior, laughed about some of the crazy things that had happened in his boat and excitedly told us that he had been busy guiding lately and had worked thirty of the last thirty-three days.  He was about to start five days in a row with a new group of anglers that had arrived in Hopkins that day and couldn't be happier to be busy.

Who knows how many days he worked beyond those but at 77 years old Lincoln Westby is a downright badass for his vitality and strength.  He's stands stout but straight with sharp eyes that still see permit tails and nervous water from afar.  His large calloused hands which have pushed a panga across countless flats with a long handmade wooden pole.  He has an unbelievable energy about him, an infectious laugh and he's so damn excited about getting out on water each day.  It's no wonder the respect that those in Belize have for him as they talk of "Mr. Lincoln", "Uncle Lincoln" or "Papa Lincoln" depending on their relationship to him as fellow guide, friend or family.

I have tremendous respect for Lincoln Westby and have been fortunate to have spent time with him both on the water and off.  His long standing ideas on permit, conservation and how guides and anglers should act on the flats make sense.  It's no wonder he and his clients have caught over 2,000 permit and counting. 

Southern Belize is a very special place and Lincoln Westby has plans for the future in educating the next generation of flats guides, teaching anglers about permit from the back of his panga and his own island, Blue Horizon Belize, will be reborn again as a fly fishing lodge after several decades of closure.  I've walked this island with Lincoln Westby on my first visit several years ago and it will be exciting to see it re-open in the coming months.

I spent the time at The Curve Bar listening to Lincoln while snapping images on my Nikon with the 50mm lens set at f/1.8 that I hope capture his spirit and energy as we saw it.  Spending time with Lincoln is always a very neat experience and this was a great way to spend my first evening back in Belize.
               













If you haven't read about my first trip to southern Belize with Lincoln Westby and Ransom Nunez of Blue Horizon Belize from a couple of years ago, please take a few minutes and visit these past T.F.M. posts HERE and HERE.

Are you interested in planning a trip to spend some time with Lincoln Westby and the other excellent Blue Horizon Belize guides?  Send an email to thefiberglassmanifesto@gmail.com and we can discuss putting a trip together staying at one of seven Muy'Ono resorts in southern Belize. 

SENDERO PROVISIONS CO. - Pumice Jacket Kickstarter Push

It's always great to see a company reach for something bigger and the Sendero Provisions Co. is moving into apparel with their already successful Kickstarter campaign with the Pumice Jacket.


Jump over to the Kickstarter page to check it out, click PLAY on the video and don't forget to take a few minutes to kick the tires on the Sendero Provisions Co. website as well.  I dig the vibe and the look.

Monday, May 21, 2018

DIAMONDBACK ROD CO. - New Meeker Glass Pricing

The other day I was going through the Fiberglass Rod Shops page making sure none of the links were broken and to keep up to date on everyone's offerings and noticed that both the Diamondback Rod Co. Meeker Glass Fly Rods and Meeker Blanks had new lower pricing listed which is great news for anglers and hobby fly rod builders alike.


The Meeker Glass line up is made from both updated versions of old favorites along with several new tapers and at less than $200 for a finished fly rod, these may be one of the best buys in glass right now for the level of quality that you get in the fly rod, fabric rod sock and glossy fiberglass rod tube.  

I have the 8' four weight which has been talked about HERE and HERE and I can't say enough good about these fly rods, especially at this price.

Visit the Diamondback Rod Company for more information or to place an order.

SIZZLE '18

Let's get this Monday started with some fresh cuts from the talented mind of Capt Jack Productions.



More goodness on the Capt Jack Productions Vimeo page.  Enjoy.

Friday, May 18, 2018

SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE FLY - No. 27

"164 pages of gnar" is a good way to describe the latest issue of Southern Culture On The Fly and if you have a fly fishing graduate in your life, make sure they take a few minutes to read the knowledge dropped in the editorial by Mr. Grossman. 


CHECK IT.