Reader Letters

Reader Letters

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

Retail Ignorance
I recently retired and after planning a month-long fishing vacation in my native Montana, we made it to the Yellowstone area and stopped at a well-known fishing store and asked what they would suggest we do to keep our waders and felt soles clean so unwanted and non-native specimens didn’t enter their streams. I was appalled at their response. The employee said, “We don’t worry about that out here.”
My wife and I could not believe this response from an employee of a Montana store so well-known. I, for one, am glad to see felt soles on their way out and hope boot manufacturers can find a way to incorporate studded soles for us old guys. I would hope your magazine continues to emphasize the need to keep our equipment clean of foreign species.
Dennis Muzzana
Sent via e-mail

We asked Dave Kumlien, executive director of the Whirling Disease Foundation, for some suggestions on keeping invasive species at bay: “Scientific evidence shows that angling equipment, especially felt-soled boots and waders, move aquatic invasive species (AIS). A study conducted at Montana State University found that the average pair of wading boots sampled carried 22.10 grams of sediment. Extrapolate this to the angling population fishing on any given day in just the greater Yellowstone area, and you should conclude that felt soles are moving lots of sediment, and these sediments could contain all sorts of AIS, including whirling-disease spores, New Zealand mud snails, Eurasian milfoil and Didymo. Many state fish and game agencies are moving away from the use of felt soles. In Alaska, a recent action will ban the use of felt soles in southeast Alaska by 2011; New Zealand already has banned felt soles. This is a real issue and should be of concern to all anglers. Certainly, felt soles are not the only piece of angling equipment or the only vector for spreading AIS.
To address this issue, Trout Unlimited and other organizations recommend that anglers not only eliminate the use of felt soles, but that they also follow the guidelines found in the Clean Angling Pledge to inspect, clean and dry angling equipment and to avoid moving fish, fish parts, water and plants between drainages. The Clean Angling Pledge (CAP) can be found and signed at and at
There is no technique or treatment that completely eliminates the spread of AIS, but eliminating the use of felt soles and following CAP recommendations reduces the risk of spreading AIS. We urge all anglers, outfitters, guides, fly-shop owners, and fly-fishing manufacturers to work together to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, which threaten all of our precious trout and salmon resources.”

Balanced Information
I’d like to say that the last two issues of Fly Rod & Reel have been a balanced offering of cold/salt/warmwater articles. As a Texan who has limited trout fishing possibilities, namely the Guadaloupe River, I appreciate articles related to salt- and warmwater fly-fishing. I’d also like to say how much I enjoy the pieces written by the two Teds (Williams and Leeson), Chico and Buzz.
Frank Budd
Katy, TX

Presentation ID

My 8 year old son, Gavin, and I usually sit and look at Fly Rod & Reel together. When we got to pages 10 and 11 of your April issue, Gavin said “That looks like a barracuda” without knowing the photo was a contest for a fly-fishing print. I told him I thought he was correct and would submit this in his name.
Gavin and Jack McDonald
Veazie, ME

I might have an unfair advantage in your photo contest (Presentation, April 2009). I’ve been on the ocean my entire life. The last 10 years I’ve been a tour-boat captain in Maui. But I recently moved to the base of the Tetons in Victor, ID, to pursue my passion of fly-fishing. I recognize the fish on page 10 and 11 of the Aril issue as a barracuda by its dark top, silver to blue side, long jaw and pronounced “fangy” front teeth.
Nate Brown
Sent via e-mail

Nate and Gavin got it, as did about 70 other readers who responded to our Presentation fish quiz last issue. (You readers know your fish; out of all the responses, we received only five incorrect answers: mako shark, snook, bonefish, wahoo and seatrout.) Nate and Gavin will each receive a limited-edition, fly-fishing print; our third winner, chosen at random, is John Bellmon of Layton, UT. See page 8  for our next quiz.—ed.