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Wild and Wet Winter 12/12

It’s Wednesday’s Wild and Wet Winter … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead.

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With January approaching California anglers in search of winter steelhead begin to pay close attention to river flow and rain forecasts…all in search of the perfect window of opportunity. And, while we hope you have a chance to come tight to a fresh chromer, we also hope you’ll handle your catch carefully.

To learn more about Keepemwet Fishing principles and tips for handling fish carefully:

Last week we shared some basic scientific evidence pointing out the short term mortality rates associated with catch and release (CR) steelhead angling using bait, lures and flies. Most of the early catch and release research focused on mortality, but recent research has begun to focus on the “sublethal” impacts of catch and release. While that research is not specifically focused on steelhead, the evidence gathered on other salmonid species like Atlantic salmon makes many of us wonder about a similar impact on steelhead.

Some key findings of a Canadian Atlantic salmon study:

• CR salmon spawn at a rate similar to non-angled fish.

• Larger CR fish (over 31 inches) produced significantly fewer fry than same size non-angled fish. The same was not observed in smaller fish.

Reproductive success as measured by the number of fry produced for fish kept in the water can be 2-3X greater than fish held out of water and varies with water temperature.

Again, it’s important to recognize that genetic and regional differences between species caution us in applying these findings to other species. That being said, it does make many of us think about minimizing fight times and keeping fish in the water.

If you’re lucky enough to come across a wild winter steelhead this season, please consider keeping your fish in the water, minimize (if not eliminate) air exposure, and handle the fish carefully.

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CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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Wild and Wet Winter 12/5

It’s Wednesday’s Wild and Wet Winter … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead.

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High and turbid winter flows, especially during migration and spawning, make it difficult to accurately assess Northern California’s winter steelhead population. The optimistic estimate is less than 20,000 fish, a mere 10% of historic annual levels, ranging from just north of the SF Bay Area to the Oregon border.

With fewer fish and steady, if not increasing, angling pressure, it’s imperative that we learn how to handle fish carefully and minimize our angling impact on wild fish.

Odds are, if you’re a winter steelhead fly fisherman, you’re also a dedicated catch and release angler. Today there is a small but growing body of scientific research into the impact of catch and release angling not only on mortality, but also on post-release impacts on things like spawning and behavior. And, while little research to date has focused specifically on steelhead, we can extrapolate some generalities from research on other salmonids.

So a few things to keep in mind:

Releasing a steelhead and watching it swim away doesn’t necessarily mean the fish is in optimal shape. And, while that fish is likely to survive, our collective impact is not zero. It’s generally accepted in the angling community that bait is the most effective method to catch a steelhead, followed by lures which in turn are more effective than flies. It’s generally accepted in the scientific community that mortality rates for bait caught fish are higher than lure caught, which in turn are higher than fly caught fish.

A summary covering a number of steelhead mortality studies published in 2002

assumes the following mortality rates: bait 10%, lure 3% and fly 1%.

These differences are primarily driven by how frequently a fish is deeply hooked, and make sense when you think about how a fish eats a bag of roe versus takes a fly.

A recent study on British Columbia’s Bulkley River wild steelhead showed a survival rate three days post-capture at 95.5%.

This study also demonstrated that fish held out of the water for ten seconds or more

suffered impaired equilibrium and an immediate downstream movement compared

to fish kept in the water. Learn more about the research here.

If you’re lucky enough to come across a wild winter steelhead this season, please consider keeping your fish in the water, minimize (if not eliminate) air exposure, and handle the fish carefully.

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CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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Welcome to a “Wild and Wet Winter”

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Welcome to a “Wild and Wet Winter” … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead. Our goals are to build awareness of the environmental threats and opportunities impacting sustainable population recovery, as well as, to educate the angling community on the rationale for Keepemwet fish handling practices, and to encourage anglers to follow them.

Each Wednesday through the end of the winter season, we’ll focus on one or more aspects impacting winter run steelhead. You’ll hopefully better understand the winter run life cycle and population distribution, top three threats … (major dams, estuary alteration, and agriculture), and conservation efforts ranging from the Smith to the South Fork Eel.

We’ll help you understand ways in which anglers can minimize their affect on fish. We’ll provide insight into the science supporting Keepemwet practices. You’ll understand the impact of landing time, landing practices (netting versus tailing), and barbed hooks, what happens when you take fish out of the water, how long is too long for a fish to be out of the water (and why), thoughts on ways to hold fish to minimize harm, and lastly how to take pictures that celebrate your catch while keeping fish wet.

Hopefully, we’ll help minimize fish mortality and the negative impact some practices can have on spawning efficacy.

See you next Wednesday and have a Wild and Wet Winter

CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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2018 Release a Breeder Club

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The 2018 Release A Breeder Club, also known as "RBC", is now in its 5th season. The program is

designed by Stripers Forever to promote the release of large “breeding size” stripers, which are

largely spawning female fish. Current striped bass management practices have targeted large

striped bass. The result has been a considerable decrease in the number of these large, old fish

found in the population. Nature never intended it that way.

JOINING THE CLUB IS FREE for both anglers and Guides/Charter boat captains. The rewards are

a chance to win great prizes from our sponsors, an individualized membership package,

recognition on the RBC membership pages of our website, and the knowledge that you are

doing your part to turn around the current decline in striped bass.

3 SIMPLE RULES:

1. THE MINIMUM SIZE FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE RBC IS 36” TOTAL LENGTH.

2. THE FISH MUST BE RELEASED ALIVE AND IN GOOD HEALTH.

3. A PICTURE OF THE FISH THAT CLEARLY INDICATES THE FISH WAS SAFELY HANDLED AND

PROPERLY RELEASED.

Large Striped Bass must be handled carefully due to their increased body weight and potential

for carrying eggs. We strongly suggest that you "KEEPEMWET". You can grab a really nice shot

of your fish while minimizing the impact and undue stress on the fish by keeping them in the

water. We will be expanding on our catch and release education in the near future with some

videos that illustrate how to do this in a number of angling situations. Stay tuned!

Visit the RBC Main Page for full rules and requirements.

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Ambassador Profile: Dr. Robert Arlinghaus

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Dr. Robert Arlinghaus is professor of integrative fisheries management at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries. For the last 20 years he has studied the social, economic, ecological, evolutionary and institutional aspects of recreational fisheries around the globe and particularly in Germany. Robert has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has close to 500 publications overall. His work has been acknowledged by key awards such as the 2008 Award of Excellence in Fisheries Management by AFS, the 2012 Medal by The Fisheries Society of the British Isles, 2016 Cultural Award and 2018 Award of Excellence in Public Outreach by AFS. In many of his projects he works intensively with anglers, guiders, and managers in so-called transdisciplinary research settings. Public outreach and science communication are two key areas of Robert’s expertise and interest. Robert has worked intensively on catch-and-release angling, both from a conservation and social/ethical perspective, and included his research results in several high level policy documents that provide recommendations for best-practices in catch-and-release angling; the best example being the Technical Guidelines for Responsible Recreational Fisheries published with UN FAO.

www.ifishman.de

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@ifishman.science

@RArlinghausFish
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Keepemwet Fishing in the Great White North

Multiple perspectives on catch-and-release fishing

by Sascha Clark Danylchuk

 It’s always good to balance talking about fishing with doing a little fishing – especially when it means catching your first grayling! 

It’s always good to balance talking about fishing with doing a little fishing – especially when it means catching your first grayling! 

 

While many anglers typically think of catch-and-release as a conservation-minded practice it is not viewed that way everywhere.  In some locations, catch-and-release is less desirable than keeping your catch.  Germany, for example, has banned catch-and-release due to animal welfare issues, and in many other locations catch-and-release is viewed as “playing with your food” or disrespectful.  For communities that depend heavily on fish for food (or traditionally have done so), it’s not surprising that they would have reservations about a practice that has the potential for this food source to be wasted because there is some mortality of fish from catch-and-release regardless of best intentions.  

 Message board at the Klukshu fish camp

Message board at the Klukshu fish camp

 Traditional fish drying shed

Traditional fish drying shed

I recently spent time in the Yukon, Canada, where perceptions on catch-and-release are mixed.  The Yukon is unlike most places in North American in that the First Nations (aboriginal people of Canada) have a Land Claims Agreement with the federal government that gives them the ability to self-govern, as well as set regulations on their traditional territories that cover the whole of the Yukon.  For the most part, Yukon First Nations do not believe in catch-and-release for reasons along the lines mentioned above.  This makes things challenging as fishing regulations for non-First Nations people in the Yukon are based on slot limits, a practice that mandates the release of certain sized fish.  

Finding common ground

Keepemwet Fishing teamed up with a Yukon based fisheries consultant, Dennis Zimmermann, to investigate some of the issues surrounding catch-and-release in the Yukon.  Through a series of meetings and conversations we explored perspectives on catch-and-release in the Yukon and from around the world, and began to brainstorm some potential solutions to differing views on the practice.  One thing that became apparent is that anglers, regardless of how or why they fish, often share a deep respect for fish and that most anglers want to do the “right” thing, they just are not always sure what that entails.  Finding common ground through education and awareness campaigns will be key to solving issues in the Yukon, as well as elsewhere when conflicts over resource use emerge.  

 A multi-stakeholder discussion group on catch-and-release

A multi-stakeholder discussion group on catch-and-release

For me, one of the most valuable aspects of the work was listening to why people did not agree with catch-and-release practices.  It’s easy to get entrenched in common perspectives on how resources should be utilized and treated, yet ‘common’ doesn’t apply everywhere.  Having the opportunity to look at issues from a fresh vantage point is always beneficial, especially when it comes to the conservation of resources, including fish.  There is also no path forward without first establishing respect for views that differ from our own.  

 Fall comes earlier in the Yukon

Fall comes earlier in the Yukon

A big thank you to Yukon Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Trust for providing funding, Dennis Zimmerman of Big Fish Little Fish Consultants, Steve Hahn of H2O Troutfitter, and all the Yukoners who participated in conversations and events.  

 

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5 Things for Wild Steelhead

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While we have unpublished and published data on catch-and-release mortality for steelhead, the effects of catch-and-release on wild steelhead health and reproduction is poorly understood. As a result, we also draw upon a large body of catch-and-release research on similar species, including but not limited to resident rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon and sockeye salmon. 
Why is this important?
Today, 70 percent of the major steelhead populations in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California require federal protection and opportunities to catch wild steelhead have greatly diminished in many rivers. 
Despite declines, steelheading remains as popular as ever. In some populations we are catching-and-releasing nearly every fish that escapes harvest. As a result, it is important to balance our desire to catch them with handling practices that give them the best chance to swim away without lasting impairment. 
To that end, @wildsteelhead and @keepemwetfishing share a mutual interest in educating anglers about best handling practices. Whether you fish gear or fly, from boat or bank, we all share a common bond in fishing for and taking care of wild steelhead.

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Keep an eye out for our new co-lab with Wild Steelheaders United on techniques for catch and release of wild steelhead. These will be making an appearance at a shop near you soon!

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KWF Builds Momentum at ICAST/IFTD

The Keepemwet Fishing team spent last week at the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, ICAST/IFTD, in Orlando, FL.  The highlight of the show for us was hosting a panel discussion on the branding of catch-and-release.  We were joined by Brian O’Keefe, Jako Lucas, Jennifer Lavigne, Mark Harbaugh, Dr. Aaron Adams, Capt. Tony DiGiulian, and Dr. Jake Brownscombe to talk about fishing, fish science, and the roll of anglers, guides, and the industry in creating sustainable fisheries.  You can watch a recording of the discussion here.

The show was also an opportunity to for us to meet with current partners and establish new connections with likeminded individuals and companies.  While Keepemwet Fishing did not have a booth of our own, some of our partners were kind enough to give us space at their booths.  A huge thanks to Patagonia, Nautilus Reels, Thomas & Thomas, Alphonse Fishing Co, KastKing, Smith, Sight Line Provisions, and Ed Anderson for lending us some real estate.  We also debuted our new principles cards, which we will make available to a wider audience soon.  

 

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Ambassador Profile: Tom Enderlin

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Tom Enderlin is a traveling waterman with a passion for environmental conservation and innovative adventure. He is based in Costa Rica, where he runs a boutique fly fishing outfitter called Release Fly Travel. Programs around the country include pelagics in the Pacific, rainbow trout in the highlands, exotic species like machaca and guapote in various lowland rivers, and the stand-out program, the Jungle Tarpon Reserve.

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At the Jungle Tarpon Reserve, Tom has worked extensively with the local community to help create a community-based fly fishing tourism initiative. Tom has led training workshops in guiding and hosting travelers, collaborated in scientific research projects, influenced local regulations pertaining to tarpon fishing, held tree plantings and river cleanups, amongst other projects. One of the most impactful components of the new regulations Tom helped bring into fruition was that angler’s are not allowed to remove more then 30% of a captured tarpon’s body from the water. This means no dragging fish onto the boat for hero shots, and many a client from around the world has taken the “jungle plunge” in order hold a big silver king prior to release. Tom and his local team truly care about these tarpon, and they are constantly looking for ways to make a positive impact in the region in order to keep the destination sustainable both environmentally and culturally. Check out Castaway Films’ 2018 release of Atlanticus to see the Jungle Tarpon Reserve’s natural beauty and the raw power of the area’s tarpon for yourself.

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To compliment whats being done, Tom founded Conservación Bosque del Sábalo, or Jungle Tarpon Conservation, a Costa Rican non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve a globally unique freshwater tarpon habitat in the Caribbean watersheds of Northern Costa Rica by implementing environmental stewardship, community awareness and education, enhanced scientific understanding, and the creation of sustainable economic opportunities.

When not traveling Tom calls a small organic farm in the mountains of Costa Rica home, where he lives with his wife, son, dogs, a flock of unruly chickens, and an extensive tropical garden.

Instagram @releaseflytravel

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KWF to Host Panel Discuaaion at ICAST/IFTD in Orlando

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The Branding of Catch-and-Release

The rise of social media and smartphones has made the days of anglers telling tales and exaggerating the size of their catch all but obsolete.  While this might mean that anglers are now more honest people, what does it mean for fish intended for release? Does it matter what fish photos ‘look’ like? Is it time to reevaluate the traditional hero shot?  What role does the industry play? 
 

Please join us for a discussion at IFTD on Thursday, July 12 from 1:30 - 2:30


Join panel members Brian O’Keefe, Jako Lucas, Jennifer Lavigne, Mark Harbaugh, Dr. Aaron Adams, Capt. Tony DiGiulian, Dr. Jake Brownscombe, Sascha Clark Danylchuk, Dr. Andy Danylchuk, and Bryan Huskey as we discuss the branding of catch-and-release.

Feel free to pass this invitation along to others attending IFTD/ICAST who may be interested in joining the conversation.

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Ambassador Profile: Daniel Goez

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German Daniel Göz was born and raised in France. He has a base in Frankfurt/Germany, but resides in both countries.

Daniel is an experienced and successful outdoor filmmaker, a seasoned cinematographer, director of photography, director, producer, editor, cameraman, multi award-winning for human-led as well as wildlife-led outdoor and documentary work producing small scale to large scale content.

He has worked in very remote locations and harsh conditions such as the strenuous climates of the Central American jungle to freezing climates of the North producing rare images in all these adverse conditions.

He is capable to produce iconic and stunning visuals through technically innovative approaches. His fortes are challenging underwater works be it oceanic or riverine, shooting and filming rare billfish species, incl. large free-swimming blue marlin and yellowfin tuna. His has further filmed the entire spawning act of Atlantic salmon and European lake trout underwater. His underwater photography spans well over a decade.
Some of his film works are the legendary flyfishing film "Tapâm" produced with Danish Jan Bach Kristensen, where both venture off the beaten path to catch giant tarpon from their float tubes. Other works include stills and film work on the Gaula River in Norway. Daniel was also involved in one of Animal Planet's most successful River Monster episode with presenter Jeremy Wade, in which Jeremy chases giant tarpon.

Beside his film and still work, Daniel holds an M.Sc. in geography/hydrology. He does camera based monitoring on rare trout species, using the trout's spots as bio markers to identify trout individually. His monitoring work is totally stress-free to the fish. 
Fun fact: Daniel is president of the fishery's guild in Frankfurt which was founded 945 ad. He takes care of all fish ecological aspects of the large Main River in Frankfurt.

Daniel is often amazed how anglers react to his images; many say they didn't know how beautiful fish look underwater. Daniel, being an angler, fish conservationist and environmentalist, is super proud to support the keepemwet movement with his knowledge and stunning visuals.

http://danielgoez.com

http://www.tapamthemovie.com

https://vimeo.com/user4502703

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http://danielgoez.com

http://www.tapamthemovie.com

https://vimeo.com/user4502703

 

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Catch Magazine- A MOBILE VIEW featuring KWF Ambassador Team

Our longtime friends at Catch Magazine have consistently produced the highest quality digital publication for many years now. And when it comes to representations of best case handling of fish that are released, they absolutely get it!

It's awesome to have our own feature article "A MOBILE VIEW" which can be found in the  April/May 2018 issue. If you don't already subscribe to Catch Magazine but can't get enough of the greatest fishing adventures on the planet, you're missing out!

Enjoy this excerpt from issue #56 with photo and C&R handling tips from our own Keepemwet Fishing staff and Ambassadors!

 Make sure you have enough phone storage before you get on the river. Erase photos you don’t want. I’ve been in the middle of taking photos and received a message saying storage full.  Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Make sure you have enough phone storage before you get on the river. Erase photos you don’t want. I’ve been in the middle of taking photos and received a message saying storage full. 
Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

  Photo by Dr. Aaron Adams, KWF Science Ambassador.

Photo by Dr. Aaron Adams, KWF Science Ambassador.

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  Left - 3. Use the video mode for lens option different than photo mode and the ability to capture more of the experience then simply save the best still frames from the video!    Photo by Sascha Clark Danylchuk, KWF Operations/Science Liaison.    Right - 4. A common misconception about Keepemwet is a perceived opposition or conflict with grip and grin photos. While we work to raise awareness of the impacts surrounding various handling practices, it's a no-brainer to handle fish with care and get great photos too. My better half Ali demonstrates with ease on a cool October day last fall.    Photo by Bryan Huskey

Left - 3. Use the video mode for lens option different than photo mode and the ability to capture more of the experience then simply save the best still frames from the video! 
Photo by Sascha Clark Danylchuk, KWF Operations/Science Liaison. 
Right - 4. A common misconception about Keepemwet is a perceived opposition or conflict with grip and grin photos. While we work to raise awareness of the impacts surrounding various handling practices, it's a no-brainer to handle fish with care and get great photos too. My better half Ali demonstrates with ease on a cool October day last fall. 
Photo by Bryan Huskey

     Captain Rob Kramarz holding a Permit in the Florida Keys. This fish was caught as part of a Bonefish and Tarpon Trust tracking study led by Jake Brownscombe aimed at understand habitat connectivity in the region. The visible dart tag is used for individual identification in case of recapture, while an internally implanted acoustic tag transmits a unique signal that is used for spatial tracking.    Photo by Dr. Jake Brownscombe, KWF Science Ambassador.

 

Captain Rob Kramarz holding a Permit in the Florida Keys. This fish was caught as part of a Bonefish and Tarpon Trust tracking study led by Jake Brownscombe aimed at understand habitat connectivity in the region. The visible dart tag is used for individual identification in case of recapture, while an internally implanted acoustic tag transmits a unique signal that is used for spatial tracking. 
Photo by Dr. Jake Brownscombe, KWF Science Ambassador.

  This is the most air he saw, and it was only for a quick second. I tell people to hold the fish completely under the water and just lift it enough so I can see it's eye. Only takes a second or two and I shoot as many photos as I can, rapid fire. One usually turns out crisp.    Photo by Jeff Hickman, KWF Ambassador.

This is the most air he saw, and it was only for a quick second. I tell people to hold the fish completely under the water and just lift it enough so I can see it's eye. Only takes a second or two and I shoot as many photos as I can, rapid fire. One usually turns out crisp. 
Photo by Jeff Hickman, KWF Ambassador.

  Photo by Dr. Aaron Adams, KWF Science Ambassador.

Photo by Dr. Aaron Adams, KWF Science Ambassador.

  Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

 Left - Nets allow the fish to recover IN THE WATER while you compose shots. Gentle a-okay grip around the wrist of the tail with non camera hand can point and steer the fish angle and direction. Keep the head in the water and use the net to support the fish for various positions at water level.  Photo by Bryan Huskey  Right - Take lots of photos in seconds by holding the button down. Get as many photos as you can fast.   Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Left - Nets allow the fish to recover IN THE WATER while you compose shots. Gentle a-okay grip around the wrist of the tail with non camera hand can point and steer the fish angle and direction. Keep the head in the water and use the net to support the fish for various positions at water level. 
Photo by Bryan Huskey
Right - Take lots of photos in seconds by holding the button down. Get as many photos as you can fast.  
Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

 Blue Marlin: Two time Stanley Cup Champion, Tofino Resort and Marina owner and Keepemwet supporter, Willie Mitchell releases his first Blue Marlin in Abaco, Bahamas.  Photo by Keepemwet Fishing Ambassador Captain Tony DiGiulian.

Blue Marlin: Two time Stanley Cup Champion, Tofino Resort and Marina owner and Keepemwet supporter, Willie Mitchell releases his first Blue Marlin in Abaco, Bahamas. 
Photo by Keepemwet Fishing Ambassador Captain Tony DiGiulian.

  Keepemwet Ambassador Anthony DiGiulian releases a sailfish with IGFA President Nehl Horton. Leaders lead by example, 24/7 and 365 days a year.

Keepemwet Ambassador Anthony DiGiulian releases a sailfish with IGFA President Nehl Horton. Leaders lead by example, 24/7 and 365 days a year.

  Known as the "fish who can stop dam construction," "fish of a thousand casts," "cousin of Taimen, our king of the streams Hucho hucho (Danube salmon)"... Take a snap, release it and you will have the lifelong memory of your fish of a lifetime.   Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Known as the "fish who can stop dam construction," "fish of a thousand casts," "cousin of Taimen, our king of the streams Hucho hucho (Danube salmon)"... Take a snap, release it and you will have the lifelong memory of your fish of a lifetime.
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

 Sometimes you find big things in small details, even if it just sun coming through a dorsal fin of a nice brown trout. Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Sometimes you find big things in small details, even if it just sun coming through a dorsal fin of a nice brown trout.
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

  Nice example of pure Danubian strain brown trout from the Obrh River... they fight hard to push out the introduced Atlantic strain of brown trout from our rivers.    Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Nice example of pure Danubian strain brown trout from the Obrh River... they fight hard to push out the introduced Atlantic strain of brown trout from our rivers. 
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

  Not equally loved around the planet, but really important for the fly fishing community here in Slovenia, this trophy grayling "Lady of the Stream", was caught and released in early spring on the Iščica River.    Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Not equally loved around the planet, but really important for the fly fishing community here in Slovenia, this trophy grayling "Lady of the Stream", was caught and released in early spring on the Iščica River. 
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

  Here's a wild rainbow trout buck from the Idrijca River. They are almost native now, but at the same time totally alien ... future unknown?!    Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Here's a wild rainbow trout buck from the Idrijca River. They are almost native now, but at the same time totally alien ... future unknown?! 
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

 Here's a baby marble trout from the emerald daughter of mountains, the Soča (Isonzo) River . Please #keepemwet and Catch & Release for generations to come. About the net - This amazing "floating" landing net was a game changer and a clever simple design/innovation from a man who is a total fly fishing enthusiast. His name is Glen Pointon from England, and the name of the  net is  Glen Pointon Living The Dream Catch and Release Net .  Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Here's a baby marble trout from the emerald daughter of mountains, the Soča (Isonzo) River . Please #keepemwet and Catch & Release for generations to come.
About the net - This amazing "floating" landing net was a game changer and a clever simple design/innovation from a man who is a total fly fishing enthusiast. His name is Glen Pointon from England, and the name of the
net is Glen Pointon Living The Dream Catch and Release Net
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

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AFFTA Fisheries Fund Awards Grant to Keepemwet Fishing

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Keepemwet Fishing is about releasing fish in the best condition possible.  We believe that recreational anglers are a key component of fish conservation, and that science-based approaches can help create healthier fisheries.  Our education campaign provides anglers with easy to use principles and tips that help create the best outcomes for fish that are caught-and-released.  

“The grants we have received from the AFFTA Fisheries Fund have allowed us to reach a greater audience through our education campaign on the best handling practices for catch-and-release.  We couldn’t have done it without the help of AFFTA.” Sascha Clark Danylchuk, Operations at Keepemwet Fishing.

We thank AFFTA and the Fisheries Fund for another year of support for our work!

 

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It's Not Just the Catch - June Contest by Loon

Congratulations Connor R! The folks at Loon Outdoors have selected your image as winner for this round of  It's Not Just the Catch. Get stoked for the assembly of prize items that will be heading your way and thanks to all who have taken time to describe and share what they love and appreciate about clean water and healthy fisheries.

  Trout Lake Siesta. The location is under a tree next to Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park. After a nice hike up to Trout Lake with my wife and three month old daughter, it was time for a relaxing nap in the shade overlooking this beautiful view.    We set up the eno, had a bite to eat and rested up before heading down to the lake to try our luck with the native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout! The nap extended our day trip up at the Lake and was well worth the hike!

Trout Lake Siesta. The location is under a tree next to Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park. After a nice hike up to Trout Lake with my wife and three month old daughter, it was time for a relaxing nap in the shade overlooking this beautiful view.

We set up the eno, had a bite to eat and rested up before heading down to the lake to try our luck with the native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout! The nap extended our day trip up at the Lake and was well worth the hike!

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We are stoked to continue our photo contest that deemphasizes photographing and posting every fish that's landed. Instead, we want to see the greatest parts of your time on the water that wasn't the catch. 

For the rest of June, show us your best images of what clean water provides for you. It could be quenching your thirst right from a New Zealand stream, an epic hatch on your favorite trout stream, or simply gazing deep into the waters you love to fish. Show us what you love and appreciate about clean water.

 The healthy prize package courtesy of our friends at Loon Outdoors.    Fly Tying Tool Kit , Iconic Kit , Lochsa , Top Ride , Bearded Shirt , On The Swing Hat

The healthy prize package courtesy of our friends at Loon Outdoors. 

Fly Tying Tool Kit , Iconic Kit , Lochsa , Top Ride , Bearded Shirt , On The Swing Hat

To enter, email your photos along with a short description of what clean water means to you to keepemwetfishing@outlook.com. The winner will be announced via our "In the Loop" newsletter early July. We'll begin posting entries to a slide show here at the bottom of this post. Have fun out there and be grateful!

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It's Not Just the Catch - "What made you smile?"

 SMITH OPTICS get is dialed in for April, "What made you smile?"

SMITH OPTICS get is dialed in for April, "What made you smile?"

 Our friends at  Smith Optics have spoken and these are the winners of the April contest "What Makes You Smile?" Congratulations to Sabrina who wrote:    "Hi!  My name is Sabrina.  I am a disabled army veteran and am in the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program here in Maine.    Due to a leg injury  from the military, wading can be tough but I do not let it stop me!  I have a lab mix dog named pepper and she goes with me everywhere.  She stays right by my side in the stream...always next to me so I can hold onto her for stability if needed.    My husband captured this photo of her and I in Grand Lake Stream, ME.  Fishing for land locked salmon.     This photo of her and I warms my heart ❤️. I smile every time I look at it.  And am so lucky to have her in my life."   Enjoy your new Colette Chromapop™ Polarized sunglasses!  Men's winner Cody describes:  "Any moments like these, that I get to spend with my twins on the river, makes me smile."   He'll be rocking a new pair of Transfer shades with Chromapop™ Polarized lenses.   We're cooking up all new criteria and prizes for our May installment of "It's not  Just the CATCH" so stay tuned to the next newsletter to get the scoop!

Our friends at Smith Opticshave spoken and these are the winners of the April contest "What Makes You Smile?" Congratulations to Sabrina who wrote: 

"Hi!  My name is Sabrina.  I am a disabled army veteran and am in the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program here in Maine.

Due to a leg injury  from the military, wading can be tough but I do not let it stop me!  I have a lab mix dog named pepper and she goes with me everywhere.  She stays right by my side in the stream...always next to me so I can hold onto her for stability if needed.

My husband captured this photo of her and I in Grand Lake Stream, ME.  Fishing for land locked salmon. 

This photo of her and I warms my heart ❤️. I smile every time I look at it.  And am so lucky to have her in my life." 
Enjoy your new Colette Chromapop™ Polarized sunglasses!

Men's winner Cody describes:
"Any moments like these, that I get to spend with my twins on the river, makes me smile." 
He'll be rocking a new pair of Transfer shades with Chromapop™ Polarized lenses. 

We're cooking up all new criteria and prizes for our May installment of "It's not Justthe CATCH" so stay tuned to the next newsletter to get the scoop!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. STAY TUNED FOR WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN OUR NEWSLETTER AND UPCOMING CRITERIA AND PRIZES FOR MAY.

We are stoked to continue our photo contest that de-emphasizes the urgency to photograph and share every fish that's landed. Instead, we want to see the greatest parts of your time on the water that wasn't the catch. 

For the rest of April, we want to see what made you smile or laugh. Show us your best friends, the incredible view, that one funny shaped rock, or the bowl of chili dumped down your waders! Whatever brought smiles and laughter to your day on the water.

The April contest is sponsored by our friends at SMITH OPTICS who've generously provided a pair of sun glasses for both  men and women winners.  The selected winners will be announced via our "In the Loop" newsletter April 30th. To enter, email your photos along with a short description of what made you smile or laugh out on the water *to keepemwetfishing@outlook.com. Limit of 3 photos per person please. We'll begin posting entries to a slide show here at the bottom of this post. Pursue your thrill, have fun out there and be grateful!

 Up for grabs! Men's and women's winners will feel the love from our partners at SMITH Optics.

Up for grabs! Men's and women's winners will feel the love from our partners at SMITH Optics.

*By entering my photo(s), I consent to receive email communications from Keepemwet Fishing based on the information collected.

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It's Not Just the Catch - March Winner

Keepemwet Fishing is a movement built on the basis of how catch-and-release fish are presented in photos. Originally, in the early days of social media this caught our attention as what seemed like frantic competition of who could post the most fish photos. 

So it's no surprise that we suggest considering if photographing C&R fish should always be routine. Or at least de-emphasizing the urgency to photograph every fish that's caught and instead shift the focus to other elements that draw us outside to toss lines in the water. There are after all, so many reasons we love to fish.

Lets celebrate and explore those other reasons, and in the process take our collective eyes off glorification of the catch and give our nod to the overall holistic experience of fishing. With this in mind, we present "It's not just the Catch", a series of photo contests featuring various criteria besides the obvious. And hey it's a great way to pull off a win on those days you end up skunked! We hope you'll join us.  

AND THE MARCH WINNER IS....

From the Fishpond USA judges:

We have chosen a winner. Joseph R and his amazing hat of shame! 
Our selection process - each staff member picked a photo for the final round of voting and we picked a random winner out of a hat to make the final selection. Joseph was our winner! There were too many good options to do it any other way. Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo and shared their story.

 Joseph Russell, March contest Fishpond USA winner.

Joseph Russell, March contest Fishpond USA winner.

"So we fish a medium sized lake in the Adirondacks for some really decent sized pike; the average fish is in the 30” range. I know this isn’t record breaking but the remoteness of the water and the journey to and fro are what really add to the pervasive spirit of adventure when we go for a multi day trip with the boys. This photo was taken on the last day and around the journey out of camp. I am donning with pride the hat of shame. It’s an adaptation of a photo we had seen from the flying fish journal about a group of guys better than annual Alaskan steelhead trip and brought along with him a banana suit costume. The idea of the costume was a humility check for the guy who had caught the most steelhead or the biggest fish on the previous day. We decided to take it a step further and just simply award the hat to the person who caught the fewest fish, the smallest fish, or no fish at all. I am thankful he avoided the trifecta by hooking into a small hammer handle Pike on the second to last day of the trip to stave off the goose egg but still won the hat for lack of numbers and size."Joseph Russell, April contest winner. 

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It's Not Just the Catch - Gallery Page 2

Note this contest is now closed

That's right, all your entries maxed out the storage on the original page posting so this is the overflow page for our March contest "It's Not Just the Catch" presented by Fishpond USA. See entry info and the first page of entries here.

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Ambassador Profile: Adrian Gray

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Adrian Gray's passion for fishing is clearly evident in his artwork and his photography. 

The man is a perfectionist, and you won't see his artwork unless it passes a very stringent quality test. Every detail must be perfect. If every finlet, color and use of light is not absolutely without flaw, the piece won't leave the artist's easel.


With that kind of attention to detail, it takes more time to produce a final painting, but the end results are incredibly lifelike scenes that depict a magical moment of the watery hunt. While the artist may never be 100 percent happy with the final piece, the public must be because demand for Adrian's artwork and photos continues to grow.  

Born on the southeast coast of South Africa, Adrian took to surf casting for local species such as kob and “pig-nose grunters” as a kid. He credits his mother and grandfather for getting him into fishing. When his grandfather passed away, Adrian inherited his fishing rods. Those rods led to a lifelong passion for angling.

At 11, he and his family moved to New York, where the fishing was much different than South Africa. He started targeting salmon and steelhead in the New York watershed and Great Lakes. At 14 his father bought a cuddy cabin boat and Adrian took it on fishing adventures throughout Long Island Sound. He caught bluefish, fluke and striped bass.

His love of fish and the ocean led him to the University of Miami, where he studied marine biology. “I wanted to do something with fish,” he says, but he had no idea that he’d move into art and photography. 

“I would sketch and play around with pencils,” he says. “I took general art classes in high school and excelled at it, but I kind of left it and it didn’t hit again till I was 24 or 25. We caught a big swordfish and I wanted to paint it.”

Using a friend’s easel and leftover paints, Adrian put his swordfish memory on canvas. His swordfish painting quickly caught the attention of the fishing world. The Big Game Fishing Journal ran the painting on its cover and Lindgren-Pitman bought the rights to it and used it as a catalog cover. Adrian began going to tournaments and selling prints. Demand for his art began to grow. He painted when he wasn’t fishing or working, which means he didn’t paint a whole lot, but he made time for it. Then he got a camera and that took his talents in yet another direction. 

“In 2004 I started working at the IGFA and I wanted to make the magazine and newsletter better, but I had no photos,” Adrian recalls. “Whenever I approached a photographer, I hit a wall when they said, ‘What will you pay me?’ So I invested in a camera got an underwater housing.” 

He taught himself the intricacies that go along with taking tack-sharp photos of fish in their natural element, whether that was below the water or jumping behind a boat. Adrian traveled and attended fishing tournaments and fished as much as he could, always toting waterproof boxes with his camera gear. He is now considered one of the premiere photographers in the recreational fishing industry, with many magazine covers to his credit. He has a gigantic photo library with everything from freshwater species to blue marlin, but he says he does not paint photos. He only uses them for reference to help him create the scenes he conjures up in his mind. 

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His artistic style continues to evolve: “I have this perfectionist personality so I’m never satisfied,” he says. “I don’t want to show old works. They’re not an example of what my strengths are. The art develops through experimentation, growth and how you perceive things.”

With about 30 completed paintings to his credit, he is not about pumping out new paintings as fast as possible. He prefers to focus on the details rather than the end result. He started with acrylics but now paints in oils. “I like the way the oils blend,” Adrian says. “It takes longer to do. The mixing is more tedious but oils have a natural look.”

"The art develops through experimentation, growth and how you perceive things."

He’s currently working on a bluefin tuna piece inspired by a 2014 trip to Nova Scotia. “We only had two days and on the first day we went out it was unusually calm. Each of us caught our first bluefin in the 750- to 1,000-pound range,” Adrian says. “We started hand-feeding them and I jumped in. The water was cold but it was one of the best experiences of my life, swimming with something that big. They move so much water but they’re so graceful at the same time.”

Adrian, who turns 38 this year, still works for the IGFA, laying out their publications and posting on the organization’s website and social media. His phone usually goes to voicemail because he’s traveling, fishing, photographing something or in the studio painting. And lately he’s experimenting more with video. “I’m intrigued by slow-motion and and working with that type of video,” he says. “I’ll probably get more into that.” Fishing is his passion. The art and photography are his way of expressing this love of all things fishing. 
 
“My favorite thing is to jump in the water and take photos of fish.”

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