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22 11 2007

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So many fish, So little time (Book review)

21 11 2007

A while back I was asked to do a book review for the writer of the book So many fish, So little time.

I received the book a few months ago and was very excited to read it. This book is very large, and for a fishing book is massive. I don’t think I have ever seen a book on fishing this large (860 Pages).

The cover grabs you attention right away and I have to say it is wonderful. The author  Mark D Williams is an extraordinary fisherman and the knowledge that he pours into his book in second to none.

In the book he goes most states in the USA, all of the provinces of Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South america, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the south pacific. He covers many different aspects of fishing in each place in the world, and goes through the different styles of fishing in each of these unique spots around the world.

As you can see from the list of the coverage of fishing around the world he covers everything from FlyFishing to Gear fishing, Salt water to fresh water. The information in this book is endless. I was so happy when this book showed up at my door, I couldn’t wait to read it.

I thumbed through it at first to read about the areas that I know well, these include Western Canada and North western USA. I have also done some fishing in Hawaii so these are the sections that I went to first.

I was impressed at his writing style, but when it came to the areas that I was very familiar with, I was a little disappointed.

We have some of the Best lake fishing for Rainbow Trout in the world here in BC and the coverage he had on the freshwater lakes of BC was very limited and the lakes he did cover would NOT be my choice of the Best in BC. He also spoke about a few of the river systems we have here and once again I was a little disappointed in selections. There are so many GREAT systems in BC that it would be hard to just chose 2-3, but the ones he did chose to review are good, but Great, I disagree.

Now to get to the good stuff, the book is a GREAT read if you are planning any sort of trip. It will allow you to at the very least get familiar with the area and type of fishing there is in that area. For most, if not all the places he talks about he gives web sites to guides and other local Info, and for this I have to say GREAT JOB. This kind of information is priceless to the reader.

All in all, a good read. I would (As I am a Author myself) have made 2 books from this as the book in my opinion is WAY to large. I would have done Canada, and the USA in on book and the rest in another. The size of the book may scare off some readers even though it is worth picking up. As for price $19.95US and $24.95 Canada is a good price for the info in it.

In my Opinion this book is not a must have for the average fisherman, but for the traveling fisherman it is a valuable information source.

Rick Passek ” The Flyfish Fanatic”

Part 4 Chironomids

15 11 2007

These insects are a huge part of the Trouts diet, and I mean huge. The fish target this insect all year long with special attention during prolific hatches from ice off to ice on. Trout will feed on them to the point of over stuffing themselves at times during the most abundance.

Common name -Chironomid

Order – Diptera

Family – Chironomidae

Colors – Browns, Blacks, Greens, Creams, Reds,

Chironomids have segmented bodies and have a well developed head, 2 pairs of “Prolegs”  one near the head on the Thorax, and one near the end on the abdomen. They have small gills on the sides of their heads that are white in color (See above picture).

The different colors are due to many factors, water clarity, temperature elevation, chemical composition oxygen levels, and makeup of the lake bottom. Some Chironomids are pure red (Bloodworms), this is a hemogloben like substance that  allows them to get more oxygen from the water allowing them to live in areas with lower oxygen levels. Chironomids can have many generations in one year in warm water, in colder water such as high elevation lakes they usually only have one generation per year.

Once the chironomid is ready for its final transformation it wriggles its way to the surface very slowly. They will come up from the bottom at all depths and will rest many times throughout the emergence.  Once they reach the surface their biggest challenge awaits, they must break through the surface tension.  On a windy day this tension is less and allows the Chironomid to break through  fairly quickly and easy.  If there is  no wind the surface tension is  heavier and because of this requires more effort and time to break though.

The adult stage is not much of a target for the trout, but I have seen trout take the odd one when they can. The Chironomid is like many other insects in that they will return to the water to lay their eggs. Some will just fly over the water, dipping their abdomen into the water from time to time dropping eggs, others will land on the water and lay all their eggs in one place.

Some samples of artificial flies used to imitate these insects.

Tight lines & Fun Times

Rick Passek AKA “The Flyfish Fanatic”

What an Experience!!!

14 11 2007

As most of my readers know, I have written a book geared toward the newbie Flyfisher (Called the freshman flyfisher). As part of this process, I went to Gabriola island here in BC, Canada to meet with my Editor, Publicist, Media coach, and a person that specializes in Branding.

What is branding you say? Well, I had NO clue before this weekend, now I know. In simple terms, all of us sat in a room and brainstormed about the book. We talked about everything from the date of release to marketing, and the future.

I have to say I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but after doing this section I realize that not only was it necessary, it was actually fun. We spent the better part of an afternoon just brain storming and came up wit a plan of attack.

I really need to thank all those involved.

1- My editor, Peggy Richardson (Humanus Publishing)

2- My publicist, Kim Plumley (Publicity Mavens)

3- My Media Coach, George Plumley (Brave new Niche media coaching)

4- My Media consultant/Brander, Deirdre Rowland (Cme Publicity)

Thanks once again, this was a real eye opener for me and because of it I am even more excited about the book and all the other options that came out of the section.

Rick (The Flyfish Fanatic)

Great story, with a even better ending.

5 11 2007

I am proud to be a part of a great online fly fishing community called FlyBC. The people on the site are great. I have found over the years of fishing that fishermen are a different breed, and they just seem to have a generosity that is second to none. There was a post on FlyBC a while ago that I thought I had to share with the world. Because of the number of responses to the post on the site I will just take out key parts, Here it is in a nutshell.

I desperately need your help PLEASE!!!

This weekend, I found a very passive and calm dog that was wandering around, completely disoriented and lost in the Peterhope Lake area (looks possibly like a Jack Russell cross with coarse hair). I need your help to find its owner to return it to its proper home — or if I am unable to locate them — to possibly find it a new home.

Here’s the dog’s story:

This past weekend, while I was fishing and camping at Peterhope Lake with a group of my friends, I found a stray/lost dog that was in desperate need of help. It was well below freezing on the first night (Friday Oct 26th), and this dog had survived the cold weather and evaded a pack of coyotes that we heard yipping. He was quite stressed when we found it on Saturday. It had been spotted by two separate groups, walking around for approximately four miles to six from the camping area (in both directions).

It was extremely hungry and devoured a hot dog and some bread that I fed it. I picked it up and snuggled it under my jacket by the fire until its body temperature came back up to normal and he seemed to perk-up a bit. His joints in his legs were very stiff and he limped whenever he walked, as his poor little feet were quite sore from walking on the gravel roads, for who knows how long. Later that evening, he ate some steak and spaghetti that I cooked for the crowd.

I have no clue as to when he originally went missing, but his nails were quite unkept and long. I have attached some photos to hopefully help to identify him! I can only assume that he ran away while camping in the area with his family, or ran away from a cabin or home nearby. I asked a local resident, who had also seen the dog, but was unable to approach it as it shied away when he approached. He told me that he has lived there for quite some time and had never seen this dog before.

So, I let the dog sleep in my canopy with me Saturday night and rather tha leaveing it there to eventually die, I took him home with me today (Sunday) to stop at Merrit to check with the local SPCA. I was told that Merrit doesn’t have an SPCA anymore, so I took it home to Maple Ridge.

Hopefully someone in the Kamloops area can ask around or contact me if they recognize this dog from the following photos:

Thanks for your help!



There were many responses from forum members that offered to help, including many people from different corners of the Province to go and check out local papers etc.. for missing pets.

Next entry from him:

Thanks as well for the concern, suggestions, offers and all of the help so far everyone!
“Peter” has settled in quite nicely and seems to be acting more relaxed and happy! He is great with our other small dogs and we can tell that he used to being indoors and with people.

I haven’t heard any news as to where he came from yet, but I am remaining hopeful that his owners will report him missing (or have already). He is such a sweet dog, that I can’t imagine anyone not caring enough to place an ad somewhere. It may very well be that he has been missing for quite some time and they gave-up hope at some point in time. Or he may have been scared away from a cabin, house of campsite from fireworks (it is that time of year after all).

I can’t keep him myself, as my beloved family dog — “Tyson” — passed away just last Wednesday evening, and for me, it is just too soon to even consider replacing him… sad.gif

I have had a generous offer to take him for now and may consider that option, as it would be nice for this pooch to have a more permanent residence, until he is rightfully claimed or adopted.

Thanks again, and please keep the search alive!



Next entry:

Well I just got off the phone with the owner, and I have never heard someone so happy to find out that his dog was found and safe.

Here’s his side of the story:

His name is Ken, and he lives in Kelowna. Ken was driving up a logging road near Peterhope and stopped for some reason, and his dog came out to stretch its legs as well. When he was ready to leave, he called his dog and it never came back out of the woods.

He told me that his dog always comes to its name (Ernie by the way), and its failure to return left him shook-up and he spent a fair amount of time searching but couldn’t find him. He went into Merritt on business and made a report with the RCMP and left his contact information, before heading back home to Kelowna.

Someone (doesn’t even know who to this day) told him that Ernie was dead! He gave up all hope and was heart-broken as he had raised this four-year old Jack Russell from a puppy. The thought of finding Ernie alive was shattered for ken, and the last thing that he ever thought would happen. If not for today’s phone call, he most likely wouldn’t have searched any further, nor checked the SPCA for any updates on Ernie.

So, when trout contacted the Merritt animal control officer, she remembered hearing about the lost Jack Russell from the RCMP’s report. So after trout contacted them, they called me and I sent them a link to this site, and they recognized the brown button-shaped mark on Ernie’s head. They then gave me the phone numbers and before i could call and make contact… I received a phone call from Ernie’s owners.

I first spoke with Ernie’s Mommy, who was in total disbelief and quite emotional to hear the wonderful news and that her Ernie was safe and in loving arms. The phone was then passed over to Ken (Ernie’s Daddy) and he was in complete shock and couldn’t believe it as well, for he had written Ernie off as being dead and lost forever!

After forwarding a link to this website, so that they could see the photos and positively identify Ernie, his voice began to tremble as the joy overcame this gentleman. He was so thankful and wanted to come pick up Ernie, but being on a disability, it just isn’t possible at this time, so I told him that I would try to co-ordinate a ride, with my friends on my fishing forums, for Ernie to make his way safely back to Kelowna and into Ken’s loving arms.

His voice cracked as his emotions began to pour into and over the phone, so I cut the call short to allow him time to regain his composure and absorb the fact that his dog was not only alive, but safe and finally coming home.

How this small dog evaded the pack of coyotes, survived the sub-freezing nights and the dusting of snow on the ground from the previous night was a miracle on its own. His paws are still sore and quite tender, but happily, his spirits are back up now, and he seemed to instantly perk-up when my children called him by his proper name…

My dilemma now is trying to find someone who can help Ernie on his final leg of his journey, and my last request for your help with a very “special delivery”…

Thanks to everyone who helped find his owners, and to whomever offers to help Ernie find his way home to complete the final chapter of this story with one very happy ending! I’d almost do it myself, just to see the happiness and expression on Ken’s face when the two of them are reunited!


Next entry:

Well, after talking with Woodscamper last night and telling my family that Ernie would be heading home on Saturday, my fourteen year-old son (Brandon) asked me; “why we couldn’t take him back home ourselves?” I told him that it would be a long drive and not that it is that it would be quite costly for the gas and toll booth. Without a hesitation, he offered his 1st place $150.00 prize money that he had just won at my annual shop fishing derby, which, by the way, was the reason that we were at Peterhope Lake in the first place.

I was never so proud as that moment when I heard him say those unselfish words and it nearly brought tears to my eyes to see his actions and what a caring and compassionate young man he has turned out to be. He was going to use his prize money to purchase an X-Box 360, but felt that the money would be better spent returning Ernie back to Ken and his family (my wife and I definitely won’t accept his money, but the offer was enough reward on its own).

I thought about it all night and spoke with my wife again this morning about his actions and we decided that it would be a superb “life-lesson” for him to see the reunion in person since Brandon helped to find, care for and comfort the dog in his time of need, and has become rather attached to Ernie at this time.

So I called Ernie’s “Mommy” and told her that we will be returning Ernie to Kelowna on Friday afternoon. So thanks again to everyone who helped to make this happen, and especially to Woodscamper and Reach for their generous offer to take Ernie back home!

Here’s a shot of Brandon with the derby-winning fish at Peterhope:

Thanks again everyone!

Todd (one very proud father)

And then this!!!!

Sorry for taking so long to post the epilogue to this story, but here is the final chapter to the end to Ernie’s incredible journey:

After a week of having Ernie as our house-guest, it was a bitter-sweet moment as I loaded my family and Ernie into my truck to begin his journey back to his home in Kelowna. My kids had just arrived home from school for the drive that would take approximately four hours (each way), but none-the-less, we were all excited to make this road-trip especially for Ernie and Ken’s sake.

After a rather uneventful drive, we pulled into Merritt around dinner-time, which was where Ernie had been raised and had spent most of his life before moving to Kelowna. He perked up as he recognized a few familiar scents of the small town. We noticed that he paid special attention to the Tim Horton’s, and we speculated that he and his owner had spent much of their leisure time visiting that very popular coffee shop.

When we eventually reached the Pennask Summit Ernie whined a little, so I pulled over to let him have an over-due “pee-break”. The ground was frozen solid and had a light dusting of snow along the roadside. When I opened my truck door and the cool wind blew into the truck, I was instantly reminded of the cold, harsh nights that he had endured in the Peterhope Lake area for several nights. We walked for several yards, and with little more than a light jacket to shield me from the cold, I wondered how he had been able to keep himself warm and safe during the cold days and nights that he had survived through.

Around 8:00pm we finally pulled into Kelowna and Ernie seemed quite excited once again, but particularly as we drove nearer to his home. When I pulled into Ken and Barb’s driveway he could no longer contain his enthusiasm as he could hear another dog barking from within the house.

We were greeted by Barb and her mother, who were absolutely thrilled to see Ernie and he was equally as excited to see them. Once Barb had placed Ernie back down on the floor, he raced about the house in search for Ken (who had just stepped out to the corner-store). He seemed happy to be home and we were pleased to have been there to see his reaction, as it made us feel much better about leaving him, and in such a happy home.

After a few minutes later, a vehicle pulled into the driveway and Ernie seemed to instantly recognize the unmistakable sounds of Ken’s truck. A knock at the door and in stepped Ken. He barely made it up the stairs when he was greeted by Ernie and nearly knocked over by the extremely excited little Jack Russell Terrier. Ernie displayed a level of excitement that we hadn’t seen during the week of his visit in our home.

Ken seemed to barely notice us at first as he was so preoccupied and focused on Ernie, and returning the affection that Ernie gave to him so freely. The joyous sight of their reunion brought tears of joy to nearly everyone in the room, a sense of completion and that all was well.

Eventually once the emotions in the room had began to subside, introductions were made and as Ken shook my hand with his trembling hands, and during an over-whelming embrace, he whispered a sincere and heart-felt “Thank-you so much for bringing my dog back home to me!” We both had tears in our eyes as I told him that it was our pleasure and that he should be very proud that he had raised such a fine dog, that my family will surely miss.

Words alone can not possibly express the joy and satisfaction that we felt and shared at that moment (and since), knowing that Ernie was back in his proper home and in such loving and caring arms. The memories of his adventures in the wilds, the good times around the warmth of our campfire at Peterhope, and the days spent at our home, would perhaps be best remembered by Ernie, if only in his dreams.

Have a long, safe and happy life Ernie my friend…

Ken also asked me to personally thank FLYBC and everyone that was involved with or offered to help, as well as those who expressed the many kind words, well wishes and genuine concern over the rescue and safe return of his beloved “Ernie”.



Man I love this site, The people that got involved getting this pootch home did a GREAT job.

This is my way of saying thanks to all those who were involved, especially Todd and his wonderful Family!!

Rick (“The Flyfish Fanatic”)

Part 3- Leeches

28 10 2007

Leetches, YUK. Some people think these thing are just plain old GROSS. In a way they are, but of all the Insects, Terrestrials and other bait, These are by far the most sought after by trout.  The trout have these juicy morsels available to them on a year round basics.

Leetches belong to a group of segmented worms from the class Hirudinea and can reach a lenght of 6 inches, but on average are in the 2-4 inch range. They move in a way like a snake, moving their segmented bodies from side to side, thus causing them to move in the water.  They have “Suckers” on both ends of their bodies that they use to attach themselves to their prey, these include Insects, Mollusks, worms, and Crustaceans. There are a few species of leech that are blood suckers, but these are few.

Leeches are light sensitive and because of this are more active in low light situations. They will move around during the day if there is heavy vegetation or other cover, but generally they are far more active during the times between dusk and dawn.

Leeches will come in a large variety of colors.  They once again, like many other aquatic animals have the ability to match the color of their surroundings. They can be found in colors ranging from Black to red, Green, Browns and even shades of purple. The most common colors are Red (Maroon) and black.

I have found that the best time to fish these creatures is at Dusk. This is what I call the magic hour, I have had more sucsess 1/2 hour before to 1/2 hour after dusk with leeches than with ALL the other flies I have combined.

Rick Passek

“The FlyFish Fanatic”

Part 2 Damsel Flies

27 10 2007

Damsel flies, these are the ladies of the insect world. They are very dainty and beautiful.  They are also a very important part of the trout diet in the lakes of the north west. They are alot like the Dragon, yet are very different.

Order- Odonata

Suborder- Zygoptera

Family- Coenagrionidae

Colors: Browns to Greens.

Size: 15mm-30mm

Once again, these insects live in the water as a nymph. They do not live as long in the water as the Dragon does, they usually have a 1 year life cycle with the odd ones having a 2 year cycle in warmer climates.

These insects hide in the vegetation for cover and are like a chameleon, as they can change their color patterns to match their surroundings. Once again like the Dragon, they are ambush hunters but do not eat the same size of prey that the Dragon does. The Damsel fly moves differently than the Dragon, the Damsel swims thru the water a little like a minnow. It is aided by the use of Its gills that are located at the end of their slender bodies.

The Damsel flies migrate in Mass toward shore to start their emergence. The Trout feed on them at this time and target them with vigor.

As the Trout start to target them you should concentrate on fishing in or near the weeds. I have had limited success when fishing the adult patterns, but the nymph is what you will have the best luck with.

Rick Passek

“The FlyFish Fanatic”