SmithFly Stream Team TFM contest winner announced.

Despite the recent lull in activity here at the Fiddle and Creel, I have been REALLY busy with a ton of stuff and the time is really flying by.

Outside of a heavy workload at the day job, manditory overtime, Karate and flag football for the youngster and a quick trip to Steelhead Alley for the Central Basin Steelhead show, I’ve been busy with an inbox stuffed to the gills with responses to The Fiberglass Manifesto’s SmithFly Stream Team Contest.

All I can say is wow, I’m humbled at the level of interest and quality of submissiosn that came in. THANK YOU soo much to everyone that submitted, it’s great to see such excitement and enthusiasm for the SmithFly products. Initially we thought there would be only one winner, but there were a handful of submission that we thought good enough to land folks a spot on the on the team in addition to the winner. So while they may not get the whole bag and kit etc,  they deserve a spot on the team. Look for a post in the next few days  with the details on all that. The Stream Team is growing by leaps and bounds!

Nick’s submission is below as it appears on the Fiberglass Manifesto. Thanks to Cameron for running a great give away! Good work.

The winner is…

SmithFly Stream Team Winner

Nick Bertrand of Siren Flies was chosen as the winner, not only as a fly angler but also the work that he does as a fish biologist.  Congrats.

Angler and Biologist

Here is Nick’s submission for the SmithFly Stream Team…

Dear Ethan,

I’m seeking to join your SmithFly Stream Team for two reasons.  First, I am an avid fly fisherman and fly tyer developing a blog centered on Texas Fly Fishing and Fly Tying. The second, and I feel more vital reason I am seeking your aid, is my profession as a fish biolgist.  I am finishing up my Masters of Science at Texas A&M University.  My thesis is a description of the evolutionary patterns of heterodonty in fishes.  Heterodonty is the presence of more then one tooth type in the jaws of an animal.  Humans like most mammals are heterodonts.  However, this character has been very poorly studied in bony fishes.  My research has shown there are atleast fifteen tooth types in fishes which is immense compared to the four tooth types mammals possess (molars, canines, incisors, and premolars).  Preliminary results of my evolutionary study of teeth shows that the different types of teeth as well as the different combinations of teeth have evolved multiple times in very distantly related groups of bony fishes.

Fish Teeth

I’m sure your wondering what kind of game fish are heterodonts.  Just name a few…redfish, grouper, surf perch, and sheepshead are all heterodonts.  Additionally, my written contribution to the dental systems of fishes will be the largest review of the topic since 1845.  To put that date in context, Sir Richard Owen, who wrote the last major work, literally had tea with Charles Darwin.  The data for this research is driven by two sources.  The first source is active collection of fish specimens from the wild.  Such field work requires a mobile means of transporting equipment from site to site and an efficient way to organize it to specific field research needs.  SmithFly gear offers an excellent means to organize and keep my field gear mobile.  As just one example, often genetic samples are taken along with preservation of the whole specimen.  The two samples require different chemicals and different tools to take the sample.  This means I carry two different tool sets for each task with me on the water.  For genetic samples we often carry many small tubes and keep them on our person in case something unexpected shows up in our nets.  The second way I acquire information about the teeth of different species is to visit research collections in Museums.  Last year I was awarded a grant to visit the Smithsonian and I have applied to visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York this year.  These trips are actually more intensive in terms of the equipment I must have on my person.  When working at museums out side of Texas I have carry all the dissection equipment I could possibly need such as photography equipment and all my data recording devices (laptop,notebook, etc).  In places like Washington D.C. and New York public transportation means that I carry everything on my person everyday to and from the museum.  Additionally I have two more planned trips to make to museums in Texas.  Thus the SmithFly gear will aid in visits to both the field and research collections. 

The modular system your equipment provides will allow me tailor my bags for each kind of trip and organize the many different items I need for my research.  I have attached my CV and photo of some various fish teeth. I have begun a fly tying blog as well. I would be happy to review any gear you provide on here and I could also review it in terms of scientific use in light of my research. 

Cool new SmithFly hats are cut, sewn and assembled in the USA.

The BRAND NEW, totally awesome, amazingly cool, SmithFly Eye Patch Hats arrived at SmitFly world headquarters this week, and we are totally stoked! They are available on the SmithFly site for purchase, like always with free shipping in the continental US.

Get yourself one before they are all gone. They have a nifty little feature that you won’t find on any other hat in the world. That little piece of webbing there on the side will allow you to attach the one and only foam Eye Fly Patch (coming soon) to dry your flies without messing up the fabric of your hat.

Best of all they are cut, sewn and assembled right in the heart of Steelhead Alley. Where else you gonna find that?

Totally unique. Be the cool kid on the block and have one first!

Chouinard and Moser on provenance and process

We noticed a post over on Midcurrent about a little radio show we’d never heard of called From Scratch. The show is apparently produced by NPR but available via the iTunes music store or directly from their website.

Midcurrent of course posted the interview with Yvon Chouinard, who we think is one of the coolest people on the planet. But after scrolling through the older podcasts we noticed an interview with another one of our favorite non-business-man business men, Thomas Moser.

After listening to both interviews a common theme really struck me.

Yvon says something like, in climbing it’s all about the process, how you get there. He compared arriving at the top of a big wall climb and being greeted by a forest, a plain old forrest. Basically there is no real reason to do what you just spent 10 days doing, so it ends up being a spiritual journey that you benefit from as a person. He contrasts that the wealthy guy who pays a guide to climb everest, where it isn’t about the journey its about the destination, the summit. So its not where you get to, its how you get there.

Similarly, Moser talks about provenance and process as well. He talked about how he has focused more of his company’s time on making products that aren’t a commodity, where people actually care where they from. The example he uses were the chairs he made for the Harvard Library. Sure, it is nice for him to put that on a resumé but does anyone really care where the chairs come, probably not? Alternatively, the chairs we put in our houses and pass along to our children have a story and we care about their provenance, and history. So in this way the products that he makes aren’t just about the products but how they are made, the process.

The other striking similarity between these two is their complete indifference to any sort of conventional business thinking, and we love that. Immerse yourself in the process and dig deep into the why and the how, the profits will sort themselves out.


Behind the (Green) Scenes of “The River Why”

Below is the You Tube trailer for Greenlit a behind the scenes look at the attempts to keep a “Green” set during the filming of The River Why. Both films will screen this weekend at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

Hollywood people are legendarily liberal and left-leaning, particularly when it comes to the environment. This film puts their commitment to the test as the filmmaker follows the Oregon production of the AIFF feature The River Why, as it attempts to keep an environmentally friendly set. A “green consultant” is hired, compost bins are secured- so, why is it all still so hard? What starts off with great enthusiasm quickly devolves in this insightful and entertaining film. Immediately following the 50 minute film, a panel will discuss choices about how we live, work and play in a “green” way. The panel, It Ain’t Easy Being Green, moderated by Jeff Golden, will include the director of Greenlit and representatives from The River Why including the film’s green consultant Lauren Selman, and local sustainability advocates who are walking the talk.