In the Loop Fly Fishing Magazine - Issue 34

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Our September issue features contributions from Sean Jansen, Helmut Zaderer, Morten Valeur, Jonatan Ternald, Rasmus Ovesen, Martin Ejler Olsen, Arman do Giraldo, Matt Harris, Alvaro Santillian, Ivan Oroz, Justin Stuart, Steven Weiss, Peter Lyngby and Vaidas Enjoy!Uselis.


Having spent another desperate and back-breaking summer in fruitless pursuit of Atlantic salmon in Nor way, time has come to actually catch a few fish. The time ahead offers exciting opportunities for seatrout, brown trout, pike, perch, and a great many other species. There are brook trout to be caught in our local stream, seatrout in the fjords, and pike in the lakes. But that’s just the Procrastinatingwarm-up. between stints of editorial work, we’ve filled up our fly boxes with Alphlexo Crabs, Crazy Charlies, and monumental streamers tied on #8/0 Gamakat su SL12s hooks. Yup, you’ve guessed it. In late-October, we’re taking off on a trip to the Indian Ocean to target permit, triggerfish, bonefish, and giant trevally. And we cant wait!!!

Oh horror, summer’s over! The long, bright, and warm summer nights are now behind us – but, luckily, so is the salmon season. Yes, luckily!

A letter to Colombia’s Supreme Constitutional Court by Armando Giraldo A Day in the Park by Sean byJansenJustin

#INTHELOOPMAG Presents Tropical Escapism in the Indian Ocean by Rasmus Ovesen The Ghost of the Amazon Jungle by Helmut Zaderer Discovering Bosnia by Alvaro G. Santillian


Maxwell Stuart




We choose not to print this magazine and we are happy not to use paper and harmful inks as used in a conventional printing process. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.


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Oslo-resident, Rasmus Ovesen, was handed his first fly rod at the tender age of eight, and he has been a bor derline fluff chucking fanatic ever since. Rasmus has writ ten articles for some of the world’s most renowned fish ing magazines, and his trav els take him to remote areas across the globe in search for fish that will test and challenge his skills to the maximum. He has seen his fair share of exposed back ing in the tropics, but his heart truly belongs to the soulful realm of trout and salmon fishing.

Danish fly fisherman and photo journalist, Martin Ejler Olsen, has years of experience fishing for the many and varied freshand saltwater species in the Danish rivers, lakes, and fjords. He has land ed some truly massive sea trout on the fly, and he has a certain gift for hooking up with the biggest fish in the schools. Martin is also a keen tropical fly fisher man. His expeditions abroad has seen him battle bonefish, permit, barracuda, tarpon, GT and sailfish – and being a gifted photogra pher, these trips have resulted in some great footage.

Austrian fly fisherman and adventurer, Helmut Zaderer, has travelled the world exten sively with his fly rod. He is particularly fond of targeting the gangster of the flats in the Seychelles, but he has an open mind to any fishing experience as long as it involves wild fish in pristine environments and disarming natural- and cultural encounters. Helmut does a lot of hosted trips, and you can find out more about them by visiting his website:

Do you have any great fly fishing photos, videos, or stories that you would like to share with our readers? If so, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always looking for quality ma terial for In the Loop Magazine, and we look forward to reviewing your material.


Álvaro was born in northern Spain where he fished since his early childhood. He has since specialized in sight-fishing for trout and Atlantic salmon, Álvaro travels extensively in search for the best dry fly fish ing spots. As a nature lover and photographer, he never travels without his rod and camera. As a founder of the LineasVivas flyfishing guides in 2006, he combines his work as a guide in

Justin Maxwell Stuart, after a decade of service as an infantry officer with the British Army, on retirement reverted to his life-long passion for fly-fishing. With an eye for a challenge and adventure he founded Where WiseMenFish, an internation al destination travel business in 2007, followed by Shadow Flies, a fly tying workshop with over 120 employees, producing in excess of 1,000,000 flies every year. Both fishing and the manufacture of flies for Atlantic Salmon have been the corner-stone of both businesses, but his passion to continue to explore and record on camera and film his exploits have taken him to an exceptional wide and varied array of desti nations around the world.

Sean Jansen has spent the bet ter part of his life in the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Living in and around the park, it is a daily activity to drive through the infamous entrances of the park and go and cast. Covering both photographic and writ ten passions, Sean also guides in the park with little desire to shift his focus elsewhere.


Born and raised in Colombia, Armando discovered fishing at the age of 6 and it quickly turned into a huge passion. Ar mando then began fly fishing and fly tying at the age of 14. Once an employee in the cor porate world, Armando even tually decided to chase after his dreams. He is now a full-time fly fisher, fly tyer and guide. He owns Orinoco Flies, which focuses on designing flies for big pred atory fish as well as Pacific Ocean species. He’s a firm believer in catch & release, in conservation through fly fishing, and in the involvement of the local communities in order to preserve our watersheds and fisheries.





Imagine a remote atoll delimited by pearly-white, palm-strewn beaches; a secluded and wonderous getaway surrounded by flickering azure blue water and set amidst a seemingly endless excess of alluring flats bathed in warm sunlight. Now, add to that a vast number of powerful fish species randomly revealing their ghost-like shadows along the edges of these flats as they hunt – just begging for you to throw a fly at them. Yes, close your eyes and dream away – to the far corners of the Indian Ocean.

EscapismTropicalin theIndian Ocean Fly Fishing Travel

the cork handle squeak, and try to think clearly amidst all the chaos and disorder. The fish just keeps going – across the reef ledge and towards deeper water, somewhere out there where the water gradually assumes an opaque cobalt blue col our. As the tormented snarl of the fly reel finally comes to an end, you crank the drag setting all the way to max and decide to pursue the fish on foot – if your shivering legs are capable of carrying you, that is. You make it to the edge of the reef, where a series of drowsy swells from the Indian Ocean blindly crash onto a craggy wall of corals, when the fish suddenly explodes in yet another burst of mad aggression.

You lean back, increasing the pressure on the fish until the strained carbon fibres of your fly rod make

“It’s a bit like Mexicanfromknockedunexpectedlybeingdownbehindbyawrestler”

You see everything unfold in slow-motion in an almost painful ly predictable way: The powerful, erratic spurts of the apex predator as it confidently patrols the edges of the coral reef; the cast as it cuts triumphantly through the wind and un folds across the glistening water; the agitated fin twitches as the fish sees the fly, its sudden acceleration across the shallow flat, and the fateful mo ment when it violently collides with the fly in a deafening explosion of foam and water that, most of all, reminds you of a sea mine detonation. Yet, for all the anticipation, you’re not the least bit prepared for the enormous pull from the fish. It’s a bit like being unexpectedly knocked down from behind by a Mexican wrestler. You just barely manage to stay upright as the fish takes off and heads for deeper water – with the fly solidly planted in its jagged jaws and a rapidly increasing amount of highstrung fly line trailing behind it. It’s pure mayhem!


Once again, it’s as if something detonates loudly in the water. But this time, you’re right in the middle of the explosion crater, momentarily suspended under water, arms and legs in a spasmodic fit. As you emerge, in a state of mild shock – still clinging on to the fly rod for dear life, you’re almost drag ging behind the fish. Your feet feverishly fumble for footing, and as you finally connect with the bottom and miraculous ly come erect – in chest-high water this time, you somehow manage to stop the fish.

It mobilizes all its remaining power reserves in a resolute surge that propagates merci lessly through your fly line’s 100lb core before being met by the deadweight of that firm grip of yours on the fly rod. With a drag setting just a few picometers from being com pletely blocked, an equivalent and highly surprising pull is exerted on you – and you’re swept off your feet.

You’re left petrified – in a state of shock; all hollow on the inside, startled and retraumatized. Latent memories from a multitude of similar battlefield-losses swell shapeless ly up inside you, as the unwavering night marish feeling left in you by the fight slowly precipitates: A feeling of sheer terror – the same kind that haunted you as a small kid whenever you went fishing for pike in the local lakes and ponds.

Whether you’re finally gaining the upper hand, only time will tell. For now, you’re satisfied with backing up a little bit and re gaining a few meters of hard-earned line. Eventually, as you continue applying pres sure, your fly line becomes visibly some where out there, and it seems as if the fish is slowly coming closer towards you – albeit reluctantly. It’s as if your fly rod is a powerful magic wand exerting a supernatural form of magnetism on the fish, and you do your very best to use it to your advantage. However, as you start to look around for a good place to land the fish, it somehow re bounds and makes another irresistible run. And when it finally stops, all you feel is an immovable deadweight. Shortly after, your connection is severed. The fish has managed to wrap the line around a coral head and the leader has snapped. The battle is lost!

Unbeknownst to you, the massive giant trevally you’ve just lost repre sents a physical manifestation of a life-long and crippling anxiety inside your mind; a lightning-quick, ominous and unpredictable threat that makes your blood freeze.

Tropical fly fishing in the Indian Ocean is synonymous with giant tre vally, but it’s acutally so much more than that. During the daily drama that unfolds on-, along-, and off the flats of the Indian Ocean, there are more than one protagonist. Apart from masterfully cast support ing acts in the shape of barracuda, bluefin trevally, yellow-lip emperor, mutton snapper and parrotfish, it’s the motley crew consisting of trig gerfish, milkfish, bonefish and Indo-pacific permit – in addition to giant trevally – that comprise the lead cast.

But whereas the pike has always ex emplified what’s ill-omened and ter rifying in that, which is hidden to the human eye, the giant trevallyto you - seems different in its con spicuousness and distinctive in its abrupt brutality. It’s like a drifting pleasure killer; uncompromising, self-assured, vicious – and shock ingly violent. Less than two hours later, you spot the next giant treval ly and you’re struck with that same, familiar and near-paralyzing terror once again. For a short moment, you consider not casting to it, but in the end you do. Of course, you do! And

And the dispersion of these species makes the Indian Ocean a much more diverse and varied fishery compared to, for instance, the Car ibbean.

“The Indian Ocean is withsynonymousgianttrevally”

as you send off another momentous cast, you’ve never felt more alive. The fish demolishes the fly with the same blind force as a freight train. It’s scary, but this time you’re mentally prepared. This time, you’re going to overcome your opponent - and your innermost fears…

Later on, you’ll target big and aggressive giant trevally that you spot in the tidal channels or blind cast for with noisy poppers along the drop offs. And, if the winds drop down during the afternoon, you might head for deeper water and try to catch one of the over-dimensioned mullet-like milkfish that, just like Popeye, have developed super-natural powers by munching on green salad.

multitude of species that can be targeted from a boat; for instance dogtooth tuna, sailfish, wahoo, rainbow runners, groupers and even marlin.

Oh, and we mustn’t forget all the other fish that will randomly show up on the flat – many of them very colourful and aggressive, nor the

After a long day, having waded kilometres of knee-deep water and sent off an incalculable number of expectant casts with a racing pulse, you’re now back at the lodge. Here, you’re enjoying a refreshing drink –one of those with an umbrella and a few ice cubes in it, while listening to the high-pitched reports from fel low fishermen; their faces all lit up with excitement.

It’s been a hectic and eventful day, and you take it all in as you enjoy another picturesque sunset – one that makes the sky glow with blushing intensity. Somewhere deep inside you, some thing equally warm and glowing has been ignited. It’s less than three hours since you landed and released your first giant trevally. The achievement has you completely intoxicated, and with the renewed sense of confidence and courage you’ve been infused with, your entire body aches for tomorrow to arrive.

During the best fishing days in the Indian Ocean, you’ll start off sight-fishing for bonefish and triggerfish in the morning, after which – on a falling tide - you’ll go looking for the abso lute gold trophy of the flats; an Indo-pacific permit.

“You’ll target big and giantaggressivetrevally”

Triggerfish// Is a collective term for 40 species in the family Balistidae, of which the vividly coloured yellow margin- and the big and aggressive moustache (or titan) triggerfish are the two most Thesesought-after.fishareknown to chew and break corals apart in order to expose small crustaceans (and for crushing flies and bending hooks), and while they rarely grow larger than 50 – 55 centimetres, they are incredibly fun and challenging to catch.

The target species of the Indian Ocean Giant trevally (Caranx ignobilis). Is the biggest member of the jack family, which – among others - in cludes bluefin trevally, amberjack and jack crevalle. It’s an immensely pow erful fish, that has specialized in hunting and killing everything from crabs and other crustaceans to fish and even sea birds. (If you haven’t seen BBC’s documentary about the giant trevally at Farquhar Atoll that leap out of the water and snatch flying terns out of mid-air, check it out now).

Indo-pacific (Trachinotuspermitblochii)

When it does, you’ll be out there once again patiently waiting to test your skills, nerves and stamina against the Indian Ocean’s self-appointed king of terror.

known to be even more finicky and challenging to catch than their relatives elsewhere in the world –so they’re considered one of the great est saltwater trophies on the planet.

exceed 75 centimetres in length, and their maximum length and weight are believed to be around 85 centimetres and 10 kilos respectively. However, in terms of appearance, In do-pacific permit – with their fiery golden sheen - are far more eye-catch ing and pretty compared to Atlantic Andpermit.they’re

Giant trevally can grow up to 170 centimetres in length and weigh in excess of 80 kilos, but flats-caught 1 meter+ specimens are generally con sidered trophies.

Are dwarfed by their Caribbean cous ins (Trachinotus Falcatus). They rarely

Is an exciting and archaic species of fish; a species of fish that - poundfor-pound – ranks among the most hard-fighting and spectacular fish in our oceans. Milkfish grow up to more than 25 kilos and are known to jump meter-high out of the water once hooked. Furthermore, because they have two sets of gills, they don’t build up considerable amounts of lactic ac ids during the fight, and this means that they just keep going, and going, and going… Milkfish can be found in smaller schools up on the flats where they filter the water for thread algae, but they’re “easier” to catch offshore, when they’re daisy-chaining on the surface in huge schools.

other crustaceans. The biggest fish are typically singles, whereas the smaller fish appear in relatively big schools; schools that create what’s typically referred to as “nervous wa ter” as they patrol and forage along the flats.

Want to fish the Indian Ocean?


Are the Speedy Conzaleses of the flats; an explosive fish that is capable of accelerating and exposing backing at break-neck speeds. It can grow up to 85 centimetres in length and weigh in the vicinity of 10 kilos, but 5-kilo+ fish are generally considered trophies. Bonefish grow big in the Seychelles and they are found on shallow, sandy flats where they dig for crabs and

It’s fully possible to fish the Indian Ocean with success in a strict DIY (“do it yourself”) manner. But it’s not easy! Especially if you don’t have any previous experience with flats fishing. If, on the other hand, you’re a seasoned tropical saltwater flats fisherman; you have a keen eye; and lots of patience and stamina, you could venture on an exploratory trip to the Maldives, Mauritius or Mahé (the main island in the Seychelles), but don’t expect a lot of shots at GTs. Do your research and go with an open mind.

Milkfish (Chanos chanos)//

Bonefish (Albula glassodonta)//

If you’re dying to travel to the mighty Indian Ocean to fish its beautiful is lands and atolls, there are different options depending on your budget and time frame.

It’s a magnificent place, where a group of eight fishermen sometimes catch as many as 250 GTs in a week and where a beautiful eco-lodge provides the scene for a number of unforgettable experiences and the very real possibil ity of catching a bonefish, triggerfish, GT and permit in a single day. Further information can be found here:

Fish for bonefish, triggerfish, snap pers, bluefin trevally, and the odd permit – but always keep a loaded 9’ 12-weight rod at hand in case one of the flats’ so-called “gangsters” sud denly manifests itself.


If you’ve just won the lottery, treat

If you have a bit of money to spend, and it hasn’t already been set aside for expensive fly fishing equipment, there are a few tour operators that offer packaged fly fishing trips to the Maldives for somewhere between 3000 and 4000 dollars excluding flights. On these trips, you’ll mostly be fishing on your own, but - with an accompanying travel guide, boat transfer crews, lots of accumulated experience from pre vious trips and plenty of productive spots within immediate reach- you’ll be afforded a decent chance of catching that first GT – in addition to bonefish, triggerfish, bluefin trevally and a number of other species. For further information, please refer to Getaway Tours’ website: High-End//

yourself to a fully guided luxury fish ing experience in the Seychelles at one of Alphonse Fishing Co’s lodges. Here, you’ll find the best flats fishing in the whole Indian Ocean. Farquhar Atoll is known for its massive GTs and bump head parrotfish. Alphonse island is a tropical paradise and a great all-round fishery with endless flats and raw amounts of bonefish and triggerfish – in addition to permit, milkfish and GT. Poivre Atoll is a remote, exclusive and highly productive destination for the hard-core permit fisherman, while Astove Atoll provides great oppor tunities for landing an Indo-pacific grand slam in majestic surroundings. And then there’s Cosmoledo Atoll; every GT fisherman’s wet dream.

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The Ghost of the AmazonPirarucuJungle



Pirarucú is the Guarani and Portuguese name for the Ara paima. Arapaima can grow to over 400 pounds and most closely resemble a freshwater tarpon. When hooked, they explode in aerial displays, take off on long runs, and surrender only after lengthy battles. The fish are often seen gulping air from the surface thus offering sight-casting opportunities to singles, pairs, or even schools of fish.

Juggernaut monster fish have always exerted a special mag netism and attraction on us fly fishermen. One of the largest freshwater fish is the ara paima. It can weigh up to 400 pounds, and it is a brutal force to be reckoned with. The ancient-looking fish lives in the Amazon Jungle, far from Eu rope where I reside. Far from anything really.

There are no longer seemingly endless places to fish for arapaima, and to succeed in catching one with a fly rod leaves very few places to be seriously con sidered.

The meandering and intricate nerve tracts, that provide the mighty Amazon rivershed with nutrient-rich water – from the thousands of tributaries to vast marshlands and flood plains –used to teem with arapaima. Nowadays, the species – like too many others in the Amazon rainforest biosphere - have become threatened.

2021, I went to Pirarucu with Jako Lukas, Vaidas Uselis, Rod rigo Salles, and Pamela Wendhausen to fish and film there for a few days, hoping to catch a few fully grown specimens. Knowing that arapaima are particular and finicky feeders with rock-hard jaw bones that make them even more challenging to hook than to induce an initial strike from, we anticipated the task ahead with nervous excitement.

What makes Pirarucu so special, is the natural feature of its geograph ic location and its legal protection.

There is, however, an area in Brazil in which arapaima are still prolific and where they can be targeted with a fly rod. And probably the best place to flyfish for large arapaima is inside the Mamirauá Reserve in Brazil.

Having minutely planned and prepared to fish and shoot a film at Un tamed Angling’s Pirarucu Lodge in side the Mamirauá Reserve for what felt like forever, the time had finally Inarrived.October

In search of a Leviathan

When we finally arrived, we found ourselves inside an area of more than 1 million hectares, where the Solimoes River (the name of the medium Amazon River in Brazil) meets the Japura River.

Mamirauá was the first Brazilian Sustainable Development Reserve created by the Amazonas’ state by governmental decree. Sustainable Development Reserves aim to rec oncile biodiversity conservation with sustainable development in areas in habited by traditional peoples. The Mamirauá reserve is located about 600 km west of Manaus in the mid dle Solimões region, Amazonas state, Brazil. This area is formed by a com plex of lakes, lagoons, and rivers, all interconnected, forming a huge clean water wetland, where the gigantic Amazon Forest becomes flooded in the rainy season feedersparticular“Arapaima(Jan-Jun).areandfinickywithrock-hardjawbones”

It’s a very unique ecosystem where the arapaima finds the perfect place to feed and spawn. These gigantic fish migrate from the flooded jungle back to the rivers and the marshlands where they feed during the dry sea son (Aug-Nov) only to return to the flooded jungle, where they spawn in December and January.

As you can imagine, it’s not fun to throw heavy, wind-resistant flies on sinking lines all day long. But the fact that we were constantly surrounded by rolling arapaima increased our stamina, motivation, and ambition. And once we started hooking up, the heavy duty of casting the flies suddenly seemed like a walk in the park.

I found it really fascinating how many fish we constantly saw around us. We felt as if we had been trans ported back in time and that we were fishing in the middle of Juras sic

Fish all around

using big streamers with lots of water displacement-capa bilities to – not only make our flies more visible – but also more audible. Streamers in excess of 25 centime ters were used in order to offer the potentially huge fish a solid meal.

“We felt as if we had beenbacktransportedintime”

Getting stuck (on the bottom)?


Sometimes we had to cast A LOT before anything happened. The fish just seemed totally unresponsive, but then, suddenly - completely out of the blue – everything would just come tight.

I personally found that the colour of the streamers didn’t matter all that much. We all had our own theories and ideas, and despite using- and experimenting with different flies, we all caught fish. While Jako and the others caught most of their fish on black flies, I caught mine on lightly-coloured flies. It seemed the most hook-ups came as a result of drag ging flies along the bottom, so we ended up fishing almost exclusively with sinking lines.

Every fish – a new adventure The four of us had a very success ful four days at the Pirarucu Lodge. With 22 arapaimas caught includ ing 7 over 2 meters, there was never a boring or dull moment. Quite the contrary, the tension was always very

What happens next is up in the air. A hooked arapaima will sometimes run extremely fast taking you into your backing in a matter of seconds. It might simply stay put while shaking its head violently to throw off the hook and relieve the invisible pull exerted on it. Or it may jump clear out of the water while flaring its gills and thrashing its head from side to side.

A unique experience

To begin with, an arapaima take feels like you’ve hooked a tree trunk, but then then a violent pull starts to prop agate through the line and everything starts to move. Once it does, your overly vivid imagination starts to wander, and you’re left shaking and guessing at the size of what you’ve just hooked – that is, if you succeed in jabbing and yanking the hook firmly into the bony mouth of the fish and get proper purchase.

“To begin with, an arapaima take feels like you’ve hooked a tree trunk”

My friend Vaidas, who was always busy with his camera, had a lot to do. In the 4 days, we spent at Pi rarucu, he captured enough mate rial to make a great film. Not only does he do an incredible job filming, he is also very good when it comes to postproduction.

high – and if either of us ever needed any repose from the arapaima fish ing, there were arowana, pacu, pea cock bass, and other species of fish to target as well.

I find that Pirarucu is the total pack age. Not only because arapaima are such a fascinating species, but also because everything surrounding the fishery is so spectacular. Untamed Angling have built a lodge on pon toons and the service offered is per fect.

The logistics are surprisingly easy for a remote Amazonian jungle destina tion with commercial jet flights three times a week out of Manaus-Brazil to Tefé Airport, a small town located just 1 hour by (a fast) boat ride from the reserve and the lodge.

FACT FILE – Arapaima

The season runs from early September to late November with a minimal 12 weeks of resulting fishing pressure. The project is designed and operated by Untamed Angling. For more information, please visit:

They become adult at about 150 cen timeters in length weighing some 35 - 40 kilos. A fish of 2 meters is only about 6 years old.

With guides Rafael Costa, Rubens Filho, and Guilherme Manzione you are also in the best of hands when it comes to catching a trophy fish. They truly are top guides, and besides knowing a lot about fly fishing, they are guaranteed to ensure a good time and plenty of laughs. The Pirarucu project uses the local Uacari site as its home. The lodge itself is a wood-built floating lodge right in the middle of the area that has the very best fishing. The fishing grounds are close enough for a morning session, then a lunch break and siesta back at the lodge, and then another session in the afternoon.

Arapaima is an extremely tough fish that can take up to 70% of the oxygen needed to survive from the air. As a result, they are often seen surfacing and taking in air. They can grow to 20 kilos in their first year inside the Mamirauá area.

The population of arapaima in Mamirauá is simply incredible. Fish of different sizes occupy the whole complex during the low water months of August to December. The largest Arapaima registered by biol ogists at the reserve was a fish of 290 cm that weighted 173 kilos.

Since the beginnings of the Pirarucu Project in 2015, more fish over 2 me ters (approximately 100 kilos) have been landed – more than anyone could have ever imagined. The larg est fish landed on a fly rod inside the project area was 249 centimeters. It was landed by American angler, John Sherman.

Mamirauá was the first Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil, legis lated by the Government of Amazo nas in 1996, and remains the largest arapaima reserve in the world. The Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve is a state protected area with an extension of 1.124.000 ha, located between Solimões, Japurá and Auti-Paraná rivers. It’s the biggest protected flooded forest in the world.

Every year the reserve goes through high and low water levels. The variation among the crest of these two stages is about 10 to 12 meters. The flood variation, the geological histo ry and geography of the place give Mamirauá high levels of endemism and particular species.

Only 4% of the Brazilian Amazon consists of freshwater swamp forest and Mamirauá Reserve plays an important role to protect this eco system. It’s inserted in the Central Amazon Corridor and it’s part of the Amazon Biosphere Reserve. Besides,

it’s a recognized Brazilian reserve by Ramsar Convention, that protects wetlands of great importance.

FACT FILE – Mamirauá Reserve

The water in the core of the reserve is called “black water” in the Amazon, which, despite dark tinting from jungle leaves, is actually quite clear, allowing for sight-casting op portunities for a variety of different species.

There are two jewels within the Balkan region. Hidden be tween the mountains and the leafy green forests, two magi cal rivers meander quietly with a subdued and understated sense of drama – as if created by the most fanciful of novelists.

DiscoveringBosniaTheBalkans By ALVARO G. SANTILLIAN

Pristine cold waters, white sandy riverbeds, and the ever-looming green of the underwater plants make for a picturesque expe rience. The enchanting ecosystems in Bosnia and Herzegovina provide the abundant populations of local brown trout and grayling with prime hab itat and, of course, an in credible variety and number of insects and hatches. Among the crown jewels are the Pliva and Ribnik rivers, which are located in the western part of the Thecountry.two

rivers are close to each other, but, although the rivers may seem quite similar in appearanceand the fish populations are thriving in both places, the fishing is completely different. The fish, quite simply, behave differently on the Pliva compared to the Ribnik and vice versa.

The shallow and clear Ribnik River is like a paradise for those who like sight-fishing with dry flies and tiny nymphs. The trout and grayling that live in this riv er tend to be surprisingly ac tive most of the time, feeding on a varied plethora of different aquatic insects. But… they are very selective and can be rather demanding with regards to your

“The trout and grayling feed on a varied plethora of differentinsects”aquatic


The Ribnik River

following the tips and instructions of your guide is key. Our guide was the extreme ly knowledgeable Zeljko Prpic. And downstream tactics with extra-long leaders - longer than 18´- was the name of the game.

The Pliva River

Pliva is, possibly, the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen. But! Pliva is also the most chal lenging river I have ever fished. It’s the perfect combination if – like me - you are addicted to sight-fishing with nymphs and you don’t care too much about the numbers.

Since Ribnik is not a very wide or deep riv er and it is easily wadeable, you don´t really need to cast far to reach the fish. So we opt ed for short belly fly lines with 8,5m heads and 4-weight rods, which helped massively when it came to controlling the long leaders – which at times go to 27´, in order to achieve the longest and most delicate drifts possible.

Pliva is a gem, which – intrinsically - is about succeeding despite the odds being stacked against you; about the rewarding feeling that you get when – finally - you hook one of its big, looming grayling that feed voraciously on small nymphs and gammarus… but seem to reject your fly 99 out of a hundred times.

“The looming grayling reject your fly 99 out of a hundred times”

The first time you look at the Pliva river, you’re puzzled and bewildered. From a distance, it’s difficult to judge whether there’s any water in the river. And once you spot a fish, it may look as if it’s suspended in the air. The riv er’s pristinely clear water is drinkable, if you are thirsty, but it makes for challenging fishing. Estimating exactly where the fish are in the water column takes both time and practice. Due to water diffraction, a 3-metre-deep pool looks like it might be only 50 centimetres deep. It’s truly astonishing!

Sight-fishing at a distance

You need to have quick eyes and be fast on the trigger when fishing the Pliva. It’s all about spotting the take and setting the hook instantly. The fish will spit the fly in a split second if they feel something isn’t quite right, so the challenge is to be able to read the fish’ body language, to see when they move react (oftentimes ever so slight ly), and to spot when they open their jaws and inhale the fly. When fishing at a distance, using extra-long leaders, that challenge will add some addition al grey hairs to even the most refined and experienced angler.

Pliva is a wide river, and the fish are spooky. As a result, being able to cast more than 20 meters and control drifts at a distance is crucial to catch ing fish. Following Zeliko’s advice, I fished a 10’ 4-weight Fario rod in combination with an Experience fly line – with a 13,1-meter head, which helped considerably in mending and controlling my drifts.

gin-clear rivers full of finicky fish. As a result, there’s lots to learn from the local fly fishermen, and there’s plenty of good times to be had in their com pany – and that of the locals along the Thererivers.are beautiful sights to behold, lots of cultural and historical sites and stories to delve into, and great culinary experiences to be had. It’s all about the experience, and the ex perience I had went beyond the fish ing. I returned, not only a better fly fisherman but a better human being.

You should go Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country full of friendly people and passionate fishermen, who have learned to fish


A letter to Colombia’sConstitutionalSupremeCourt

Is Fishing to be Prohibited?

The suggested prohibition of sportfish ing in Colombia could mean the condem nation of the existing fishing resource and put the ecological balance of the Colombian waters and their surroundings at risk.



Colombia has traditionally been the country of “No”, of “no - just be cause”, and of prohibition without looking at causes and effects. Recently, sportfishing became the victim as the Constitutional Court declared it unconstitutional through the Judge ment C-148 of 2022, File D – 14417.

There is a lack of knowledge of what sportfishing in Colombia really is, and it distances those of us who likeand practice it away from the daily routines in the cities. It’s a way of getting closer to nature, “living it”, and experiencing it as closely and consciously as we can. As sportsfish ermen, we observe the environment and the water. We learn about behavior, biology, and the food sources in order to capture a

That is to say; according to its defini tion, a “vitiated and defective activity that breaks the norm and therefore the spirit of the constitution”. Isn’t this contrary to the spirit of what sport fishing really is? Isn’t this a definition that unfairly accuses and excludes us of the rights proclaimed under it?

In sportfishing, the number of fish caught per person isn’t high, yet the court says it’s billions. Furthermore, the court doesn’t acknowledge that the number of killed fish is low, since the majority of the fish are released. It is definitely very far from the in dustrial fishing numbers, which are measured in tons. Industrial fish ing in Colombia, in my opinion, is destructively extractive, sacrificing everything including incidental spe cies (that have no interest or com mercial value).

fish, admire it, and – for the most part - release it so that it may continue to live, reproduce, and maintain its spe cies. Sportfishing is therapeutic. It is even used in rehabilitation pro grams with children, adults, patients with cancer and other diseases, fe male empowerment, etc. It helps raise self-esteem, concentration, socialization, facilitates meditation, lowers depressive states, boosts creativity, increases physical activity, among many other things that involve mental health: An arena that is very af fected in these modern, post-pan demic times.

Sportfishing, as a recreational activ ity, is part of an ecotourism indus try that is on the rise worldwide. In Colombia, the growth has been constant so far in the 21st century but it has its birth in the 20th century with thousands of Colombians practicing it, despise the terrible, hard times in our national history. Teaching- and inheriting sportfishing to countless generations throughout the nation al territory full of water systems is only natural and has evolved as a supremely important strategic alternative in fish resource management and Whileconservation.commercial

peace” with the environment. Where is the common sense in that?

reliable data accumulated by the FAO in 2018, there was an increase in the capture-quantities of species of commercial interest, amounting to 96.4 million tons, of which 12 million tons related to inland fishing and 84.4 million tons to marine fishing worldwide. In Colom bia, according to the Ministry of Ag riculture, in 2013, 43.240 tons were extracted between marine and continental fishing with numbers increas ing year after year. It is clear, that in dustrial fishing exerts a truly forceful and destructive impact on ecosystems and their populations, especially con sidering the fact that methods such as trawl nets, longlines up to 90 km long, purse seines, nets crossing rivers and even explosives are used. Nonetheless, the lawsuit says that sport fishing is harmful and that only industrial-, artisanal-, religious-, and scientific fishing (whatever that means), which can be termed “extractive”, are “in

According to the WWF, it is estimat ed that 38.5 million tons are discarded per year, including species of fish, birds, turtles and dolphins among many

fishing affects fish populations and their sustainability in a negative way, sportfishing occurs under the guiding principles of sus tainability and inclusion, which allow sportfishing to continue to be carried out and - in turn - extend to more re gions, in which many remote com munities - normally forgotten - have the possibility to work, and work lawfully either directly or indirectly.

The resource competition be tween commercial- and sport fishing provides different em ployment alternatives, but the great value of the “sporting” activity, together with practic es such as “catch and release”, is that it helps value and manage the resource - thus, maintaining healthy fish populations and protecting the watersheds, the riverbanks, and the surround ing environments. By developing, maintaining, and expanding regional sportfishing tourism, healthy and stable economies may flourish, food resources may be secured, quality of life may be heightened, and children’s edu cation may be promoted.

Sportfishing understands that it is linked to a landscape and as well as the species of fauna and flora that create- and enrich it. The sport fisherman as a nature lover knows and teaches that everything is chained: That we cannot preserve just one thing without taking the rest into ac count.

The tourism industry, which revolves around sportfishing, is very special. Not only does its practices depend on environmental protection and mutually beneficial collaboration with remote communities, it also generates additional jobs (both direct and indirect) in all areas and regions, whether rural or urban. There is an in crease in investment and infrastructure, many people in the country have dedicated themselves to work as guides, outfitters, tour operators, and fishing advocates. They have opened stores that sell equipment and some have dedicated them selves to the manufacture of fishing gear; from lures, flies, rods, and accessories to the proper and comfortable apparel to practice sportfish ing. The hotel sector, restaurants, transporta tion, supermarkets, airlines, the nautical sector, crafts, among many other businesses, benefit from the arrival of national and international tourists during the different fishing seasons in the country. It is a “clean” economy that is not only good for the country, in terms of income. It is good for biodiversity, and it has substantially helped change Colombia’s image abroad.

The numbers and statistics demonstrate my points clearly. They don’t exist in Colombia yet, but if we look at the figures from the United States, which have perfectly established and or ganized its data on the outdoor activities indus try, they provide a strong case.

According to BEA (The Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US industry – in 2019 - generated 2.1% of the nation’s gross domestic product, that is: 459.8 billion dollars, of which sportfishing and nautical activities generated 23.6 billion dol lars. A gigantic industry handling such high figures cannot be underestimated, even less so in Colombia, where the industry is on the rise.

least, a mission that has helped en sure growth over the years and, above all, helped develop and implement restoration- and conservation programs. Among these organizations are The IGFA (International Game Fishing Association), BTT (Bonefish and Tarpon Trust), Trout Unlimited, and Captains for Clean water.

Furthermore, there is great scientific and industrial participation in the US sportfishing scene. Manufactur ers are aware of the importance of conserving the fishing resource (in order to maintain sales). Every year, different brands, which manufac ture fishing equipment and/or ac cessories, invest millions of dollars in research so they can offer new and cutting-edge sportfishing products and many of them are actively involved with non-governmental organizations (non-profit in many cases). These are interdisciplinary entities in which scientists, sportfishermen, and enthusiasts come togeth er though their shared passion and with a very serious vision and, not

As for today, the vast majority of the people involved in the Colombian fishing industry have united to fund the legal help needed to ask for the nullity of the Court’s judgement.

We know Colombia is a fishing para dise, and we want to keep it that way!

Here, the Fishermen’s Network of Co lombia was created in 2020 based on the same model that the AUNAP (National Aquaculture and Fisheries Authority) has worked out regarding the regulation of sportfishing in Colom bia. The intention being to promote sportfishing with the help of both the public- and the private sectors, and the scientific research needed to take better care of Colombia’s aquatic re sources for the benefit of all.

In conclusion, we are facing the expropriation of a lawful activity that not only generates pleasure and well-being for those of us who practice it, but also generates jobs and quality of life for many indus try insiders as well as healthy, protected environ ments and fish populations. Seeing as sportfishing provides an undeniable strategy for conservational and social purposes and prosperity, we hope that the Constitutional Court in its power to impart justice and in its supreme wisdom will recognize its error and give us the opportunity to maintain, regulate, and further develop sportfishing for the greater common good.

MATT HARRIS, globetrotting fly fisherman and photographer, who has fished extensively in Co lombia. “Not so long ago, Colombia had a reputation as a broken, lawless state, riven by civil war and violence. The country’s very name was synon ymous with murderous drug cartels and fifty years of internal conflict that had left well over 200,000 people dead. However, since the remarkable work of President Juan Manuel Santos, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, the civil war has finally ended, and Colombia has started on the long road to recovery.

If nothing happens with the nullity, the new laws will be in effect a year from now meaning, there is still fishing to be done in the Orinoco season end ing in April 2023 and the Pacific season all the way until July 2023. But that’s it!

As Colombia starts to recover from its recent troubles, it is safe to visit, and the country offers some of the most exciting options on the planet for the adventurous fly angler in both fresh and salt water. The payara and sardinata of the Ori noco are both sensational, high-flying species, while Colombia also offers exhilerating topwater fishing for some of the very biggest peacock bass in the world. The saltwater opportunities are also world-class.

It is now safe to visit the country and those will ing to leave their preconceptions behind are in for an exhilarating rollercoaster ride. A vibrant Latin culture is now thriving, and the country can offer an incredibly colourful spectrum of environments and experiences. Colombia is one of the world’s only 17 ‘megadiverse’ countries and boasts the second-highest level of biodiver sity of any nation-state in the world. Its territory encompasses rainforest, highlands, grasslands, savannah and deserts, and it is the only coun try in South America with coastlines and islands bordering both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Colombia also offers some truly remarkable fishing, and pioneers like my good friends Beto Mejia at Fish Colombia and Armando Giraldo at Orinoco Flies are helping to expose the rest of the world to some of the exhilarating opportunities the country has to offer.

Every year, along Colombia’s North ern Pacific coastline, one of the nat ural world’s most remarkable migra tions takes place. Tens of millions of sardines travel from the Bay of Panama down along the coast, and as they make their way south, they seem to attract every predator in the Eastern Pacific. A panoply of wonderful sportfish queue up to compete for the angler’s attention. Superstar sport species like roosterfish, marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, cubera snap per and even increasing numbers of tarpon that have found their way into the Pacific via the Panama Ca nal all feed on the huge bait schools, and for the fly rod fanatic, they are a truly wild ride.

in the past, fisheries often become neglected and are preyed upon by unscrupulous poachers who can quickly destroy the fishery - as in the case of the celebrated but now tragically ruined mahseer fishery in In dia’s Cauvery River.

Pleaserebuild”. sign

Colombia offers world-class fly fish ing and by encouraging catch and re lease, pioneers like Beto and Armando are creating a sustainable fishery that will help protect these fisheries in the long term by allowing incom ing revenue to sponsor the policing of these wonderful ecosystems. It would be a tragedy if sportfish ing were to be banned in Colombia. Where sportfishing has been banned

Click here!

Anglers need to come together to demand that the Colombian govern ment recognise the huge amount of inward investment that sportfishing can bring to their country, at a time when such income would be especially welcome. I am sure that an glers would be happy to contribute to a ring-fenced fund to help sustain and protect the wonderful fisheries of Colombia, and their financial contribution to local economies can only help to pull the country forward as it seeks to the petition

My 530-alarm went off echoing throughout the rain fly of my tent, like the thunder that rattled the park overnight. Despite my restless sleep from Yellowstone’s choir of storms, coffee was poured, fly rods were set up, and the odometer on the car was set. The goal was simple: to fish every major body of water in Yellowstone National Park in a single day. Following six rivers, one creek, and one massive lake. To fish and document the journey during a 16-hour day was a challenge I had not foreseen any other angler attempt. But with the six o’clock departure from my campsite at Indian Creek Campground, heading south to the Gibbon River along the Grand Loop Road, was sure to be an adventure, nonetheless.

A Dayin the YELLOWSTONE:Park


Into Yellowstone’s super vulcano

I mostly chose the route to start where I did and go counter-clockwise along the park for the impact I knew I was to have on the fish. The Gibbon and Firehole Rivers flow near geyser basins, making the water very warm in the summer months. So I wanted to be sure to hit these rivers first thing in the morn ing where the water was still cool from the overnight temperatures and not at peak sunlight. Hooking into these fish could be deadly at the water temperatures the rivers hit in the afternoon. Much like going for a summer run in the desert.

So, by 11 am, I had receded my casts on the Firehole after landing a few mistaken brown trout with a beaded stonefly in the slow water near Old Faithful.

Fog boasted the morning sunrise. Inhibiting the views of anything beyond a quarter mile. Though there was an orange glow to the fog, the earth darkened in color bringing out the most vivid in colors from the greens of the grasses, the browns of the tree trunks, and the wild and vivid shades of the wildflowers in full bloom. The distraction of colors and the solitude of the road led me to believe in the reasoning for the screeching stop to witness a bison cross the first river of casts on the Gibbon. The only catch however, was a photo taken of the bison doing what its been doing for most of its life, disturbed only by the swarms of tourists.

The fog clears The fog began to clear with the rising of the sun and the arrival of further people in route to Madison Junction. Here, the Madison River is formed via the Gibbon and the Firehole Riv ers: The Gibbon, which I had just followed down to create the Madi son, and the Firehole River, which I would be following, shortly, after a few casts into the reed thickened and elk bugled Madison. The caddis

pupa got the rise on the first fish of the trip with a beautifully stunned brown trout, hiding in a deep pock et behind the riffles. A quick release into the cooled river and the odometer kept clocking as I made my way over to the Firehole River.

I then began making my way up and over the Continental Divide and into the caldera of the Yellowstone super


“The fish bent my 5-weight to the handle and the line screamed out of the reel”

I lost sight of that tailing trout but knew there had to be more in the area. My hopes were beginning to diminish with what I thought was to be another fishless body of water for the day. Time was winding down and I had three more rivers to hit to finish out the day and a couple hours of driving as well. I made one more cast and let the fly sink for 15 sec onds this time.

But with any birthday, you always hope that something spectacular happens, and this day was sure to surprise with the next few casts.

Yellowstone Lake Finishing up my lunch, my eyes wandered beyond the last bite of my sandwich to see a very large tail, cruising its way near the lakeshore like a bonefish on a salt flat. I stopped chewing and watched the 20-inch cutthroat trout continue searching the shallows in the crystal clear, sand bottomed Yellowstone Lake. I tied on a tan and red streamer and made my casts in a fan-like motion from the lakeshore. Cast out, count to ten, then slowly strip in.

led me to believe why I didn’t make it to Yellowstone Lake until 1, but the mother grizzly bear and cub right off the side of the road created a traffic jam making the freeways of Los Angeles look like a breeze to get through. But with a cracked open beer and a sandwich, I sat on the lakeshore and just lis tened and watched the waves slap the shore, keeping me company on this special day.

Another inspiration for the trip was my 31st birthday. I always try and do something outrageous for each trip around the sun, and figured a trip around Yellowstone was just the fit.


Yellowstone’s cutthroat trout are considered a keystone specie. Meaning that all life in the park depends on them for their own survival. So, while the park service has declared that all cutthroat trout are to be released after being landed (and all lake trout are to be killed), any encounter with these incredible, endemic fish should be cherished and handled appropriately.

Once 15 struck, I made two strips when the lightning bolt hit. The fish bent my 5-weight to the handle and the line screamed out of the reel as if a marlin fell for a cedar plug. The body torquing, head shaking of the large cutthroat came to a close and the gorgeously spotted fish came to hand for a few brief seconds before its

Lake is the headwaters of the most genetically pure Yellowstone cut throat trout. With fish numbers once at unfathomable levels, the species are now threatened. In the 90’s, a fisherman discovered an introduced specie in the lake; a lake trout. At first, they didn’t possess any threat to the native species, but after a little time, it was apparent that the lake trout were not only a direct threat to the cutthroat but were also predating on them.

The Yellowstone River

face plant. An hour or so of casts into the roaring Yellowstone Riv er without a single rise to the large salmonfly and elk hair caddis drop per, I needed to, once again, abandon the scene like the Gibbon and move onto the next river in order to at least achieve the goal of fishing the bodies of water intended for the day.

The bison control the river much like trying to cross the demilitarized zone separating the republics of YouKorea.canwalk to its riverbanks, only if the 2500-pound bison will allow. Meaning, the fishing is superb and the trout healthy.

With what many anglers consider to be the crown jewel of the park, the Lamar River and its valley reminds me of something out of Ju rassic Park. This wide valley is lit tered with Bison and just a few large cottonwoods lining the river in certain spots make most of this river appear seemingly untouched.

With a newly inspired agenda, I made my way to the park’s name sake river, the Yellowstone. I had mapped out a section I wanted to hit where the Lamar and Yellowstone Rivers meet, but not after watch ing the river continue its life out of the Lake and slowly meandering its way through the slow non-fishable sections through to the Grand Can yon of Yellowstone and the falls.

The Lamar River

I arrived at the spot, opened my car door, took three steps towards the back of my Subaru when, smack! Right into the back of my neck, a large salmonfly had made its land ing. Before long, I had salmonflies crawling all over my car and eventually a pattern had made it onto the end of my 3X tippet.

The fishing on the Yellowstone didn’t start off great with a slip on a rock that led to an embarrassing

It was a bit of a hike and a good striking distance away from the last river I wanted to hit for the day.

Wrapping things up

The fish count took the cake for the day so far with a rise nearly every ten casts or so. Some of the takes were frustrating with the sippable notient of a fine wine, while others were an explosive gesture more like taking a whiskey shot on your birthday. Each one well over the ruler stick and safely released back into the slightly mudded Lamar River.

With the sun finally beginning to lower on the horizon, peaking itself in and out of a looming thunderhead, I daintily tippy toed my way through the maze of bison to my own bend of the Lamar and began making casts with the grey drake and caddis dropper combo.

other blades of grass. The goal was to hit Soda Butte Creek and the Gardner River back near camp where the night previous I had hooked into dozens of small brook trout, but the fact that; in a single day I had fished the Gibbon, Madison, Firehole, Yellowstone, and Lamar Rivers - with the incredible gift of the large cut throat from Yellowstone Lake - is a mention on the checklist well deserved marking off.

Leaning up against my car, watching the sun set and the darkness creep in, the orange glow on the horizon and large outlines of the bison grunting and foraging their way through the valley polished off the incredible birthday of mine driving 172.1 miles and fishing five rivers and one lake in Yellowstone National Park.

With the sun setting and clouds turning their colors, a final cracked beer warmed the stomach on what seemed like an impossible day on paper. Fly rod in one hand and beer the other, I made my way dodging bison patties the size of trash can lids, and let the grasses brush up against my waders with the stunned grasshoppers jumping out of the way onto

“I began making casts with the grey drake and caddiscombo”dropper

On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone be came the first national park for all to enjoy the unique hydrothermal and geologic features. Within Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres, visitors have unparalleled opportunities to observe wildlife in an intact ecosys tem, explore geothermal areas that contain about half the world’s active geysers, and view geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon of the Yel lowstone River.Signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant, America’s first national park was set aside to preserve and protect the scenery, cultural heritage, wildlife, geologic and ecological systems and process es in their natural condition for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future Yellowstonegenerations.servesasthe

core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one

The World’s First National Park

of the last and largest natural ecosys tems on the planet. Yellowstone has the most active, diverse, and intact collections of combined geothermal features with over 10,000 hydrother mal sites and half the world’s active Thegeysers.park is also rich in cultural and historical resources with 25 sites, landmarks, and districts on the Na tional Register of Historic Places.

Park managers have learned many lessons during Yellowstone’s 150 years. In the early 1900s, the govern ment killed nearly all predators in the park, and the bison population was hunted to less than two dozen.

A rainbow trout, brown trout, and Yellowstone cutthroat trout; grizzly bear and cub, osprey, eagle, bison, elk, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, and black bear all joined me on this incredible day in the park.

Based on the park’s location at the convergence of the Great Plains, Great Basin, and Columbia Plateau, 27 Native American Tribes have historic and modern connections to the land and its resources. For over 10,000 years before Yellowstone be came a national park, it was a place where Native Americans lived, hunted, fished, gathered plants, quarried obsidian, and used thermal waters for religious and medicinal purposes.

Native cutthroat trout are the most ecologically important fish of the park and the most highly regarded by visiting anglers. Nonnative rain bow trout compete with the native cutthroat trout for food and habitat resources, and, even worse, inter breed with the cutthroat trout, producing hybrids. Once this occurs, the cutthroat population is forever damaged, and cannot be restored without immense expense and a complete removal of the entire fish community from the stream. To re duce the level of hybridization in the park’s cutthroat trout waters, anglers are encouraged to harvest rainbow trout. By working together, we can help to ensure that genetically pure cutthroat trout will persist for future generations to enjoy!

Later that century, the fires of 1988 burned more than one-third of the park, and the introduction of non native lake trout decimated native Yellowstone cutthroat populations. Through modern resource manage ment efforts involving bison, grizzly bears, native fish, gray wolves, wildland fire, and others, Yellowstone’s ecosystem is the healthiest it has been in over a century.

Yellowstone has 11 fish native to its lakes and streams. Native sport fish include three subspecies of cutthroat trout, fluvial arctic grayling, and mountain whitefish. Non-native fish species that were introduced to the park in the late 19th and early 20th centuries include rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and lake trout. Although non-native trout are also important to the angler experience in Yellowstone, they have contributed to a decline in the park’s native cutthroat trout and fluvial arctic grayling. The ranges and densities of the park’s native fish spe cies have been substantially altered during the past century due to angling

Native vs. Nonnative Fishes in Yellowstone

harvest, introduction of nonnative and exotic species, and natural fac tors. Despite changes in species com position and distribution, large-scale habitat degradation—such as water diversions or water pollution—has not occurred in the park.

CutthroatMaintainingTrout Genetics

About 50,000 of the park’s four mil lion visitors fish each year. Fishing has been a popular recreation activity in the park for more than 100 years, and many people come to Yellowstone just to fish. Though an gling is an anomaly in a park where the primary purpose is to preserve natural environments and native species in ways that maintain nat ural conditions, fishing in Yellow stone helps support preservation of native Anglersspecies.contribute to the fisheries database by filling out a Volunteer Angler Report card that is issued with each fishing license. This in formation helps monitor the status of fisheries throughout the park.

In Yellowstone, bald eagles, ospreys, pelicans, otters, grizzly bears, and other wildlife take precedence over humans in utilizing fish as food. Fishing regulations reflect this prior ity and that of maintaining fish pop ulations that have sufficient number of spawning adults to maintain natural reproduction and genetic diversity. Because of the increasing number of anglers in the park, more restric tive regulations have been adopted in Yellowstone. These restrictions include season opening and clos ing dates, no use of bait, catch-andrelease only for native fish, and (in some waters) mandatory harvest of nonnative species. Some waters are closed to fishing to protect threat ened and endangered wildlife or sensitive nesting birds, and to pro vide viewing areas for visitors seeking undisturbed vistas. The activities necessary to preserve and restore native fish varies by species and drainages across the park. In order to promote the preservation of native fish in Yellowstone, the park has designated the Native Trout Conser vation Area for special management.

Within that area, fishing regulations are structured so that recreational anglers help selectively remove non native species from the area without damaging the native fishery. In some areas, anglers’ harvests will help to save the native fish and the natural ecosystems they support.

Fishing Yellowstonein National Park

Ecological Integrity

• Exceptions are noted in each of the regional regulations.

• Hours are daily from sunrise to sunset. Fishing with an artificial light is prohibited.

• Streams may be temporarily closed due to low water levels and high water temperatures to protect fish populations.

• Fishing permits are available to purchase online via

Since 1979, anglers have been to keep records on fishing trips - stream or lake visited, time spent fishing, fish species caught, lengths of fish - to help park managers understand fisheries sta tus and track changes in specific populations. Decisions about how best to achieve native fish preservations and recovery goals must be based in sound sceintific research and consistent with the mission of the National Park Service. Fishing regulations in Yellowstone National Park are structured to strongly support native fish conservation goals. Cutthroat trout are the sole, native trout of the park and were the dom inant fish species here prior to Euroamerican settlement. Cut throat trout, Arctic grayling, mountain whitefish, and other na tive fishes are important to the ecology of Yellowstone.

• Some areas are closed to human entry, have trail or seasonal closures, off-trail travel and daylight hour limitations, or party size recommendations.

• The season begins the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (usually the last weekend in May) and extends through October 31.

For more info, please visit Yellowstone National Park’s website:

The whole process of ordering and receiving the stickers was very smooth, and compared to a lot of other printing services online and beyond, the price was very competitive.

For more info, please visit: or send an email to


We’re fly fishermen and proud to be, and it’s something we’re more than happy to communicate – in any way we can. If you feel the same way, and would like to get your own message across, and not just that of the tackle manufac turers, StickerApp offers a custom sticker ser vice that allows you to design and print your own high-quality fly fishing stickers – for your car, laptop stripping basket, boat, YETI-cooler or for the toilet stalls at your local bar or con cert hall?

StickerApp was born when a printing compa ny met a Swedish web designer in 2011. With more tan 10 years in the business of printing custom stickers, all of their materials, machines, and staff are perfectly matched to give you an amazing experience and a product you love.

We recently had a batch of stickers made and were blown away by the quality, colour definition, (UV reflection), and stickiness of the graphics we had made.

The Brand Buffet



We’ve used YETI’s 28L Panga Waterproof Backpack for a number of years, and it’s a workhorse-piece of equipment that keeps our gear dry as a bone. The Panga 28, which features RF-Welded Seams along with a Hy droLok™ Zipper for reliability in any condi tions, now comes in a new colour way: Tan. If you’re opting for stealth and looking to blend in on a remote flat, this is the colour for you. For more info, please visit YETI’s website:

The Brand

The Merlin Jacket was Howler’s first foray into ma king a puffy jacket way back in 2015. They’ve made a change here or there, but the basic magic of the Merlin has stood the test of time ever since. Fil led with thermally efficient Primaloft Gold insula tion, the Merlin is the perfect stand alone puffy or enchantingly warm mid-layer under a shell when the mercury really dips. Features ribbed cuffs, hea vy-duty shoulder patches, double needle quilted sleeves and a box quilted trunk. For more infor mation, please refer to:


Here’s one for the cold months ahead – especially for those, who fly fish from the bank or a boat. Simms’ Guide insulated jacket featu res rugged GORE-TEX fabrics and PrimaLoft® insulation that deli ver leading on-the-water performance, keeping you dry and warm across a full range of surly fishing conditions. It features: TRU Zip submersible cargo pocket keeps essentials secure and dry, an insula ted and adjustable storm hood for warmth and protection from the elements, a drawcord bottom hem keeps the warmth in and cold out, adjustable cuffs, and full seam-seals. For more information, please refer to the European distributor:

Howler Brothers: THE MERLIN JACKET

Engineered for trail and river, the Forra Wading Boots are lightweight without sacrificing performance. Built with Vi bram® Mars sole technology for traction and grip, these boots feature a high ankle, sturdy toe box and adjustable, noncor rosive lacing system for support and durability. We’ve tested these Italy-made wading boots along the salty coastal shores in Denmark, wading and walking for miles, and have found them to be extremely comfortable, stable, and durable. The Vibram soles provide great traction, and the boots are both light and flexible – with all the reinforcements needed to withstand the elements over time. For more information, please refer to:

Made in PATAGONIAItaly:


The casual style of the Nippers disguises a deep list of technical features. Wide, polarized lenses provide en hanced field of vision, and feature proprietary LAPIS technology that blocks blue light and diminishes eye strain on the brightest days. The low-density, bio-based nylon frames are lighter than traditional oil-based po lymers—yet also provide higher strength and impact resistance. More than meets the eye, indeed! For more information, please visit:


Comfort with a conscience, the Vermillion Hoody is equipped with a beverage-friendly stash pocket for on-the-go sips, while blended recycled performance fabrics and organic cotton fibers come together for toastworthy warmth and a natural feel across the cooler days of fall. For more info, please refer to:

We’re super-impressed by the craftsmanship and design of our Fair Chase 6/8 reel and can’t wait to test it on our upcoming trip to the Sey chelles. Follow our Instagram feed for more… and be sure to check out:

The Brand Buffet


Designed, machined, and assembled in the US, the Fair Chase reel is built to perfec tion and comes with the following features: Medium 4-inch diameter click and pawl, an over-sized palming surface on the spool edge, dual winding knobs, flip-flop (anti-rever se) bearing that allow for both left and right hand retrieve, and an anti-reverse bearing for unencumbered line pick-up and immediate transition to the resistance of the clicker.

Fulling Mill’s new, long lasting, strong clamps feature a variable locking grip on the handle to give you maximum flexibility. Ideal for extracting flies from fish and, thanks to the integrated cutters, they’re great when it comes to rigging up for the day too. Overall a very useful tool for a successful day on the river. For more infor mation, please refer to

A saltwater fly reel without a brake? Yes! In stead of a weighty brake system, Cubalaya Outfitters’ new Fair Chase fly reel features a wide spool and an oversized palming surface that allows you to apply- and continually ad just the exact amount of pressure on the fish, which – in essence – means complete control (for those with faith in their own abilities). The Fair Chase reel has just the right amount of start-up tension to apply initial pressure and prevent overspinning, and obviously does equally well on freshwater species. However, it has been spec’ed out and fitted to meet the challenges of tropical saltwater fisheries and will perform well for species such as bonefish, permit, and even tarpon.

Cubalaya Outfitters: FAIR CHASE 6/8 FLY REEL

Quick Release: PEAK DESIGN


Peak Design’s Slide Lite camera strap might be the most versatile pro came ra strap in the world. Slide Lite packs the functionality of Peak Design’s flagship Slide strap into a smaller package, perfectly suited for mirror less and light DSLR cameras, yet fully capable of carrying larger cameras as well. Perfect for those who switch between hand-held photography and tripods, underwater houses and gyro stabilizers. For more info, please refer to:


Light in hand, Scott’s new Wave rods easily gene rate high line speeds and controlled tight loops to cut through wind and deliver big flies on target. With pulling power to spare, Wave rods are the perfect tool for pursuing powerful fish species in all fresh and saltwater environments. We have tried the 9’ 7-weight Wave rod and have been impressed with how harmonious yet powerful it is. The 7-weight delivers on-target precision with a refinement reminiscent of the Centric rod range, yet it has the power of the now retired Meridian series for long-distance casting. For more information, please refer to the European dealer:



FLY TYING Brush MinnowWing’n

Streamers are big-fish-magnets. Big fish get big for a reason – be cause they start feeding on calorie-rich baitfish. Therefore – if you’re into catching big fish, realistic baitfish patterns should be an integral part of your fly collection. In the following, Jonatan Ternald, presents the Brush ’n Wing Minnow, which is a pattern developed specifically for sea-run brown trout: An easy-to-tie and very lifelike pattern.

the hardest bit. I have found that the easiest thing for me to do is to wrap up a bunch of Minnows and then trim them one after another – to get into a good workflow. This helps with trimming consistency – and is something I generally recommend. In order to properly trim the flies properly, you will need razor sharp scissor with blades that are at least 3 centimetres in length.

Brush ‘n Wing Minnow is a simple baitfish fly that is meant to be quick, easy and fun too tie. I learned the style from Nacho Heredero and have found out that it is possible to do var iations of this fly ad infinitum. Sim ply mix the right colours for whatever baitfish you’re aiming at imitating and cut and trim to get just the right shape and profile.

This Brush ‘n Wing Minnow works just as well in fresh- as in saltwater. I use them across a wide range of different fishing spots; from really shallow waters fished with floating lines all the way to spots that drop off to 7 – 8 meters in depth, which I fish with fast-sinking lines. And I love how committed and prompt the takes usually are!

I personally find the Brush ‘n Wing fibres to be perfect for the fly, and – in the water – they have a special sheen that really attract sea-run brown trout (which is my favourite species to target with a fly rod). In my opinion, a lot of other fibres are too thick and bulky to make small minnow patterns. The Brush ‘n Wing mate rial, however, is very thin and pulsating. On top of that, you get your flash incorporated into the fly in a very subtle and organic way. Hav ing said this, I encourage you to try different fibres too. As soon as you get the technique right, it’s a both fast and easy to get a whole series of super-effective flies wrapped up with your favourite fibre materials. Trimming the Minnow is probably

The finished fly doesn’t absorb very much water and it makes it easy to cast. Mine have “Loon heads” for increased durability and for adding just a little bit of weight to the fly. Underneath the head I add some Loon Coloured UV Resin in fluorescent hot orange or red as a trigger point.

Step 4 Step 5 6

Material List// Hook: Ahrex NS 172 curved gammarus size 8 Thread: Veevus GSP 50D Tails and back: Brush ‘n wing Fiber, bronze back Belly: Brush ‘n wing Fiber, natural Eyes: Fish Skull Living Eyes, wind UV-resin: Loon thick and coloured (hot orange)


Step 1 Step 2 Step 3

Start by securing your thread. The GSP thread offers too little friction to get a really firm grip around the hook, so I usually like to add some super glue at this stage.


Fold the excess fibres back and cure them tightly with the tying th read.

fibres on

Repeat steps 2 and the of fly with the natural-coloured ‘n Wing.

Fold the excess fibres pointing for ward back over the tail and secure them with a couple of wraps.


3 on

Wrap the tying thread all the way to the hook bend. Then take a bunch of 12-centimetre-long fibres and tie them in at a point about half the length of the fibres.




Repeat with a bunch of tre-long the back of the


Step 10 Step 11 Step 12

Whip-finish and take some foam and push it over the head to secure the fibres and make room for a UVglued head. Attach the eyes with a drop of the Loon Thick UV resin.

Continue trimming the fly until you’re happy with the shape and profile. Usu ally, you need to trim more than you think.

Step 14

Add some Loon Coloured UV resin between the eyes and zap it with your UV torch.

Step 7 Step 8 Step 9

Now, it’s time to start trimming the body. Patiently and carefully trim it so it starts to look slimmer. The Loon Razor Scissors are perfect for this job.

Now repeat step 2 and 3 on the back using the bronze-coloured Brush ‘n Wing.

Step 13

Finish off with one last fibre section on the back and one on the belly to build the profile further.

Take your Loon Thick UV resin and build a head for the fly.

Repeat the process once again on the belly with the natural-coloured Brush ‘n Wing

We have been fly fishing in Mongolia for three decades. We established these operations eries. Now, both of our operations, Mongolia River Outfitters and Fish Mongolia, leadership. Our taimen conservation programs and remote fly-fishing camps

Fly Fishing in the of Genghis

operations for the specific purpose of protecting Mongolia’s wild rivers and fish Mongolia, are recognized for outstanding service, wonderful fishing, and conservation provide access to and help protect hundreds of kilometers of taimen habitat.




Ivan Oroz resides in Croatia and, when he’s not waist-deep in one of the local rivers, he works as a graphics designer. In recent years, he’s become obsessed with doing fish artwork and – having made a name for himself in the fishing industry – he’s done quite a bit of fly fishing-related art, in a style that’s very unique. Ivan does commission graphics work and has spe cialized in doing logos, brand graphics, and web design. We recently hired him to do an In the Loop sticker, and the finished result blew our minds. We therefore took the opportunity to sit down with him for a chat about his professional career – and how he got into fly fishing.


What has compelled you to do fish and fly fishing motives?

How did your technique develop?

Name: Ivan Oroz

Born: Bosnia & Hercegovina Home Country: Croatia SoMe:

I knew a gentleman who was the editor of a Croatian fishing magazine and very, very influential, at the time, in the world of fly fishing in Croatia. I admired his office, which was adorned with artificial flies that he had neatly framed. His photographs and art on the walls awakened in me the desire to do such things myself.

I spent part of my childhood in Germany. At the age of 9, I re turned to Croatia with my family. I have been designing graph ics professionally for more than 15 years. I have always loved drawing and playing football, fly fishing was added to my inter ests a bit later in my career.

Even as a child, I watched and caught fish. I learned everything about trout from my father, maybe in a slightly unusual way, but it made me fall in love with fishing and everything around it, Dereknonetheless.deYoung is the main guy that made me start drawing fish art. His works are unrepeatable and unique, and they have inspired me immensely.

There is a certain artist with a specific style of drawing portraits that I really like. I tried to transfer his style to my fish and added a dose of my own magic. And then things started to happen for me.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into doing fishy artwork?

How did you get started fly fishing and why?

Connecting with nature while standing in the water is important, although it’s something that can hardly be described. The same goes for that feeling of adrenaline when a fish takes your fly - the one you’ve tied yourself… It’s an unbelievable and exhilarating feeling!

What is it about fly fishing that intrigues you?

How do you split your time between fly fishing and painting?

Well, visiting the editor’s of fice, and seeing all the art, equipment, pictures, and pho tos made me fall immediately in love with fly fishing. And then I went out and bought my first fly rod and reel.

Recently, I have totally ne glected fishing because more and more people are looking for my work and involvement. It’s not just that I’m painting. There’s a much bigger back ground to it all. Because I’m primarily a graphics designer, I do jobs like web design, log os, branding, wall paintings, cars, and things like that.

Has fly fishing helped you become a better artist – or vice versa?

I’d rather say that the fishing market made me a better artist... Hahaha! I have not yet achieved what I want, which is to work for Patagonia one day.

I think that, with regards to fly fish ing, you also must hone your skills and be talented. You must be an art ist in a sense. Not everyone can be a passionate fly fisherman. The same goes for being an artist. It’s all about your mentality.

What are your aspirations as a fly fisher?

In your opinion, do fly fishing and doing artwork complement each other – and, if so, how?

I would like to have a little more time to travel around the world and visit a few of the places that I haven’t yet been. It would be cool to target a few species that aren’t present in Europe.

Every day, I work on several new projects because the demand is very, very high. One of them is a project called 30 Reasons. I’m helping them out doing some cool art stuff. You may have heard of it, but if you haven’t, here is the link: https://30reason things, but I shouldn’t talk about it yet. Hehe :)

Any advice to fellow fly fishermen, who aspire to do fish art?

Do you have any cool projects coming up; fishing- or art wise?

In my opinion, in order to be good at what you do, you have to be yourself, listen to your heart, and find the right way to get the most out of yourself. Be sure of yourself, believe in yourself and don’t give up. The same goes for artwork. If you feel like you might have it in you, give it a shot!






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Challenging HydropowertheLobby Steven Weiss


with Steven for a chat about his work and the challenges involved with saving the last wild rivers and fish populations in Europe.

Steven Weiss is an expert resource on Eurasian salmonids, who is associate professor at the Uni versity of Graz, Austria. His research activities span diverse interests in the conservation, ecology and the evolution of freshwater fishes, He uses genetic-based approaches to answer popu lation genetic and phylogeographic questions on the current structure, diversity, and evolutionary history of salmonid fishes, such as European and Asian graylings (Thymallus sp.), whitefish es (Coregonus sp.), brown trout (Salmo trutta), soft-mouthed trout (Salmo obtusirostris), belvit ca (Salmo ohridanus), lenok (Brachymystax lenok), and Danube salmon and Taimen (Hucho spp.), and Sahkalin taimen (Parahucho perryi).


Besides his academic career, Steven is also in volved in the conflicts concerning the uncontrolled expansion of hydropower in Austria as well as other regions of the world. According to Steven, «the expansion has reached a level of fa naticism that not only wholly ignores facts and scientific understanding, but also subjugates all other environmental issues as well as the diverse interests of its citizens to the single-minded wish es of the energy industry and its associated finan cial

Yes, sure. I am originally from the USA, where I received my bachelor’s and master’s degree in ecology and natural resource management. I came to Aus tria in 1994 to work on my doctoral thesis at the agricultural University in Vienna, which focused on an applied fish ecology topic – namely the effects of stocking fish on wild populations.

Continental Europe is of course large ly a cultural landscape, and rivers have been already impacted in numerous ways due to intense agriculture and forestry, water pollution, urbaniza tion, flood protection, shipping, and exploitation for the generation of electricity among other things.

Since 2002 I have been an assistant and now Associate Professor here in Graz, and the focus of my research is on salmonid fishes (trout, salmon, grayling, etc.), using genetic approaches. Do you have a special connection with the natural world and rivers in particular?

Over the years, we have learned to mitigate some of these problems; for example, there has been great improvement in curbing both industrial and domestic sources of pollution. In other areas the negative effects have been somewhat stabilized – we learn better how to manage forests sustain ably, and urban growth is not ubiqui tous, and/or has slowed in some re gions. But energy exploitation is on the rise everywhere – for the Balkan region, which contains some of the longest reaches of free-flowing rivers in continental Europe, the foreseen growth in hydropower exploitation is unprecedented and alarming.

I began to fish as a young child fol lowing in my father’s footsteps, and I was an avid backpacker in my teenage and young adult years – these hobbies were often done in combina tion – I loved hiking to remote lakes and streams in mountainous areas and learning about different species and strains of wild trout.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and who you are?

What is your biggest concern with regards to the aquatic environment across Europe and the Balkan region in particular – especially rivers and fish stocks?

How did you get involved with the Blue Heart campaign?

Do you have any key facts to underline or impress the severity of the problems faced by Balkan fish stocks?

It’s a campaign by the NGO RiverWatch carried out to raise awareness of the natural beauty and biodiversi ty of Europe’s last near-natural and free-flowing rivers in the Balkan Peninsula, as well as the tremendous threat that massive hydropower ex pansion poses to these values and services.

I have been involved in various sci entific and popular science activities surrounding hydropower projects for some years, but my activities got a lot of public awareness as I joined up with a local intiative in Graz to fight against new power plants on the Mur River.

What is Save the Blue Heart of Europe?

The combination of expanding hy dropower expansion and climate change, especially in the more south ern portions of the Balkan region.

quality habitat for the species are in the Balkans, and all of them have planned hydropower schemes, which are incompatible with the survival of the species.

I think these activities first brought me in contact with Ulrich Eichel mann from RiverWatch.

Climate models foresee an up to 40% reduction in annual rainfall in the southern half of the Balkan region, from Croatia to northern Greece, an area already known for droughts and high Hydropowertemperatures.schemes often extract water from rivers, or for storage plants. It stagnates the flow of water, which results in rising temperatures, altered flows, and the massive accumulation of fine sediments.

Expanding hydropower exploita tion in a region where water itself will become increasingly scarce is a recipe for disaster. For the endan gered Huchen, five of the remaining six longest river stretches with high

What are the biggest threats to Balkan fish stocks?

Clearly to raise awareness of the dire threats that ex tensive hydropower ex pansion poses to our last free-flowing rivers and river stretches in the Bal kans, but also to engage directly in promoting protection of these rivers at various different levels, whether through support ing activism, legal or sci entific analysis, and polit ical lobbying.

After meeting him he in vited me to a few press conferences, and I got involved in reviewing some documents for Riv erWatch and eventual ly helping out with some publications. Then, I car ried out a largely evalua tion for them on the fu ture risks of endangered fish species in the Balkans.

What is the main objec tive of the Blue Heart campaign?

The ultimate goal is of course to help support the protection of Balkan rivers, but this network specifically aims to bring many scientists togeth er from different fields and countries to share information, build synergies and real cooperative projects that provide both baseline information and impact assessment concerning the fauna and flora of Balkan river landscapes. Such data can be used in environmental impact studies, public awareness programs and le gal challenges to attempted environ mental degradation.

Several Balkan fish species are critically endangered. Do you think we’ll be able to preserve them?

What is the purpose of the new “Scientists for Balkan Rivers” network?

As long as a species and its habitat still exist at some level, then there is the potential of preserving them. Their demise is not written in stone, but these critically endangered spe cies will continue to decline, and the threat of extinction increase if action is not immediately taken.

What measures can you employ to restore rivers to their “natural state” – and how do the rivers and fish respond? River restoration is a broad field that has been around for many decades and is very variable both in the actual kinds of measures taken as well as levels of success.

The most important is sue is first to be sure you have identified precise ly what the problems are, which is landscapeculturallyveryimpractical,tiontaincanInasistimes,straightforwardsometimesbutatoratleastindetail,notalwaysasobviouspeopleliketoassume.theory,anyproblemberesolved,butcerlevelsofrestoracanbecomewhollyoratleastlimited,themoreconstrainedabecome.

There is nothing more valuable to promoting both awareness and im mediate protection to a river than people showing up, and showing don’t show interest now, they may be gone before you ever get to see them in their natural state.

Show interest in free-flowing rivers, whether at home or abroad. Visit them, swim, boat, or fish in them and show your interest in terms of spending time and money on them. Rivers have numerous values, many of which have direct economic po tential to local communities.

How can people across Europe get involved and help make a difference?

I always like to emphasize that we do not have an energy crisis, we have an environmental crisis, and while this environmental crisis includes con cerns of global warming, the issue of climate and environmental protection are inseparable.

landscape is more cul turally constrained by urban or suburban development “restoration” become more-like mitigation, as one attempts to provide specific el ements, sometimes wholly artificial (like fish passage, or in-stream structures), that promote some aspects of biological productivity or diversity, without actually restoring anything to its natural state.

In relatively natural settings, simply removing dams, for example, can have tremendous restorative effects – and this is being increasingly pursued where it is feasible. Most measures focus on direct ly attempting to restore the natural dynamic flow of water, as well as movement of sediments, as well as restoring the morphological struc ture of the river channel to its natu ral

Oncecourse.flow of water and natural sed iment dynamics are re-established, nature can begin to do its work, and some degree of restoration proceeds Wherenaturally.the

What is your most important mes sage to policy makers and those in power?

Autumn on the Trout Lake

Damsels are widespread in most stillwater- and commercial fisheries. Here, the energetic insects are high on the menu card of the resident rainbow trout. In the following, the experienced Swedish fly tyer Håkan Karsnäser explains how to use the effective Booby Fly to imitate damsels and lure big trout.



One of the experts when it comes to fly fishing and tying for stocked trout lakes is Swedish Håkan Karsnäser, who has regularly demonstrated his skills at many European fairs. We met Håkan to talk about his longtime experience with rain bow trout and not least his poisonous fly pattern: The Booby Damsel.

Newly stocked rainbow trout in ar tificial- or natural lakes and streams are usually not on a particular diet, and they have a reputation for biting on almost anything that they come across. Experienced put and take fly fishermen, however, know that this unnaturally big appetite will rapidly diminish and that even stocked trout sometimes become extremely picky. It happens, gradually, as they become accustomed to their new environment’s natural food availability. Among the rainbow trout’s favorite dishes, damsel nymphs rank high, perhaps because these hardy insects aren’t overly demanding when it comes to water quality and since, as a result, they are present in prolific quantities in almost all types of put and take waters.

- When you fish the same water fre quently all year round, you learn a lot about how the fish behave and how they react to different flies and fishing techniques.

Håkan Karsnäser is happy to admit that fly tying is at least as important to him as fishing itself. Håkan has been tying flies for more than thirty years, and - already at an early agehe started tying flies for local shops. Today, Håkan uses fly tying as a relaxing element in everyday life, and he ties flies for almost all forms of fly fishing, as well as a lot of classic salm on flies, which are mostly for fun and for practicing advanced techniques.

3.000 flies a year

During my time as a fly shop suppli er, I often tied several hundreds of the same fly, and this has given me great insights into the technical ele-

Despite the many hours behind the vice, Håkan Karsnäser is also quite an active fly fisherman, and the rain bow trout in his local waters in the Hökensås area are never safe.

- Fly tying has had an almost ther apeutic effect on me, Håkan ex plains. I started with the flies when I was quite young, and I had tied for quite some time before I even start ed fishing with them on a fly rod. I tie flies daily and it usually runs up to 2-3.000 flies a year. I like to tie all types of flies, from very technical and time-consuming salmon flies, to simpler fishing flies like the Booby Damsel that we’re going to tie today.


ments of fly tying and maximum uti lization of fly-tying materials. A fly like the Booby Damsel only consists of three materials, and - with a bit of practice - it is lightning fast to tie. Lots of Damsel variations have been made over time, but few are simpler than this one, he says.

- I love my home waters in Hökensås, and I usually do at least a hundred shorter or longer fishing trips a year there. I also fish a lot of pike and seatrout on the coast, but there is something extremely rewarding about fishing locally. In addition to the obvious practicality of the short distance, fishing the same water often provides accumulating experience and great discernments.

I would recommend this to anyone, rather than wandering around and constantly looking for new hotspots. That said, I can’t help but recom mend the Hökensås area to Europe an fly fishermen, says Kåkan.

- I usually have two fly rods rigged up when I go to the trout lake – both rigged up with sinking lines, but with different sink rates: Usually an intermediate line and a sinking line. That way, I can quickly adapt my fishing technique to changing bottom condi tions. I especially like to seek out small bays or parts of the lake that aren’t too deep and preferably areas where I know there is some sort of vegetation on the bottom. The nymphs stay there, and of course the rainbows know that, Håkan says and continues:

Booby techniques

Håkan Karsnäser’s Booby Damsel fly, as the name clearly indicates, is based on the Booby fly tying style developed for trout flies. The man ic characteristic of this type of fly, which was originally developed by British reservoir fishermen in the 1980s, is the large foam eyes in the front – eyes that make the fly float or hover. The Booby Fly quickly proved to be extremely effective for rain-

Håkan explains his way of fishing the Booby Damsel.

- The special thing about the Booby Fly is that you fish it on sinking line. However, I would like to add that you can actually be very successful with this fly with a floating line too - when the damsel nymphs hatch earlier in the year. That way, you have two flies in one. With that said, I usually fish my Booby Damsel near the bottom, where the nymphs stay most of the year.

Hökensås offers a lot of fishing opportunities in a number of lakes, and the flowing water Baltak is not far away either. Hökensås has its own fish farm, and the rainbow trout here are healthy and in great condition. They are good fighters, and it is extremely rare that you encounter a fin-dam aged fish. Furthermore, the area has plenty of accommodation options including camping and cabins.

bows all over Europe, and Håkan eventually came across the pattern and applied his own twist to it.

Body: Light olive squirrel hair

Eyes: Black Booby Eyes, 4 mm

- I like to retrieve the fly with small sharp jerks, so the fly imitates the erratic darting movement of the nymphs, but I want to point out that variation in the retrieve is oftentimes the way to succeed.

Tail: Light olive squirrel zonker strip

Tying tips

Hook: Ahrex FW 510 # 14

Be careful not to doze into autopi lot-mode when standing by the lake. Instead, imagine how the floating fly responds to your retrieve and how it swims/moves across the bottom at an appetizing pace. The trout tend to follow the fly curiously, so I would recommend retrieving it almost all the way to the tip of the rod.

Material List//

Hackle: Olive partridge

Thread: Black UNI 8/0

To keep the fly down and present it most elegantly, I usually use a sinking poly tip, followed by a short piece of fluorocarbon of about seventy centimeters. You will experience a little con tact with the bottom from time to time when fishing the Booby Damsel effi ciently, and therefore it is advisable to use a 0.20-0.23mm tippet, Håkan says.

Despite the Booby Damsel’s simple construction, Håkan has a few good tips for those who want to tie the fly themselves.

- Many people just tie the Booby eyes in on top of the hook, but I think they fit significantly better and are more durable if you stick the hook through the middle of the foam cylinder before you secure the eyes tightly with the tying thread. You may want to make a hole in the foam with your dubbing needle first. Otherwise, this is a pretty simple fly, but remember to save the hairs you cut from the zonker strip, because you can use them for the body instead of cutting more. I also make a sand-colored version of the Booby Damsel Fly and one in a very dark olive tone, Håkan Karsnäser concludes.

Tie in the tip of the partridge just behind the eyes.

Insert the hook into the vise and fasten the tying thread. Punch a hole in the foam and slide the Boo by eyes onto the hook. Secure with a small drop of Loctite glue first.

Finish the fly and brush the body and hackle with your dubbing brush. The fly is now done.

Secure the eyes thoroughly with the thread and a small drop of Loctite glue. Leave the tying thread at the back of the hook.

Cut the hairs off a piece of squirrel strip so that there is only approx. 1 mm of hair left. Tie in the zonker strip so there is only hair protruding from the end of the tail.

Mix the clipped squirrel hairs a litt le with your fingers and dub them onto the thread. Dub a short and full body on the hook but leave a little space behind the eyes.

Make two to three turns with the hackle right up to the eyes and cut off the stem.

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7


The LSF is the freshwater version of the new Litespeed. The chassis is based on the conical system found in our other reels with the addition of a click stop drag knob and a unique spring set that creates a linear progression of torque with very fine resolution at the light end of its range. LSF spool and frame architecture is super-arbor in scale for high retrieve, but spare and open to promote line drying and, of course, reduce weight.





Triggered on Los Roques

My last trip to Los Roques archipelago was in March 2019. Following the re-election of Maduro in mid 2018, the European Union, North America, and a host of other countries refused to recognise the gov ernment and rumours swirled over a possible insurgency. Russian military planes with troops had just landed at Caracas airport to support Maduro, the Bolivar, the Venezuelan currency, was in freefall and there was an undeniable degree of uncertainty as to what lay ahead. From afar, Venezuela appeared strictly off-limits!

After two years of Covid isolation, and with the geo-political landscape rapidly changing following the catastrophe unfolding in Ukraine, Venezuela is looking very different; politically and economically. Polit ically, although the Maduro regime is not officially recognised by many western governments, tentative but constructive talks are being held be tween the US and Venezuela, in part due to the need to reshape energy policies following Russia’s war with Ukraine. Economically, although huge wealth disparities remain, the dollarization of the economy has meant that shelves are no longer bare of essentials and a standard of living, for those with access to US dollars, now far surpasses what has been possible over the last 5+ years.

group to return after an inordinately painful absence from international fishing tourism.

Equally, the claws of Covid are re-treating, and whilst facemasks remain prevalent, other than the almost standardised PCR tests prior to travel, previously cancelled interna tional routes were re-opening. Los Roques archipelago was once again accessible and our group trip composing of five anglers and 2 non-an glers was to be the very first hosted

The Los Reques Archipelago

Los Roques archipelago covers an area of 400 square kms. A semi-circular reef runs around the Southern and Eastern edges of the archipelago which shelters the area within. It has been a designated national park since 1972 and is considered the crown jewels amongst all the outlying de pendant islands of Venezuela. Due to the lack of freshwater, land mam mals are essentially limited to Iguanas and lizards. A trip to Los Roques is not, however, an African safari… it is to enjoy all aspects of the utter ly spectacular marine life and of all the species that you can catch on a fly rod, it is the bonefish upon which Los Roques staked its initial marker as one of the finest locations availa ble to fish for them.

Where Los Roques really separates itself from the rest of the pack, is that the bulk of fishing is done whilst wading, versus fishing from the front of a skiff, the reason being that the vast proportion of the flats are

A prolific bonefishery

firm bottomed. This appeals on a great many levels but especially so if you like the feeling that you are, to a degree, in control of your own success. That said, I would not even suggest that I spotted 1/10th of the Bonefish that we cast at before our superb guide, Oswar.

The bonefish presented themselves as singles, pairs, groups, and shoals of 50+ fish, mainly in super skinny water, typ ically with tail fins flickering out of the water. My wife Hideko, who had never cast a saltwater fly before, and was still asking whether we should ‘hitch’ the flies, after our last fishing trip for salm on in Iceland two years previously, by the end of the first flat had notched up two bonefish under her own unguided steam.

The second attribute is that, as a pair of anglers, you can both fish simultane ously. Oswar would typically stand be side one of us whilst we stalked a flat, wading in parallel, and having achieved a hook up, he would then jump to the as sistance of the other whilst the hooked bonefish do what bonefish do best, and that is, taking long, backing emptying runs, at tremendous speed.

The bulk of the fish we caught on the open flats were in the 3-5lb range. It is easy to exaggerate the size of a fish that strips 100m of line from your reel on its first run, but bonefish are designed for speed, that and their mirror like flanks being their primary defence against predators. (The villain in this story being the barracuda, and there are some leviathans around!) All I can say on the size of the fish, is that the bones on Los Roques are some of the largest averaged sized fish that I have comeacross.“Los

Roques is however a multi-speciesgenuinedestination”

She proudly went on to catch count less more over the week. Will, the 3rd person in our ‘pair’, and a very proficient caster was like a machine, rarely spending more than 5 mins before his rod was bent and the gratifying fizz as his line chopped through the water.

On one such morning, after I had missed a take and then snapped, what might have been a slightly older than recommended intermediate fly line, on another tarpon, Will went on to hook a very good adult fish somewhere in the 60-80lb range. A fish of that sort of size translates to a fish of approx. 5-6ft in length and this one was as acrobatic as any tar pon. When hooked along the Los Roques waterfront, the bigger tarpon typically head out to the deep water off the North-Western tip of Gran Roque. Despite a fight of 10 minutes, the last we saw of this fabulous fish was yet another giant leap and head shake, as it headed into the distance, before parting company.


Although I hugely enjoy my fishing, when the light is right, the colours are so vivid and appealing that I am as happy to drop my rod, or indeed, when on the bonefish flats, happily pass it to Hideko and grab a camera instead, whether that be a SLR, Go Pro, camcorder or drone!

The variety of the flats that you fish is equally spectacular, from the pan cake flats which are synonymous with Los Roques, to white sand beaches, lagoons, and tantalising ocean front flats that run alongside the innumerable mangrove islands. The water colours are effervescent ranging from deep cobalt blues and emerald greens, to luminous pearlescent white.

Los Roques is however a genuine multi-species destination. Over the week we cast at Tarpon, Snook, Per mit, Parrotfish, Barracuda, Jacks, Blue Runners, Spanish Mackerel and Triggerfish. Along the waterfront of Gran Roque (literal translation Big Rock) large minnow shoals gather and these in turn attract tar pon, which come in from the deeper water. Tarpon from 40-100lbs and over are always present and are al ways worth targeting. With the su per-abundance of baitfish around, they are not always straightforward to catch, and it does require blind-casting - although delivering your fly to a swirl from a feeding tarpon will increase the chances of a hook-up immeasurably.

with 20lb tippet and bonefish flies, Will and I followed Oswar into the mangrove forest, breaking out into one of the hidden lagoons. Despite being suit ably boggy around the very immediate perimeter, for the most part, it was reasona bly firm permit are not standard permit. These permit grow to be 20-40lb monsters”

One of the more unique areas to fish at Los Roques are the two almost cut-off lagoons filled with baby snook and tarpon. Both are able to survive in incredibly brackish water, which act as both sanctuaries and nurseries for juvenile fish, safe from any

Snook and baby tarpon

Winding in 100 meters or more of slack line gives a lot of time for painful reflec tion, especially when the 60lb tippet comes back heavily frayed and the fly gone. Next time we might go for 80lb tippet… and I will acquire a new fly line!!



Creeping around the lagoon, we looked for signs of activity, coming across one particular corner where, tucked into an inlet, the conspicuous signs of baby tarpon rolling could be seen. What followed was 30 minutes of huge entertainment. We received take after take from both baby tarpon and snook, typically not much more than 1lb in weight although one can catch fish up to about 5lbs. They took, jumped, came off, took again, took again and maybe 1 in 5 allowed themselves to be unhooked by hand.

There are three other HVT’s (High Value Target’s) to lure a dedicated fly angler to Los Roques. They are also, unquestionably the hardest to land. The first need’s little introduction and that is the Permit. A good number of years ago, on my very first trip to Cuba, I was advised by a veteran Cu ban angler not to get obsessed with Permit. He quite correctly summa rised that you could spend an entire week pursuing these fish and regard less of success or not, end up missing out on the huge variety of fun and ex citement that all of the other varied species provide. I took that lesson to

On Los Roques I would be tempted to break that rule. Although they may not be considered abundant, there are more than enough places where you might expect to be able to cast for them. But Los Roques Permit are not standard permit. These permit grow to be 20-40lb monsters. To catch a fish because it is difficult to get it to take is one thing… but to catch a fish that will also test every bit of your equip ment and fighting ability is another matter altogether. As it happened, we were not successful, but we were both treated to multiple opportunities that have absolutely put permit back on my primary radar!

“The trigger turned and as I stripped, paused, stripped, paused it motoredpositivelyafterit”

heart and whilst I will always take an opportunistic cast, whenever a permit presents itself or purposely search a flat for one, I will not typically dedicate a disproportionate amount of my fishing week to their pursuit!


My first encounter for the trip, was on what I consider to be one of the most exciting flats on Los Roques. Located just inside the outer reef, the flat stretches some 1000 or so meters with a surging surf on one side, breaking on to the ragged coral reef, but with smooth water within and white sand flats.

They inhabit the same flats as the permit and will eat the same flies, but have the advantage of being more common, easy to spot, and less spooky. They do however share the same finickity eating habits!


The third HVT is the triggerfish. They also frequent this area in good numbers and under Oswar’s close instruction, clearly telling me to focus on the trigger as opposed to the parrotfish which schooled along side it.

On my 2nd or 3rd attempt I deliv ered an accurate cast with my green Alphlexo crab, the trigger turned and as I stripped, paused, stripped, paused it positively motored after it, taking the fly 3 or 4 times before the line went firm and the fish was on.

As the fly swings, your line goes tight, your heart jumps, you firmly strike but miserably realise that your fly is attached to a piece of coral. I ache to catch one of these trophies but like most of the best things in life they are a challenge and I have yet to earn my stripes with a hook up.

Alongside the permit are triggerfish. Unlike their very colourful counter parts in the Seychelles, the triggerfish that swim in the Caribbean waters of Los Roques are grey in colour. They are also no minnows, with fish of up to 20lbs common.

Here we also encountered in very good numbers the second, and - in my view - most prized target on Los Roques, the parrotfish. Not espe cially spooky, incredibly beautiful in their multi-coloured but predomi-


nantly green and purple livery, but exceptionally difficult to catch on a fly. They are also large, easily up to 30lbs in weight. Casting for them, the aim is to cast in front and let the current swing your fly over them.

When fishing amongst schooling fish and especially when doing so close to open water and sharp coral it is almost imperative to hold on to the fish as tightly as you might a tarpon hooked in a small mangrove lined creek. The difference being I was fishing with my Loop 8wt, using a size 4 hook and 13.5lb tippet vs a 10wt or heavier, 60lb tippet and a 4/0 hook!

My next encounter, later that day was on a more traditional flat, away from the perils of the coral reef. Three triggers presented themselves to me within a few minutes of getting off the boat. All three appeared to be feeding intently, their spade like tails contentedly waving in the air as they rooted around for crustaceans. My cast landed amidst the three and I suspect the competitive foraging element kicked in as one abruptly turned and chased down the fly. Strip, pause, strip, pause, strip...bang…the line went tight.

As the shoal of parrotfish spooked and headed as one for a break in the coral and out to the safety of the surf, so did my trigger. This is no time to enjoy the song of your reel as the fish takes line but rather hold the rim, give absolutely no quarter, and pray that the leader was not be stowed with a wind knot! Amazingly I managed to turn the fish as it surged towards the tight channel to the ocean and with time could final ly steer it away from the coral and into the smooth sandy bottomed and safe water. It was my first Los Roques triggerfish and I was suit ably elated, even if it had pursued my fly almost too willingly! It was, however, a relative baby compared to some of the triggers you can find

I could barely believe my luck but as I tightened up and the trigger realised something was amiss it bolt ed from one side of the flat to the other with absolutely no chance of my stopping it. Luckily Oswar who had been with Will on the far side saw what was happening and as the fish steamed towards the deep water off the edge of the flat he grabbed the line, lifting it high and clear of two coral bommies that would have meant instant disaster.

on Los Roques and I was due for a lesson in humility.

Another good fish took and again it headed off the flat into the deeper surrounding water. With my rod bent over, my drag complaining, the fish took more and more line. Deep into the backing I came across that other horror that has released more than a few good fish over my time.

With the trigger now in deep wa ter for a short period I felt relative ly safe. I clambered onto one sub merged coral mound, from where I could control the fight with a higher vantage point, however having just got my balance my support gave way and I crashed into the middle with a glancing thought as to the cuts that probably now laced my leg. No time to worry about person al well-being, I then attempted to get in front of the coral from where I could tire the fish whilst it stayed in deep water and then tow it to an area of relative safety. One tentative step forward and I was underwater, out of my depth, the rod still held high! Back kicking and paddling with one hand I managed to swim back to firm ground even if I was still playing the fish in neck depth


ominously at a 30-degree angle into the deep blue water, the trigger now defiantly took the upper hand, not that I had remotely been in control so far. As I wound in the line, the trigger turned and headed directly towards the opposing coral mound. I knew the result before it happened: I had been comprehensively outplayed by the fish. The line scythed through the water towards the coral, I reeled as hard as I could, desperately hoping to shorten the leash in the hope that I could bring its trajectory short, and then that was it… the line cut the second it touched.

I now found myself in-between the two coral outposts with no real way of getting around either and the unenviable job of try ing to pull what was clearly a very good-sized trigger back to the flat. Recovering the substantial amount of line that I had out, which scissored

A final lesson

I was treated to one final lesson in being out-triggered on the final afternoon of our 6 days fishing.

are fantastic, the food is excellent, the island absolutely full of charm and character. It has a totally differ ent feel from almost any fishing des tination that I can think of, refined but, yet elementary, excellent fishing and variety but not confined to the experience when staying in a more typical saltwater fishing lodge. On our very final afternoon, over the last hour from 5-6pm, we returned to the tarpon at the waterfront of Gran Roque. With local fisherman in their boats, cutting backwards and forwards after a day on the water, the sun-setting and the absolute cacoph ony of gulls and pelicans hammering minnow balls, whilst Jacks turned the surface of the water into a momentary cauldron was as good a recuperative tonic as you could wish for. Although we did not hook any tarpon, with a beer in hand, simply to be able to enjoy such a serene environment is a privilege in itself.

With the backing line twisted over on itself I now had to yank line off the reel to allow the fish to continue its remorseless flight into the blue of the deep water until, I suspect, with the continual pressure and jerks, a dreaded wind knot gave me a ‘thanks for coming, try harder next time’ and we parted company.

Susanne and Cecelia, the non-fish ing element of our team, had an equally wonderful time, relaxing, touring, snorkelling, and enjoying each other’s company whilst we fished.

What makes Los Roques special? I really love Los Roques. The guides

“The island is full of charm and character”

Normally I am happy to concede de feat to a better opponent. My usual quip, ‘to have fought and lost is better than not to have fought at all’ stands me in good stead for most failures, but I have to say I was disheartened enough following this 2nd loss to re linquish my fishing rod, strip off and spend the next 15 mins swimming around in the joyously clear aqua marine water, forlornly wondering as to how nice a picture it would have made for this article!!!!

Thebehind.introduction of the USD, pre viously illegal tender in any shop or bar in Venezuela, has brought about a transformation in what is available and consequently the smooth

On this occasion the Dom Perignon will have to wait until our next trip, but the memories will stay vivid far longer than any bubbles!

The wi-fi works 90% of the time, the island and surroundings feel as safe as you would ever wish for and despite a few cloudy and rainy days, the sun predominantly shone. It was a very far cry from the winter we left

er running of the infrastructure on Los Roques. This has bestowed huge benefits in living standards to Venezuelans. However, for our team, it meant that we could now enjoy ton ic with gin, assorted wines that were pleasantly priced and if you had landed any of the specimens that we lost, a bottle or two of champagne!

Scott Fly Rod Company | 2355 Air Park Way, Montrose,


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HUSKEY Montrose, Colorado 81401 | 970-249-3180 | series of fly rods handcrafter by Scott

FishEndangeredSpeciesinBalkanRivers MARBLE TROUT

In the Balkans, the marble trout occurs in the Soča basin in Slove nia (and Italy) (also the Rižana and Reka rivers), in the Neretva basin in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Skadar basin in Montenegro (Zeta, Morača and Cijevna rivers), where the species is now becoming increasingly rare.

The Marble trout (Salmo marmora tus) is endemic to the Adriatic basin and can reach 120cm and 25 kilos in size, making it a much sought-after trophy fish on a fly rod. It owes its name to the distinctive marbled color pattern, which is reminiscent of that in many char species – for instance brook trout.

Marble trout become sexually ma ture at the age of 3+ years (males) and 4+ years (females), and they spawn in November and December. They are believed to grow to at least 15 years, and the bigger specimens are voracious predators that feed on grayling, sculpins, and other trout – mostly at night or when the riv ers rise and the water, subsequently, becomes turbid.

Although mainly found in moun tainous regions, where deep pockets, pools below waterfalls, and big boulders provide shelter, marble trout can also be found in adjoined lakes and reservoirs, where they hunt

Hybridization, however, is not the only threat to the marble trout: the species is highly sensitive to dam construction. Hydropower expan sion on the upper Cijevna Riv er (Cemi River) in Albania, the Morača River in Montenegro, and the Neretva River in Bosnia-Her zegovina, as well as the Soča basin in Slovenia pose a threat to at least 50% if not 75% of the species range in the Balkans.


trout were intro duced in the region, and because it hybridizes with the marble tout, pure populations have become very rare. In fact, outside of the Balkans there are no genetically pure pop ulations left. The last pure popula tions in Slovenia are found in a few very small and isolated tributaries of the Idrijca (Soča basin).

Images by Uroš www.urkofishingadventures.comKristian,

Balkan Rivers – Endangered Fish

To zoom into the distribution area, check out the Fish Study layer in this interactive map:

Species: Distribution and threats from hydropower development:

The “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign is dedicated to save the Balkan rivers from destruction by 3500 dam projects. Find out more here:

Interested in other endangered fish? Check out this online database of endangered fish species in the Balkans: tabase


The Huchen was once wide Danube basin. Because it is sensitive hydropower about 65% of its is


on the Balkan Peninsula. However, these rivers are severely threatened by dams. The Huchen is only one of 113 endangered species in Balkans Rivers. We at Riverwatch are fighting to protect these last sanctuaries. Find more rare fish species, their distribution area and conservation status at database | |

spread across the

Database of Endangered Species


development, the species is now endangered. Today,

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