The overwhelming push on environmental issues that are far from clear like anthropologic climate change on social media sometimes results in easily understood and non controversial ones to be overlooked. For instance, water quality in our communities’ waterways has declined over the past decades, yet not a lot of people are aware of the issue and how easily they can change their behavior to improve it.
Whether inland or along the coast in Florida, decades of fertilization of yards has resulted in lush landscapes around most neighborhoods. The unintended consequence is run-off of excess fertilizer into adjacent streams, ponds, lakes and rivers. The resulting nutrient load in the water results in algae blooms and uncontrolled growth of various submerged and emergent grasses and plants. In the worst of cases, oxygen levels plummet and living creatures throughout the water column die.
Even cutting grass and allowing it to get washed into storm water sewers has the same effect, as the clippings contain high amounts of nutrients that are easily released into the water, upsetting the natural balance.
In order to combat these problems, many communities have asked their residents to suspend fertilizer application through the rainy season, June – December. Doing so will help to prevent the run-off from thunderstorms being so easily loaded with excess nutrients.
In addition, several counties and municipalities are using placards and public information campaigns to educate the population on how to avoid sending clippings downstream into bodies of water by simply being mindful of where your mower sheds clippings. Don’t blow them into the street, send them back across the yard where they can degrade and release the nutrients into the lawn, where you want them anyway.
Simple problems and simple solutions are easy to understand. They don’t contain hidden agendas or the creation of “credits” made out of a nebulous idea that go to an equally mysterious bank.
If your neighborhood lacks a similar program, get involved and get one started. The cost is low and the benefit to the environment is real.
Check out how its being done along the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County, Florida. Its a great example of how little ideas can have a big impact.
I searched for months for the skiff I have now owned for the past 9 years. After missing a couple of similar models, I finally got the jump on everyone and got the first look at my 1998 Hells Bay Whipray – “Mosquito Lagoon” Edition, (the 33rd hull built) when my son was less than a day old. I left the hospital a day later to see it for the first time. I wrote a check that afternoon, knowing I had found my saltwater soulmate.
The near decade we’ve spent together has been epic. She’s taken me on lots of adventures across the Sunshine State.
There is something special about that old skiff. Today, I watched Flip Pallot opine, in the way only he can, the History of Hells Bay Boatworks. It was fantastic.
In addition to hearing his thoughts on the journey that lead to the revolutionary skiffs we love, I’ve talked a lot with Chris Morejohn, the architect behind the design. Having him remember my skiff and sharing details of its history was fulfilling and deepened my bond with it further.
A lot of people say there is no “perfect” skiff. They’ve never been on mine.
We love art at Salt Bum HQ. It provides us with a daily reminder of what we love through the eyes of the artists that created the works we’ve been lucky enough to collect. When we come across something that sparks our interest, we often have to re-hang and adjust the collection to make more room for another addition.
We’ve found just such an opportunity in A.D. Maddox. If you haven’t seen her work, you owe it to yourself to seek it out.
Known for her vibrant work, creating amazing paintings of trout and their bold colors, artist A.D. Maddox has just released a new series of recently finished originals depicting various fly patterns.
Serious collectors will likely be snapping up these stunning works, so if you plan on getting in on the action, get on it before the hatch is discovered by the masses.
A small sampling of our favorites from her new releases are shared below.
The stretch of dunes that comprises Canaveral National Seashore between New Smyrna Beach and NASA Kennedy Space Center are one of the last great remote stretches of coastal land in Florida. Boats explore the Atlantic to the east and Mosquito Lagoon to the west, but vehicular travel of the four wheel kind is no-existent on the barrier island between the two in most of Canaveral National Seashore. Miles of steep sandy beaches where you’ll struggle to find a human on a normal day lay in wait for exploration.
Before you head out there to find adventure, you’ll need to acquire a Backcountry Permit from the National Park Service. Its a $2 formality, so don’t let it slow you down.
Walking the beach with a fly rod in search of a surf traveling target can be spotty at best, but it is definitely worth it. From redfish, black drum and the occasional shark, targets will appear.
Take a good pack with you, you’ll likely end up finding a treasure of some kind along the beach and it will come in handy to get it home.
Water is paramount. At least a gallon of it if you plan to cover a few miles.
A fly rod between 7-9 weight depending on your preference is plenty for what you’ll encounter. It will likely be a bit breezy so, make sure what you take will allow you to cast well into the wind.
Crab, baitfish and shrimp patterns in varying weight and size are your go to flies. A handful will do, you won’t need a lot.
Be mindful of the weather, storms along the beach can approach rapidly and be severe. There is no cover on the beach from lightning.
As you begin to egress, pick up as much plastic as you have room for in your pack. Despite your commitment to Leave No Trace, lots of plastic is deposited on the beach by ocean currents and nature will appreciate your helping hand.
The past weeks have been busy ones. Aside from the usual things that make up a normal day, I’ve found myself working hard advocating for a skatepark to be built in the town where I live. My son skates & loves it. The lessons it teaches him, I love.
You would think that by 2015, elected officials would be more receptive to providing a fair shake to all sports. Despite being globally popular and skateboarding being the second fastest growing sport in the US, the idea of a skatepark still scares a lot of politicians.
At any rate, I’ve still found a few minutes here and there to fish and by and large its been great. The bass and redfish along the Space Coast of Florida have been obliged to tussle, and for that, I’m thankful.
Though the writing here on Salt Bum had slowed, I was still putting thoughts on paper. Check out my latest ramblings in the Spring editions of The Drake Magazine and Southern Culture On The Fly.
Skiffs are beginning to slide into the waters surrounding the Florida Keys as the annual tarpon migration is starting to happen. Starters will spin motors to life in the pre-dawn light as anglers and guides head out to post up on their chosen line, hoping to see strings of tarpon streaming to them ready to eat the fly they’ll offer.
Get a taste of the addiction that is getting fed by joining legendary tarpon angler Andy Mill as he shares a day with his son, teaching him the ropes.
If Andy’s passion doesn’t get you geared up to head south in search of silver, you might already be dead.
It would be a difficult task to find a more personable and entertaining guide in the Bahamas than Tory Bevins.
Aside from his casting prowess, he’s a Raconteur of the first order.
If you find yourself on South Andros, look him up. He works at Andros South. If you’re fishing DIY or at another lodge, you can find him after quitting time at the small bar by Little Creek or up island at the Rust Barge.
His casting style is simple to understand and works incredibly well. Take a few minutes to get in the groove and you’ll be slinging string like a pro.