Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

This Is How to Properly Introduce Yourself in an Email

Meeting someone in person is pretty straightforward. You smile, shake their hand, tell them your name. But what if you’re not meeting face to face?…

Source: This Is How to Properly Introduce Yourself in an Email

Caught my eye – 2014 week 50

Here are some things that recently caught my eye (in no particular order.) 

  1. Clarity from Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer > I wanted to share something that happened to me.
  2. John Fall talked about the therapy of fly fishing > I am now a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of fly fishing
  3. An interesting way to make a cooking fire pit > Tip from the Book: How to Dig a Dakota Fire Hole
  4. Another good friend joined the AFFTA board > Two New Board Members Join AFFTA Board of Directors
  5. What a sailor learned > A Sailor’s Perspective on the United States Army
  6. A soldier pays tribute to the men he left behind > Story Corps: 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon
  7. A wonderful tribute to a black lab named Duke > I Died Today.
  8. Congress finally did something good for public lands (but a price..) > Sportsmen Applaud Historic Move to Conserve America’s Finest Habitat
  9. Navy Beat Army for the 13th time in a row > How Many Times Does Navy Have to Win Before it’s Renamed the Navy-Army Game?
  10. Great political satire on the immigration debate > Native American Council Offers Amnesty to 220 Million Undocumented Whites

Water is my business

As a fly fishing guide,  a member of the board of directors of the America Fly Fishing Trade Association and president of the Massanutten Chapter of Trout Unlimited, I spend a lot of time thinking about water. The fact is, I make part of my living in water and without it much of what I hold dear would be lost.

Lately I have found myself drawn back into conversations about clean water and the need to protect it. EPA has a rule making underway and there are some who would like to undermine that effort. In looking around the inter webs recently, I came across an excellent report from Trout Unlimited. Rising to the Challenge shows just how important small, seasonal and headwater streams are and why they need to be protected.

TU shares a pretty simple equation (not unlike one you see often on this blog) and points out three things that make a healthy stream.

  • Cold, clean water
  • Habitat for juvenile fish to hide, and for big fish to grown and spawn
  • Sensible rules that protect streams from development

Pretty simple Venn diagram if you ask me.

The report shows “the connection between seasonal streams that may run dry at certain times of the year (i.e., “intermittent and ephemeral” streams) and historic trout and salmon habitat.”

There are maps for 14 states, including Virginia below:



Download the report and learn how you can make water your business too.

If you want to learn more about EPA’s rule making here is a link > http://www2.epa.gov/uswaters

Here is some information from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership > http://www.trcp.org/issues/wetlands/cleanwateract#.VDHMnr51qaF



The Reel Case for Tenkara

Earlier this month I traveled to the International Fly Tackle Dealer show (IFTD), the fly fishing industry’s trade show in Orlando, Florida. There is a virtual smorgasbord of fly fishing gear at the show and much has been and will be written about that.

However, one item caught my attention and appealed to my tenkara loving ways.

Dan Rice at Bozeman Reel Company got my attention when he showed me what they had done to the reel case they include with every reel they sell.

First Dan showed me how they had put a series of small holes in the bottom and a some stretch fabric in the top flap to aid in air circulation. They added a space on the label so you can mark the line weight.

Bozeman Reel Case closed Bozeman Reel Case open

Then Dan pointed out two pieces of velco inside the top flap and a band of elastic fabric inside the main section of the case. He pulled the top flap under his belt, securing it with the velco and the reel case now had a higher purpose; a beer holder!


Of course, I immediately saw this as essential tenkara gear. You may not need a reel but a Bozeman Reel case is a whole other matter…

Blood Knot Wins Big at The Drake Film Awards

One of the annual highlights of IFTD, the fly fishing trade show, is The Drake Film Awards. This was the 9th annual awards show and an especially exciting night was in store for Mossy Creek Fly Fishing and TwoFisted Heart Productions as Blood Knot took two awards in front of a audience of fly fishing industry pros.

As Brian and Colby said “it was pretty exciting to have Blood Knot get included in F3T, then get nominations in The Drake Film Awards, but none of us expected this…”

Brian and Colby Trow accept the award for Best Freshwater Movie at the 2014 Drake Film Awards

Brian and Colby Trow accept the award for Best Freshwater Movie at the 2014 Drake Film Awards

Colby’s post on Facebook captured the gratitude in winning the award, “Unreal. Overwhelmed. Utterly blown away. Thanks to everyone who supported the film. Nick and Kami Swingle Ladson Webb, Two TwoFisted Heart Productions for creating this film! Tom Sadler for getting us all mixed up in the industry. The Orvis Company, Tenkara USA, Art Webb with BCF, Virginia Tourism, and of course the lovely wives that put up with our shenanigans. Best Freshwater Film? Seriously. Thanks Tom Bie , The Drake Magazine, and F3T!”

Still pumped from the previous honor, the night got even more fantastic when they were called back to the stage!!!

Best Movie

Brian and Colby Trow accept the award for Best Movie of the Year at the 2014 Drake Film Awards

Colby on Facebook again, “BLOWN AWAY! We have no words. Thanks to everyone who has believed in our shop and guides. Nick Swingle Kami Swingle Ladson – We need to PARTY!!! The Drake Magazine Thanks for the love. Best Film…..really? This is insane. Party time!”

Then the smiles really broke out!

Brian and Colby show their appreciation to Tom Bie, The Drake's editor.

Brian and Colby show their appreciation to Tom Bie, The Drake’s editor.


There are two special people that make the video magic that is Blood Knot happen. Kami and Nick Swingle of TwoFisted Heart Productions are the brains behind the scenes and the camera that make it all come together. Colby and Brian shared the awards with Nick and Kami -fittingly on the banks of Mossy Creek, last Sunday.

Swingle Trow Trophys

Brian and Colby share The Drake Film awards with Kami and Nick Swingle. Photo by TwoFisted Heart Productions.


The Tie That Binds

Guiding for Mossy Creek Fly Fishing is one of the more enjoyable and interesting parts of my crazy life. But what adds to the enjoyment is the community that is part of Mossy Creek Fly Fishing. The owners are guides themselves and they bring the positive guide attitude to the shop and those of us who work with them.

It is hard to explain to friends and clients how just much fun it is to work with the Trow Brothers but Two Fisted Heart Productions has done a great job in this trailer for Blood Knot, their entry in the 2014 Fly Fishing Film Tour.

Take a look.