Transcribe your podcast

You've seen this cook up some pretty wild stuff here at Meat Eater, whether we're fixing diet, making our own sausage, rendering down fat or even making tallow, we're passionate about what we cook and how we cook it.


And we know not everyone has access to these odd cuts in materials. So we decided to hook up with Porter Road and give you a chance to join in the fun. We're pumped to let you know about our new meat eater, Porter Road boxes. They work a lot like other subscription boxes, but we got wild with it.


Yeah, there's there's a lard and tallow box so you can try your hand at rendering and stepping up your frying and baking game. There's a sausage box, which is my personal favorite for obvious reasons, and that includes enough pork fat back pork trim and casing to pair with one diers worth of trim and make a bunch of sausage. And finally there's a scavenger box that has everything from kidney to pork shanks. That one also includes a signed copy of our buddy Steve Annells, The Scavenger's Guide to Hot Cuisine.


With any luck, you've already got some gamey and maybe some fish in your freezer or soon will. And now it's time to start thinking about how to put it to good use head on over to Porter Road, dotcom back slash meat eater to check out our latest collaboration and get cooking.


That's p o r t e r r o a d dotcom slash meat eater. Find all these ingredients on your own. It's not easy. And we got limited inventory, so be sure to get yours while you can.


Hey, chances are if you're living on this planet and have a television, you've probably been exposed to some Hollywood version of the survival genre that pits man against nature as though nature is some mean bastard that's best avoided.


You guys know what I'm talking about, but threatening about mountain lions while you drink your own pee.


Yeah, just like that.


You know, the reality is most of that survival stuff is produced purely for entertainment, and that's it. Sometimes fun to watch, but much of it is nothing more than a good way to make a bad situation even worse.


And that's why we wrote The Meat Eater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival in Steve Renel, his latest book, You'll learn from the hard earned advice of accomplished outdoors men and women, including river guides, lifelong hunters, mountaineers, emergency room doctors and wild food experts. Yeah, like how to effectively find and treat water, how to gear up for any outdoor venture, why cooking accidents mess up way more people and grizzlies. How to deal with a porcupine quills in your dog and its meat on your fire and how to develop a mindset that keeps you calm, rational and focused during your most stressful moments.


No matter your skill level, this book will be a staple on your essential gear list.


And if you don't have an essential gear list, it'll teach you how to make one head on over to the meat eater dotcom slash survival and check it out. Now, that's the meat eater dotcom survival. Over the back of the bathroom door really was this giant mirror, carp mouth, it was tilapia. And my wife was like, please don't make a scene. All right, I'll go with the purple crossbow. Smart man.


Maybe they only show up with three beers, but inevitably drink 10. Mary. Yeah, hi. Yes, merry New Year, degenerate anglers, and welcome to the fishing podcast that's still on your couch at 1:00 p.m. on New Year's Day. And while you could tolerate us the night before when you had five Yagur bombs in you, you really need us just to go the home now.


I'm Joe Somali, Miles Nalty. And I've been that guy. And I just got to say, I am so glad that we worked that reference into this show.


Can I just tell you how happy that makes me?


Anyway, the way I see it, either no one is listening today and hopefully everyone will catch up later or it's possible that you're all just sitting around doing nothing on New Year's Day. And so maybe you're tuning it.


Yeah, I'm hoping for the latter because, well, I think we're all excited for 2020 to be over.


Kind of goes without saying. I got to tell you, I always have found New Year's Day to be really depressing. But even in the era of when I partied hard the night before, I hated New Year's Day.


And it's like the only day of the year when I was OK with just being in PJs and couch tripping all day. It's the only one.


Yeah, I totally feel you on that, but maybe not for the same reason. So. So give me a little more elaborate elaborate on your feelings here.


Yeah, I don't know. It's like the holidays are over. You know, you have to go back to work or back to school. And most of all, I think it's just that, like now it's winter and not festive Christmas lights winter. Like now it's just cold, dark winter, you know.


Yeah. The celebratory part of winter is over now. Just waiting. Yes. For operating. Exactly.


I get I get that. I get the New Year's Day hangover both in the literal and figurative sense. But New Year's Eve is the biggest holiday of the year where I grew up. Like it. It blows everything else out of the water. Really. Right. Lots of Asian cultural influence in Hawaii. Right. So. Right. Shifting over the calendar is a really big deal. Forget about the fact that they celebrate technically a different New Year's doesn't matter.


It's all been sort of melded into this Americanized version of of New Year's celebration.


It's great before they change the laws for very sound environmental reasons, like when I was a kid, people would hang firecracker strings from the street lights that were so long they almost touched the ground. Yeah.


Oh, it was crazy. And you light them off it at midnight to scare away evil spirits and bring prosperity for the new year. And everybody does it. And you'd wake up New Year's Day and the leftover red paper from the actually the millions of spent firecrackers would be ankle deep. It would be like red snow in the streets. Yeah, crazy.


And like if the trade winds were cold on New Year's Eve, this thick fog of just pure smoke would hang in the air all night and everywhere.


Yeah, yeah. Everyone would wake up the next morning feeling like shit, whether they partied or not, just from the like the phosphorous and whatever other toxic shit was in that smoke.


And then and then if you add a crippling hangover on top of that, it was just like the worst thing ever. So I can I can relate to couching it all New Year's Day and just eating leftovers and watching college football, because I definitely did plenty of that. Yeah, but yeah.


But I mean, that sounds like it used to be so much fun, like, like 20 something year old me would have been all about that.


You know what I mean though nowadays. Fun. Yeah.


Now I just run out in my bathrobe and slippers, light one mortar, go to bed, you know, and on the Fourth of July, because I'm now a responsible homeowner, I'm the dude outside with the garden hose, you know, waiting for the roof to catch on fire, asking myself, like, who am I?


What have I become? You know, it's terrible.


You're saying like the days of bottle rocket fights are over. You don't do that.


And now I'm like, let's make sure this is a clear space looking all directions rather than just like put one down a PVC tube and just close your eyes and aim like this Roman candle and you better run.


Yeah. Yeah, exactly.


But I do I do miss the days of partying, you know, younger days stumbling around your parents house in the morning, just like looking for vomit, urine and feces and closets, laundry hamper just like open and open enjoys before I you know, just make sure.




And then, you know, remember it's like around 11:00 a.m. you're trying to talk to yourself and just chugging one can of Budweiser like it.


You can just stomach that one can you know, you'll feel better than those were the days you were up by eleven back then, sometimes up to one. I'm with you though dude. I don't think I've seen midnight on New Year's Eve in like half a decade, to be honest. And that's I mean, I can't believe I'm saying this because I used to live for that. But I also remember absolutely loving red beers for I mean, we'll call it breakfast, but it was lunch to take the edge off.


And you know what? That's actually a perfect segue into into that's my bar. We're going to go there, though. That's my bar segment we've got for you this week, where we feature a bar that someone wrote in to tell us about. This one highlights the debate that Joe and I have about red beers and some potentially exquisite, crispy, greasy fried food, which has been known to soak up the remaining spirits sloshing around the old gut region.


Oh, yeah, the Wendys Baconator has saved me so many times, dude.


Best God damn bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine. Portland, Oregon, and for that matter. Today's That's My Bar comes to us from James Suka, and I hope I said that right, I feel like I say that every time we read one of these guys got weird last names. He lives in eastern Nebraska. And tell you the truth, we don't really get a lot of shout outs from Nebraska. Right. I mean, nothing against Nebraska, but fair to say it's not the first state that comes to mind for many when you think fisheye states agree with that.


My oldest and closest fishing buddy is a Nebraskan, but that's the only connection I have to it if I'm racking my brain and I know there's good fishing there, but yeah, that's all I can say.


So I've I've only ever fished there once. And that was at Lake McConaughey, Big Mac, which is I think arguably Nebraska's most famous lake for walleyes.


And while the people were awesome, made some great friends, beautiful lake, the fishing was not good when I was there, and then my motel almost got hit by a tornado. So.


So you haven't been back now? You know, I haven't, because it was the whole like, you know, golfball hail and the sirens thing wait me out like it was real deal.


Anyway, look, I got the Italian last name, right, but there's a lot of Czech and Polish blood coursing through these Chemaly veins. So I like James's nomination even more because of that.


And he writes, I grew up in Nebraska. It isn't the fascist state in the Union, but there are some decent holes out there, regardless of the fishing opportunities. I nominate Check Island in in Prague, Nebraska, which I'm betting there's a lot of Czechoslovakians in Prague. Nebraska would be my. I hope so. Yeah, I. Yeah, exactly.


He says all walks of life are welcome here from your cow farmer to your bean farmer.


And I got to say, James, are those are the only walks of life because that doesn't really cover that wide of a swath, you know what I mean?


I like them, but they can farm whatever you want. Exactly. All farmers welcome.


So James continues.


This is the type of place where you wear your work jeans and for lunch and then switch to your new wranglers for the Friday night fish fry.


What type of fish today? Fry carp, of course. Would you like to pieces or three pieces?


Aside from the excellent cuisine, it is the only place I have ever been to with a decent carp mount on the wall that's saying something because you don't see many of them and they're usually pretty rough.


OK, so I've got I've got something on that, but I'll let you finish and then I'll get back to OK.


He says while they can get well over forty pounds in Nebraska, they have dedicated wall space to a fifteen pound fish. So if you find yourself in eastern Nebraska and are worn out from farm pond hopping all day for bluegill and croppy, head over to the checking in for a cold read beer. He says that's tomato juice and beer. And I got something on that.


Some fried carp and possibly live polka music, if you are lucky. And a couple of things, man. So I love the sound of the place. Right. And while I'm cold, bones. All right. So you and I have talked on this show about eating Asian carp. I actually ate it at your house and it was very good. Of course, James is talking common carp and I have only ever seen this on TV. You know, these places where they score the fish in, like, deep fry the hell out of them.


And even though the idea of eating common carp wigs me out a bit, I've always wanted to try it in a place like this that like that's their thing. And they do it right. So I'd be down just for that. And then polka music I'm in. I mean, I grew up listening to John Levonne and the Polka Kings because my grandmother, like, blared that shit like it was anthrax, you know what I mean?


The Pennsylvania poked a little me over at her house, you know, do you think of planes, trains and automobiles, that's all. That's right. Yes, yes, yes. And it just the whole eastern euro thing, like even though we're talking Czech and Polish right now, I love a good German beer house.


Even if it's the fake tourist trap, one like in Vegas, you know, groups always like you guys want to go to Nobu.


And I'm like, nah, it's good that Harbrow joint with the leader Hosn in the ass paddling like that's a good time, you know.


So you're going to have fun there. And if you spend as much there as you do at Nobu, you'll be real hung over the next day.




So I also know for a fact that the Poles and the Czechs are super fun to drink with. This is my family and finally the red beer really hit me. And that was the thing with my great aunts and uncles. Right. And I love that. And it's so weird because I'm a Bloody Mary connoisseur. I cannot get enough. Right.


But the tomato juice and beer, I know that's kind of a European Midwestern thing. You spent a lot of time in Wisconsin. I've tried it for some reason. I don't like it, but if I'm not mistaken, which is fitting on New Year's Day, that's also a big hangover cure, is it not?


Oh, yeah. And I love a red beer. I'm more in on the Charlotta side of things. Yeah. Mexican version of love, a good Salada, but I'll take a straight red beer any day. I have no problem with that. Yeah.


Oh no. I love the idea. I don't know why I can't get into it though. We'll work on that.


Bloodies are good. I'm more of a Caesar guy. I actually once did a tour of a little dive bars in Montana looking for the best. Are in the state, and I do think I found it, but I want to get back to the carb thing because I love carp fishing and Hetu Nebraska has great carp fishing. I know. And just real quick side note. I used to work for I got it for a flash up out here called The River's Edge.


And, you know, you'd meet your day and it's like all trout and high class and blah, blah, blah, blah.


Over the back of of the bathroom door really was this giant mirror, carp mount and a beautiful one. And I always loved that because it was like such a trout snobby place. Yep. But then they had the big ass, really nice mirror carp mount and it just it just hit the vibrate. It was a great shot to work for. So shout out to those guys. Yeah.


And and as many people know, like I kind of sort of collect vintage skin mounts and I'd love to have a carp. I've only ever seen one. And it was like literally disintegrating. So but if I ever saw a good one, oh, I would proudly buy that.


So anyway, this place. Man James, thank you for the nomination. We'll get some some bent stickers headed your way. I'd love to see that 15 pound carp mountain dance polka with someone.


I do have to say that while you sold the bar beautifully, you didn't really sell Nebraska as a fishy state. So it may take us a bit to get there.


Yeah, but we'll let you know if we're heading out that way. And don't forget, if you have a bar you want to nominate for this segment, send it to us at Bente at the Meat Eater Dotcom. So in case you're sitting around all mopey today like Joe and you just cannot stand to force yourself to watch another season of Survivor on Netflix, maybe, just maybe you should pick up a book.


How about that? I just I just caught a waft of mahogany in whiskey, which means I smell some Hemingway coming on. And if I'm if I'm right, I've been waiting for this because ever since I made fun of Hemingway a few episodes ago and you didn't have the time to thrash me like I've been I've been waiting for this. But no matter where we're going here, I'd like to remind you I was not making fun of Ernest Hemingway, just people who are overly obsessed with Hemingway.


And I was not going all Hemingway called obsessive.


Just to also clear that up, I can I can name several outdoor writers who I'd prefer to read and who were less terrible humans than Hemingway was. But just because you teed up for a couple of weeks, I'm going to suggest a Hemingway book for all of you in this week's Free Philistines, which is segment where we encourage all of you to put down your screens for a minute and actually read a good book.


And I'm going to guess that this probably isn't the Hemingway book that any of you expected.


What's Folkston? It's a guy who doesn't care about books or interesting films and things like the long Fallston.


Since Joe brought up the subject of Hemingway a few episodes ago, I decided we should dive a little deeper into one of papa's works. If you're at all familiar with Hemingway, you're probably expecting me to talk about Old Man and see. That's Hemingway's Pulitzer Prize winning story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who sets out in a diminutive skiff, attempts to land a massive marlin on handlin and may or may not be an allegory for Christ.


But no, I'm not going to be that obvious, besides, some teacher probably already forced that one on you at some point. The next clear choice would be Big Two Hearted River, in which Hemingway's recurrent and somewhat autobiographical character, Nick Adams, freshly home from the First World War, attempts to soothe his many wounds, both physical and psychological, by escaping into the northern Michigan woods and waters, spending a couple of days camping and trout fishing. But I'm not going to do that one either.


Instead, I'm going to scratch the surface of a less famous work by the great writer. But my personal favorite islands in the stream know not that all due respect to Dolly and Kenny, but that song has absolutely nothing to do with the book of the same name. I'll start by admitting that Islands in the Stream is not a fishing book, but features a couple truly fantastic fishing scenes and one the novel's protagonist, Thomas Hudson, is trolling for billfish with his sons, David Andrew and Tom Jr.


, his cook, Eddie, and his close friend Roger. Here's a taste. Thomas Hudson saw a huge boil in the water, but could not see the fish, David had the rod but in the gimble and was looking up at the clothespin on the outrigger line. Thomas Hudson saw the line fall from the outrigger in a long, slow loop that tightened as it hit the water and now was reaching out at a slant, slicing the water as it went.


Hit him, Dave hit him hard and he called from the companionway, hit him, Dave, for God's sake, hit him. And you begged. Shut up, David said, I'm handling him. He hadn't struck yet and the line was steadily going out at that angle. The crowd booed the boy holding back on it as the line moved out. Thomas Hudson had throttled the motors down, so they were barely turning over.


Oh, for God's sake, hit him. And you pleaded or let me hit him. David just held back on the road and watch the line moving out at the same steady angle, he had loosened the drag. He's abroad, Bill, papà. He said, without looking up, I saw his sword when he took it. I think you ought to hit him now. Roger was standing with the boy now. He had the back out of the chair and he was buckling the harness on the real hit him now, Dave.


And really hit him. Do you think he's had it long enough? David asked, You don't think he's just carrying in his mouth and swimming with it? I think you'd better hit him before he spits it out. David braced his feet, tighten the drag well down with his right hand and struck back hard against the great weight he struck again and again, bending the rod like a bow. The line moved out steadily. He had made no impression on the fish.


Hit him again, Dave Rogers said. Really put it into a. David struck again with all his strength in the line, started zesting out the rod bent so that he could hardly hold it. Oh, God, he said devoutly. I think I've got it into him. Use up on your drag, Roger told him. Turn with them, Tom, and watch the line, turn with him and watch the line. Thomas Hudson repeated, You are right, Dave.


I'm wonderful, Papa. Dave said, Oh God, if I can catch this fish. David's fight with that giant swordfish goes on for more than 30 pages. All of it traced out in the sparse but potent prose that made Hemingway famous or that Hemingway made famous. Depending on your perspective, it really is one of the best fish fight scenes ever written. And I'm not going to tell you any more about it because you should damn well read it for yourself.


But the other 400 pages of the book are also worth your time. Islands in the Stream is one of those stories that I keep coming back to rereading at different intervals of my life. And every time I read it, I find fresh insight. Not because the book has changed, but because I have and each time I bring a new version of myself to the story, I uncover a different aspect that I couldn't hear until I had the necessary experience to decode it.


The basic plot follows Thomas Hudson, a successful painter, through three distinct snapshots of his life. The first, where all the fishing happens, takes place on Bimini Island in the Bahamas. There we find Thomas in a steady but tenuous rhythm of days, working diligently, raising his sons to be strong men and trying to protect his friend Roger, a novelist, from self-destructive impulses. The second takes place in Cuba, where we find Thomas a different and perhaps diminished man beaten down by his own ego, poor choices and other unfortunate events.


The third happens almost entirely at sea as Thomas tries to chase down a group of German soldiers who captured a local turtle boat after the boat was destroyed. Through it all, the only real constant is the stoic inner turmoil of a man who feels too much, expresses too little and consumes copious quantities of hard liquor. Islands in the Stream was published in 1970, almost two decades after Hemingway died. His children and publisher Cobbold the manuscript together from bits and pieces they found in a safe in Havana after his suicide.


But you probably wouldn't guess that if you didn't already know. I don't notice the scenes where the different parts have been stitched together, the book feels cohesive or at least as cohesive as any Hemingway work ever does. Hemingway's other posthumous books, in my opinion, should have been buried with him. But this one is the exception. Even if you hated every single minute of English class, I think you'll find something to love in this book. Beyond the great fishing scenes, there are some solid bar fights, some very impressive feats of drinking and some of the finest descriptions of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulfstream ever penned.


As soon as I finish renewing all my fishing licenses online today, which is a New Year's Day tradition of mine, I'm going to order that book on tape.


But that's bullshit. That's bullshit. All right, look, come on, dude. I don't have a I have no beef with audio books, but Hemingway, it's not we're not talking about Carl Hiaasen like that one. You can listen to an audio book like half the point of Hemingway's appreciating and rereading particular senses. Do not be that guy.


Don't do it. Good. You get all fired up. Yeah, Miles, he fired up over some literature. I'm just busting your chops, dude. Settle down. Channel that aggression into current events because it's time for you and I to actually battle it out in fish news.


Kershner. That escalated quickly for my housekeeping this week, I want to do a quick follow up on a story that Joe covered. I don't know what like a month ago at all blends together.


I don't remember anymore. Yeah, I don't know. But but you were you were talking about issues with California and other states announcing trought stalking skins. And then this week, I literally came across this news article in a California newspaper. It was titled This Is How to Find Out Where When S.W. stocks California Waters with fish.


And then that article, that article went on to state that catchable size planted trout, quote, are planted to be caught more or less immediately by anglers. And then and then further on it explained that fingerling plants. So the smaller, not catchable sized ones, the fingerling plants in high mountain streams are not announced on the fish planting schedule and that those fish, quote, aren't planted to be caught immediately. Rather, the intention is that they grow and acclimate for a season or two and become much like wild fish by the time an angler encounters them.


So you guys were like the issue there was that all the fish were being caught right away and none of them were recreating the the experience of like a fake wild fish.


Yeah, but California seems to be saying they're doing both.


So I just want to throw that out there and see which thought, well, I mean, I think in a lake setting, first of all, I do not disagree with the statement that any planet trout are planted to be caught more or less immediately by like immediately is a strong word.


Like the whole point out here was to supplement these streams for an entire spring season, you know what I mean? So there would be trout fishing out here.


So that's weird. But again, I'm not that into the stock or lake culture, but then what they're talking about with the high mountain stuff.


Well, yeah, like that's of course.


Why would you announce that? I mean, it sounds to me like those fish actually have the ability to be around for a very long time if you let them.


So, you know, where I fish can't really do that.


I mean, you could put them in there and not tell anybody. They're not going to make it past July one anyway. So there's like a happy medium in there somewhere, I think. But if that makes sense.


But, yeah, I just thought I'd bring that up because it was a new wrinkle. The story of an interesting. I like it. I like it.


A lot of people have been saying that they've now adopted Chuck Trout because they've heard me say that I thought that was a common term. I thought everybody knew what Chuck Trout.


But I've heard that term before. I definitely have. I would not have been confused by that term. It makes me think of ambulance chaser anyway. Did it go in a way different direction? Yeah.


So I got a little bit of housekeeping here before we get to the news. Reminder that while we're on it, it is twenty, twenty one now.


And I think that's we could not possibly bring you better news. We could, we could probably quit right there with news.


That's, that's the best thing. We're not we're going to get.


I do have to shout out listener Ethan Barker, though. A few weeks ago I did a news story on Odd Bates and asked you guys to shoot us a note about the weirdest beat you've ever put on a hook. And Ethan sent us a novella.


OK, key takeaways. His favorite snack is carrots and hummus. At one point in his life, he'd eat an entire bag of carrots and tub of hummus daily and during a particularly rock'em sock'em tel water trout float one winner in his home state of Wyoming, he writes, I used my goofy buck teeth to nibble a carrot in about a six mm ball is what he said, which is which is pretty brilliant if he's on the stream that I'm pretty sure he's on.


But Ethan goes on to say, as soon as the rig got to depth, the pink bubble hesitated. And with a brisk upward streak of a six week, we had on a very large rainbow. As we lifted the fish for a quick grip and grin, the rainbow was stricken by seasickness and vomited up a shark selection of Osgood's mayflies, a sculpin and yes, one chunk of Krüger organic baby carrier.


There it is organic. That's what got them, which is great. And he concludes his no by saying, Do not feel obligated to share the story. But if you do, don't tell people it was Wyoming. I'll get shot. Oops, wolves.


You kind of gave us no choice though, Ethan. Like you kind of set us up for that. Hopefully we didn't just make your twenty twenty one kick off with misery, you know what I mean? Everyone's looking for your vaccine. Ethan's looking for body armor.


Anyway, let's get on with the news now. Remember, this is a competition, Miles, and I don't know which story the other dude wrangled up. And at the end of this, our audio engineer and general man about town, Phil, we'll have to pull himself away from the new five.


I hope he got for Christmas because I know he wanted wanted to declare the first news winner of the year. And it is your turn to lead off today, sir.


All right. Well, right or wrong could be a poor decision on my part, but I'm going to stick with the the questionable New Year's resolution theme I touched on earlier.


I'm not going to try and keep this going throughout the whole news segment, it's going to be a stretch, but we'll see if I can pull it off. So this first story covers a New Year's resolution that I should probably consider adopting, and that would be to act more like an octopus, at least in some ways. It turns out that, like you and me, octopuses have fishing buddies, but perhaps unlike you and me, they don't put up with any shit from those partners.


We all have certain fishing buddies who just don't contribute to the mission or show up on time or what exactly.


Or bring the lunch they were supposed to bring. Maybe they're always late. Yes. Maybe they never have the right gear. Maybe they only show up with three beers, but inevitably drink 10. Maybe they conveniently have to leave just as soon as you start cleaning up. Or maybe you've been floating rivers together for more than a decade now and they still haven't learned how to row a damn boat.


You know who you are. Mm hmm. Now, to be clear, contributions come in many forms.


I have great fishing friends who never have the right gear or enough of it, but they always fill the cooler and pay for gas. I have other friends who are dead broke and couldn't catch a fish in a hatchery pond, but they're so damn entertaining that I'll fish with them any time just for the quality. The company doesn't matter. Yeah, my point is that a good fishing buddy has to contribute in some way. Sometimes, though, you realize you've been fishing with someone for years and they're not adding anything to your fishing days.


And that's the point where you should channel your inner octopus.


OK, scientists have known since the 80s that octopuses will team up with various different types of fishes to form hunting parties. So they'll get together and they'll target a section of reef and work in tandem to flush out all the prey hiding there so the goat fish and other bottom feeders will surround and guard the seafloor perimeter. The semi benthic predators like groupers will be patrolling the water column above the reef, and then the octopuses will get in there and they'll dig through the coral itself, flushing out prey from the holes in the crevices and other spots they can hide.


And each of these animals has a role to play. And if one of them doesn't do their job right, they'll suffer. A recently published study shows that octopuses are the ringleaders of these operations, which isn't surprising given their superior intellect compared with fish.


It also shows that octopus don't tolerate lazy or greedy partners. The paper states, quote, Conflicts between partners can arise over the level of investment or distribution of payoffs. Thus, in this complex social network of interactions, partner control mechanisms might emerge in order to prevent exploitation and ensure collaboration and partner control mechanisms might now be my favorite euphemism for punching someone in the face, because that's exactly what the researchers observed the octopus is doing. If a certain fish didn't do its job right or maybe decided to hang back and pick off the flesh prey instead of actively working to patrol its area, the ringleader Octopus would seek it out and punch it in the face with a tentacle.


The paper goes on. Here we report a series of events where different octopus individuals engage in active displacement of partner fish during collaborative hunting.


To this end, the octopus performs a swift explosive motion with one arm directed at the specific fish partner, which we refer to as punching. Well, one of the authors of the study, Edward Sampaio, wrote on Twitter, quote, This was probably the most fun I've had writing a paper ever. And if you read it, that's that's pretty clear from the paper. It's one of those rare fishery's papers that a layperson can actually read to understand. Plus, it's only eight pages long.


But for those of you who are like eight pages, come on, I could watch like 50 tick videos and time to read some eight pages. Don't worry. You can see clips of the octopus pugilists online. And I will say that that's also highly entertaining. So while I do not recommend punching any of your fishing buddies in the face the next time they eat all your jerky or maybe steal the last drunk and disorderly you have, that actually swims right.


And then pitch it into the trees. In the first cast, you might come up with other less violent partner control mechanisms.


I just have to jump right in and say that you had said sometimes we have those fishing partners we fish with for years before finally understanding that, like we shouldn't be fishing with them in there.


Yeah, I don't do that. My partner control mechanism is like I just don't answer your DMS anymore and that's the way to do it.


I'm not advocating for the phase bodging. I have had a habit in the past. I just like continuing to fish with people who I should have stopped fishing with years ago and I'm trying to get better at that.


So that's that's kind of like sort of similar stories now a couple of weeks in a row with, like this symbiotic relationship thing. You're really into that lately. You know, you get on these kicks, man.


I don't know. I know some of the certain things. That story just jumped out at me because I saw video of an octopus punching a fish in the face. And I was like, alright, I got to talk about that.


So to understand this right, it all works in harmony. And like the octopus, kick the stuff out to the other fish sort of in the system, right. In different places.


The theoretically, if everybody's doing their job, they're all getting food kicked to them. Right. Because because the octopus is going to be pushing shrimp and small fish and stuff and then they're going to run into the goldfish. They're going to go back to the octopus. Right.


Right. And work the way up to the grouper, you're saying? Exactly. Yep. And they're all working together, so like the goldfish and the grouper and the octopuses are all working collaboratively to get all the food out of a little chunk of coral. Well, that's fascinating. I expect a apology from from whoever put Finding Nemo together, because that's not it is not all harmony. That's not the way that's not the way that it worked everything else.


And that was so accurate. But but that's that's a great moral science drop right.


There was. It was. Yeah, I like that.


So whether you're a person that wants to catch more fish or an octopus or you have a guy who doesn't pull his weight, maybe maybe what he needs is the the subject of of my first story here, which is going to go completely off of science to tabloid journalism. So it isn't a year. So how about a forecast about what could be the hottest lure of twenty twenty one?




If Shark Tank shark Kevin O'Leary has his way, you'll all be investing in the animated lure this year and making him even richer in the latest round of Shark Tank investors throwing money at hokey fish and garbage OLeary through three hundred twenty five thousand clams right at the animated lure company. And if you're unfamiliar with this, and I doubt many of you are, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a jointed hard bait you cast out under Bobber. And thanks to its little internal motor and propeller on its nose, it swims in circles below the float, darting and rolling and pausing just like a real live struggling bait fish.


Now, if you've seen this and I cast you remember seeing this that I do, I remember being very judgmental of it.


OK, so, yeah, I was going to say, like, not to be the dick, but but that was like one of those walk by shaking my head boots, you know what I mean? Like, there used to be a few at every one of the industry shows. And this was a few years ago when I first saw them there.


And at the time, as I recall, they were pretty limited, like in size and pattern, like they just kind of dropped this on the world.


Well, fast forward to today and the animated Laura has six different sizes and loads and loads of colors, some of which they classify as classic colors, some premium colors, the priciest models, those being the premium saltwater, will set you back 90 bucks a bait. And if you just want to get into this anime game, just sort of wet the whistle, the classic mini will cost you thirty bucks.


So there's your price range is still cheaper than than a horse skin swim bit. So that is true.


That is true. I'll give you that much. And I will admit, man, like at least in the videos on the animated site, the things look pretty damn good.


They look they look pretty realistic.


They don't just sort of swim in a circle. They change direction and they look good.


However, if you watch some some YouTube reviews, some, you know, by other people not associated with the company there, you will hear some naysayers say either they didn't swim correctly or if you been that tiny little plastic propeller ever so slightly, they're just done.


And as a man who's been given several mini helicopters as stocking stuffers over the years, I can attest to the fragility of those little propellers.


Like I've never had one last more than Christmas Day.


You know, I I love the idea of it, but they just don't last.


But I want to do like a psychological evaluation on the people who are all about these, because it's like even the Alabama zealots are like, I, I can't.


I just couldn't I couldn't go there, you know.


And for the record, I'm certainly not saying it won't get eight if it's swimming properly, because there's plenty of video of the animated, lower sticking giant Bass Granat, mostly in what looked like a gated community ponds.


But still it is it is what it is. But I just find this fascinating because to me, this isn't really a law per say.


You agree with that because you don't work it right. It notes it's fake live bait. That's what it is. That's exactly what. But it's also fake live bait that's far, far more expensive than a bucket of real live bait.


And I suppose one could argue that it's more convenient than live bait borrowing that whole pesky USB charging time and apparently some run forty five minutes. Others can run for two hours.


But you have one of them, right? Unless you just buy crazy amounts. But let's assume you buy one. It's like one Pickrell and that's done.


Like if you let that premium Salt-Water begi Scadden model swim around over a Florida Keys reef for five minutes, it's done.


I the Cuda will make that go bye bye real fast.


Yet the animated law looks so realistic that it worries me slightly and hear me out because I look at like the mighty billfish caller.


And when that first came out, I wasn't saying to myself, like in 30 years every boat will come standard with one of those, you know what I mean?


But definitely not. Yeah, right. But the animated law, I'm not sure. So I just question especially with this investment, right. Is it destined to fade away like the others?


And in some cases, what I would say were better, quote, gimmicks than this, like the flying lure.


We love to make fun of those, but if you break it down, that was actually a. Really smart design that I always thought if it hadn't been as seen on TV deal, it could have had staying power, right?


I've got a ton of fish on those. Or is this like the first step towards where fishing tackle in general is going? Like the first step towards creating the Terminator technology that will ultimately destroy us? Because, I mean, you've got Real's with computer chips in them now.


So every time one of these things pop up, I start questioning, like, is this the step?


You know, because this one is getting a lot of hype, a lot of money and a lot of hype behind this. I don't think this is the one.


No, I don't think this is I might eat my words on this in five or 10 years, and it will all be out there for people to to judge me on. But I don't think this is the one that pushes us over the edge into, like, full on robot fishing forever, OK? I just don't think we're there yet. That's fair.


But and we're not going to spend too much time on it. We could do a whole show on it. But the shortest version.


Do you ever think that we are headed there?


Yeah, I remember seeing a story years ago that, like, talked about the future. I forget what magazine it was in. And basically they had like a dude dressed up like a Power Ranger with a thing on his wrist that would like, you know, just talk to the lawyer.


You just control it with where your arm moved. And then, you know, like, I don't know.


I mean, do you think that that can handle things, really get there?


I think people like the experience of feeling a fish through a rod and line.


Is never going to go away like that. That is what people desire, that is a big part of the draw fishing. I don't think that goes away, but I do think that we are going to continue to get more and more mechanized around that basic set of tools.


OK. And do you have a particular piece of like a prediction on a particular piece of gear that you can see getting all checked out?


Because I don't I don't have one in the pipeline here. I'm just like spouting off right now.


I think probably like the reals for sure. And I think eventually we're going to have the camera technology is going to get better and better to the point where you're casting the camera and you're seeing things and it's not going to suck the way it does now. I think that's where it's going to go over the top eventually. Oh, yeah.


You just reminded me. I'm still waiting on my media sample of that that lawyer with the camera in it. That's an outcast every year.


But they're like, oh, no, no, no, still prototype. I'm like, when when when do I see it? I want to see the king mackerel snip the thing off in real time anyway.


And and when that happens, I'll be watching your your your channels, your Instagram just to laugh at you. Believe it or not, do I also dug into the tabloids this week for my second story? We were playing in the same pool, but again, I'm sticking with the resolution theme and it feels like every year around now we hear about famous people resolving to eat healthier and we have to hear all the details of what they're going to do, as if we care whether it's Atkins' or Kitto or Paleo or I don't know, I don't keep up with any of that.


But one of the dietary resolutions that famous or semi famous people have been announcing for a while is to eat less animal protein and more fish protein.


Well, I came across a story on the website, page six, which, in case you don't know, is a trashy online British tabloid that may have has been stars thinking twice about that resolution this year.


OK, first line of the story goes. Victoria Beckham is keeping it real. RTL after tests found a dangerously high level of toxic mercury in her system.


There's so much wrong with that sentence, not so good. And no, that's not Sporty Spice, isn't it?


That would be Posh Spice.


But anyway, beyond the terror, he's right. You're right. Yeah.


Beyond the terrible pun, which doesn't even actually make sense. There's like that scare tactic, use of the word toxically. Nontoxic mercury does not exist in human body. You don't need to say toxic anyway.


Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice of the Spice Girls and wife of soccer star David Beckham, was apparently treating herself to a lavish health spa treatment in Germany when they found levels of mercury in her blood that were, quote, off the scale.


Turns out that for years she's been living on a diet that consists primarily of tuna and swordfish, both known vectors for mercury contamination. But don't worry, that same spa performed a liver cleanse and she now feels, quote, brilliant and lean and fit as ever.


Oh, thank God. I was kind of surprised drawing blood. What spa are you going to? A really expensive one.


But wait, there's more strangely, in the same week, another British, Niños pop star, Robbie Williams of the halfa hit Wonder Band. Take that analogy exactly. Announced that he had recently nearly died from. You may see where I'm going here.


Mercury poisoning because of his all fish diet, he could only afford the tilapia and he's not posh. In fact, if you look this guy up, he's he's huge in the Britain just didn't make it across the pond. OK, apparently Robbie has been eating expensive and high in the food chain fish two to three times a day for decades.


Good news for all of us, though, unless you're an insanely wealthy former rock star, you can't afford tuna and swordfish multiple times a month, much less daily. But I got more because this was a big week for Mercury News, even beyond the British tabloids. First, the commission here in my home state of Montana just came out with a revised warning about the Clark Fork River, advising people against eating any fish from that system due to elevated levels of mercury and other toxins.


So heads up to my people out in Missoula. And last but certainly not least, a recent study found mercury levels in the deepest parts of the ocean. The abyssal and Hado pelagic zones are starting to increase. They hypothesize this is coming from mercury laden fish near the surface. When those fish die, the remains sink. And some of those remains make it all the way to the abyss in the form of slowly sinking detritus known as marine snow.


Mercury that was once in the stratosphere is now reaching the deepest depths of the oceans, thanks to pelagic fish that are the primary vehicle for that transmission. OK, it was just a crazy week for Mercury headlines and I wanted to cover off on this.


But despite all of that, I think I got to reiterate that fish aren't bad for you now.


So long as you're smart about what you eat and in what quantities. Don't stack your freezer with high mercury fish like raisin tuna and bill vision, sharks and barramundi and orange roughy or whatever they're calling it now. And definitely don't go on an all pelagic fish diet.


Check with your State Fish and Game Commission about consumption advisories for the places you like to catch and eat fish.


If you follow those simple guidelines, you will be fine and you will not have to go to a German health spa to get your blood drawn and your liver cleansed like a good old Posh Spice that yeah, this is why scientists invented tilapia for this very reason so that our nineties pop stars would not end up in this kind of peril.


Oh, I can't go with you until there was no tilapia, maybe five. They are not true. That's not true.


I know. I know. I'm kidding. I you know, there is it is it awful for part of me to be like, good. I'm glad that happened because nobody like even if I had that much tuna on swordfish. A, I would get sick of eating it every night. I mean, that's just like you can't eat filet mignon every night or lobster every night. Right now, you and I wouldn't know if we could or couldn't because we never will.


But like a piece of swordfish or tuna is such a treat that just to think of it like canned tuna or just something so mundane that you would just eat it every day two or three times a day, like, good, I'm glad.


Stop eating that.


Like, you know, I, I can't even imagine a quick tilapia, just like I just have to, you know, this is not about the mercury, but I once ordered a seafood bouillabaisse at a Jersey Shore restaurant that we were sitting on the deck on the bay like I could smell the salt.


And they said the fish of the day was in the bullier bass.


And I did not question it. I said, Chef's choice. We're at a seafood restaurant.


And it was tilapia. And my wife was like, please don't make a scene. Like, that's how upset I was. She was like, can I just enjoy my meal? Please don't make a scene anyway. Tilapia, you can eat all that you want, eat all the tilapia, Posh Spice and please, Rob, because I don't want them.


I think they're gross.


Robbie, whoever you also say, how amazing is that? Like to have mercury levels that how much of that shit do you have to eat for it to actually get to the point where it's like, damn your you're all out of whack like you're in the shorts?


Yeah, that's a lot of tuna and swordfish. That is nuts.


OK, all right. How am I going to do this? I will go from rich people eating too much offshore fish to people who weren't rich getting getting kind of rich off of flea market finds kind of sorta.


Is that weird, that was an awful train, that was a terrible transition, but I'm curious to see real, real bad. We'll file this in in the 20 21 financial department news to this is from live dotcom. You're going to like this, though. Headline Fish Decoy carved by Michigan artist in 1940 sells for record price at auction. And since you know I'm a vintage tackle geek, this is like right up my alley.


Perfect for you.


Now, in case you don't know what fish decoys are, some of you out there, this is a carved fish painted and used in Pike Spiri, which is still a very big deal in the Midwest and upper Midwest instead of drilling a small hole. Miles, you've done this right. So I have correct me if I if I have it wrong, you carve out a giant rectangle and you're usually in pretty shallow water and you do this in a shanny.


So it's nice and dark. So you can see down into the water and you send these decoys down on lines and they attract Pich. They come over for a look, see, and then you just drill them in the head with a pitchfork is basically how it works.


And I've never done it. I've always wanted to try it. It looks it looks like a ton of fun.


But while there are modern commercially made decoys, they were traditionally hand carved. And if I'm not mistaken. Right, the shape, the fin structure, it can vary to sort of change the action like summerell spiral down. When you let them go down in a circle, some will glide away and dart away. And there's a lot of art and craft that goes into them. But they've also become folk art people who never intend to use them by them as decorations.


I think like I think Pier One was selling them for a time.


Anyway, from the story here, a fish decoy craft by a Michigan artist sold for a world record price this week, created by noted Carver and folk artist Oscar Peterson of Cadillac, the fifteen inch long pike with glass eyes sold for forty two thousand five hundred dollars. A world record. Yeah, man. Yeah.


A world record for a fifty quiet auction. According to the auction firm Guyette and Deeter, Inc, the decoy was made around 1940 and is in pristine condition. Listen to this. A total of twenty four fish decoys were offered in the sale with a cumulative estimate of fifty five to eighty two thousand dollars.


However, they exceeded expectations by achieving a total of one hundred eighteen thousand five hundred dollars for the lot more than doubled worth going and doubled.


So I had to do a little digging right, because I was so curious. So I did a little digging on Oscar Peterson and found some info actually on the website of Antiques Roadshow, which I'll admit I'm a fan of.


I love it. I get sucked in. There's a marathon on. I like it. OK, that's good. Like wearing slippers, drinking a warm drink, watching my stories.


I so I actually found the transcript from an episode featuring some other Pieterson decoys. And I learned that the father of the gent who brought these in for appraisal got them from Oscar Peterson and they were well used. His dad was a farmer. He fished all winter in Michigan. And when he passed away, his son kept right on using them. But they were all still in pretty good shape. And to be clear, I don't think the ones on Antique Roadshow are the same ones in the auction.


Right. But this is just useful back story on who Peterson was. And according to the appraiser, Peterson made loads and loads of decoys and would sell just as many, if not more, to tourists than actual ice fishermen. So there you go. Right. They have souveniring appeal. The appraiser also said, and this is a quote, The thing that's cool about his stuff is that he did make a lot of them, but he didn't lose that enthusiasm for the way that he carved them or the way that he decorated them.


And I always look for the way he turned the mouth. And the one thing you really got to watch out for these days is there's a lot of reproductions and outand out fakes.


So even in slightly beat up condition on Antiques Roadshow, they the ones this guy had some appraised for thirty five hundred dollars a pop.


And that was a few years ago.


So there's a nearly hundred and twenty thousand dollar jackpot on ice decoys for someone out there.


And I got to tell you, I said I collect vintage gear and even out here on the East Coast, I see I see spiring decoys frequently, but I never buy them because they don't speak to me. Right. As they say, like pike spearing, ice fishing in general. They're just not part of the culture here. Like, I, I, I buy the shit out of vintage striper lures every chance I get, but I always pass these up and this has got me thinking right.


However, what this story ultimately tells me is that these decoys, this transcends tackle and becomes art. And clearly there is like a similar scene to say, you know, buying paintings where you have to know exactly what you got, be well versed in the history and all the different makers.


And, you know, the odds of me snagging one at the Columbus flea market for five bucks and flipping it for five K, probably pretty slim, you know.


Plus, I take it you don't ever really know which ones were just made to be kind of kitschy art pieces and which were legitimately made for ice use. And I suspect those are the ones that are the most valuable. So I thought that was cool, though. No, I think you hit this one really well with the folk art thing.


And I think that I think for a very long time, like more than a generation, those decoys have been more folk art than practical use because Darko spiring has really fallen off since the Depression. It's just not, has it?


I mean, I know. Yeah, I thought I thought a bunch of people still did it. I mean, I know it's still done. Certainly there are people who still do it. But I think I think those people, many of them would agree that sort of a dying tradition for a number of reasons. This is something we, if any, you watched the Ferhat Ice tour. You saw a fair amount of spirit, and we covered it for exactly this reason.


It's it's a really interesting, kind of antiquated way of trying to procure fish through the ice. But, you know, there is no catch and release. We put a giant barb trident through a fish. Yeah, you're done.


Yeah. A lot of the people who are doing it now, they still use decoys, but they're not using those spears anymore.


They're using drugs. They just send an animated straight just and made the lures and market. That's all there.


But it is.


We met and interviewed a woman in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Mary Lou Schneider, who was one of the most interesting people I've ever been lucky enough to spend some time with. She's a Calver. Her art is beautiful. It very much is a cultural pastime in in northern parts of North America. And it's the sort of thing that's passed on from generation to generation. I think it is going away. There are far fewer carvers than there used to be, which is why you're getting what you found in the story.


Right. That's why these are valuable. Yeah, they have a historic significance now. So great story. And that was that was, I think, fish carving. The decoy art is fascinating, partially because you can have the most elaborate decoy in the world down there. And the thing the fish are going to come to is like a golf ball on a string. They don't give a shit.


Yeah, I know. And that's I, I think I'd be more fascinated doing it to to play with different decoys and see like what actually gets those fish revved up and what doesn't.


But you know, again, tackling their advantage, tackling it had to do it. Find it fascinating. Phil, you can go vintage tackle here.


What other ways can we go octopuses to push in the face punching. OK, that's going to win. That's probably going to win on a lot of choices here for Phil to to declare a first winner of the new year.


And as soon as we are done hearing from Phil, we're going to kick it over to trivia and kind of dive into art in fly tying valuable flies created in central Pennsylvania and how that links to fast food. The octopus almost got me, but for schooling me about a world that I know nothing about, Joe, you're the winner this week.


What we really need to do is get these octopuses thrown into the UFC octopus in the octagon. I mean, come on, the pay per view event practically writes itself.


You got to be highly skilled for these shows. You understand it? Yes, I do understand you. Well, first, there you. Very smart man. Yes, I am. All right.


Playing trivia today, my long time friend, the man behind Wild East Outfitters out here in eastern Pennsylvania, Nick Raftis. It's going on, man. Not much. Are you doing good? Good. Are you excited to play trivia today?


Are you feeling mentally prepared for what's to come? Maybe a little nervous, actually.


Fair enough. Been scrolling through Wikipedia.


Yeah, memorizing random facts.


Just hoping you hit on the right topic. So you and I have been fishing together a lot of years. And one of the places that we have done that several times is a little short spring run in central Pennsylvania. Miles, are you familiar with the taught spring run?


Not in a personal sense, but I know I know it. I've seen photos and read articles and seen videos of it, but I've never watched it.


Right. It's you're better off for not being personally acquainted with it because it is just it just makes me absolutely pull my hair out. It is a very famous limestone area in fly fishing history.


Greats like Charlie Fox and Ernie Schwiebert did a lot of great things there, but it just drives me to madness. It's like 10 feet across and chock full of weeds. And I've never caught anything out of there, even if this was to be twenty five inch browns in there. I did watch Nick almost break his ankle there once falling in a sinkhole.


Yeah, but anyway, I thought I thought you really said somewhere. We really say no, it's great. Just oh yeah. Everybody, everybody jump on a plane. The actually the first time I ever got there, I was like this is it.


This is this is trinkle is literates, spring run. But anyway, since we have a common shared history there, we're going to go the little short route for question number one. So, Nick, as I'm sure you are aware, one of the famous people to fish literate, famous fly tiger by the name of Ed Chank who just passed away last April. And he's developed quite a few fly patterns. So I'm going to test your knowledge of your home area here, Pennsylvania, and ask you which of the following is not an Ed Shenk pattern, is it?


A villa taught Hopper B, the Schenck White, Mineau, C, the little cricket, or D, the Chank Purple Crest bug.


One of those is not an edge pattern. And because I mean, isn't all you fish ed patterns?


I don't think I fish any of them. Holy cow.


I'm going to go with a you're going to say that the little short hopper is not a fly developed by Ed Chank.


All right. I'll go with the Purple Cransberg. Smart man, because that's correct.


I was going to say really help them out there.


The latter.


No, it's the most obvious one. Sure. You want to do that.


I can't let you choke that badly on our show. But yes, the shank purple cress bug is the one I made up and all the rest are famous shake patterns. And the common theme with all of them is that they are super sparse because that's what you need on ten foot streams that make me want to shoot myself when fishing them. It's no fun, but.


But OK, I'm going to give you that one, even though I kind of nudged you in the right direction. All right. So question number two, here we go. If if I were fishing at the mouth of the world famous literate spring run right at its confluence with the Canada Gwinn, it right. You're familiar with this spot? We finished it together several times.


If I were suddenly struck by hunger, which of the following would be the shortest walk from that exact spot?


A, Arby's, B, the iron skillet, C, McDonald's, or D, Corelli's Subs and Pizza.


Hmm. Don't act like you don't know the answer to this question. I don't know that.


One hour. Come on. Ah yes.


Correct. OK, ARV's is is in all its scenic beauty and heritage history. If you were fishing the confluence and we're hungry, you could walk to a freaking Arby's on the world famous little short spring run. I'm proud of you. That's kind of two for two.


That might be my favorite trivia question. We've had so wonderfully not fish related at all.


Well, I appreciate you playing today, Nick. And I guess next time I see you, we fish Arby's on me. All right. Cool. Sounds good. I'm good. All right. Perfect. Awesome.


So after hearing that, I'm sure most of you drop bombs are thinking the second I am vaccinated, I am so on a plane to LA toward spring run in central Pennsylvania. Go ahead.


I dare you because it requires full on a game fishing and I'm totally C student says CS get degrees on most other trout streams and that's fine.


But if you are headed out and you think you're going to show those legacy browns who's boss by skipping the size forty eight Crespo's on a thirty eight foot eight liter miles has just the drive fly for that guy that wants to force feed him with a slap in the face. And you're about to learn all about it in this week's end of the line.


It's not loud enough, but. If I had to wager which drive fly caught the most fish this century, I'd stack my chips on the Chernobyl aunt or one of its variants for those who don't know the Chernobyl and is a jiggly, buoyant mass of foam and rubber.


The original version, which is a couple chunks of foam sandwiched around a long chain cooked with some legs hanging off, doesn't look like much from a topsiders perspective. But from beneath the surface tension, it looks a whole lot like any number of large segmented insects, a hopper, stone flies, cicada cricket and whatever.


But that profile is only part of the fly's appeal. While traditional drive are tied with feathers and fur materials that absorb water and cease to remain, you know, dry, the use of closed cell phone was something of a revelation. If you're kind of new to fly fishing or under the age of 30, you probably take foam flies for granted. But even though just about every fly in the bin at your local shop uses foam, now, it's actually pretty new and it's widespread.


Use can be traced back to the Chernobyl. The details about exactly when and how this fly came along or hazy, which is not surprising because those details are based on the oral histories of fishing guides standing around a fly shop parking lot and talking shit to each other over 30 years ago.


The following history of the fly may not be 100 percent true, but it's probably close.


I think the Chernobyl wasn't the first fly to incorporate closed cell phone. Anyone else remember the crappy little foam spiders tackle shops you on the 80s? I cut the hell out of bluegill on those things anyway. The Chernobyl first made foam popular. The specific iteration of closed cell foam used in fly design was originally invented by NASA in 1966, and by 1970 it had been developed into craft foam sheets. The first fly designer credited with using that foam as Larry Tullis.


Rumor has it that Tullah started experimenting with foam flies in the late 70s. But it wasn't until 1984 that he shared his knowledge with a few guides on the Green River in Utah. But then it took a few more years after that to really catch on Pioneer and guy to that era, Mark Forslund told the Salt Lake Tribune. Fishing on the green really slows down. In August and September, I needed something to catch fish. So Forslund made a two inch long foam fly wrapped with black hackle, figuring, you know, something might eat it.


On a summer afternoon in 1991, after a fishless morning, Forslund asked Dick Petersen, one of his regular clients, to try out his new idea. According to Forslund, I told Dick that I had this really silly looking fly.


I wanted him to try as soon as it hit the water, this big brown came from six feet away and just hammered it that afternoon. Peterson land twenty seven fish on the fly and christened it the Black Mamba. Word of the Mambas. Deadly effectiveness got around and a short time later at least one and possibly as many as four different tires swapped out the hackle for rubber legs, giving the pattern even more profile and wiggle and getting rid of every single natural material.


Thus the Chernobyl was born, except it wasn't called the Chernobyl. Yet one of the people who started tying the rubber leg to mambas was guide Alan Worli. After a day on the water, some of the guys were hanging around the parking lot drinking beer. When Mark Bennion asked Willie what the hell his clients were catching all those fish on, Willie showed off the bug and said it doesn't need a fancy name. It's just a damn ant. To which Bennion responded, Yeah, but it's a Chernobyl.


And Chernobyl was, of course, a reference to the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history that occurred in northern Ukraine in 1986. Fishing guides being suckers for dark humor. I can only imagine that laughter ensued. More beers were consumed and the name officially stuck. Several other Green River guides have been credited with inventing the Chernobyl, including Dennie, Briere, Amathila and Reynie Writing. Maybe they all invented it independently. Maybe they borrowed from each other. I don't know.


One thing I know for certain, however, this fly is a product of the Green River, regardless of who actually invented it. The Chernobyl started making its way around the Mountain West, but its fame really took off when it was used to win the Jackson Hole one fly the most prestigious freshwater fishing competition in the world in 1995. By the turn of the 21st century, the Chernobyl had become the most popular guide fly on every drift boat from New Mexico to Montana.


And that's about the time that I was turned on to it. Gifted a fistful in a bar parking lot by a buddy who poured drinks at night and rode clients. During the day.


I took that fistful rock scrambling through Yankee Jim Canyon on the Yellowstone River the following late summer morning. The water was low and it seemed like every exposed boulder held a fat cutthroat that just couldn't help it rise in that painful slow motion crawl you need to cutty's. Whenever Chernobyl floated past, it was stupid and I was an instant convert. A few years later, Tailleur Wildhorn in subbed out the underbody foam for dubbing and added to big polypropylene wings that stick up like W.R and indicator's creating the Chubbie Chernobyl.


I was a full time guy by then and for a few seasons we basically just fished subbies in various sizes and colors from May through October. That shall be completely changed. Western trout fishing because it's both an effective dry fly and a viable strike indicator. A big one will float a large heavy nymph and be visible to all but the most nearsighted anglers. The Chubbie is no longer the automatic fish magnet it once was, at least on high traffic rivers.


Once the fish started seeing a couple hundred subbies a day, they wised up. Quick tip, though, tried darkening the underside of the wings with a brown or black marker for those pressured fish. But even if Tobey's aren't the magic elixir they once were, I still carry several dozen in various sizes and colors in addition to the classic Chernobyl. Aren't they still just work? And not only on trout. I've caught bass, sunfish, gold, eye and common carp and I have friends who have used them on everything from Golden Dorado to Channel Cats.


This is one of those bugs that you should always have in your box.


Well, that is all the time we have this week. And while we hope that you're out trying to catch your first fish of the year just in case you're not. Or perhaps you're incapable of doing so because you can't open your eyes.


We gave you a book to read a fly to.


And finally, finally, a reason to visit Nebraska.


Oh, that's cold. Cold way to start the new year for us here. Hey, look, we're out. We're really looking forward to hanging out with you guys in twenty, twenty one. And we had a blast getting Ben off the ground in 2020 and straight up. We couldn't keep it going without you. You know, you guys are important to us. So please keep those bar nominations, awkward photo salvin items and a million other things we want from you coming to bed at the meat eater dotcom.


And don't forget, we love seeing those degenerate angler and bent podcast hashtags on Instagram. They are the fastest way to our hearts and the fastest way to get stickers in your mailbox.


And little hot tip for you kids out there. Don't forget to add just a little bit of water to your dad's bottle of wild turkey so he doesn't know how much you actually drank of it last night.


Also, for your sanity, don't forget, it's only 79 days until the first official day of spring.