AquaStrong Flybox with 50 Different High Quality Fly Fishing Trout and Game Flies including Sedges, Hoppers, Daddies, Dry, Nymphs, Buzzers and Mays
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Looking for work can be a lot like fly-fishing. You don t catch a fish with every cast, but as your skills and presentation improve, so do your chances of hooking into and eventually landing one. Another similarity is that coaching and mentoring will develop that skill set faster than trial and error.
The past few years have seen a marked improvement in the unemployment rate1 for our most recent crop of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, yet the rate remains higher than that of their non-veteran peers.
The service-connected disability rate for these particular veterans is also higher, 28 percent compared to 14 percent for the general veteran population. Those figures represent a new set of challenges for those who have already faced down so many because they answered the call of duty.
I personally see the challenges they face. I started Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2005 as I saw our young, injured troops working to regain their mobility and functioning.
More than just a take a guy fishing program, PHWFF works with the physical and occupational therapists at Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs medical facilities to provide regular classes in fly tying, fly casting and rod building. Each of those activities provides the opportunity to improve fine motor skills and adapt to physical limitations.
As the wars progressed, we began seeing still other, invisible, injuries: post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. These can complicate a veteran s recovery due to their impact on concentration, mental recall, and compounding frustration.
The fly tying classes worked there too, as the intricate steps of wrapping and gluing bits of feather, fur and yarn to a hook pulled veterans mentally into a new, adventurous and non-clinical world.
That new world became a reality for them because, of course, we also took them fishing. The rhythmic activity of casting a fly line, the peaceful surroundings, and the camaraderie with other veterans works wonders in healing restless, hurting souls as well as bodies.
Even off the battlefield, these young veterans continue to adapt, improvise and overcome, defeating debilitating injuries and recovering the skills needed to function in the years ahead. Yet, as their eventual military discharges drew closer, we saw a new anxiety surface as they realized that, while they had gained so much from our program, fly-fishing wasn t going to pay the rent.
While it s not a part of our mission as an organization, we have been successful in placing many participants in jobs through our network of volunteers and supporters.
One of the fishing guides who donates his time to our program has hired a few new guides from the veterans he worked with on our trips.
Others have landed jobs with the firms that donate to PHWFF, because they met one of the firm s directors on the stream, and still more were directed to job openings they learned about from one of our volunteers. I, myself, hired one of our participants, David Folkerts, who now serves as the chief operations officer for PHWFF.
Each of these placements can be attributed to one of the hallmarks of PHWFF: the camaraderie of military veterans. As they work through our program, we get to know them and their abilities.
So when we are asked for help with a job search, we — meaning each of us as individuals — can take the time to say, Hey, while I ve got you on the phone, I know a guy, presenting the job seeker in a way that no resume can.
There are plenty of offices at the VA, DoD and state-level departments of veterans affairs that mentor our Gulf War II -era vets on resume building and job search skills. That s a wheel we don t have to reinvent. What we do need is for anyone who appreciates the sacrifices made by our veterans to get into the game, to use their resources when seeking job applicants and to personally step in and help a veteran get his or her resume to the top of the stack.
Often, that can be as simple as helping a new veteran translate his or her military experience into civilian-ese, wading past the military acronyms and helping them find new words to describe their duties.
Or, it could be simply helping bring to the veteran s attention the skills and talents they may not even realize they gained during their military service.
Each of these things — mentoring, camaraderie, and repetition — can not only help a veteran learn to fish, but they will also help them hook into more employment interviews and land a new career.
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When it comes to fishing rods, there s no true one-size-fits-all solution. But angler Terry L. Manley believes he has come up with a system that (literally) extends the suitability of a rod for a variety of conditions.
The patent pending Multifunctional Rod Foundation (MRF) System a.k.a. the Adjust-A-Butt allows the length of the rod to be altered in less than a second as well as amplifying vibrations to improve sensitivity when the fish are on the bite.
Manley hit upon the idea for his MRF System in 1995 after being belted by his 9-inch rod butt while casting. He realized a rod with a short butt for casting that could be extended to provide more leverage when landing a big fish would be the ideal solution to stop him losing any rods to the watery depths.
The result is an adjustable butt that can be extended from 6 inches to 15 inches and quickly locked into place.
For performance, I like a short butt when top water fishing but it s hard to reel in a big fish with a short butt, says Manley. Now with the MRF I can fish with a short butt for optimum performance but when I hook a big fish I can adjust the rear in less than a second. With just an 1/8th of a turn it s unlocked, pulled to desired length and an 1/8th of a turn locked back in for the fight.
The claimed benefits of the system extend beyond the ability to adjust length.
The Adjust-A-Butt relieves the stress of everything being built to the rod blank and increases the backbone strength of any rod by 13 percent. While we re on percentages, Manley says the system allows the rod blank to maintain 100 percent sensitivity, as well as lengthening sensitivity by 2-3 seconds and enhancing the balance of rod to lure weight.
The enhanced sensitivity is due to rod components being built into the anodized aluminum MRF System instead of the rod blank. Without the hindrance of vibration-absorbing grips over it, the MRF allows the blank to vibrate like a tuning fork, amplifying the slightest nibble and delivering greater sensitivity along the length of the rod.
The nature of the system also means that if the rod breaks, you can switch in another blank without losing the grips and real seat.
The MRF System is aimed at all anglers, with plans for rods to suit almost any application.
The company already has 60 different MRF System-based rods that have been tested on everything from shoal bass, peacock bass and red fish to tarpon, barracuda, Florida large mouth bass and tarpon.
There’s also another 40 rods in the works aimed at steelhead, salmon, musky, trout, walleye and others.
While designed for rods built by Manley s company, Manley Rods, the MRF System is also sold separately and can be used with any rod blank for those building their own custom rods.
Manley will be showcasing the system at the I-Cast fishing industry expo in Las Vegas in July and has already attracted interest from a number of large fishing rod manufacturers and distributors.
Prices range from US$59.95 for the MRF System Custom Rod Foundation, up to $313.50 for the top of the line Platinum Series Adjust-A-Butt with MRF System rod.
Manley gives an overview of the MRF System in the following video.
But recently, the placid corporate environment of fishing equipment was shaken up, as privately held The Orvis Company Inc. from Manchester, Vermont announced it will acquire two corporations2, Scientific Anglers and Ross Reels, from 3M Company (NYSE/MMM).
Both businesses will operate separately from the main Orvis business. They must not have been large enough to be meaningful to 3M s earnings results.
Apparently, as a corporation, Orvis is the longest-running mail-order business in the United States.
Not only does the company sell good fly fishing equipment, but it also sells clothing, home furnishings, gifts, and even products for your dog.
3M reported first-quarter earnings that could only be described as mediocre. But on the stock market, 3M is trading at an all-time record high with a 2.4% dividend yield and a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of approximately 17.
While not expensively priced, earnings3 for 3M came in at $1.129 billion, or $1.61 diluted earnings per share. This was flat compared to the $1.125 billion, or $1.59 diluted earnings per share, generated in the first quarter of 2012.
3M s first-quarter 2013 sales grew two percent to $7.6 billion.
In February, the corporation authorized another dividend increase of 7.6%, marking the 55th consecutive year of increased dividends.
It also authorized another share buyback program of up to $7.5 billion to pay for its dividends and to keep shareholders happy.
The company s cash and marketable securities position grew to $4.4 billion, up from $3.7 billion.
The gain was not as big as those of other corporations, but it was still significant.
3M reduced its full-year earnings outlook just slightly.
Top-line growth certainly is an issue for the company, but it s doing all it can to keep shareholders happy increasing its dividends and buying back shares.
In a more normal environment for stocks, a corporation like 3M would ve sold off after such a lackluster earnings report.
If there remains a lack of certainty on the part of consumers, I think it s fair to say that there has been an improvement in certainty among institutional investors. (Read Make Money in Homebuilders Without Building Homes4. )
The numbers from large corporations reveal an improvement in their overall financial health as balance sheets improve.
Cash positions are rising, and the costs of interest rates on debt are extremely low.
The improved health of large corporations offers more certainty, and institutional investors are buying it.
The fact that a stable, but slow-growth corporation like 3M is trading at an all-time record high on the stock market illustrates the continued appetite institutional investors have to be buyers.
I view investment risk as going up because of all the new highs, but regardless of this, the fact still remains that big investors are buying.
The monetary party continues until there s a shock.
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