31 March 2011

Choices (An opinion piece about fly fishing gear)

Time/Date: 1320, 31-Mar-11
Location: F'ton, NB

Imagine this scenario:

Two friends are fly fishing the fall salmon run on the Miramichi River in early October.

The weather is absolutely shitty: windy, rain & sleet, temperature is about 7° above freezing.

Fishing isn't great, but it's ok; there are fish rolling over the flies & are taking often enough to keep things interesting.

Fisherman A has a rod worth $800 paired with a $350 reel and the best fly line available. He's wearing a $30 PVC rain coat, and underneath his $60 PVC/rubber waders he bought at some nameless large global box-store he has a pair of jeans on.

Fisherman B has a $250 rod, a $150 reel and a decent mid-range fly line. He decided to spend some extra money on waterproof-breathable waders and a gore-tex wading coat. He also wears good-quality synthetic and Smart-Wool base & mid-layers.

Who is going to want to fish longer?

Yesterday at the shop, I was showing a client some of the good-quality mid-range rods from Temple Forks, St. Croix and Redington. He claimed he didn't fish all that much, maybe 5-10 times a year.

I mentioned that though I fish a fair amount, I personally wouldn't purchase one of the high-end rods because it would be similar to me owning a Ferrari to go to the corner store.

The client's friend came over, said something about showing him "the rod he really wants" and led him over to the $800 rods.

That's when I had to open my big mouth and mention the online post about Dorks, Doctors & Dudes. Take a minute to click over and read it. You might hate it. You might agree with it. Either way, it's entertaining.

OK, you're back? Good.

I don't mind selling someone an $800 fly rod. Trust me. In fact, I like it. A lot. So does Chris, who owns the shop.


Unless your name is Kreh, Curcione or Fernandez, I'm pretty sure you will not notice a major difference in casting a $300 rod vs. casting an $800 rod.

I would rather people drop good money on quality waders & clothing and buy a good-quality mid-range fly rod and be able to enjoy fishing, no matter what the weather is.

Good weather doesn't always mean good fishing. And spending time on the water increases your chances exponentially.

You can't catch a fish while sitting in your vehicle with the heater running.

HOWEVER...There is a difference in casting between a rod found at the nameless large global box store and a good quality fly rod. If anything, the people working at your local fly shop fish. Usually a lot. I'll be surprised if your typical nameless global box store employee has ever touched a fly rod before. So support your local fly shop. 

Here's some music:

(Viewing this via RSS or email & can't see the video above? Click here to go to the post)

29 March 2011

An addition to the ASF Auction tales...

Time/Date: 1250, 29-Mar-11
Location: F'ton, NB

One thing I forgot to mention in the last post about the Atlantic Salmon Federation dinner & auction:

The next time you're in the FOA store, ask Chris (Twitter: @FtonOutfitters) about his G. Loomis spey rod he won at the auction...

Let's just say during a live auction, it's maybe not the best time to describe a pheasant hunting trip!!


Here's some new stuff from Matthew Good's upcoming album, to be released on May 31st.

(Viewing this via email or RSS & can't see the player above? Click here to see the full post)

28 March 2011

New FOA website + Dieppe Fly Forum

Time/Date: 2000 AST, 28-Mar-11
Location: Good Ol' Freddy Beach

I am super-pumped to show off the new website for Fredericton Outfitters & Anglers the good folks at Orange Sprocket (Twitter: @orangesprocket) fixed up. The Orange Sprocket team is top-notch, super-friendly, and I can't recommend them enough for anyone in the market for websites, branding & marketing ideas.

The new FOA website (click to launch)
The new site is a lot cleaner to look at and easier to navigate. We are adding new product listings daily to the online store, and we will be putting out videos, pics and other content on the FOA blog all season long.

As part of the relaunch of the website, FOA is holding a contest for a day of guided fishing for two people at the Atlantic Salmon Museum plus an Orvis Clearwater rod & reel package. To enter, add your email address to the FOA mailing list here.

I was part of the FOA team to attend the Dieppe Fly Forum and the Atlantic Salmon Federation dinner & auction this past weekend. It was really fun to meet loads of people & chat about fishing!

At the auction I lost my nerve for bidding on a 3-day trip to chase salmon on the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec once the price hit $1500...and spent the rest of the weekend regretting it...can anyone say DIY trip this summer?

I then harassed the Simms rep I met to go in on a 5-day trip to Argentina with me when the bidding was at $3000, but couldn't win him over to do it. Perhaps it was because he didn't trust a non-drinking fly fisherman! (Rob: I really do drink, just not that night!!). In the end, the trip was won for only $3400!!!

I held on to the bitter end hoping my raffle tickets for a Sage rod would pay off. I ended up leaving the dinner & auction with my belly full, an ASF membership for 2011, and a few extra bucks donated for a good cause...but no Sage rod.

No big deal re: the Sage rod, though: I just put my Redington order in the day before...but that's for another post.

All said & done, it was a great weekend. 18 days until the 2011 NB fishing season kicks off.

Here's some tunes:

(Viewing this in email or through RSS & can't see the video above? Click here to go to the website)

23 March 2011

What am I thankful for?

I'm thankful I have a wholesome (addictive) hobby such as fly fishing to occupy my mind, time & wallet.

Just so I would never, ever consider taking extreme cooking & eating as a hobby. Especially at Thanksgiving.

(Thanks to my beautiful gf for sharing this)

20 March 2011

Act like you're supposed to be there (and get free cookies)

Time/Date: 1820 CST, 20-Mar-11
Location: American Express Centurion Club, Benito Juarez Int’l Airport (MEX)

There are two slightly devious ways to get something you may or may not be supposed to get:
  • Act like you’re supposed to be there. 
  • Act like a lost puppy.
I’m naturally good at the second, mainly due to actually being lost most times. I’m getting better at the first.

Case in point:

Due to (cough-cough) issues that might arise by driving through Mexico at night, I was dropped of at MEX for my 0030 CST flight to Toronto at 4PM. After killing a couple hours sitting in the sun, tooling around, drinking some red bull, buying local coffee beans, etc., I still had another four hours to kill before I could even check my bag.

So I did the discreet wander trying to find an unlocked wifi signal to bum around on the ‘net for a bit and came across the network “American Express Centurion Club.” Quick scan of the terminal, found the entrance and went over to check it out.

There were images of AmEx’s Black, Platinum & Gold cards beside the door. Interesting...

I signed up for AmEx’s Aeroplan Gold last December to get the 15,000 mile sign-up bonus and haven’t charged anything on the card since the Charity: Water donation from Christmas night. I wouldn't be their preferred customer by any stretch. But it's still an American Express card. And it's is (mostly) gold.

So, wearing my best flipflops & dusty shorts, I strolled on through the door like I owned the place & presented my card and passport to the receptionist.

Victory tastes sweet. Especially in the form of complimentary cookies.

(Home in 19 hours. Not that I'm counting)

Here are some tunes:

19 March 2011

The all-encompassing blog post

Time/Date: 1820 CST, 19-Mar-11
Location: Estado de Guerrero, Mexico

Note for readers: some subscribers via email have not been able to see the videos embedded in my posts. I'm not a web specialist. I don't know how to fix this. I'm sorry. However, if you click over to the website (http://411number3.net), you can see (& mostly hear) the magic-picture awesomeness.

Just finished my last full day in the field for this tour in Mexico. I start travelling tomorrow at noon-ish, and make it into YFC on Monday at 5PM. Can't say I'm not looking forward to it. Even spending about 18 hours in various airports isn't diminishing my feelings of joy to get the heck outta here.

It still remains to be seen whether I will have to come back for the next three-week tour to fulfill contractual obligations. I would be lying if I said I wanted to return, but if it means getting paid or not, I'll hammer (suffer?) through it.


I snapped a few pics of FĂ©lix, the local dude I've been working with the last couple days. I use the term 'working' very loosely, as I was really just his chauffeur. He lives in a neighbouring village.

He gets to tell his friends about the lunatic, non-Spanish-speaking Canadian that drove him wherever he said to go & sat in the truck when commanded. Yes folks, that's what $80K US a year can buy: one semi-highly-skilled Canadian geologist to be a chauffeur (actually, it couldn't buy, as I gave my notice two weeks into the job).

I'm not usually one for taking portraits, but I was bored as hell, read an article on iPhone/iPod portrait photography on my Instapaper feed, and decided what the hell.

El Jefe
Read his thoughts: "This Canadian hombre is loco"

I borrowed this vid from This Is Fly Daily (BTW, they have a new sweet web page layout), who had stolen/borrowed it from Fish Porn. Check out both their websites, they have some good stuff.


I've been listening to a lot of Alice in Chains in the past 2 weeks. I was sad to find out Mike Starr, the bassist for AiC, died recently. Weirdly enough, I found out when I did a search for the Unplugged video. Because of this, there's a dual-helping of AiC in this post.

Something about carjackings, military patrols pointing machine guns at me, narcotraficantes running around, etc, etc, makes me want to sing along to AiC Unplugged (one of my all-time favourite albums).


Thanks for bearing with me through this longer than normal post.

Remember, check out the website if you can't see the three videos above!

15 March 2011

Once Upon a Time In Mexico, Chapter 4

Time/Date: 1710 CST, 15-Mar-11
Location: Still GoatTown...

They're kinda cute until they grow up & try to eat the power cord of your MacBook...
They're also tasty when grilled, rolled into a fresh corn
tortilla & smothered with salsa verde.
I truly wish there was something a little more photogenic around here, but you gotta do what you can with what you got.

In other news...

I gave my notice. This 3 weeks on, 1 week off thing isn't for me.

Now begins the search for meaning. Or I might just fly fish a lot. Probably the latter.

Feel free to provide career advice in the comments section!

13 March 2011

Once Upon a Time In Mexico, Chapter 3 - #GoatTown

Time/Date: 1450 CST, 13-Mar-11
Location: GoatTown, Estado de Guerrero, Mexico

Seven days ago, I got moved over to the company's secondary exploration project.

It's based in a small, small (SMALL!) village about 20km south as the crow flies from the other small town I was originally in. This place makes the other place look like Gastown in Vancouver. Rustic, traditional, and other adjectives are very applicable.

This town also is known for roughly 4% of the population getting kidnapped for ransom each month. Imagine the poor sap that has it happen repeatedly ("Oh man, not again. I was just about to go buy a Coke. God damn it!").

Anyway, there isn't much to see, as the goats outnumber humans about 3 to 1. Hence I've been making tweets about #GoatTown.

Here are some pics. Like I said, there isn't much to see.
This cloven-footed bastard tried to eat the power cord for my
MacBook after he drank his fill from the washbasin.
We found this happy, not-so-little fucker in the office. He's
bigger than a hockey puck. I considered putting a credit card
beside him for scale, but A) I was worried he would jump on
me (hence the blurriness of the pic), and B) he was big
enough to take the credit card & make purchases.
Who needs an alarm clock? These bastards hang out outside
my window, 24/7; convenient crowing at 4:30AM
As you can probably tell, I'm somewhat less-than-impressed at the state of my life at this present time & place.

The food is good, at least...

To prove that this hasn't been a total waste of time, I'll prove my Spanish skills to y'all:
"Here are The Wolves, with their tune More and More." I translated that myself.

06 March 2011

Musical Interlude...

...courtesy of iTunes shuffle.

Remember this one?

Of course, that was long before this happened to Katie Holmes.

That boy just ain't right in the f**kin' head...

05 March 2011

Random Good Feeling...

Time/Date: 2235 CST, 04-Mar-11
Location: Estado de Guerrero, Mexico

...or two. Or three.

Good feeling #1: I have decided to forego this whole job title bullshit that seems to seep out of the pores of every company.

Hey, I know, I was a part of it before, too. Not this time.

I had to create my email signature and, in seven seconds flat (minus the time spent on Google Translate), wrote the following:

Mat Trevors
Oficina Logistica y Operaciones

Translation: Office of Logistics & Operations. Think anyone will have trouble figuring out what I do? Didn't think so.

Good feeling #2: right after that, I managed to write an email of one sentence in Spanish, with proper grammar and punctuation. It took me 8 minutes, not counting the time spent searching for Spanish punctuation keyboard shortcuts. For reference, this post hast taken 4 minutes so far, one-finger tapping on my iPod. Efficiency rules.

Good feeling #3: talked some fly fishing (what else is new?) with a consultant onsite from Wyoming and mentioned my spur of the moment, barely-planned but very fun & worth-every-second-and-penny trip for redfish last November.

He thought the spur of the moment aspect was pretty cool and said, "F**k it, I'm going to start doing that. Book the ticket and go."

I thought that was kinda cool.
Bedtime reading of a hopeless case
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

02 March 2011

Once Upon a Time In Mexico, Chapter 2

I'm on a boat, yo!
Time/Date: 2145 CST, 02-Mar-11
Location: Somewhere between the twilight zone & Acapulco

I'm taking a break from eating tortillas y pollo to post how my day started and ended, using only a picture & two videos (and that's not just due to laziness, either).

The truth is out there, people. It could be on a boat or in the skies.

(Please note the skies I write of are located just a few kilometres away)

F**king random.

01 March 2011

Feeding the (Saltwater) Addiction (Alternate Title: Finally, some fishing content)

Time/Date: 1515 CST, 01-Mar-11
Location: Estado de Guerrero, Mexico

This still remains a fly fishing blog, at heart. Honestly.

I have just sort of found myself travelling and not fishing over the past little while. That's not to say I haven't been obsessing thinking about fly fishing this whole time.

As some of you might have read over the past few months, I have been afflicted with the bug of saltwater fly fishing. It took one day of hooking redfish to develop this affliction.

Even though most of my time since New Year's has been spent working in far-off locations, I have been doing lots of homework to start taking this whole new world of saltwater fly fishing seriously.

Here's some of the reading material I've been going through to get my fix:
  • Fly Fishing in Salt Waters: this magazine has some fly fishing heavyweights writing for it: Lefty Kreh, Nick Curcione, Barry & Cathy Beck, and more. Lots of info pertaining to techniques, fly-tying, gear and places in each issue. Best part: you can subscribe for cheap via digital copies of the magazine through Zinio. I have the Zinio app on my iPod, which lets me take multiple issues in my pocket.
  • Fly Rodding the Coast by Ed Mitchell: This book has A LOT of information on how to read shores & coasts for finding fish. Predominantly focuses on the species found in the Northeast US...which is found close to the Fundy Coast of New Brunswick...just sayin'
  • The Orvis Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing by Nick Curcione: This is a very good starting point for those making the switch from chucking size 16 dry flies for 12" trout i.e., me last fall.
  • On the Run: An Angler's Journey Down the Striper Coast by David DiBenedetto: Not entirely instructional and not exclusively fly fishing, but either way, this is a great read for anyone interested in chasing stripers.
  • The Big One: An Island, an Obsession, and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish by David Kinney: This book is AWESOME! How awesome? I'm over half through my third reading of it in 5 weeks. It's about the annual fishing derby on Martha's Vineyard and is an extremely entertaining read.
That's all for now. I brought my fly-tying kit with me to Mexico so hopefully I'll have some pics of flies I have tied up soon.

Here's a pic from the archives to get the fly fishing adrenaline flowing: