27 August 2011

One year in.

Time/Date: 2115 CST, 27-Aug-11
Location: Northern Saskatchewan

So today/tomorrow marks one year since I started this site.

Where it all began...
I say today/tomorrow because of time zones & such; the first post was published in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (GMT +0), home is  Fredericton (GMT -4) and I'm currently in Saskatchewan (GMT -7).

A lot has changed since that first post.

In fact, so much has changed from that first post, it's not even relevant anymore; even my twitter handle has changed (it's @mattrevors, if you don't know already).

But, change is a good thing. Isn't it?

Before we go any further, just in case any of the traditional fly fishing types are reading this & they don't find the dog with the birthday hat to their liking, maybe something a little more reserved is up their alley.

Now that's outta the way, we can begin my year in review.

Number of posts: 140 (that's a post every 2.6 days, in case you're wondering)

Most visited post: 13 fly fishing blogs & e-zines to get you through winter

Most commented post: Same as above, with most comments by the guys in that list (thanks, fellas!)

2nd most visited post: FredRock 2011 Lineup!! (mostly due to my unintentional awesomeness at SEO; that thing stayed in the top 3 of Google searches for FredRock since it was posted)

Post with the most hate mail I moderated: A lowly bartender fixes New Brunswick - I don't dive into politics too much, but when things start f**king with my Qi, I can come out with guns (typing fingers) blazing. This one raised some hackles (fly tying pun not intended)

Post(s) I regret writing: None. A few early ones I'm slightly embarrassed about, but I'm sure it's part of that 'growth process' people talk about...or something like that. I am what I am, so deal with it.

Post(s) I wish got more traction: meh, I figure if my posts had have been good enough, they would've been noticed. That being said, I wish the shale gas post from two weeks ago was shared a little more locally...and nobody ever really asked me what hanging out with Pauly Shore was like.

Thing I find hilarious: Once in a while I check what search terms are getting people to 411#3. And, well, I use variations of the expression 'fish porn' once in a while (like in "Lazy fish porn post: Striper Madness"). This ends up with hilarious results.

One thing about doing this whole blog thing: it has introduced me to some of the most supportive people in the fly fishing (& conventional fishing) world. I have almost 200 people in my fishing circle on Google+, plus dozens more on twitter and facebook.

The frequent users are always giving support, sharing posts, offering tips and just all-around good folk...even that Owl Jones fella, who won't give me a hat-tip on his new website, probably because I argue with him about politics on Twitter... (just kidding, Owl; you're one of the good ones...even though I wholeheartedly disagree with your politics :) ).

So, that's been a really brief overview of my life as a fly fishing blogger for the past year.

What's coming next?

A lot of fishing. A bunch of travel. Hopefully some good tunes & nice pics.

That's what I'm offering here, and the price is right, don't you think?


...as a few of you have been following along on G+ with what I refer to as my "Eff It! Chronicles," I'm starting a guiding outfit. More details will be coming soon...with some prize giveaways, too.

You can sign up for updates on the landing page at waterworksguiding.com; those of you who use the email subscription option will have your name entered to win some stuff (I won't ever, ever spam you, btw).

In case you thought this post needed another picture of a dog, here's my dog, Awesome.

Enjoy some music.

Gierach Fly Fishing Film Tour Short

Jay of Motiv Fishing (aka, the group formerly known as AEG) recently posted this cool little short featuring John Gierach.

As some of you may have read here (and here), I'm a fan of Gierach's writing; it's personable, insightful and pretty down to earth.

Anyone who thinks the same will probably enjoy the video below.

Click here if you can't see the embedded video below.

23 August 2011

A photogenic pike

Time/Date: 2140 CST, 23-Aug-11
Location: Northern Saskatchewan

This post would seem all over the map without including this little ditty from G+ from earlier today:
(click on the image to open to a readable size)

Note the second last comment, from yours truly. It reads, "Nicely done, Will. I'll add you to the blogroll this evening...when I work on Brandon's fly stock post...after I try to catch a photo-worthy pike :p"

So, as a man of my word:

Check out Will's (somewhat) new blog, The Riparian Corridor. Will has some great posts on there, and it's definitely worthy of being on the blogroll (located on the sidebar to the right). He's redone his layout & got himself a brand new look (and URL). Give it a read!

Next up, FlyStock!  FlyStock has partnered with Project Healing Waters, which is a tremendous charity that assists wounded veterans recover by the awesome power of fly fishing.

If you're anywhere semi-close to Texas, this would be a worthwhile event to attend. Heck, I might even pull some strings to attend (hellllloooooo, Aeroplan points...).

A great event for a great charity. Check out Brandon (& FlyStock) on twitter here to keep up to date with what's planned!

Now for the pike.

I really wanted a photo-worthy pike. Not necessarily for a hero shot, more because we don't have pike where I live. So I wanted a pic of one.

It didn't take long, as like my first time out for pike, this one was caught on my first cast of the night.

And it had some photo-worthiness to it.

Larry's finger makes a cameo appearance.
The fork length measured 38". I found out after the fact that you're supposed to pinch the tail together to get a "legal" length, so...40", maybe...?

After we got back, Luke took me to the camp's record board to see how Mr. (or Mrs...?) Pike measured up to the other beasts that have been caught here, and...he reached for the permanent marker...

Yeah, that's right. East coast rules, bitches!
I told Luke I didn't fish for records...just as I snapped this pic and flashed him a shit-eating grin.

Luke, being from New Zealand, called me a c**t.

(Don't worry, I found out years ago that's proper talk for Kiwis & Aussies)

So yeah. That was my work day.

How was yours?

Enjoy (another) great Tragically Hip tune.

(Click here if you can't see the video below)

22 August 2011

Let the record show...

To everyone subscribing to 411#3 via RSS or email through FeedBurner:

I didn't know the Google Ads were enabled on the subscription feed.

When I was a total noob at blogging (all of one year...?), I had set up the Google Ads & Amazon affiliate ads.

I kept them for a couple weeks and, after discovering they made the site look cluttered and cheap (& I was not going to get rich blogging with Adwords) I disabled them & removed them from the sidebar.


I didn't realize they were still showing up in the posts received by email or RSS.

For that, I apologize. Profusely.

They are now disabled (I hope).

I don't write here for dollars.

There is one ad on my sidebar, and I receive no compensation for having it there. It is for the fly shop where I help out with online content, promotions, contests and community/social media stuff. Occasionally I help out on the sales floor, but that's because I like to talk fishing with folks (a lot) more than I like making sales (sorry Chris :) ).

So, again, I am sorry for the annoying ads showing up in your feeds.

As part of the apology, please enjoy my favourite song of 2010, and know that whenever I hear it, I involuntarily start dancing, which completes the process of me making a fool out of myself.

(Of course, the ironic part is some of you viewing this through email or RSS cannot see the video below; thus proving that I can even f**k up an apology. Click here to watch it...and imagine me dancing like an ass)

For Jack....

I was saddened to hear the news of Jack Layton's passing this morning.

I have never voted for the NDP. Stuff like this always scared me off.

That being said, he always came across as well-spoken, polite, intelligent and genuine. Sometimes humorous.

Most importantly, he seemed trustworthy, and knew his role as a Member of Parliament as being there for citizens. Never once did I feel he was there to coddle the balls of big business...or big oil (*cough* Harper *cough*).

This is a loss for all Canadians, no matter what their political stripe.

Jack Layton made Canada better.

This one's for you, Jack. Rest in peace.

19 August 2011

17 August 2011

Random Saskatchewan Post (Lots of fishing content, though!)

Time/Date: 2155 CST, 17-Aug-11
Location: Northern, Northern Saskatchewan

This project has been a little busier than normal for me. You see, I'm not sitting a drill rig this time; I've made it to the big-time: I'm the Site Senior Supervisor on this project. So hours are a little longer & more erratic.

But, there's always a positive, and that is a month or so (at least) off after this one is done.

A month to hang with my girl, my friends & my dog.

A month to work on (more) fun projects (at home).

And, of course, a month to fish.

Speaking of fishing, a few of the client's crew took me out fishing the other night. They figured, since I was wearing my Redington Logo t-shirt, that I would appreciate something like that whole 'going fishing' thing.

(Note #1: add Saskatchewan to Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and, of course, New Brunswick to the list of provinces I've fished in so far in 2011. That's kinda cool.)

(Note #2: remind me to never, ever leave home without a fly rod ever again)

So off we went.

And I hooked a pike on my first cast (not picture-worthy, however). And then I caught another one (also not picture-worthy).

The third pike I caught was picture worthy.

I was using borrowed spin gear & lures with a treble hook. I wanted to pinch the barbs but I didn't think the owner would've appreciated it too much upon its return.

It took me so long to unhook the pike from the treble hook (it felt like forever to me. Maybe 90 seconds, but far too long for my liking) that I couldn't bring myself to put the fish through a photo session. I rushed it back to the water, it gave a tail-wag, and it was gone.

Really cool aspect of it though: I was wearing my Costas I won from Joe at SoCal Salty's contest in the spring, and I had a clear view of the pike shooting from cover like a lightning bolt to strike the lure. The fish covered the 7 or so feet in a split-second and cranked the lure, total ambush-style. Awesomeness.

(Note #3: I would normally link to Joe's site. You'll see why I didn't in the next section)

Speaking of Joe of SoCal Salty, he of the epic Costa Sunglasses contest: he and Jon from iFished are running a contest in cahoots with Panamax Sailfishing for a trip to Guatemala for...you guessed it, sailfish.

I've been entering everyday.

It has already paid off, as I won the first weekly draw: a shirt from Red Tuna shirts.

I'm not giving you the link for the contest entry form. I really want to win this thing, so you gotta earn it. If you enter, it's one more competitor for me. But....

...you can visit either Jon's or Joe's sites for details.

Use your brains to get there. Or at least google.

Fishpond's Road Trip tying kit
I brought my tying kit with me, but I've yet to unpack it. This will hopefully change really soon.

One little piece of gear recommendation: Fishpond's Road Trip fly tying travel bag. It's fairly compact, but I have everything I need jammed in there. With some room (& pockets/pouches) to spare.

And here's another little tying nugget:

An unexpected benefit to my beautiful girlfriend studying to be an esthetician: abundant leftover nail polish for foam & cork bass poppers. Plus advice in the form of "this base coat will make the polish stick better, and this topcoat helps waterproof it & make it resistant to chipping." Brilliant.

So hopefully a few pictures of glossy bass poppers will be gracing this website fairly soon.

I'm saving a few other short, random things to post in the future, in case I find myself with a spare 15 minutes or so between looking at rocks or drill rigs or spreadsheets.

Enjoy some music (shout out to Matt for reminding me of these guys).

Click here if you can't see the video below.

14 August 2011

That whole shale gas thing...

Things have been heating up recently in New Brunswick over shale gas exploration & extraction via the technique known as hydrofracking.

Here's a collection of headlines concerning this saga:

11-Mar-11: (cbc.ca/nb): No N.B. hydro-fracking moratorium: Northrup

21-Jun-11 (cbc.ca/nb): Maliseet chief calls for hydro-fracking ban

22-Jun-11 (cbc.ca/nb): Northrup refuses a hydro-fracking moratorium

23-Jun-11 (cbc.ca/nb): Northrup unveils new hydro-fracking rules

09-Aug-11 (cbc.ca/nb): Seismic testing trucks blocked by protesters

09-Aug-11 (canadaeast.com): Group fears hydro-fracking will be done in city

10-Aug-11 (cbc.ca/nb): Shale gas protesters to end blockade

10-Aug-11 (canadaeast.com): There will be no hydro-fracking in city - mayor

10-Aug-11 (canadaeast.com): Letter of the day: Lack of fracking court cases a misleading fact

11-Aug-11 (cbc.ca/nb): Shale gas protesters confront Northrup

11-Aug-11 (canadaeast.com): Demonstrators say fight will not end

12-Aug-11 (cbc.ca/nb): Alward unwavering in shale gas position

12-Aug-11 (canadaeast.com): NDP questions donations

12-Aug-11 (canadaeast.com): Shale gas exploration moving ahead: Northrup

12-Aug-11 (canadaeast.com): Gov't not backing away from shale gas exploration

12-Aug-11 (canadaeast.com): First Nation joins chorus protesting shale gas industry

More headlines will be posted in the near-future.

My thoughts:

  • the natural gas isn't going anywhere; why not wait until studies & impact assessments can be proven?
  • the natural gas isn't going anywhere; why not wait until the price of natural gas increases?
  • why was the Progressive Conservative party (the governing party) so adamantly opposed to uranium exploration (something far less risky) but is so supportive of this industry (something far more risky)?
  • why are our royalty rates for natural gas so low?
  • why do people believe there will be abundant jobs attached to this industry? Most specialists in seismic exploration, drilling and pipelines are coming (temporarily) from out of province.
  • why won't the government acknowledge the majority of New Brunswick residents DO NOT WANT THIS?
Anyway...just throwing this out there.

It should be an interesting fall in New Brunswick.


Mat Trevors, B.Sc

1. Very serious (catch & release) angler
2. Conservationist
3. Geologist
4. Holder of a shitload of economics courses

12 August 2011

Where the efff....?

Time/Date: 2115 CST, 12-Aug-11
Location: N. Sask.

Remember Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? Or perhaps Where's Waldo?

The modern incarnation, for the past 15 months, could definitely be Where The Eff Is Mat?

A recap:
  • Northern Ontario
  • Montreal, PQ
  • Burkina Faso
  • Eastern Shore, NS
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Senegal
  • London, England
  • Guerrero State, Mexico
  • Northern Saskatchewan
  • Timmins, ON
  • Northern British Columbia
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Minas Basin, NS
And now...

Fun times. Never a dull moment.

Or, in driller-speak, Living The Dream.

On a sad note: apparently the fishing here is great. Walleyes & pike. I don't have any fly gear here; I'm gonna have to use (*gasp*) spin/bait casting gear. So sad...

11 August 2011

(Another) All-Encompassing Blog Post

Time/Date: 1515 AST, 11-Aug-11
Location: Fredericton

This one's gonna cover a lot of bases, so let's get started.

First up, a recap of the mini-odyssey.

Wednesday/Thursday: drove into the New Brunswick wilds, 50 km down dirt logging roads to catch monster trout & salmon.

We caught neither. A few salmon parr and a few trout, the largest for me being 11". Biggest trout of the trip was about 17". Lots of fishing, lots of rain.

Humble abode of night #1
What my buddy Steve refers to as his bear burrito
The five-star kitchen area
Makeshift storage locker
Thursday evening I spent at my folks' place, where I ate. And ate. And ate some more. Herb & garlic cheese rolls, heated with butter. Pasta. Cookies. Cake. Brilliance.

While there, I started some heavy-duty research into my next leg of the mini-odyssey: I flipped a coin. Heads: Gaspe, Quebec for Atlantic salmon; Tails: Fundy short of Nova Scotia for stripers. Oh, the joys of having a full quiver of 5wt, 6wt, 8wt & 10wt rods traveling with you.

Tails it was, so off to Nova Scotia for some striped bass dreams (delusions). With a loaf of fresh banana bread & a bag of chocolate chip cookies, courtesy of Mom.

I fished the incoming/outgoing tide on Friday night. I fished the incoming/outgoing tide Saturday morning. Same for Saturday evening. And on Sunday morning. And again on Sunday evening.

Finally, while on my last legs on Sunday night, in piss-pouring rain, with a Clouser that was also on its last legs, it happened. I hooked and landed my first striped bass on the fly rod.

It was 14" long.

I awoke to strong winds and a torrential downpour at 5AM Monday (I actually woke up because if it). My tent was half-floating, and run-off was visibly flowing by the door of the tent. I planned to fish, but decided enough was enough. I hit the road home.

All total, I camped out 4 of 5 nights, bought only one "meal" at a restaurant (egg mcmuffins on Monday morning on the drive), drove over 1300km and fished over 40 hours for a bunch of fish where the two biggest totaled twenty-five inches.

I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

Camp Striper, right on the seashore
8- & 10-weights, locked & loaded
Sunset at Camp Striper
Dawn Patrol
Due to the early departure from Camp Striper, I planned on scouting a rumored smallie hotspot on the drive home; however, a few flashes of lightning as I approached the turn off for it scuttled that plan pretty quick. I'm not sure if carbon fiber rods conduct electricity or not, but I didn't really feel like finding out. So no fishing on Monday.

Tuesday I was back at it, with a few 10-14" smallies caught, but H-core fishing was being interrupted by numerous kayakers and unleashed dogs & kids (yes, unleashed kids) going through the spot I was fishing. It became quite apparent that "urban angling" is a relatively unheard of phenomenon here.

(Side note: a kid throwing a rock into where you're fishing is kinda cute & funny the first, and maybe the second, time it happens. When it happens 5-6 times in a summer, I'm tempted to launch a 1/0 Clouser in the direction of the parents. Just sayin'.)

Wednesday was wet & miserable. I drove some coffee & donuts out to the shale gas protesters blockading the road (this blocking the seismic trucks from their exploration targets) and ended up donating a tarp to the cause to help keep them out of the rain. That deed done, I went fishing.

I decided to try out a new spot, Just upriver of one of my usual haunts for smallmouth. I looked at about five square feet of a foamy back-eddy, and thought to myself, "There has to be a bass in there."

All I gotta say, karma can really rock sometime. There was a bass in there. A big-ass bass.

So now I'm done fishing for another three weeks. Packing fishing gear away and packing work gear into my duffel bag.

This weekend is FredRock. If you're in the area, I can't stress how much fun it's gonna be, so go check it out. Click here for more info.

I'm terribly sorry to be missing it (again) this year, but c'est la vie. Small-term sacrifices for long-term gains.

Here's a tune from Sam Roberts Band, the headlining act. I find it semi-appropriate as a post-mini-odyssey tune.

09 August 2011

The Gospel According to Mat

Time/Date: 1645 AST, 09-Aug-11
Location: Fredericton, NB

I forgot my water bottle in the fridge.

No big deal; I had a few bucks in change in my cup holder. 

I stopped at the convenience store along the way. As I walked out of the store, fully geared up in my waders & studded wading boots, a work truck from a local construction company parked two spots away from my truck.

The driver, quite obviously a slack-jawed yokel, looked over towards me. 

In a good ol' boy, Maritimer-twanged voice, he says, "Nice waders! Hur hur hur!!" His coworker glanced over and snorted out a chuckle.

I stopped and looked at them, then the work truck, then back at them. 

"Nice work truck," I said.

Hillbilly #1 gave me an open-mouthed stare. "Huh?"

Leaving them to ponder this, I turned and opened the door to my truck.

Hillbilly #2 called out to me: "Tooo-shay, buddy. Tooo-shay."

I posted this tune/video a month or so back. It's been getting quite a bit of radio play in the past couple of weeks here.

It's still catchy (as in, it hasn't been overplayed to the point of me despising it yet).

And it's really fun to crank up on the highway with the sunroof open. Just sayin'.

03 August 2011

Mat's (Really Short, Nothing to Brag About) Odyssey

Time/Date: 0710, 03-Aug-11
Location: Soon to be elsewhere

The Mission:
  • Catch fish. 
  • Have fun.
  • Put a dent in the metric shit-ton of chorizo, AKA the Breakfast Meat of (Mexican) Champions, I cooked. That's 1.1023113 American shit-tons, BTW.
  • Try to drink more than 5 consecutive beer without falling asleep in the campfire
The Destination:
  1. Undisclosed Crown reserve stretch, Miramichi Region, New Brunswick
  2. Mom & Dad's for supper & hopefully cookies (HINT HINT)  :)
  3. Possibly one of my uncles' camps, Northwest Miramichi River
  4. Maybe Gaspe, Quebec (Atlantic salmon)
  5. Maybe Nova Scotia (stripers, smallmouth, brown trout)
  6. Maybe Maine (stripers, smallmouth, Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies)
Only the first two destinations matter. Independent of the cookie-thing, too.

After that, it's all gravy.

Here's a tune.

I kinda used to joke this song pertained to my job as a geologist, back in the day. Not so much anymore, as I'd never get to hear as much.

Still works as a good road trip tune for this coming weekend (week?).

02 August 2011

Two more for the blogroll.

Time/Date: 02-Aug-11
Location: F'ton

(Happy birthday, Mom!)

This version of The Skunkening is official. It's been a week today since fish were caught.

Oh well, t'is the season.

Here are two blogs worthy of making it up on the blogroll:
Ironically, Mike over at Troutrageous! wrote a post discussing the merits of a large blogroll the other day.

My take is this: I link to blogs I read regularly through Google Reader. Every so often, I'll post new ones I've been reading or have been reading for a while that deserve mention. Because God knows, a mention from me is worth....ummm....moving on...

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine had ups & downs. But this isn't the forum for the downs.

Here's some good fishy stuff from the past to help get you through the day. This video helps during The Skunkening, as:

1. Their slump was longer.
2. Their slump was in much harsher conditions than 27°C
3. Their slump ended in epic fashion...much like mine (hopefully) will.

Enjoy the video.

(Remember, if you can't ever see videos via RSS feed or email, head to the main page here)