28 December 2011

The Guatemalan Chronicles - Day 4

Read about day one here, day two here and day three here. See the day 4 teaser video here.


The Que Vela, Captain Tom's 34-foot super-panga; 40 miles off the Pacific coast of Guatemala

Cast of Characters:
The story:

This dorado became the freshest sashimi ever moments after this photo was taken
Sailfish on the fly rod = biggest smile ever
One broken rod tip was a bargain of a price for that smile. Trust me.

Salty snapped some video & did a kick-ass job editing it. See the video in his original post here, or watch it below.

Fun times....

It's like the X-Files for fish.

I came across this way back in the day, when I used to work in Labrador. It's been on my Facebook profile for almost four years, but I just happened to stumble upon it again a few minutes ago.

I think it's worth sharing here. I find it humourous on so many levels...though one could argue against supplying funding to the CBC over this one...

Please note: This is an actual transcript. I did not modify it in any way to make it read like a Doctor Seuss story. I'm serious.


Green glowing salmon and trout are being caught just outside of Rigolet in Labrador.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 08:48AM Item # 17
CBC Radio St. John's

RAMONA DEERING: Green glowing salmon and trout being caught just outside of Rigolet. We're not kidding you. When fisher Fred Shiwak saw it he couldn't believe it and he told his story to reporter Rochelle Borlais.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: Take me back to the beginning of, of the first fish you caught and how you found out it came to glow.

FRED SHIWAK: Yes, I caught the first salmon about two weeks ago and I had a drying, drying split and I had a couple of pieces out, on the split drying for like to eat so one night, the next night then, my wife got up around eleven thirty, I suppose, and she said, go get the water, or a glass of juice or something. And she looked alongside [inaudible] and she saw something glowing in the night, right. And she thought it was her phone, phone off the hook or something anyway, the cordless phone. Yes and she went out, I'm going to grab the phone, she grabbed the salmon instead.


FRED SHIWAK: And then she started bawling at me and getting everybody up, up and look at the fish, yes, it's glowing in the night it was.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: Tell me exactly what it looked like.

FRED SHIWAK: It was like colored green and it's like, like a glow, it's, I don't know, it's like, it's like a light, like it's glowing, glowing in the night, right, like in them little things you has for kids and that, like glows in the night.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: And so can you see like all the, do all the insides glow as well?

FRED SHIWAK: Yes, you could see right through, right? But there's about half of the salmon, I'd say, about half of the side of the salmon I had there, a piece of it, it's about ten pounds of salmon, yes, and it's glowing in the night and we didn't know what was going on, right.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: Tell me about the next one you discovered.

FRED SHIWAK: My first trout, too, I seen there last night. I came out, out the room there around twelve o'clock, so and so I go off for a drink of water, and goodness gracious, I looked at my trout, it was glowing too in the night. And it's right all over that trout was glowing, it was completely glowing, everything was bright right up, you know.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: You said that you could, if you put your hand over it, it would make your hand glow too, that's how strong it was.

FRED SHIWAK: Oh yes, yes, the same as the salmon too. I touched the trout last night, see if get on my fingers, like tops of your fingers, like I touched it like that. And every finger on my hand was glowing too in the night.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: So what, what did you think? I mean what did you think was the cause of this?

FRED SHIWAK: I don't know, I couldn't think of nothing. So the salmon I had I went to the older people, like the elders, right, like fishermen all their lives, like that, and so I asked them did they see a fish like that in their lives, they said no, that's the first time they heard tell of it.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: And so and who did you contact next?

FRED SHIWAK: I contacted our rural fishery officer.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: And so what have they done now? Where, where have, where's your salmon gone?

FRED SHIWAK: I don't know, he's gone out to the lab out in St. John's, I believe it is, that's where they're going to send it to anyway. But I never hear from them now since they sent it out. The fish lab is
here again now same two I gave them to their [inaudible] they're back here again now I'm going to find out now this afternoon I'm going to talk to them, you know, see if they hear anything about it.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: So you're going to turn over your, your trout to them too?

FRED SHIWAK: No, not yet, I've already told them no, now today, hopefully today. I still got the trout here like put away there.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: So tell me, tell me about where you do your fishing.

FRED SHIWAK: It's called, it's not out far, maybe a couple of kilometers out across the big island they calls, right, onto the big island there, big island we calls it all the time right.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: And when you caught these, these fish, did they look
normal? I mean, did they seem the way they always are?

FRED SHIWAK: Oh yes, yes, you wouldn't of took notice of them, nobody would've took notice until you seen them in the night, right. They're normal like in the daytime, right.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: And is there any signs of contamination or any industrial sites or anything near, near the body of water that you fish?

FRED SHIWAK: Not around there, no.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: I mean, it's bizarre, have you heard any other fishermen with similar stories?

FRED SHIWAK: No, never heard nothing. I tried to find out now since I had my salmon, right, I went out to see four elders like they fished all their lives, no, they said, never heard tell of it, never saw it, never seen nothing like that.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: It seems strange that two different fish now are starting to glow in your home and I'm wondering if there's anything maybe in your house that could be causing this. Are you cleaning the fish with anything different than you usually do?

FRED SHIWAK: Oh no, no, nothing at all, just the same, water and scrap
it off, let the blood and that out and all.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: Oh wow. So I guess you haven't been eating these,
these fish then, have you.

FRED SHIWAK: Well, that salmon I had, I mean, the first salmon I caught, I had it split into a couple of pieces, right. I did eat part, like the rest of it, right and somebody else did too, a couple of my friends or something too right. I don't know if it was all over the salmon or not but it was like salmon it was like only but parts of it, right, like the half, half a salmon, right.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: So you didn't get sick or anything.

FRED SHIWAK: No, no, I never got, we never got sick or nothing. But the trout I got here now it's really, really, really bad, that one. It's really all over, it's all over the, all over the trout right.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: So are you going to lay off the fishing now for a bit until you find out what's going on?

FRED SHIWAK: No, no, I still got a net out.

ROCHELLE BORLAIS: Well, let us know, would you, if any more of your fish glow.

FRED SHIWAK: Okay then.

RAMONA DEERING: What a story that is. That was reporter Rochelle Borlais talking to Fred Shiwak in Rigolet.

22 December 2011

The Guatemalan Chronicles - Day 4 (teaser video)

Being that it's all Christmas-y & stuff, I've decided to pause the story of the Guatemalan odyssey until next week.

However, I'll leave you with this to ponder...

Courtesy of Jon from iFished.com

21 December 2011

The Guatemalan Chronicles - Day 3

Read about day one here and day two here.


The Que Vela, Captain Tom's 34-foot super-panga; 40 miles off the Pacific coast of Guatemala

Cast of Characters:
You're either bouncing with anticipation (or sick and tired of waiting) to check out what the fishing for sailfish was like, so here's the first day...plus a little treat at the end.


Sunrise at Marina Pez Vela
Marina Pez Vela in Sailfish HQ in Guatemala
Captain Tom about to board the Que Vela!
Jon, with Captain Tom at the helm
Jon takes the helm for a bit
My first sailfish, on conventional tackle
What kind of pompous fool tries to catch a jumping sailfish on Instagram?
Me, that's who...
No shots on the fly gear on day one, but at least it looked awesome...

First day's results:

One sailfish each for Jon, Salty, Fish Allen (biggest of the day) and myself, all on conventional gear. Zero shots for me on the fly rod.

I had the first of the day, and therefore the first in Captain Tom's new boat, which was kinda cool!

Oh yeah...the treat at the end....

Here's a vid of Salty hooking (& landing) his first sailfish. Yours truly was holding the Go-Pro...with a lot of coaching from Salty!

There's some awesome footage in there (not really as a result of me...I just held the camera & hoped for the best).


The Guatemalan Chronicles - Day 2

Click here to read about day 1.

I slept like a log at the hostel. I woke up just before 7, giving almost a solid 10 hours of sleep. Brilliant.

After 30 minutes of wandering around the hostel, trying to find some sort of hot caffeinated beverage, I ended up coffee-less and on the rooftop patio to check out the sights & sounds of Guatemala City. That's when I spied a mini-bus coming down the street with a familiar face in the passenger seat.

It was Jon, he of iFished.com

Of course, I had never met him in real life, but I recognized him from the sailfishing webcast he did with Salty and Captain Tom of Panamax Sailfishing. I quickly grabbed my backpack and rod case and headed downstairs to check out.

The Case of the Missing Salty

After some quick introductions with Jon's family and 'Fish Allen,' we piled into the mini-bus and headed to the airport to pick up Salty.

But he wasn't there.

Fortunately for me (& those around me), at least there was coffee at the airport. So we settled in to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Finally, we called off the waiting to head to the local tackle shop to grab a few items and beg for some internet access to see where Salty was.

At Pesqueros, we also met up with our driver to take us to the coast. Our driver, aka The Puma, was on the job & wrangled Jon some internet access. Salty got hung up in Atlanta due to mechanical issues but was scheduled to arrive shortly.

Back to the airport, with a quick stop for a traditional Guatemalan lunch of McDonald's quarter-pounder with cheese ("Cuarto de Libra con Queso").

Close to 1PM, eight hours after his original arrival time (thanks, Delta Airlines), the elusive Salty walked out of the airport.

Off to the Coast

Salty, Jon, Fish Allen and myself piled our gear & ourselves into The Puma's compact sedan (his van was sick).

The Puma might have the physique more similar to a Latin American Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, but behind the wheel, his puma-instincts took over. That guy had that P.O.S. car pinned the entire drive to the coast.

A couple of cramped hours later, we were in Puerto San Jose. We checked into our hotel and sampled the national beer, Gallo, at the pool bar (guzzled a few bottles of agua pura, too).

We wandered into the town to grab a few things from the supermarket, eventually meeting up with Captain Tom for a bite to eat.

The town was...interesting. Think of how the Mos Eisley spaceport would be in a developing, Latin American country, and you would have an idea.

However, dinner was pretty damn awesome.

Check out some pics.

Cerveza & agua puras, poolside
Main drag of Puerto San Jose
It was some Saint of Something celebration going on...
Shark jaws
Guatemalan meat fest! 
After feasting from the grill, we called it an early night, for the wakeup call for sailfishing was coming early the next morning.

Note: Salty posted some random tidbits of information about Guatemala; give them a read here.

20 December 2011

The Guatemalan Chronicles - Day 1

Departed for Fredericton Airport from my place at 4AM. It was -14°C, i.e., colder than a witch's tit. Check-in went smooth at YFC, as always, and we departed for Toronto about fifteen minutes late...as always.

Tense moments at YYZ; we landed and spent almost a full thirty minutes waiting for a gate. I only had about an hour to make my connection. Add it up: fifteen minutes late for departing + 30 minutes waiting for a gate + 10 minutes of shenanigans of getting off the plane = one sprinting Mat.

But I made the flight to Mexico City. And surprisingly, so did my bag.

After clearing customs in MEX, I had four hours or so to kill until my flight to Guatemala City. I celebrated the 24°C weather by sitting outside for most of that time. Terminal 2 at MEX is pretty damn nice. 

Outside MEX Terminal-2
I also indulged in the traditional Mexican cuisine of "greasy pizza by the slice in the food court" and an ice-cold Coca.

Soon enough it was time to head through security & to board the plane. This part wasn't overly fun. 

As usual, I was traveling with my four-piece rods & reels in my Orvis rod case. It's never been questioned that it's a carry-on; however, sometimes I tell a fib to the airline agents & say it's a clarinet because they never have an issue with a classical musician, but sometimes look funny at an angler. 

I'm headed through security with the rod case and, of course, they need to look at it. They make me take all the rods out of the socks, one at a time, to look at them up close. After a few questions and some more glancing, they let me go through.

BUT...then this Mexican hobbit of a woman in a security uniform runs up to me at the gate, a solid five minutes after the fact, and proceeds to tell me I can't bring my rod case on the plane. I politely tell her she's wrong (this doesn't go over well) and I had carried the same case through security in Cancun last month. No dice. Back to the security checkpoint I go.

The argument escalates when I ask them to either show me their regulations (I can't read Spanish, so not sure where I was heading with that) or to speak to a supervisor, i.e., the person who let me through the first time. They give me zilch. 

So back to the airline counter, where I threw $20 US to the shrink-wrap dude to wrap my rod case up solidly, and I hoped for the best. Back through security and onto the plane...and we're off.

I always seem to snap pictures from the plane. I don't know why, but I do. This trip was no different.

Mexican Marines
Random snow-capped volcano
Sunset over the Pacific
Customs & immigration in Guatemala was a piece of cake; they had separate lines for residents and foreigners...and only 7 of us gringo-types were on that flight. A few cursory questions, passport stamped, and I made it to Guatemala!

My bags were quickly picked up (rod case intact, too), and then I was off to my hostel for the night.

Jon & Salty were picking me up early to head to the coast, plus the long day wiped me out. I'm typically a laissez-faire traveler, because I know how anything to do with air travel is more likely than not to get fucked up...but I found the Toronto sprint and the Mexican carry-on argument pretty annoying & tiring.

I was asleep by 9PM. Delightful.

Next up: Day 2, starring a missing Salty and The Puma...

10 December 2011

Packing List - Pt. 3

Time/Date: 2115 AST, 10-Dec-11
Location: Fredericton...but not for long

Eight hours, fifteen minutes to departure.

With a little bit of time, planning & creativity, one can easily pack light.

Everything one needs to catch sailfish, largemouth bass, carp, tilapia, and whatever else might swim within range.

(Read Parts 1 and 2 to see the full packing list)

Except 9" trout on small mountain streams, that is...

See, Jon? I think it'll all fit in the cab. :)

Tools of the trade

Next stop: Guatemala & sailfish glory!

Wish me luck!

09 December 2011

Packing List - Pt. 2

Time/Date: 1005, 09-Dec-11
Location: F'ton

2 days until departure.

To continue from part 1 of my packing list for Guatemala, this is where that whole 'packing light' thing somehow gets tossed out the window.

I've done fishing trips before (obviously) and I've done 4-6 week work trips before, but this is the first time for flying to another country for a week of a metric shitload of fishing for multiple species.

And I mean multiple species...like sailfish plus a host of other fish that might be around (marlin, mahi-mahi, shark, etc., etc., etc). Possibly some inshore stuff, including roosterfish. Stillwater fishing, with largemouth bass and carp. And also tilapia, which I only heard of because I think I ate some at a Tapas restaurant in Mexico.

I'm still trying to pack light, but shit quickly gets out of hand:

Sailfish rig:
  • Temple Forks Outfitters TiCrX 9012-4pc
  • Hardy Zane Saltwater 3 reel (not the Titanium one...I'm sick but not insane)
  • Cortland's Billfish line (13wt/65'/clear intermediate sink tip)
  • 500 metres of 50# gelspun backing
All-purpose Big Gun:
  • Redington CPX 9010-4pc
  • Redington Delta 9/10 reel
  • Rio's WF-10I striper (?) line (clear sink tip)
  • >300 metres of 30# gelspun backing
My lightsaber (i.e., don't leave home without it):
  • Redington CPX 908-4pc
  • Lamson-Waterworks Litespeed 3.5 reel
  • Rio's WF-8F saltwater line
  • Orvis WF-8I line (clear sink tip) - on spare spool
  • >225 metres of 30# gelspun on both spools
The Little Gun:
  • Redington Predator 7106-4pc
  • Redington Rise 5/6 reel
  • Rio's WF-6F smallmouth line
  • 150 metres of 20# gelspun backing
The Fly Boxes:
  • Saltwater box: Umpqua UPG, filled with everything from Clousers, Deceivers, crabs, Gotchas, rabbit strip flies and anything else that looked fishy.
  • Misc box: Umpqua UPG Doublewide, filled with foam & deerhair poppers, freshwater Clousers, salmon bombers, hoppers, streamers, Stimulators and anything else that looked (freshwater) fishy
  • Sailfish flies: big, f**k-off poppers in obnoxious colours with 6/0 & 7/0 hooks

Misc Fishing gear:
  • Pliers, nippers, hook sharpener, etc...
  • Mooseknuckle Lanyard
  • Hip pack
  • Leaders, etc.
  • Buff, sungloves, sunglasses, etc; mentioned in part 1.

As long as I don't end up small stream fishing for trout, I should be covered...

Enjoy some music:

08 December 2011

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I hope everything is going super for you, Mrs. Claus, the elves & the reindeer. Hopefully we normal humans haven't f**ked everything up in the North Pole for you due to our greedy ways & our blatant disregard for climate science.

I've been a damn good boy this year, so I was hoping I could get a few presents for Christmas from you. I know the list might look daunting, but Jeebus, man, you can fly around the world in a single night while delivering toys to all the good little boys and girls...and hopefully lumps of coal to arseholes like this.

So, without further ado, here's my Christmas wish list that I hope you bring, Santa:

1. Governments to govern for the people. They will create sustainable policies based on the best scientific and socioeconomic data available, as well as common sense. In this gift, they would also stop playing partisan politics, reduce the amount of influence corporate lobbyists have, and stop preying on the fear & ignorance of the populace to get elected.

2. Businesses, big & small, to incorporate triple bottom line accounting in their business practices. This will give us a better world today, and leave an even better world for future generations. Companies can have profits while helping people and the planet. Look at Patagonia, for an example.

3. The end to the combination of apathy and needless consumption by the people. This doesn't need further discussion. This gift has an accessory called "stop paying attention to bullshit reality TV" that I would really like, too, if you have room in your toy sack.

4. News media to stop broadcasting the news of idiots, i.e., the Kardashians and all these other mindless reality TV shitheads. Bring an impartial broadcast of the current happenings of the day around the globe. Stop stirring up shit. Stop glamourizing shit. And, for the love of (insert chosen deity here) and all that is holy, douchebags aren't news. It shouldn't even be entertaining to people.

5. If you're able to get the first four things on my list, Santa, then truly you are a great and all-powerful Santa. Then you shouldn't have too much trouble to get the elves to slap this together:
Wish List Item #5: Maverick 17 HPX Micro
I know I talked about needless consumption and greed and such, but, you see, Santa, I fish. A lot. And I want to start guiding people, and it would be awesome to have this kick-ass boat to do it. Don't worry, it'll be all catch & release, and I'll incorporate triple bottom line accounting in my business.

So that's it. It's not too much to ask for, is it Santa? I mean, look at how good I was this year.

I promise to keep being a good boy next year, too. When you come visit me on Christmas Eve, I will have a plate of fresh homemade cookies ready for you. Yes, that's right, I've been baking like a pimp lately, so it won't be a problem to whip up a batch of those tasty calorie bombs.

Thanks for everything, Santa; I just know you'll make my Christmas really awesome!



PS- Next summer, when you're on vacation, come visit & I'll take you fishing. I'll cut you a real good rate for my guiding fee. Just leave the reindeer at home, though. We have idiot poachers all around this place.

Recycled Fish Stewardship Tip: On Bottled Water

Another stewardship tip from Recycled Fish.

Bottled water presents a hazard to our fish and to you as well. Here are two tips to help you reduce the amount of bottled water that you use.

1. Carry your water with you:
Fill a large water jug from the tap and take it with you. Refill your smaller water bottle from the jug! We fill a five gallon water jug with ice and water and set it in the back seat of the truck. We refill our smaller bottles whenever necessary. If there is water leftover at the end of the day, we set the jug on the counter at home and use it to refill our water glasses.

2. Use a hydration pack: As with the jug, fill your hydration pack from the tap and take it with you. Many packs come in large capacities, up to 100 ounces of water. You can use the large pack to refill your smaller bottle. This is a great option if for a day hike.

How I roll...
Why it is important to you:
Bottled water is costly. A glass of water from the tap costs less than a penny. A 12 ounce bottle of water will cost a dollar or more. Besides not making economic sense, bottled water is not necessarily a healthy alternative.

Generally speaking, bottled water falls under FDA standards and, in some cases, sources for bottled water do not need to meet the same standards as municipal water supplies. EPA standards, for example, require that city tap water can have no confirmed E. coli or fecal coliform bacteria. No such standard is in effect for bottled water. Indeed, stricter FDA standards regarding E. coli for bottled water did not go into effect until December 2nd, 2009.

(Mat's note: In Canada, the regulation of bottled water sold in Canada is shared by Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (link). Local water supplies are inspected every day, whereas bottled-water plants are inspected at three-year intervals. Read a CBC article on bottled water here.)

Why it’s important to the fish:
According to American Rivers, Laurel Hill Creek could soon have its unique character destroyed by excessive water withdrawals. According to the United States Geological Survey, 2 million gallons of water are withdrawn from Laurel Hill Creek every day. This exceeds the calculated daily safe withdrawal level by 600,000 gallons.

As if the current strains on the creek were not enough, there is a proposal on the table to withdraw up to 108,000 gallons per day from Laurel Hill Creek for bottled water! According to Clair Saylor, a life-long streamside resident, “the only way I can monitor the amount of water in the creek is to count the number of stones exposed across the creek. By that measure we’re already in crisis.”

Without water there will be no fish. When large amounts of water are withdrawn from a watershed, as water bottlers often do, the results can be disastrous. We can only tax our rivers and our aquifers so much. When we drink bottled water that is sourced from aquifers and streams, we are taxing the environment for our fish.

By using water from the tap, we help to reduce the strain on our rivers and ultimately on our fish.

-Because our lifestyle runs downstream-

Now that I've successfully made you feel guilty (and/or angry), here's an awesome (AWESOME) track from the Black Keys' new album, El Camino, which was released on Tuesday. Buy it. Trust me. Just buy the damn album.

06 December 2011

Why I'm glad to own an Evinrude Boat Motor

Becky told me about this....it has to be seen to be believed:


Yeah. Ok, then...

Packing List - Pt. 1

Time/Date: 1055, 06-Dec-11
Location: F'ton

5 days until departure.

I like to pack light whenever I can. As this trip isn't about working at six or seven thousand feet elevation in Idaho or weddings or anything serious enough for people to judge me (Jon? Joe?), I'm going as light as possible for this one.

Below is part one of my packing list. Part two will be fishing gear-specific & posted later this week.

The clothing & most accessories have been well-tested by me in other parts of the world, so consider the list as Mat's Official Approved Traveling Angler Gear List...whatever that counts for. I've put the brand name + links in brackets, in case you want to research these products further.

Without further ado:

  • Light hikers (Merrell)
  • Flipflops - to be bought in Guatemala
  • Sun mask (Buff)
  • Sun gloves (Simms)
  • Sunglasses (Costas x2 - read my review here)
  • Waterproof pouch (Simms)
  • Microfleece sleeping bag liner (REI - no longer made...?)
  • Waterproof point & shoot (Pentax W90)
  • iPod Touch 64 GB - camera, internet, e-books, music (read about my love for iPod here)
Luggage (checked):
Luggage (Carry-on):
Pop back later this week for part two - my fly gear for Guatemala!

02 December 2011

Recycled Fish Stewardship Tip: Conserve Water

As I wrote last week, I'm very happy to be a part of the Recycled Fish team.

And, as promised, here is one of many Stewardship Tips that are available on their website.

(see the original post here)

We’d all like to install Ultra Low Flow or waterless toilets to conserve water.  It’d be nice to redo our plumbing so that our gray water is recycled into our lawns.  These can be expensive projects and while they’d be nice, the fact is, you can conserve water at little or no cost.  Here are three simple tips to help you conserve.

1. Conserve water in your shower:
Install a low flow or ultra low flow shower head.  This is one of the easiest ways to conserve water in the home.  Most non-conserving shower heads will use 5 to 8 gallons of water per minute.  A low flow shower head uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute, an ultra low flow shower head will use 1.5 or less.

2. Conserve water in your toilet:
Install a displacement device, a tank dam, or an early-close flapper valve.  A displacement device is nothing more than something to take up space in your tank.  Fill a 32 ounce plastic soda bottle with gravel, cap it, and place it in the tank.  Tank dams, pieces of flexible plastic wedged into the tank on either side of the flush valve, reduce the amount of water available per flush by holding a small amount out of use.  An early-close flapper valve is a valve that will shut before all the water in the tank can flow into the bowl.  Early-close flappers often are adjustable, so that you can find a good balance between saving water and having the toilet bowl reliably cleared.

3. Conserve water your yard:
Eliminate all runoff.  Observe your sprinkler and make sure that water does not get on the sidewalk, driveway, or street.  Even the smallest overlap will send gallons of fresh water into the sewer.

Why it is important to the Fish:
By conserving the amount of water that we use, we reduce that amount of water that we discharge from our homes.  Water from showers and toilets is discharged into the sanitary sewer.  In some areas sanitary sewers are are combined with sewers that channel natural runoff.  A series of dams in the sewers prevent sanitary sewage from entering the watershed.  During heavy rains, combined sewers can overflow their dams and discharge raw sewage directly into a stream or river.  Needless to say, raw sewage in a stream can spell disaster for our fish.

Our Lifestyle Runs Downstream

01 December 2011

Boat Bass Bike Beats

Time/Date: 1320, 01-Dec-11
Location: Fredericton, NB

Anyone & everyone who is reading this should take 20 minutes & totally clean their email inbox. Delete all the unnecessary, and archive the necessary.

Or just go & declare email bankruptcy, and delete all of them.

JFDI. You'll thank me for it later.

Onto the good stuff.


I can't remember if (or how in depth) I mentioned my boat.

Right before I went to Idaho for work, a friend sent me a text saying he was selling his boat & looking to upgrade. I replied back, "how much?" My next text message was "Sold!"

The boat is a Grumman 1752 aluminum hull with a Evinrude 50hp two-stroke motor.

And I can't be happier (though I still dream of someday owning this).

Not only did I purchase the boat via text message, I also paid for it via email Interac transfers while in Idaho.

Ain't technology wonderful.

Of course, due to various travel & changing of the seasons, I only got out once in it before we winterized it. But it's ready to rock for next spring!


Of course, now being a boat owner, the logical next step would be to fish more from a boat. To facilitate that (i.e., having even more of an excuse to fish), I decided I'm going to enter a few of the local bass tournaments next year.

But I'm doing them with the fly rod.

Kicker is, rods must be less than 8' in length for tournament angling.

My 6wt Redington Predator setup, at 7'10" fits the bill nicely, and I've had considerable good fortune fishing with it already. But I wanted another bass-specific fly rig, preferably in the 7/8wt range for tossing bigger bugs and such.

To top it off, Cameron Mortenson of The Fiberglass Manifesto and his unholy army of glass geeks might have been able to brainwash me a bit on the smooth casting actions and fun fish-fighting capabilities of fiberglass rods.

So I posed Cameron the question: recommend a decent 7/8wt fiberglass rod that is under 8' in length.

He came back pretty quick with Cabela's CGR. At 7'6", it does the trick, and at $99, it does said trick quite affordably. Conveniently enough, I was in Idaho & heading back to Boise, where there is a Cabela's located pretty close by to my hotel.

Cabela's CGR. 7'6", 8wt, 3pc. My bass-buggin' rig.

I'm all about supporting your local fly shop. As much as humanly possible. But sometimes you have to bend your own rules. Especially when it comes to a 7/8wt fiberglass rod, under 8' in length, and under $100. Besides, where do you think the reel, backing, line & bass-bug fly tying materials are going to come from?

On top of that, when Chris at Fredericton Outfitters starts carrying the Sage line up this winter, do you think I'll be able to resist this?

So support your local fly shop. 97% of the time, at least.

I did get the CGR out once before things shut down for the year (same day I took the boat out for my one & only ride as a boat owner). The unholy army of glass geeks were right: it does cast smooth...once  I figured out the action & how to cast it...

Thanks, Cameron! And sorry, Chris...I won't ever do that again.

More Bass

I ordered a couple fly fishing for bass books. They should be here soon (edit: I just rec'd a call; one of them is at my local independent book seller awaiting pick up now!!)

Once I dive into them a bit, I'll share what they are & whether or not they're worth your hard-earned time & money.

Ummm....Support your local independent bookstores!


In my quest to be a cheapskate, burn less gass & save money live a more sustainable lifestyle & lessen my impact, I'm gonna try to become a bike commuter.

(Note: I'm not sure what I'll be commuting to, however. I don't work locally. I'll figure something out.)

I got in touch with Kent, local twitteratti and guru of all things pedal-driven. Never settling for something easy & always looking for something I can leave incomplete (fly tying app? learning photo editing software? building a homemade wind turbine?), I wanted to build my own bike and perhaps learn some (semi-)practical knowledge of bike maintenance.

Kent set me up with a frame, seat, fork, derailleurs, cranks, and a bunch of other thingies I don't know the name of, as well as a shopping list of other do-dads. The two local bike shops, Radical Edge & Savage's, filled out the rest of the stuff on the list. And Kent is gonna learn me how to wrench a bike this weekend.

(Note: I can't say enough about how awesome & helpful the dudes at Savage's were. Go there for all things bike. Seriously.)

Kent's asking price: fly fishing gear & local knowledge.

Mat receives: bike & bike maintenance knowledge.

For the second time this post: "Sold!"

I'll post some pics of the bike build we're doing this weekend in an upcoming post.

Ummm....Support your local bike shop!

(Sense a theme yet? This wasn't planned. Seriously)

Random Cool Thing #1

Using Google Maps to outline the route on an envelope.

Random Cool Thing #2

This piece of graffiti.


More reggae. Enjoy.

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