30 March 2012

Friday Redfish Fix

An oldie* but a goodie.

* - Old as in 4 years. Which isn't that old, but it appears the guys at WorldANGLING were, much like me, redfishing before it became super-cool** at last year's IFTD show in the Big Easy.

** - I call this hipster fly fishing: fishing for a species before there's a massive video collection of people fishing for it. It's probably the reason I'm the only person in New Brunswick fishing for smallmouth bass with a Hardy reel...while drinking from a Cuppow.

Another little note for y'all here: This is my 200th post since I started this (semi-illiterate) literary journey.

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, and especially those of you who read along regularly. I would never have imagined over 100 people subscribing or following along to this dribble I spew out, but now that it's happened, it's pretty damn cool.

I know this month has been pretty lame for regular updates, but that'll be fixed soon, that I promise: twenty-twelve will see more fishing than ever before...which is goddamned insane, once you think about it.

It wasn't planned for a redfish video to be the 200th post, but it's pretty effin' appropriate. Once I knew this was my 200th post, I figure this music video was most appropriate. I would've been in Canadian artist fan-boy heaven at that show.

27 March 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On...

...for new posts will be coming soon.

19 days until fishing season opens.

14 March 2012

Spring Break!! (all-Canadian music edition)

I'm a bit behind in my writing...and that will remain for a few more days, at least.

The last few days has involved an inordinate amount of time on the interwebz, a lot of it spent getting the new 2012 product up on the fly shop's website

Lots of other random (& exciting) things are happening, too; unfortunately it means writing has taken a back seat for the time being. This will change hopefully soon!

(note: that hyperlink is a hint of exciting things to come)

Enjoy some tunes!

06 March 2012

Classy Redfish Art

Time/Date: 1130 AST, 06-Mar-12
Location: Fredericton, NB

When I was trolling around on the intertubes a few weeks ago during a shift of standby in Mexico, I found a link to ShallowFish, a website/e-store dedicated to "gifts inspired by angling."

I would be lying that if I said I was casually browsing the site and stumbled upon some cool redfish art; redfish was the first species I clicked on. Within a few seconds, I found exactly what I was looking for:

Soon appearing on a wall near me.
Gyotaku is a very cool art form originally developed in Japan to keep fisherman from bullshitting about their catch. No joke. You can read more about gyotaku here and here.

I liked that print the best of the few featured on the page but I didn't want to rush to buy it & end up with buyer's remorse; $70 + shipping isn't something to scoff at, after all. I saved it to Instapaper (one of my favourite apps ever, btw) to wait it out & think it over.

Last night I popped on again to take a gander at it...and pulled the trigger.

I'm really looking forward to having it framed & on my wall

One other gyotaku print that caught my eye was one I cannot fathomably order until I catch one, but when I do, you better believe this badboy is getting shipped to Fredericton & hung:

Reason #16 why I hoard Aeroplan miles...
It's good to dream. And then act on those dreams.

Here's some tunes:

04 March 2012

First casts: My CCI rig

Time/Date: 1705 AST, 04-Mar-12
Location: Fredericton, NB

I finally nutted-up to get out to cast my new 7wt setup I'll be using to practice for, and eventually take, the Certified Casting Instructor's examination (see related post Back To School here).

As a bonafide procrastinator, I have a litany of excuses to why it took almost six weeks for me to get out to cast this thing: -24°C temperatures, snowstorms, pinched nerve in my neck, three weeks away working in Mexico, etc, etc, etc.

But, with the mercury finally heading a little north of freezing (by three degrees), I headed out with rod & reel, tape measure and hi-vis pink rope earlier this afternoon.

My "lab materials" are the Loop XACT 790-4 and the Hardy Ultralite 7000DD, paired with AirFlo's Ridgeline Impact Taper (WF7F).

With a medium-fast action, Loop has made a (seemingly) nice, smooth-casting and lightweight rod. Unfortunately on the crusty snow, I didn't get too much in the way of surface tension when I started my cast, but it has a nice feel when the line loaded the rod on the backcast.

I really enjoy the feel of the cork-mix handle in my hand; until I can get on the water to give it a full test, the handle & the weight (103 grams) are my favourite aspects of this rod.

Only downside of the rod I've noticed so far is the small diameter stripping guide, but it didn't seem too problematic the few times I bombed out 70'-80' casts.

The Hardy Ultralite 7000DD balances out the Loop rod nicely. There's a reason why the Ultralite series took home the "Best of Show" award for freshwater reels at last season's International Fly Tackle Dealer expo; it's a high-performance reel at a very reasonable price. Bonus points for looking friggin' awesome, too.

I will be getting a spare spool for this reel and putting Sage's 230-grain bluegill taper on it for my 7.5', 7/8wt CGR fibreglass rod for the bass tournaments this summer. I just like this reel. A lot!

Unfortunately for me (and all of us east of the Rockies in Canada), snow-fish are not a prevalent species so I was unable to test the drag while fighting a fish...yet. Give me time, damn it.

From what I could tell, the AirFlo line seemed to cast and shoot line nicely as well, but it's one of those things that I'm unable to give more than a cursory "seems alright to me" review until I get it on the water. Since I bought two of these lines, one to practice with & one to take the exam with, I'm really hoping they end up being as kick-ass as other people have told me. Time will tell.

As things stand, I like the entire rig; rod, reel & line...so far. I'll definitely be writing a part II of this review once the snow & ice melt and I get on the water.

42 days until season opener. Can't wait.

I purchased all of these items at Fredericton Outfitters & Anglers with my own (slightly) hard-earned cash; I have not been given these products or any financial reward to review them. I have principles, not prices.

That being said, any tackle companies that would like to give me financial rewards and gear to test & beat the living shit out of, get in touch. I fish whenever & wherever I possibly can for any and all species of fish available to be caught, I travel to all kinds of environments, and I'm a soon-to-be tournament angler on the New Brunswick amateur bass circuit...using fly gear.

03 March 2012

Swag Giveaway - Fredericton Outfitters

My local fly shop, Fredericton Outfitters & Anglers, is giving away some swag via their new Facebook page.

The prize is a black G. Loomis moisture-wicking hoodie and an autographed copy of Paul C. Marriner's Modern Atlantic Salmon Flies.

All you need to do to enter is do two simple steps:

1. Go to the FOA Facebook page (facebook.com/frederictonoutfitters) and 'like' it
2. Share the post of the above photo to your Facebook wall (click here to go to the photo in Facebook)

Everyone who does this by March 15th will be entered to win the prize pack. We'll draw a name & ship it to the winner on the 16th! The contest is open to everyone (except us staff & pro-staff)

Enjoy some music.

01 March 2012

The (Self-Proclaimed) Cuppow Kingpin of Fredericton

Time/Date: 2010 AST, 01-March-12
Location: Fredericton, NB

I returned from my three week project in Mexico last night. It was -14°C when I landed; giving a solid 56°C temperature difference from my last full day on the project site. It was harsh.

Something to warm me up was waiting for me at home though: an order of Cuppows!

What are Cuppows?

Well, watch this video:

Cuppows are one of those items that say, "Wow, cool idea. I want one."

For me, I took it one step further. I went to their site to order one and ran into the minor issue of PayPal not allowing non-US orders. Being slightly stubborn, I moved to the next level: I became a Cuppow distributor.

That's right. I am now the Cuppow Kingpin of Fredericton.

If you live in Fredericton and want a Cuppow, I'm the only game in town
(unless you want to pay about $6 US in shipping).

If you want a Cuppow, fire me an email at angling<dot>ronin<at>gmail<dot>com.

  • If you live in Fredericton, I can drop it off to you. 
  • If you live in Canada, we can do the PayPal thing and I can ship to you.
  • If you live in the US of A, you're better off buying direct from the fine folks at Cuppow, as it'll be cheaper for you.


1. How much?
$10. Ten smackers. 1 Sir John A. MacDonald.
(Fredericton folks: If you need a mason jar, add another buck)

2. What size of mason jar does the lid require?
Wide-mouth. As in, Wide-Mouth Mason, without the music. You can find wide-mouth jars at Home Hardware on Main Street in Fredericton in 250mL, 500mL and 1L sizes. I have the 500mL in my truck if you're getting one from me.

3. What can I drink using the Cuppow?
I recommend fine coffee, the 'shine, or strong drinks made of rum or the rye-whisky.

4. What if I don't drink fine coffee, the 'shine, or strong drinks made of rum or rye-whisky?
Then you probably still drink from what I call Nature's Cuppow, or, as biologists call it, your mother's teet. You can get a real Cuppow when you grow up a bit.

5. Is there that BPA-shit in the lid?
No. Cuppows are BPA-shit-free.
WF-9F fly line cozy!

6. Isn't it hot on your hand?
Yes, it is. But you can get creative and make or find a little cozy to protect your delicate little hands. My roommate, rugby superstar Chris Aaen, taped cardboard to the outside of his. Myself, being more creative and more awesome (though not as much as a rugby superstar), made a cozy out of an used fly line I had laying around (see photo on right). Other examples of Cuppow cozies can be viewed on the Cuppow blog, such as these ones here.

7. What do you charge for delivery within Fredericton?
Nothing. Zilch. It's Included. Though if you wanted to meet me downtown or at Fredericton Outfitters, that'd be awesome.

8. What about shipping charges within Canada?
I'll figure that out when it happens. It shouldn't be much, as the Cuppows are pretty friggin' lightweight, but who knows what those zany CanadaPost people are like on any given day.

9. Did you say rugby superstar Chris Aaen uses a Cuppow?!?!?!
Yup, that's right. He knows what's up.

10. What else should I know about these?
They're made in the USA by some creative dudes. They don't ever want to have them mass-produced in a Chinese sweatshop to cater to the Sprawl-Mart crowd.

11. What are you getting out of it?
A free Cuppow, essentially. I won't be getting financially rich by hawking Cuppows, but it's already letting me meet new folks. Meeting new folks is cool. And these new folks might someday want fly fishing/casting lessons...or a guided fly fishing trip...or a dozen locally-tied flies for saltwater or smallmouth bass fishing. See what I'm gettin' at?

12. You think you're something awesome, don't you?
Just buy a Cuppow. No comment. No more questions. This interview's over!

So yeah...I know you want a Cuppow, so fire me an email (angling<dot>ronin<at>gmail<dot>com) or hit me up on the Twitter.