29 April 2012

Keep Calm and Don't Trout-Set...(Updated)

...is now available in t-shirt form, as an uber-classy retro 3/4 sleeve.

The 3/4 sleeve shirt is priced at $20.95. Be part of a movement* and get one today!

Click the image above or here for more info!

* - I don't know what this movement is...

Note: 50% of my "commission" from any sales will be donated to a fish conservation/advocacy group to be determined later. I welcome suggestions for worthwhile causes deserving these funds...if they ever manifest...

Enter your email address to subscribe (I will never, ever spam, sell or trade your email address):

27 April 2012

Saltwater Fly Fishing Lessons for the Anxiety-Prone

A quick pop onto Facebook this morning resulted me seeing this, made by local techno-wizard Robb Clarke (@robbclarke).

Intrigued, amused, but not being a huge fan of dubstep (and always having fly fishing on my mind), a quick FB chat with Robb resulted in the following.

I call them the Four Tenets Of Saltwater Fly Fishing.

(Or perhaps saltwater fly fishing lessons for the anxiety-prone)

Following these Four Tenets will ensure saltwater fly fishing glory. Just trust me on this.

(Note: It'd be super-cool if these things got passed around the internet like a doobie in a 70s dorm room, but at the very least, throw some props to Robb in the form of some link-love or his twitter handle).

24 April 2012

Random Nunavut Post

So yeah..I'm in Nunavut. Within 1° of the Arctic Circle.

It's cold. It's snow- & ice-covered. It's treeless.

And Arctic foxes keep mocking me by not giving me an opportunity to take off my gloves, rummage through various pockets in my four layers of clothing to find my iPod or phone to snap an Instagram pic of them.

If one of them gets run over by the Hercules aircraft that keeps landing in the middle of the night on the ice runway, you better believe I'll do my best to give it a haircut for my tying supplies...

...if there's anything left of it.

Enjoy a tune:

17 April 2012

The Land of the Ice and Snow

I managed to make it out on opening day for a couple hours, didn't catch anything, then, just as quickly, emptied my truck of all my gear for the next few weeks.

I'm in the midst of packing for a project site that's within a degree or so of the Arctic Circle in Nunavut. It was -23°C there yesterday.

I guess I'll break my rule of never traveling without a fly rod for this trip.

On the bright side, this is probably the farthest north anyone has ever tied tarpon & bonefish flies...

10 April 2012

07 April 2012

On Quivers Full Of Fly Rods

As of a month or so ago, I had the following in my quiver of fly rods:
  • 3wt, 7'3" custom build rod + (unknown brand) reel 
  • TFO TiCr 5wt, 9' + Lamson Konic reel
  • Redington Predator 6wt, 7'10" + Redington Rise reel
  • Loop XACT 7wt, 9' + Hardy Ultralite 7000DD reel
  • Cabela's Stowaway 8wt, 9'-5pc + Cabela's RLS reel
  • Cabela's CGR 7/8wt, 7'6" fiberglass + spare spool for Hardy Ultralite reel
  • Redington CPX 8wt, 9' + Lamson Litespeed reel & spare spool
  • Shakespeare 8wt, 9' fiberglass rod (my dad's from 30 years ago)
  • Redington CPX 10wt, 9' + Redington Delta reel + spare spool
  • TFO TiCrX 12wt, 9' + Hardy Zane Saltwater reel
It turns out that a few of those rods don't see much action over the course of the season, so it got me thinking about trimming down a bit.

Two years ago, I was more than content with using my 3wt on 10-12" trout 99% of the time, and I'd haul out that Cabela's Stowaway 8wt for the occasional salmon trip to the Miramichi River...but things change. Oh, how they ever change...

Last year, my 3wt didn't see water. Nor did the Stowaway (the Stowaway was what I used in Louisiana, fyi). Luckily for me, they had a good home awaiting them, in exchange for a wonderful pedal-driven steed that will see a lot of action (& hopefully not much water) this coming year.

That leaves eight rods. I know of some folks that may have double or triple that number. Possibly entirely of bamboo, too...but that's a whole other level of sickness that will not be addresses in this post.

The Redington Predator & the Cabela's CGR glass rod will be my go-to bass rods, both by choice and by regulations: when I fish the local tournaments this summer, I'm not permitted to use rods over eight feet in length. 

My dad's Shakespeare glass rod is staying put, end of story.

The Loop 7wt is my practice rod for the CCI exam, and will morph into my Atlantic salmon rod when necessary. I have a little twinge of buyer's remorse over this, as I don't necessarily love the medium-fast action on this rod & sometimes wish I would have went with a TFO TiCr, TiCrX or Axiom. But it is what it is, so I'll cope (for now).

UPDATE: I've decided to pull the trigger on swapping the Loop rod for a TFO Axiom 7wt. The Loop rod has only been grass-casted a few times and, due to employee discounts, I should be able to recover the sufficient cash to cover off the cost of the Axiom. There's no sense in casting a rod you don't enjoy casting...

My Redington CPX 8wt is...well, let's pretend I was a Jedi. The 8wt CPX would be my lightsaber. I like this rod. A lot. I had someone in Idaho look at the cork & say, "Wow, you've had that a while, haven't you?" and I replied, "Ahh, about 5 months." His reply was along the lines of "Holy f**k, how much do you fish?!?!" 

I like the feel, the balance, the weight, the action...I just like it. In fact, I love it as much as a person could love a mass-produced inanimate object. I caught my first smallmouth, first striped bass, first salmon and first (baby) tarpon with this rod. I would've caught that chinook salmon & bull trout with it, too, if Derek the guide hadn't arrived with his Redington rod completely rigged up already.

Needless to say, the CPX 8wt stays (and it's getting a sexy new accessory soon, too).

The Redington CPX 10wt is/will be the standby muskie/striper/tarpon/permit/cuda rod. It has seen some action, but is yet to get some fish stank on it yet. It will be seeing a lot of action this summer due to the boat arriving on the scene; there's some fish with teeth that need to be caught with a fly rod in the Saint John River. 

I think the 10wt CPX is up for the challunge, both this summer as well as in Belize in September. So it stays.

See what I did there? Challunge = CHAllenge + MuskeLLUNGE. Yeah, it's kind of a pun/play on words. I'm clever. You could say I am a cunning linguist. And did you see what I did there? Say "cunning linguist" fast...but not in front of your kids. I'm friggin' hilarious.

That leaves the TFO TiCrX 12wt, with the reel I referred to as a 'heirloom' reel: the Hardy Zane Saltwater. It saw two partial days of action, and went one for one for catching Pacific sailfish. And I can't, in any foreseeable future I can imagine, see myself using this again soon. 

So unfortunately, I decided it's time for that setup to go to a more well-deserving home. A home that doesn't require 26 hours of driving or a full day of flying in order to regularly use it. So it's currently listed on eBay.

(Note: it's currently April 7th, the auction ends April 12th at 1620 EST...just in case I forget to come back & update this post. The rod's eBay Item # is 170819743479; the reel's Item # is 170819730439...if you're interested in looking at them...)

With the departure of the 3wt & the 5pc 8wt, and (hopefully) the coming departure of the 12wt rod & reel, that knocks things down to a manageable & (somewhat) sensible seven rods:
  • 5wt for trout
  • 6wt for smallies
  • 7wt for CCI exam & Atlantic salmon
  • 7/8wt glass for smallies
  • 8wt for salt
  • 8wt glass for shits, giggles, nostalgia
  • 10wt for salt/muskie
See? That makes sense...doesn't it?

This was a long-winded post about fly rods & my (lame-ass) attempt to live simplistic lifestyle while having a small fly shop's worth of gear in my basement, so you definitely deserve some music if you've made it this far.

Here are a few tracks that have popped into my head recently, hope you enjoy them:

05 April 2012

Awesome video

Remember last year, when I posted "Lazy fish porn post: Striper madness" while I was in Senegal (but had to wait the better part of a month to watch it in its entirety due to shitty internet)?

Well, two things about that:
  1. That title has provided me with many laughs over the past year & some due to Google search terms. Think "lazy stripper porn," "strippers with fish," and so on & so forth...
  2. the filmmaker of that fishing video, Peter Laurelli, just released the full version of his 2011 video, and it's right here:

04 April 2012

Is it too early?

Good stuff found trolling around on the Costa website.

I know I have almost an entire fishing season at home to look forward to before I set off on this trip, but I'm already getting excited. Belize is gonna be friggin' awesome.

I've already gotten into tying some patterns for tarpon. I figure if I do 6-8 flies for tarpon, bones & permit per week between now & the trip, I'll have 'er beat & pretty much be set for life.

Tarpon Bunnies are the easiest pattern of life to tie, so I will have my quota of those tied up by next week before moving onto some Whistlers, Cockroaches, Seaducers, and whatever else people might recommend to me.

Some technical updates: Instagram for Android came out! As such, my tumblr page, The Angler's Android & iPod, has now become shortened to The Angler's Android.

Lots of random pics of gear coming through the fly shop's doors, flies & other odds & ends are being posted to the tumblr page via Instagram, so check it out if you're so inclined.

I haven't really put much thought into if/where I'll be fishing on opening day on April 15th.  had thought I'd be away for work for most of April, including the first week or two of the season, but that hasn't happened yet.

Last year, the first two weeks were fairly unproductive, with rivers blown out due to spring runoff. This year: who knows? That stretch of insane 25°C temperatures for a week in mid-March took care of snowpack, and rivers are already subsiding from flood stage; by next Sunday, they could be quite clear & wadable. 

Sea-run trout were being caught in the Nashwaak during the first week of the season of 2010 due to low runoff, perhaps we'll have a repeat of that.

Here's some music: