25 October 2012

Things of Three VII

The seventh edition of three items/subjects/places/people worth checking out to make life as an angler and global citizen far more enjoyable.

1. Recycled Waders
The 'nook sack from Recycled Waders
There's a few smallish players in the fly fishing industry that have come on the scene over the last few years.

I think it's great; I'm one of those hippy communist free-thinkers people that believes a resurrection of cottage industries is the way out of the mess globalization has created. That is, people creating their own goods or services (& destiny) as opposed to slaving away at a soulless job while worried about a pink slip arriving at any moment.

Vedavoo & Smith Fly have been getting a fair amount of press and rightfully so, but another one you should check out is Recycled Waders.

The concept is simple & brilliant. They repurpose leaky waders into 'new' useful gear: packs, wallets, reel cases and the like.

Waders don't get sent to the landfill, and the gear at Recycled Waders is very reasonably priced, likely due to decreased material costs. Win-win.

I purchased the 'nook sack and think it's great; it fits exactly what I need and doesn't let me take more than what I need. Thus fulfilling those hippy communist free-thinking minimalist tendencies I lean toward.

Reduce, reuse, recycle indeed.

web: recycledwaders.com

2. Fly Fishing for Coastal Gamefish by Dr. Aaron Adams
As a self-confessed nerd, this book seems as though it was written for "fishing nerd me.' There's a lot of science in it. I think it's awesome.

I picked it up this summer when we were visiting Asheville, NC. I read it in a tent, on the hostel's balcony, on the beach at Sullivan's Island, in the hotel in Massachusetts, on the plane to Nunavut and on a boat in Belize. I read it just about anywhere a person could read a book.

If you're an angler heading for any inshore fishing anywhere south of the Carolinas (& north of Venezuela) and want to understand the various habitats, fish and prey, this book is definitely for you.

Is it for everybody? Definitely not, especially if the most literary or scientific thing you read each week is my rambling bullshit.

Whether you're a nerd or not, it's worth having on your bookshelf for reference.

web: fishermanscoast.com, or buy here

3. Sweet Home Alabama - The Southern Rock Saga
This is a cool documentary on the rise of Southern Rock, if y'all have an hour to kill.

In fact, y'all should put everything on hold for an hour to watch it. It'll do you good.

(If you're reading this in an email & can't see the video above, click here to view the full post)

23 October 2012

Traveling Angler Tuesdays: Global Rescue

When one travels off the beaten path in pursuit of fish or other adventures (or for work), it's always good to plan ahead about how you're getting home in the worse case scenario.

Since my first trip to West Africa in 2010, my plan has involved forking some cash over to become a member of Global Rescue.

With different membership plans and options available, Global Rescue provides emergency response services in case of medical or security risks to their members.

Because of the nature of my travel, I have both the medical and security plans that cover me for up to 90 days out of my home province at a time (I added the security package once I found out the location of my next assignment). 

It works out to be about $55/month for this coverage. I consider it an extremely good investment.

Note: The company I'm (loosely) attached to has a contract with International SOS, which I have access to, but I pay extra for Global Rescue out of my own pocket. That says something right there, huh?

Coincidently (and conveniently), an email update from Angling Trade arrived while I was writing the draft of this today, with a little blurb about Global Rescue. It involves an experience Jim Klug of Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures had on one of his many travels, resulting in Global Rescue getting a call. You can read about it here.

You can also read more about Global rescue in this article from Outside Magazine here.

Oh, if I'm not cool enough to review & recommend Global Rescue, these guys might be sufficiently cooler.

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Traveling Angler Tuesdays launched June 26th, 2012 on mattrevors.com. My mission is to prove the concept of fly fishing travel abroad is not just the realm of old rich dudes and magazine writers & photographers. Keep checking back regularly as I share tips & tricks to get you to fly fishing locales you dream of going to. To see past articles & tips, click here.

18 October 2012

Things of Three VI

The sixth edition of three items/subjects/places/people worth checking out to make life as an angler and global citizen far more enjoyable.
Random, somewhat-out-of-context photo of me & my first bonefish. Yes, I'm proud of it.
(Photo by Dylan Rose of Fly Water Travel LLC)
1. SCOF Issue #5
Yes, I'm late to the party. It was released on Sunday. I even read it on Sunday. Things of Three comes out on Thursdays. It's the 'th- th- th-' thing: THings of THree on THursday. It's a principle THing.

Anywho, back to SCOF, aka Southern Culture on the Fly. I think it's their best issue yet. It's the one-year anniversary issue. The redfish footage from Louisiana is cool as hell. Definitely watch both videos, especially Captain Gregg Arnold discussing the strip-strike. Right to the end.

And note my pumping out a little promo/review of SCOF #5 has little to do with the editor rowing my girl & I around on a lake one fine Sunday afternoon a few months back in what turned out to be a guided trip. The issue stands on its own. If Grossman & Co. ever put out a shitty issue, me promoting it will be part of the payback for the fishing trip. Well, that & the case of PBR I left in the boat cooler.

Check out SCOF #5 by clicking here or the image below.

web: southerncultureonthefly.com

2. Clear Cure Goo Brushable
Clear Cure Goo's brushable UV-epoxy is an absolute joy to use: simple, clean, effective. I've yet to scratch the surface for its many uses, but I've used it on Clouser Deep Minnows for both fresh & salt, for stiffening up deer hair collars on a few different patterns, as well as on the Clear Cure Charlie (which happens to be the unseen fly stuck in that bonefish's mouth in the pic above).

Brian Carson of CCG is a cool dude; he's developed several different types of CCG UV-epoxy, plus the CCG eyes and bodies. From reading along on their website, they put the different formulas & products through the ringer to perfect them before making them available to fly tyers. I haven't tried any of the CCG epoxy besides the Brushable, but I will be real soon. And I'm looking forward to it.

Note: That's called foreshadowing in the literary biz...

CCG's pro staff features some of the rising stars in the fly tying world right now, too; guys like Thomas Harvey, Brad Bohen and Pat Cohen. It'll definitely be worth your while to be checking in on CCG's blog page in the very near-future to see what those guys and many other CCG's pro staff will be up to.

Note: That's also foreshadowing. Trust me on this. Let's just say the next time I write about CCG, I'll need to add in the standard disclaimer. But not yet. The Brushable was purchased on my dime. And worth every penny.

web: clearcuregoo.com

3. The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer
Last Friday I threw out a request to the twitterverse for some new music to listen to.

I received a few replies featuring a lot of good bands.

But this one is my favourite.

Blues rocks. Especially blues that rocks.

H&AM has three albums. I now have all three. They're good. Check 'em out.

16 October 2012

Traveling Angler Tuesdays: The Charleston Five

My lovely girlfriend and I went on an epic road trip a few months back and we ended up in lovely, historic Charleston, SC for five days.

We really loved it: the food, hospitality and fun were all in abundance.

There's something special about historical port cities and towns. They give me a good feeling. Halifax, St. John's (Newfoundland), Seattle, Montreal, Portland (Maine), Vancouver, Belfast (Maine) and Charleston have each given me that vibe over the years. I can't put my finger on it, but part of it is definitely the architecture. Or maybe the fresh sea air. Who knows? I like it though.

Note: Sorry Saint John (New Brunswick), Sydney (Nova Scotia), but you're a little ways off from making this list. Keep chasing that rainbow, though!

Here's my list of five must-sees/dos if you're heading to the Holy City for a visit (plus a bonus tip for affordable accommodations right in the heart of Charleston):

1. South Carolina Aquarium
There's a reason I put this at number one: the SC Aquarium is AWESOME! Snakes, albino alligators, sharks, a big-ass eagle, lots of fish, lots of things to see. Expect to spend a couple of hours wandering around to see everything, but allocate more time if you plan to take in a show at the 4-D Theatre.

Bonus: if you happen to get skunked fishing for redfish, like I did, at least you can see them up close at the Aquarium. Just don't expect to be allowed to grab one for a grip & grin...

Web: scaquarium.org
Location: 100 Aquarium Wharf  Charleston, SC (map)

No hero shots allowed!
2. Sullivan's Island
There's a beach. And there's Fort Moultrie, an old-timey fort in service for over 170 years. Fort Moutrie was manned through many major incidents of modern history, including the Revolutionary War, the 'War of Northern Aggression' and up through World War II.
Sullivan's Island beach. Not Fort Moultrie.
And Sullivan's is also home to Poe's Tavern (more on that below), too.

There's also kite-surfing lessons, which is awesome if you like watching people slam face-first into water and/or sand at high velocities. I know I did.

Location: map

3. Lowcountry Fly Shop
Scotty D and the gang at Lowcountry Fly Shop have an awesome shop & know their shit. Everything you could ask for, for both fresh & saltwater, is at the shop. Loads of tying materials, too.

Lowcountry also runs a guide and charter service. Scotty's a workhorse on the poling platform. He put me into lots of fish, too (I just messed things up a lot). Getting to see a part of the Charleston region from the bow of Scotty's flats boat was a definite highlight of my trip.

Note: Fishing in Charleston? Work on casting short-shots. Seriously. Fifteen to thirty feet. That means five to twenty feet of fly line out of the tip. Choose your rod wisely. I'm already mentally preparing for my return trip. And yes, Charleston reds do seem to be smarter than Louisiana reds...

Pop in for a visit, buy some flies, book a guided trip, ask where to eat/drink...ask if Scotty still has my sneakers...you can do it all at Lowcountry Fly Shop. A mandatory stop for the Traveling Angler whilst in Charleston.

Web: lowcountryflyshop.com
Location: 280 W. Coleman Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC (map)

Big-ass bridge. Scary with a kayak strapped to your roof rack. But Lowcountry Fly Shop is over there...
4. Hominy Grill
I'm not a souvenir guy, but I keep this on my fridge.
That must say something right there.
This was conveniently located around the corner from where we stayed. We ate there twice. We had plans to go again. It was that awesome.

A trip to the South isn't right without eating Southern food. It's truly the food of the angels. Perhaps big-boned angels, but angels nonetheless.

The first meal we had at the Hominy Grill was the big nasty biscuit with fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese and sausage gravy. With grits, cornbread and sweet tea.

If one was to eat Southern-style, it's full-ass or no-ass. And eating that leads down the path to full-ass after a while, I'm certain. It was delicious. My mouth is watering right now.

The second time in, we had breakfast. I was considering the big nasty again (yes, it's on the breakfast menu, too) but opted for the egg biscuit. Something about biscuits in that part of the world really makes sense. With grits on the side, once again.

I like grits. And sweet tea.

Damn it I'm hungry.

Note: I started making grits here. It took a small but coordinated search to find authentic grits in Atlantic Canada, but I did it. That's what I do. I find stuff. I'm good at it, and often receive a substantial sum of money to find stuff. Interested in me finding stuff for you? Hire me. Seriously.

I regret not making the third trip as we were planning to buy the Hominy Grill Recipe Book when we went back...but I just noticed they have recipes on their webpage. Win.

Web: hominygrill.com
Location: 207 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC (map)

5. Poe's Tavern
Located on Sullivan's Island, Poe's Tavern has the best damn fries and burgers we had on our road trip. Bar none. Just go. You won't regret it.

Note: Special thanks to Cameron over at TFM for recommending Poe's Tavern as well as the SC Aquarium for our adventures!

Web: poestavern.com/sullivans-island/
Location: 2210 Middle Street, Sullivan's Island, SC (map)

6. Affordable Accommodations in Historic Charleston (BONUS)
This is your money-saving tip for this post. And a call for people to think about prioritizing when you're on vacation.

Here's an exercise: Go to Expedia and search for hotels in "Historic Charleston."

Spendy, right?

Enter Not-so-Hostel, located walking distance to everything in "Historic Charleston." A private room, shared bathroom and next to the old-timey Southern veranda for sippin' mint juleps. That was mid-summer, I might add.

Note: Hostels, in the eyes of North Americans, get a bad rap, mostly due to the inconsiderate dirtbag hippies. Some people don't like shared bathrooms, either. I say get over yourself. Use the bathroom and get outside to see stuff. And it's funny that many of the same people that bitch & moan about staying in a hostel will also bitch & moan about the high price of a hotel room. Figure your shit out, people.

And I'm not saying all hippies are inconsiderate or dirtbags. I'm saying the inconsiderate dirtbag kind of hippies really ruin a lot of shit (especially if you're in a band and you steal booze from the people who promoted your show...you f**kers know who you are). The extremely condescending "yippies" (hippy + yuppy), typically found wearing Patagonia clothing and driving Subaru Outbacks* are annoying, too, but at least they don't ruin shit like the inconsiderate dirtbag hippy does.

* - I'm considering buying a Subaru Outback, but it's due to mileage/storage/reliability combination. Seriously. How's that for irony? No plans for a Patagonia soft-shell anytime soon, though. But Patagonia does make apparel of excellent quality. Just sayin'.

My girlfriend and I were trying to keep our accommodation costs on this road trip as low as possible. We were aiming for a budgeted cost of $50 per night. We did a few overnight drives ($0/night, except extra coffee/Red Bull), a few nights in campgrounds ($20-$40/night), a few hotels ($109-$145/night) and four nights at the Not-So Hostel in Charleston...at $60/night.

That's not a typo: we spent five days/four nights in Historic Charleston for $240 total, cheaper than many hotels charge per night in the summertime in Chucktown.

A side-benefit of staying at the hostel was being within walking distance of lots of restaurants and activities, so no burning gas while we were there, either.

Wandering around Charleston, eating delicious Southern food, going fishing with Scotty D. seeing the SC Aquarium and the other fun we had wouldn't have been possible if I didn't happen to come across the Not-So Hostel's website. We wouldn't have been able to spend five days in the Holy City at regular hotel rates. The rates are too damn high.

Web: notsohostel.com
Location: 156 Spring Street, Charleston, SC (map)

Fancy hotels are nice, but if it came down to sleeping in a king-size bed or seeing Becky hold a baby alligator...

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Traveling Angler Tuesdays launched June 26th, 2012 on mattrevors.com. My mission is to prove the concept of fly fishing travel abroad is not just the realm of old rich dudes and magazine writers & photographers. Keep checking back regularly as I share tips & tricks to get you to fly fishing locales you dream of going to. To see past articles & tips, click here.

11 October 2012

The Wake-Up Call

As y'all probably figured out from previous posts and/or the Twazzler feed, I was on the road for work this past week, back in Idaho.

It was a decent rotation; being away working for eight or nine days as opposed to 28 or 29 days was quite agreeable to me. I even had an exceptional session of urban fishing on the Boise River (again) prior to flying out.

I did have a major wake-up call on this trip, however (one that doesn't involve how much I dislike casting with indicators).

On the third or fourth day, I had to make a visit to the project site to check up on processes and such, which involved a solid 15-20 minute hike uphill. No big deal, right?


Some of my friends and I have an expression: "I didn't know whether to shit or go blind." It's used to explain moments of mass confusion or anger. In this case, after walking three-quarters of the way up, I could have modified the saying: "I didn't know whether I was going to shit or die, or die while shitting and puking all over myself."

Anyway you cut it, that little hike didn't do anything to make me feel good about myself.

This was (is) a bitter pill for me to swallow. I mean, I still fit into pants with a 34" waist and as little as a few years ago I was mounting a comeback in rugby, getting in decent physical shape along the way.

Note #1: the rugby comeback ended when I realized I like to tackle with the same shoulder I cast with. It's hard to cast when you can't lift your arm. Priorities, you see...

I even tried to justify my near-death/near-shit experience with the difference in altitude: Fredericton is about 65' (20m) above sea level, while this project site is pushing 7500' (2285m).

Note #2: I only know these elevations because I looked it up while being dizzy and in denial about my physical fitness.

But reality bites. Once my heart rate and breathing returned to normal (about 2 days later, I'm sure), I came to a stark conclusion: I am horribly out of shape.

As I plan on having countless miles of rivers, streams, shorelines and flats to walk in my future, this is changing. Right now. I'm working on a leaner, fitter and possibly meaner, version of me.

Note #3: 'possibly meaner' due to increased crankiness from lack of cheeseburgers and Twizzlers.

Note #4: I won't be posting any before & after pics. Or spamming your twitter/facebook feeds with my RunKeeper stats or the health benefits of some paleo-bullshit diet. For what it's worth I'll probably still eat Twizzlers and cheeseburgers. In fact, I have no real idea why the hell I even wrote this post other than to say feeling completely winded & shitty (not literally) after that hike sucked ass, and I'm already doing something about it. So if you're in the same boat, maybe you should do something about it too. Just sayin'.

Note #5: Ignore this tweet from earlier today. I'm eating in moderation.

Things of Three V

The fifth edition of three items/subjects/places/people worth checking out to make life as an angler and global citizen far more enjoyable.

1. Boise River (downtown Boise, ID)
I've fished this river twice, last October 31st and this past Tuesday, for probably four hours total.

It hasn't disappointed me yet.

Rainbows, browns, whitefish and even the occasional steelhead or salmon can be found in the heart of downtown Boise, adjacent to Boise State University.

If you ever find yourself heading to or through Boise, bring a four or five-weight. Tim & the gang at the Idaho Angler Fly Shop can get you sorted out.

Website: idahoangler.com

2. The Copper John
The Copper John was my go-to in Boise. I don't love using a nymph, and using an indicator isn't my favourite thing in the world. But I do like catching fish and local wisdom said a #16 red Copper John & an indicator was the way to go.

Local knowledge was bang-on about the red Copper John.

Note: I lost my indicator in a roll cast/fast current/overhanging branch cocktail of love & didn't bother replacing it for the rest of the outing. I still caught fish.

Here's some great info for tying John Barr's Copper John from Charley's Fly Box and Midcurrent.

Photo from: http://www.charliesflyboxinc.com/uploads/DSC05120.JPG
3. Aeropress Coffee Maker
I don't leave home without this. Ever.

If you are prone to finding yourself in random shitholes around the globe and appreciate (NEED) a decent cup of coffee at any given time, I highly recommend getting an Aeropress.

All that's required is (decent) coffee and hot water. In my travels, I've used the following for a source of hot water for my Aeropress:
  • Electric stove
  • Electric kettle
  • Hot-water tap for tea on commercial coffee makers
  • Hot water tap on water coolers
  • Microwave
  • Propane stove
  • Camp stove
  • A pot on a barbecue grill
  • A pot on a hot rock adjacent to a fire
  • Aluminum water bottle set on top of a propane-fired heater
In every case the end result was a fine-ass cuppa joe.

Like travel? Love coffee? Get an Aeropress.

PS - Thanks for the Aeropress, mom & dad!

05 October 2012

The Saltwater Journal

I am slightly pleased to announce the launch of The Saltwater Journal.

Essentially, it's another website sharing the same damn fishporn, fly tying videos and articles as a half-dozen other websites do.


It does have a fine-ass collection of links (here) that will be added to regularly. And it will be a one-stop shop for all things salty.

You might be asking why.

Well, if I don't keep myself occupied with something over the course of this winter, I'm probably going to do something stupid, like drive my truck to Mexico with girlfriend, dog, fishing gear & kayak in tow. The Saltwater Journal (as well as this site) might prevent stupidity from occurring.

Check it out here, but be prepared to waste an hour watching fishporn you've already watched before.

04 October 2012

Things of Three IV

The fourth edition of three items/subjects/places/people worth checking out to make life as an angler and global citizen far more enjoyable.

1. Snook
They hit hard. They pull hard. And they look cool as hell.

Note: They're also quite tasty, but they're more fun to catch than to eat.
Photo by Dylan Rose of Fly Water Travel LLC
2. Idaho Angler
There's something to be said about walking into a shop and being recognized from a previous visit almost exactly a year ago to the day.

Friendly, helpful & knowledgeable, plus everything once could need for fishing in Idaho or anywhere else for that matter, including a huge tying section featuring materials for both fresh & salt.

If you're in the Boise area, a visit to Idaho Angler is a must.

Website: idahoangler.com
Social: facebook.com/IdahoAngler
Location: 1682 Vista Avenue  Boise, ID

3. Bonefish on the Brain
Dear Bjorn,

At first, I thought you were a little OCD about having a website dedicated to only one species of fish. Especially a fish living in waters far from your home address. A fish you have only one or maybe a couple of chances per year to go fishing for.

But then I caught one. And I get it now. I really do.

I'm already scheming an escape to catch more.



Website: bonefishonthebrain.com

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As some of you might have seen on a recent Facebook post, I'm taking a break from Facebook. This US Presidential election thing is bringing out the worse in some people. These are people I consider friends, either in real life or in the online realm. I respect your right to your opinions but the outright negativity, from both left and right, is depressing as f**k. So yeah, I'm done on Facebook until November 8th or 9th or so (besides, Twitter is far more enjoyable than Facebook).

That being said, y'all should get out and vote. No matter what your political leaning is, exercise your right to vote. Canada had a federal election last year and the turnout was downright dismal. Don't be apathetic; apathy is more depressing than the negative shit. Go vote.

This link will not be shared on the ol' Crackbook by yours truly. If anyone wants to share it, it'd be appreciated, but it's not necessary.

Keep it real.