26 November 2012

More randomness

It's been a while since I wrote an essay of complete random bullshit, and, since I haven't posted here on ten or so days, now's as good as time as any.

1) Niger
Yes, Niger (not Nigeria. Two different places).

I'm going to Niger tomorrow for three weeks or so (and possibly again in January).

Hopefully I won't land what Bjorn called a grand slam of dysentery, malaria and getting kidnapped.

I will have internet access but have no idea of the workload as of yet, so posts may be sporadic. Well, more sporadic than usual...

There's no fishing there, which really doesn't help me write content for Traveling Angler Tuesdays.

Which brings us to...

2) Traveling Angler Tuesdays
Traveling Angler Tuesdays might be placed on hold for a little while.

I have no fishing trips planned or schemed (but some are dreamed). I am working on a few subjects for upcoming posts (doing liveaboard/mothership trips, using booking agents, etc.) and I was hoping for a few guest posts from other Traveling Anglers I was in touch with, but for now, this Traveling Angler isn't doing too much angling.

If anyone would like to contribute a guest post with how-to's or other fine points of being a Traveling Angler, by all means, get in touch, but I'm not chasing people down.

Trying to track down fishing addicts to write something is like herding cats, for f** all.

Not that I blame them. I'd rather be fishing, too. I'll always be a fisherman that writes, not a writer that fishes.

3) Pic of me with the best Key Lime pie ever

I'd shoot someone for a piece of that Key Lime pie right about now.

And that, folks, is why gun laws are tight in Canada. We'd shoot people over pie.

But not dog shit. Never dog shit. That's just irrational.

4) International Fly Tying Symposium
Last weekend I was in Somerset, New Jersey for the tying symposium; my first 'official duty' as Clear Cure Goo's writer-not-in-residence. I had a blast meeting a lot of folks that I had only spoke with via Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Skype up until that point.

I understand turnout was a little down this year; a lot of that had to do with people dealing with the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy.

Thanks to Brian of CCG for letting me tag along and to everyone for stopping by the CCG booth to say hi. It was great meeting y'all.

Note: I'll probably write a little more about the IFTS on the Clear Cure Blog soon, so keep your eyes peeled for it over there. 

5) Being sick sucks hole.
Honestly, I've been having my ass kicked by a cold/flu since the tying symposium in NJ, so I haven't been posting too much here, there, or anywhere else for that matter.

I've been combining various elixirs and concoctions for the last few days. The congestion remains...but I seemed to have made a new friend that appears after certain medications have been mixed together:
As I'm 28 hours away from boarding multiple tin-pigeons (with their healthy recycled air) for the better part of a day and a half, I'm hoping adding some Buckley's flu medication into the mix finally knocks this bastard down the basement stairs for good.

I'd like to take the elephant with me to Niger, though...

6) Being sick isn't the only excuse, though...
As I wrote many weeks back, I've been using my side project, The Saltwater Fly Journal, to share a lot of content that previously would have been posted here. Stuff like this. And this. And this, too. So sign up for email/RSS updates (right hand sidebar, underneath the Redington banner) so you don't miss anything awesome on The Saltwater Fly Journal.

Because someday, there will be awesome stuff there. Trust me.

7) The following people/blogs need to keep doing what they're doing...
...because it's damn good:

8) Some people just don't get it.

"Kramer goes to a Fantasy camp? His whole life is a fantasy camp! People should plunk down $2,000 to live like him for a week." George Costanza

Someone recently referenced that quote while talking to me about my life. Some days I think it it's bang-on.

But that particular day I just purchased this to keep strapped to my body 24/7 in Niger.

Fantasy camp, my ass...

9) I love this website.
I like to mix it up once in a while here: fly fishing and lifestyle.

That lifestyle probably doesn't jive for the majority (go back to 1) and 8) on this list) but I'm sure two or three of you are interested in it a little bit.

Oh, that link might be classified as NSFW and/or the kids. There's a lot of swears in there.

My apartment is in a state of flux right now. I call it controlled chaos. The clutter and squalor quotients are kept to a minimum, at least. The kayak, fishing gear and all the fly tying materials in the living lend a certain loveable ambience to the place.

UFYH gives a much-needed dose of reality to the realm of cleaning & organizing: cleaning sucks, but it needs to be done (for advanced level reality, give this guy a read...if you can handle it)

It's a good site to read when things get out of control.

10) The new James Bond...
...was ok. It was no Avengers, by any stretch, but it was good.

11) Music for your playlist
A few tracks I've been listening to recently, give 'em a listen:

(Can't see the videos above? Click here to view the full post)

15 November 2012

Things of Three VIII

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

1. TFM interviewed on Itinerant Angler
Glass guru Cameron Mortenson of the Fiberglass Manifesto spoke with Zach Matthews on the Itinerant Angler podcast the other day, sharing his insights on current trends in the world of modern fiberglass rods.

The discussion ranged from a who's who of modern glass rod builders to the feel of casting slower action rods. The podcast is a great listen; Cameron really knows his stuff.

Since following along to Cameron's glass sermons over the past couple of years, I've dipped my toe into the shallow end of the fiberglass pool. The 7/8wt Cabela's CGR ended up as one of my favourite rods, and I've dusted off my dad's old Shakespeare two-piece rod a few times. They're fun to cast, and playing a 2lb smallmouth on them is a near religious experience.

Though not a devout glass disciple, I've discovered my casting style and technique (or lack thereof) is better suited to slower action rods, and have since adjusted my rod quiver accordingly. Gone are a couple super-fast action rods (eg, TFO's Axiom). Another lightsaber has found a home with me: a new 7wt Redington CPX (I now own the CPX in 7, 8 and 10wts). Casting the fiberglass rods helped me determine what works best for me, and the slightly-slower action of the CPX is it...it just took a few other 7wt rods to figure that out.

If you haven't taken a glass rod for a spin yet, I recommend it. There's a rod loan program over at TFM to give you a chance to demo a few. It's worth looking into.

Listen to Cameron on the Itinerant Angler podcast here, and visit The Fiberglass Manifesto website to get your inner glass geek on.

2. Google Nexus 7
You might recall me singing the praises of my iPod Touch in previous posts. And while I still believe it's a amazingly useful device for communicating, snapping pictures and listening to music (especially when traveling light), the Nexus 7 otherwise blows it out of the water.

With a 7" screen and larger touchscreen keypad (equipped with Swype), it's far easier for reading and typing content, and videos can be watched without holding the device 4.5" from your face. Synced with my Google account, it has everything I need (email, calendar, contacts, etc) for my jet-setting ways.

The Nexus 7 is also far more comfortable to read my ever-expanding ebook library than my iPod Touch, and the screen allows me to read with the lights off, unlike the Kobo e-reader. As both Kindle and Kobo have Android apps, I'm able to keep both libraries on one device. Brilliant.

Am I retiring the iPod Touch? Hell no. I'm still a big fan of Apple products. But it's a lot easier on my brain traveling with the Nexus 7 & iPod instead of my MacBook Air, which remains my HQ for all things Mat in the digital world.

And another bonus: it's far, far cheaper than an iPad. I wouldn't own a tablet if the Nexus 7 wasn't the price it is ($250 for 16gb model).

Web: google.com/nexus/7/

3. The (updated) Saltwater Fly Journal
Blatant self-promotion? You bet.

But a couple evenings of sleeplessness from jet lag brought some flashy renovations to my little side project, The Saltwater Fly Journal.

Gone is the plain-Jane minimalist look. A flashy header pic and a few coloured fonts later and I'm ready to take on Midcurrent*!

* - No I'm not.

Though still existing as an aggregator of news, videos and info from the salty realm for now, I'm excited about putting more effort into the Saltwater Fly Journal. Expect content about community supported fisheries and eating seafood to accompany the usual fare of saltwater fishporn, gear and fly tying. And yes, there will be some original content in there, too...eventually.

Note - Don't fear, for the rambling bullshit that you've been used to seeing for nigh onto 270 posts will continue here on mattrevors.com.

I'd be pumped if you clicked over and checked out The (new) Saltwater Fly Journal.

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

14 November 2012

Who's in?

(click image to go to the Tying Symposium's website)

I'll be the at the symposium this weekend, hanging around the Clear Cure Goo booth (trying to be helpful, a.k.a., not a nuisance).

Stop by to say hi to Brian & I if you're in the neighbourhood!

11 November 2012


Yes, I'm alive.

No, I haven't been fishing...except for a few hours chucking fowl-sized flies for muskie. And no, I didn't hook (or see) any.

The vise was hauled out a few nights back, tying a few mid-sized ugly flies to refill the bass box for next season. But even that burst of spontaneous creativity was short-lived due to traveling for work.

It's -12°C here in Idaho (about 10°F in Yankee units), with snow on the way. I didn't bother to bring any fishing gear this trip for my post-work / pre-flight pilgrimage to the Boise River. Time constraints and such.

If you can't tell, I'm about three weeks deep into the winter blues and we're not even past the midway point of November.

I'm hoping for Sage to release a high-priced, angler-themed ultraviolet light to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. I'll be one of the first to buy.

Only 154 days to go...

Note: my SADness is self-diagnosed and caused almost exclusively by lack of fishing. And probably not real. I'm sorry if people who truly suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder are offended at what they may perceive as insensitive humour. It's not my intention to offend, only to entertain...and whine...

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One thing that isn't 154 days away that I'm looking forward to is going to the International Fly Tying Symposium!

I'm going to help spread the word about Clear Cure Goo and its overall awesomeness, so if you're at the show this coming weekend, stop by the CCG booth to say hi to Brian and I...and buy some Clear Cure Goo!

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One of the mid-sized uglies I tied up the other night came out pretty good, if I do say so myself:

It's pretty simple, can be done in any number of colours, and only has seven ingredients including hook & thread:
  • Hook: TMC 8089 #10
  • Thread: black 6/0
  • Tail: rabbit strip w/ Krystal flash above (long) & below (short)
  • Body: Cactus chenille (black & copper shown above)
  • Eyes: Medium dumbbell eyes
  • Silli-legs
I used some Clear Cure Goo on the eyes & to finish the head, but any head cement could do the trick.

In the bass bug pictured, I used three legs per side (resulting in six legs/side), which, in the end, is a little excessive & a bit of a pain in the arsehole to deal with when wrapping the chenille. I'll only use two legs per side (four legs a-danglin') in the future.

This was the first fly in my new Bass Fly Philosopher's Collection, in which there are two components:
  1. Surface flies: Sexy is good. Flashy is good. Precision is good. Think of deer hair bass bugs, hand-crafted foam & balsa poppers, so on, so forth. Care & effort is worth it.
  2. Sub-surface flies: quick & dirty ties. Clousers, buggers and their variants that can be tied quickly, cheaply, and thus lost on bottom or structure without too much grief for time and dollars spent.
Most of my bass fishing is in a smallish river; hence, the majority of bass flies I use (and lose) are weighted flies I dead-drift along bottom or toss into structure. Because I'm one of only a handful of bass-on-the-fly guys in the area, the fish aren't all that heavily pressured by seeing a lot of flies. I don't need to antagonize over near-perfect appearance of crawfish claws to get some fish to eat.

For subsurface, simple is better. And cheaper.

The Ancient Greeks said it best, lamda phi balla ding dong: Keep it simple, shithead!

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A couple of notes about the TMC (aka Tiemco) 8089 bass bug hooks:

They are awesome. Big, wide gap & a good, stiff shank (that sounds dirty, huh?).

They're sharp as f**k (if you need a translation for that, here's a handy guide on understanding my people). I wasn't paying attention while palmering some rabbit hair, and, well, it really fuckin' hurt.

They are really big. Like, big. Don't think a TMC 8089 #10 is equivalent in size to some Mustad streamer #10. Because they are not. Not at all. I even did a little graphic for y'all on how goddamned huge these TMC 8089s are:

Yes, that's your standard Mustad 34007 saltwater hook. Like redfish, baby tarpon, snook-sized fly hook. The TMC 8089 #10 is almost the exact same size, albeit with a thinner gauge wire. The Tiemco engineers must've been huffing a little too much glue when labelling the 8089 series...

But still an awesome hook.