Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holidays, Triple Play

Now for the third and final edition of Holidays, The Wish List. I've covered movies and books for the long dreary winter months. I know right this instant you are perusing the web looking at photos from Belize, Ascension Bay, Argentina, New Zealand, and the Bahamas, than consequently looking outside and a fever has got a hold of you. No, not the Swine Flu, or the one that needs more cowbell. This fever is the need to be someplace sunny and warm and despite the claim throwing fly line to cruising fish while the significant other lays on the beach sipping Mai Tai's, and no, this place is not Philly. (Yeah I know the show says it's always sunny, but it lies.)

Here is some gear that can help you pack your garage to your destination of choice. Whether that would be the Olympic Penninsula (not sunny either) or the wilds of Patagonia, this gear will get your fishing stuff there in one piece and might even hold some other amenities.


1. Outcast Neff Bag (LG and MD) - A good heavy duty bag for carrying around waders, boots, jackets, and other apparel. This bag will hold up under the worst conditions and won't cost an arm and a leg. They are also large enough to fit a small animal in or a fishing partner that is too poor to afford the plane ticket, but is crying about not being able to join you.

2. Sage Kit Bag - A large center compartment has plenty of space for stuffing it full of your bajillion fly-boxes and plenty of outer pockets for leaders, tippets, reels, chewing gum, beer, soda, and whatever else you can think of. It comes with a comfortable shoulder strap for easy carrying and works perfectly in boats and as a carry-on (if you can convince the TSA you aren't going to hijack the plane with that 1/0 tarpon fly.)

3. Simms Gear Bag - A nice bag that can hold your technical outerwear and a lower vented compartment for your waders/boots. A couple outer pockets will hold your gloves, hats and whatever else you decide to throw in there. Works perfectly for getting your frozen body parts out of your waders, stuffing them into the bag and than tossing said bag into the trunk as you high step to the front seat and crank the heat.

4. Fishpond Arroyo Chest Pack - Perfect for those long hot days in Ellensburg, Missoula, Yellowstone or Island Park that you are wishing were coming a lot sooner. Also perfect for when you are hiking through the wilds of Patagonia, Kashmir, New Zealand or wherever else you are dreaming of going. This pack is light and has enough space to carry 2 boxes plus any other terminal gear you can think of (you know tippets, leaders, beer). Just a fair warning, this pack will not fend off bears, cougars, misquitoes, etc.

Well. Thanks for coming out. I know most of you are now stringing together massive wish lists to hand to your significant other or friends or dog. Just take some deep breaths the Holiday season is almost over and than it's more college football mayhem (yes, I too think the BCS is crap), New Years, and than Steelhead season begins, Yay!

Have a good holiday season, eat lots of food and be merry with your friends and family.

Feed Fish Flies, not Plastic

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holidays, Part Duex

So I listed a previous blog post "Holidays, Part One" so that obviously means there would be a second post sometime in the near future. Well the future is now, err I guess that would make it the present...or whatever. You catch my drift. The weather has warmed up a bit from the "OMG! I can't text you because my fingers are frozen!" level to the typical Seattle winter trist of "Rain, drizzle, overcast, wind, rain, mist, rain." Take lots of vitamin D, keep the fridge stocked with beer/soda/wine/fruit juice, coffee pot pumping out gallons of black sludge all day and your fly-tying desk stocked, and you'll be fine. Promise. Winter Steelheading is coming, you have to prepare for the torture.

Until that day comes and this Holiday Season ends. (Yes, holiday. I went over this already.) I have some books you may want to indulge yourself, or others with, until the steelhead begin laughing at your poor excuse of a fly in 20 below weather.


1. Trout Flies For Rivers - A book by the venerable Skip Morris and his wife Carol Ann, which includes flies from the west that work everywhere. It has step by step instructions, material lists, a DvD and it may even have the kitchen sink (not sure still looking). This book is perfect for your ventures into the basement when the Seahawks are losing 400 to 0 on Sunday morning and rain is coming down so hard you feel like you're in "Rambo: First Blood", only replace the jungle with conifers and the hostiles with your significant other. (Oh by the way, Skip Morris will be in our shop giving a clinic on Tuesday, January 12th. It's $35 and the best way to spend your sick day. Promise.)

2. Inventing Montana, Dispatches from the Madison Valley - This enigmatic book by Ted Leeson is, as I've been told, one of the better reads. Incoming insertion of a blurb about it from Amazon.com....Oh come on you think I would do that to you?! Sheesh. This book follows Leeson and his friends that return to the Madison every year to stay at a ranch house and intertwines fishing, geography and why the Montana of our youths (oh yeah, I went there) has become our Mecca in the world of fly-fishing. This is a perfect read when the Sonics are losing 100 to...err...wait we don't have basketball anymore....nevermind. Just read it ok?

3. Olive and the Little Woolly Bugger - Looking for a good kids book? This is it. Kirk Werner, esteemed writer and fellow Wazzu alumnus (yeah I went to that school too.) Has created a fun, entertaining and well illustrated book that follows a Olive and her friends around. The illustrations alone are worth picking the book up. Yes I read it. You did see where I went to college right? (Ha! Beat you to that joke didn't I?) But really, for those of you trying to create smaller fly-fishing fanatic version of yourselves, this book is the perfect gift.

4. A River Runs Through It, A Good Life Wasted - If you've read these books than you know how good both of them are and should probably read them again. Or you could share the joy with your less, shall we say, bookish friends and buy them the book for these long winter months when all they do is cry at you on the phone about how they can't fish and they are going crazy and therefore are beginning to infect you with their crazy talk of fishing when the Skykomish has made the yellow line on Highway 2 it's main channel. Books save lives. True story. Write that down.

You don't want that, niether do we. Turn the cell phone off, brew some coffee and sit down in the basement with the music up so you can't here your significant other banging on the door to get your butt upstairs and do the dishes. I mean sheesh, don't they realize it's the winter and you must prepare mentally for the upcoming fishing season? The thoughtlessness...I tell you.

As always, Feed Fish Flies not Plastic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holidays, Part 1

Ok. So it's that time of year. When Mother Nature turns from a nurturing, warming, motherly woman to the slap you in the face, Catholic nun schoolteacher, cold, hard, witch of a woman who likes to rain down frozen hell on your fishing time. While this cold snap may darken your spirits and turn you into Frosty the Abominable Fisherman or the I-Organize-My-Fly-Tying-Desk-Five-Times-A-Day Dude it also means it's the holiday season. Yes holiday, not Christmas, not Hanukkah, Festivus or whatever it is you celebrate. (I personally like the Rainier season, take that as you will.)

And for you gear or movie or book or pack rat junkies, we have some things that may ease your "I don't care if it is -50 outside and the wind is blowing 40 mphs with snow pellets the size of small missiles, I am fishing that bloody river now!" guys or gals.


1. Rise- From the same dudes that brought you Drift. Their newest film will captivate you with some interviews and footage from premier fishing places around the world. From the worm hatch in Florida for Tarpon to the fly-line painter in Idaho to the wilds of Venezuela. The movie produces weather/travel envy in even the best of us.

2. Best Videos of Catch Magazine- A new DvD produced by Todd Moen highlighting the best videos from our favorite online rag (can we actually call it a rag since it wastes no paper? Well I just did so deal with it!) Catch Magazine has some of the best fishing photos I've seen and the videos are pretty top notch too. Excellent footage of fishing locales that will make you drool. From New Zealand to Oregon Steelhead, this video has excellent cinematography and some absolutely stunning footage. Perfect for those cold, winter days when your eyes are fried from tying 50 dozen flies in your dark basement.

3. Skagit Master with Ed Ward- A hot new ticket for anyone wanting to learn the intricacies of spey casting and spey flies. Following Ed Ward a world renowned spey caster and tyer, he will teach you different casts, how to swing a fly and anything you may need to learn about catching steelhead on a two-handed rod. INterviews with other guides and beautiful cinematography highlight this film and even better $1 of the DvD sale goes directly to Western Rivers Conservancy.

4. Rivers of a Lost Coast - A chilling documentary narrated by one of my personal favorite actors, Tom Skerritt (you know the dad from A River Runs Through It...for you younger bucks Viper from Top Gun), that exposes the ugly truth about the downfall of the Northern California Coastal Rivers. It follows Bill Schaadt and includes interviews with Lani Waller, Russell Chatham and host of other steelheaders. Plenty of archaic footage and some vintage photos, this movie is done with the kind of feel and narration that will captivate your attention.

Well there's some stocking stuffers and/or anti-pyschotics for you in these days ahead when the addiction kicks in but the weather/wife/dog/frostbite/old football cheerleading injury just won't let you get out on the river.

Enjoy the cold.
Feed Fish Flies, not Plastic.