Thursday, April 30, 2009

A quick word about being hardcore.

You want to go fishing but it's windy, so what? Your buddies want to head down to the river but it's snowing, so what? Your standing in water somewhere, there is freezing rain dripping down the crack of your ass and you haven't been able to feel your toes for what seems like months.... so what?

My father (left) once told me that if you havn't peed in your waders, you havn't been fishing long enough. He fishes with a pint of Johnnie Walker, a pocket of cigars and a wine opener with a glass in his cooler, just in case. He is hardcore like that.

You only have so long on this plane of existence, so get out and do some shit. Nobody cares to hear the story about how once you were going to go fishing, and it was going to be sweet, and you would have caught some sweet fish but it was too whatever outside so you pussed out. Nobody cares about that crap.

Get out, catch fish or don't, be miserable if need be, but make a story for fuck sake. Do things, kick ass, be awesome in any way that you can. Success doesn't matter, it is the attempt that counts.

A man is judged by what he does, not what he would have done if conditions were perfect.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Equipment review

I work at a private fishing club filled with rich old men, The bad part about it is I don't get to fish our river very much, but the good thing is, I get to try out all the new shit that is coming out now.
I took a break from work and chatting with the old guys to tell you all some of my thoughts on new gear that is coming out now and some, well most that has been out. Please remember that this is only my opinion and it may or may not work for the rest of you.

1. Wright&McGill Essentials Waders

4 stars, I love these! For around $200 how could you go wrong? they are very easy to turn into waist waders and with the pull strap gravel guards they are #1 in my book. They also come with a back support that in turns doubles as a wading belt. Very light weight and easy for walking threw the river. For a suggestion if you don't have the money for Simms check these out you cant go wrong.

2.Orvis Helios

The rods are a bit expensive, but are they worth it?
So I was trying a #4 rod out with a Battenkill reel and Rio line. The rod weighs nothing. the tip flex is a great way to go. i would rate these more for Dry Fly myself. i have never had such a long shoot with such a light rod. The rod is very sensitive, after 4 fish i noticed I was using my indicator as well with the feel of the rod to determine weather the fly got hit or caught on a rock. I have no idea how Orvis created this mutant of a rod but I do like it. Maybe not the best rod i have thrown, (I do like rods that are heavier) But yet alone, AMAZING. I would suggest everyone go out and try these at you local shop.

3. SharkSkin Fly Line

Not for me.
they say, "Its wicks the water away". Then I ask, is that why it rattles threw all my guides? They say,"It will shoot father than any other line" Ummmmmm nope. A line i will get to soon does a much better job. But on the good side, in freezing snow and ball chilling water the line is good. It seems to have the least amount of memory in cold conditions. For $100 i would stay clear of this line.

4. Lamiglas Fly Rods

Its no wonder why i like these rods, I own them. I bought on of their low end rods about a year and a half ago. I cant put this thing down. I love it. I throw a 6# most of the time and it has the back bone of a 9# it seems. I can shoot this rod further than any i have tried before. i don't have much to day about it, but Lamiglas is my rod of choice. The feel and the presentation I get from it is amazing.

5. AirFlo Ridge Line

Rod McLeoud gave me a sample pack of this line when he owned Tight Lines in Tucson Arizona. I haven't been able to fine a better line yet. I do like Rio and the Simms lines too, but the ridge line is my perfect line. The tiny ridges in the line make it for less friction threw the guides and you feel how well the line fills your guides when going for a long shoot. very low memory in the line and i know most people clip off the streamlines loops at the end, but I like it for easier leader change without a mono loop. The only place I found this in Colorado is at Hook Flyshop.

6. Rio Fluoroflex Plus Tippet

Are you sick of hitting small streams and calm rivers with big fish, yet you see how often you have to use6,7, or even 8X tippet? well i now know the solution. In Deckers where the winter water average out about 100cfs I was using 7X tippet most of the time. Only problems are the fish WILL break you off on a rock before you know it or a nasty wind knot will occur. This tippet is not cheap but well worth the money. I have been hitting up more fish on a 4X Fluoro without braking the tippet. For those of you like me who tend to "muscle in the fish" need this tippet. Its strong, its invisible, and its Rio!
Pick it up if you are still using mono you will notice the change.

That is all for now!

Monday, April 27, 2009

705 miles, 4 hours of fishing, 4 hooked species

With the Wrinkleneck trip looming just over the booze-laden horizon, my buddy Roger and I took a 24hr trip up to the White Mountains to do a little pre-neck recon mission. I basically knew where we were going. And I learned a valuable lesson: If you ever plan to drive to somewhere which involves navigating 30 miles of mountain fire roads at night, it would be nice to have a more than a basic idea where you have to go. At 2am we were very near the point of no return, and heading the warning of the gas gauge we decided to make camp. Carl's Jr burger wrappers, semi-used TP, and a granola bar box (the manly peanut butter kind, none of that sandal wearing hippy crap) quickly brought the Ents to their crackling knees, bringing warmth and happiness to all.

Wind is a dirty bitch, and spent the next day punching us in the testicles, and after finally getting to the lake we had driven all this way to scope out, mother nature giggled and turned the dial from ‘sub-light speed’ to ‘ludicrous speed’ and we decided that being drop-kicked to the opposite shore and having to carry our tubes back was not what a couple of sleep-deprived clowns thought of as a fun idea, we decided to GTFO and find something more promising.

Driving, turning, driving, stopping, looking, picking dust boogers (carefully on bumpy dirt roads); we pushed on. Then a sign: 10 miles to Black River east fork. Shit, why not? After receiving a tip from a nutball turkey hunter named Rom, we ended up at the west fork.

I knew that the Black River at lower altitudes is great smallmouth water, but at close to 8,600 feet, I was unsure about the population of this portion, so in my not-even-close-to infinite wisdom, I shrugged and tied on a stonefly and a hare's ear and waded in.

5 steps later I surprised a fish that made some chocolate milk and left. A sucker? Hmmm.....

(5 minutes later) Well would you look at that! I guess sometimes a guy just gets lucky. Over the next couple hours I also netted a brown, a rainbow and answered my earlier uncertainty by hooking a nice smallmouth that was apparently not impressed by my angling ability or by the size of my tippet and quickly broke off all my crap and took it with him. Well, at least now I know, and I think hooking 4 species of fish in a 100 yard stretch of river is the kick-ass.

We ran into a few other locals on way home, who seemed a little weary about our presence and didn't want to share any fishing tips. Buncha jerks.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Like a frightened turtle....

Yea, so that happened. It has been many moons since I accidentally fell into a lake, and I didn't miss the experience much. That was a steep ass rock, and before I knew it I was nipple deep, and it was a little cold.

Aaron was a pal and only laughed when I fell in, while I was trying to climb my fat-ass back out, and any time he heard the 'squish squish' of my wet-butt. I told him that a real friend would jump in the lake too, but he didn't go for it.

Shrinkage aside we kicked some stockers asses, and the Rainbow Reservator proved itself a worthy fly, bringing in all but one of my fish for the day.

It was also a good time to try out another one of Dane's furled leaders. (DF Furled Leaders) It was a 6' dry fly taper furled with 6/0 Uni-Thread, in the GP trout taper. I added 2 feet of 3x, then 18" of 6x to my dry fly, then another 18" to the nymph. The leader was a rocket, and had no problem turning over all 12 feet, and I only had to reapply floatant once during 7 hours of fishing.

The road to Rose Canyon is now open. This means that every weekend the lake will inevitably be lined with massive amounts of people. Children screaming, dogs barking, powerbait being applied to treble hooks with reckless abandon while stringers are filled with stock trout that will most likely never see a frying pan or the inside of an oven, and will spend the next 2 years growing frost in a freezer before they are thrown away. And there is no reason for that. But I was glad that I didn't have to walk my wet ass up bitch hill.

Do women know about shrinkage?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is desert just another word for douchebag?

I recently had a conversation with someone who told me that upon moving to the southwest they found the folks in the fly fishing community to be overly defensive and combative. Saying in an exaggerated manner that:
"The fly fishing folks from [specific southwestern state] live in virtual isolation from the rest of the fly fishing world. [...] The fly shop owners, the guides, etc. are all unknowns outside of [specific southwestern state], and the reason is and large...these folks are a bunch of closed-minded arrogant jack-asses who really don't know much about the art and sport of fly fishing, but profess themselves the authority on it just the same. And when confronted with some "outsider" who actually knows a thing or two, they become very defensive and hostile, for fear of being exposed for the posers they really are."
This was mostly a joke meant to point out a perceived "regional cultural pitfall" but it got me thinking.... is it true? Are the majority of us poor desert-dwelling fly fishing-fanatics, on some level, just a buncha wannabes afraid of being exposed by those who really know what the sport is all about?

Back in September of 2008, the WSJ wrote an interesting article on regional stereotypes, The United States of Mind.
"Based on more than 600,000 questionnaires and published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, the study maps regional clusters of personality traits, then overlays state-by-state data on crime, health and economic development in search of correlations."

It was accompanied by a neat interactive map which made state-specific data very easy to compare based on the 5 fundamental traits of personality: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness. The states were ranked from 1-51 against the other states, 1 being the most of whatever trait. (duh)

The most interesting states right off the bat were Alaska, and North Dakota.

Alaska, it's the top of the US, but the bottom of just about everything. These are a non-socializing, argumentative, close-minded bunch, but they seem to be pretty darn happy about it.

North Dakota folk top the chart as the most outgoing, happy agreeable bunch, just don't ask them to change their opinion about anything.

My home state of Arizona wasn't all that interesting.

Arizonans are pretty happy, a little bit less than average about being agreeable and open to new ideas, and pretty good about throwing our empty beer cans in the trash. One interesting thing I noticed is that of the "four corners" states, (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah) New Mexico seems to be the most Neurotic, at #29, but not that bad overall. While Utah seems to be full of mormons? super happy party-people.

So what does this say about us desert fishermen? I have no idea, I just thought it was interesting. But who knows how the mental state a large group of water obsessed people fairs in a land of sand.

What about where you live? What would your regional fisherman stereotype sound like?

-Alex who believes he is already starting to go mad with crazy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hold on to your butts, here comes The Reservator.

So there I was, standing in the fly tying aisle at the local shop with my brain starting to ooze out of my ears.

Yellows, blues, reds, browns, and enough shiney things drive a murder of crows to insanity.

The walls begin to close in on me. I am choking on marabou and frantically pulling krystal flash out every orifice. I feel the end is near. I begin give in, give up, let myself go.

On the edge of consciousness I have a vision. It is a fly. A flashy bugger and I know what must be done.

To be used in a tournament at Reservation Lake in the White Mountains in May:

The Reservator

The Reservator Nymph

The Rainbow Reservator Nymph

The Clown Reservator Nymph

Get Some!


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Beer, it is great. but the Economy sucks

So all this shit is happening with the economy and everyone everywhere has some views on it. As we all know no view is good this day for our economy.

Instead of listing shit about our economy I decided to list my top 10 beers. Lets face it when shit hits the fan you can still grab a beer and feel better.

10. Shock Top- Missouri
9. Moose Drool- Montana
8. Blue Moon- Colorado, or Canada, but I live in Colorado so there
7. Paulaner- Germany
6. Point- Wisconsin
5. Guinness- Ireland
4. Red Stripe- Jamaica
3. New Castle- Great Britain
2. Weihenstephaner- Germany
1. Harp- Ireland

Oh and Whiskey tops all beers all the time.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

FGFF goes to the Buffet

So Aaron and I drove up to Phoenix Monday to try and catch some carp, but they were all jerks and none wanted to play with us.

Now its approaching dark and the Circle-K taquitos and their gut-destruction are long gone and we are hungry.

On the freeway back things are starting to get barbaric as we are plunged deeper and deeper into a hunger-fueled frenzy. Silverware banging on the dashboard as chants of food food food fill the cab of the Furd. (my turd ford) The tired engine knocks and the under inflated tires wine as I push faster towards some salivating salvation.

Wait, a sign appears up ahead, whats it say? WHATS IT SAY???? Shining like a light from heaven, a beacon to hungry fat guys everywhere, a Golden Corral appears ahead.

Screams of joy and high-fives cover the noise of screeching brakes as I direct my camper-shelled pile of crap onto the off ramp and into the parking lot. Women shriek, children flee, and the ones too slow to get out of the way fall victim to chrome-inflicted internal injuries.

Across the parking lot we fly, with rarely seen agility and speed: I clothline a woman on a cell phone, kick the walker out from under a disgruntled senior citizen, headbutt an unsuspecting truck driver out of the way, throw a handfull of bills at the women behind the cash register and dive headfirst into a hotel pan full of mac and cheese. We're here, and there is no time to fool around.

Now, I would like to take some time and set down some buffet guidelines that Aaron and I have learned over the years.

1) Understand your hydration level, and drink accordingly. If you show up to a buffet thirsty, drink water. The carbonation in soda will fill you up faster, thus hurting your buffet experience.

2) Eat slow and chew well. I know it can be overwhelming, but you must not rush

3) Unless you are a seasoned pro, one plate at a time. I know you want it all, and you want it now.... but relax. Its not going anywhere. One plate at a time will help you adhere to guideline #2.

4) Don't be afraid of that green leafy stuff. I know, I know, salad is filler-food. But, a little lettuce piled high with ham, steak, chicken, cheese, jalapenos, onions, crab salad, and croutons topped with a combination of Ranch and Blue Cheese dressing is less a salad and more a pile of delicious manly-ness.

5) Get your moneys worth, but eat what you want to. Just because you imagine the piece of steak that the semi-retarded guy who has no real idea what medium-rare is cut for you might get you the best value for your dollar, don't waste the room in your stomach if you really just want to eat a huge pile of instant mashed potatoes.

And lastly, but most importantly:
6) Know your limit. Just because the waitress put 19 plates on your table does not mean you have to use them all. And don't take any lip from the employee who says "you done already?" and points to the unused plates. They most likely hate their job, and have nothing to do but prod patrons into eating to the point that they hate life equally, if only for a few hours.

Remember, you are here to eat all you can, but also enjoy yourself as much as possible for $12.95. Don't ruin it by being a hunger-crazed idiot.

Now that I have supplied you with some of our knowledge necessary to properly destroy any unsuspecting establishment of all-you-can-eat food-stuffs, it's your turn.

So get up, get out, and roundhouse kick some roast beef, hammerfist some sliced ham, kung-fu some crab cakes, piledrive some potato salad, and make those carbohydrates, fats, proteins and water bow to their sensei.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

New Threads

Go poke around some of the new products, or just sit here and watch this neat flash thing.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Site chenges, and the like.

I am in the process of doing away with the FGFF's old site and getting to come directly here to the blog. The old site, while kinda neat, don't really serve any purpose anymore since all the action takes place here.

Over the next few days if you witness any crazyness with the sites, it's just me being a semi computer-literate retard. So hold tight. It will be over soon.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Wind is a jerk, tiny browns, and a nice little hike.

We were going to go to Aricava in search of bass last Monday, but it was too god damn windy again so Aaron and I ended up at Rose Canyon. We caught our share, your share and everybody else's share of tiny, tiny browns.

The Tiny-Brown Bandito

Since all the snow cleared out weeks ago the road to Bitch Hill was open. The main road to Rose Canyon is closed from October to April you have to park on the highway and walk to the lake. But there is another way into the lake down a bumpy ass dirt road that leads to a trail about 1/4 mile from the lake. The path takes you down a hill that is not too bad on the way down, but a total asshole to climb back up. After you get to the bottom, you wind around base of the hill to the lake on the other side and your fishing.

We left a little earlier than usual, and on the way back around the lake I looked up at the hill and said, "Hey, why do we have to walk all the way around the bottom of the hill just to walk up the other side? Why dont we just walk up this side and then down to the path?" Sounds simple, right?

Yea, ok... it was not as easy was just walking around the bottom of the hill, and Aaron named it the Alex Landeen Death Hike but it did afford a sweet view of the lake.

I karate chopped that tree out of the way with my junk.

The top of Bitch Hill

Oh, Yeaahh.