Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the Landeen Photography blog

In doing my little part to keep the internet from running out of stuff, and partially because I am two weeks into an alcohol-free month causing restlessness and boredom, I have created the Landeen Photography blog.

I have found to my delightment (that should be a word) that over the last year or so the FGFF site has been a great way to connect and stay in touch with the fly fishing community, and even make some good friends. I can only hope that myself and others will be able to get the same enjoyment from a photography blog.

You can expect tips, tricks, stories, DIY articles, incessant rambling, and even a photograph from time to time. So head on over and say hello.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Colorado early snow , Bordem as a Chef

I am very bored, so I will share with you all some things happening in Colorado right now.

For those of you who do not live in Colorado, and many of you live in the heat, We have been seeing some unsightly early snow. I am not too sure what to think about 4 days in the high 70's and suddenly we hit snow. The mornings here in Deckers have been between 32 and 37, I do love the cold but not this early. I am sure the leaves will change from green to dead, instead of the spangled orange yellow and red on the Aspens.
Please be careful driving, the weather on the moutains is starting to kill off a bit of vegitation so the Deer and elk have been lowering into the canyons and roads. Trust me its no fun to hit an elk as I did last November and almost lost my car. The bastard even walked away from the hit as I sat there with a busted ass front end.

Yet good news, I have been throwing BWO's along the South Platte sizes 24-28 with a Zebra Midge dropper, the midge has been doing well and a few hits on my BWO. Don't be a pansy and get your ass out on the river, the fishing is getting nice with the cold.

OK This morning I woke at 4a.m., that is normal for me, and decided on my fruit plates this morning I wanted to make flies. I have not been tying much so I thought I would make a golden stone out of strawberries cantaloupe, pineapple, and blue berries. If you could not tell I am quite bored. Stupidity or creativity you tell me.

-Kyle, Damn the cold sometimes

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Top-Water Bass - This post goes to eleven.

In the last week of August, one can get the first sense of summer’s oppressive heat losing its sweaty grip on the desert. Sure, it is still ball-sizzling hot but a little breeze here or a cooler-than-normal evening is enough to give hope. Two hours south and a few feet higher you can step out of the truck into a noisy afternoon sun at Arivaca Lake and feel the change. The lake is low, the weeds are slimy and the bass are agitated.

Violence of Action

You remember that angry little short-haired blond kid from middle school that always punched everyone? His step-dad was an auto mechanic or a construction worker, and his mom smoked like a pack a day and watched Court TV? In my opinion, largemouth bass with their constant scowl and tough skin are like that kid. Just plain mad at the world.

“I don’t give a damn that it’s bigger than my head,” he says to himself. “I am totally going to eat the crap out of whatever the hell that thing is 'cause it's pissin' me off!”

Sometimes you feel like using your hemos to tie tiny midges to 8X tippet, and then sometimes you just want to tie half a deer carcass to a 20lb leader and make Neanderthal noises while you swing your 8wt around like some sex-nuts-retard-strong barbarian.

This kind of behavior also helps keep those damn I'm-not-here-to-fish-I-just-want-to-row-my-canoe-through-your-cast people out of your way.

Dog Will Hunt

The other day before a trip to Arivaca, I met with my friend Mike Leed Jr., and he gave me a tube fly frog to try out. After throwing it for a few minutes, I nicknamed it “the shoe”, (that Aaron hand-modeled for us in the image here) cause that’s what it felt like on the end of my 320 grain Sage Bass line. A big wet shoe. But with that 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook shoved up its rear point-up it walked across the weeds with authority. I threw that damn thing all day, and all I got was a sore shoulder. I blame something else.

There are those that tie flies, and then there are those who tie flies, and my friend Mr. Leed Jr. falls into the latter category. He is a fishing madman, and he can tie the crap out of just about anything you might need, or he will instruct you in tying it yourself if you are so inclined. Recently at the local shop, he had a class on tying the grass frogs he loves to dearly. I attended and took part in the hour-long process of creating such a masterpiece. (Mike says it takes him 30min when not showing all us tards how its done)

Under his expert tutelage, I tied the below sum-bitch. He looked at it and nodded, “That dog will hunt.”

It is so on.

The Goods.

-Alex who knows that you can't just make ten louder.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This is my serious face.

The woosh was followed by a sloppy slap as the frog disappeared into the green cottage-cheese lumps. Lead wrap, 3-dollars-worth of deer hair with a side of rabbit: It was like throwing a wet shoe.

From “nine-o-clock” to “three-o-clock” across the top of the bubbly goo, unevenly-spaced trails converged and I was the center point. Bass are down there; I know they are down there. I have seen them eating, swimming around; a weed wiggling here and a splash there. Not nearly as active as last week, but this week I brought a bazooka to a knife fight, and I left the “messing around” at home.

I take up some slack and give a little tug. The wind apparently has something very important to show me on the other side of the lake, but I stick my fins deeper into the mud and tighten the chin strap on my hat.

There is a little disturbance out in front as the frog shows itself and crawls to the top of the muck. I give a second little tug and it hops back toward me. There is a little shiny puddle of open water showing and a little voice tells me that is where he wants to go. Tug, wait. Tug, wait. Tug, wait, as the frog drags another spoke of the wheel in which I am the hub.

Almost there, right on the edge and clean he sits ready to take a little dip. One more tug and he plops into the openness: Exposed and alone, his hind legs flair out as his little rubber front legs dangle limply, at the mercy of the wind under a painfully blue sky.

My eyes are stare daggers at the water as my fingers tense and settle around the rod waiting for the action. There is wind but I can’t feel it. I think there is something crawling on my face but I don’t care. Time slows and the frog sits and I wait for the explosion. I am sure it will come. It has to come because there must be a fish there; hungry and mad and stupid and powerful. I sit and wait.

But there is no fish. Not this time, and I “tug, wait” the frog back to my feet and repeat. This is the sine-wave-excitement of walking frogs across September weed beds.

-Alex who feels upon reflection that fishing and not catching fish is suspiciously similar to messing around, no matter how serious you act.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Carp Slam and Fish Can't Read Podcast on Fish Explorer

My cell rang at 12:30 sharp and I knew who it was. "You ready to do this?" It was Tim Emery, the Carp Slam Tournament Director and Field Editor for FishExplorer.com. We were going to do a Podcast about the new e-mag Fish Can't Read, its coverage of the Slam, and some other randomness. So I said I was, and we began.

Up until this point in my life I was a podcast virgin, and I think Tim did a good job of breaking me in gently, and besides my nonsensical ramblings I think it went pretty well.

You Can Hear It Here.

-Alex who is glad he remembered to set his alarm.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If you are so inclined.

The debut issue of Fish Can't Read.

Plenty of blood, sweat and tears went into the creation of this online magazine. There were some other fluids in the process as well, but there was this lawsuit thing, and, you know... so I can't really talk about that.

Nine month in the making and pushed from the loins of the Dry Fly Media crew up in Bozeman this baby is still in its ass-kicking infancy, but backed by this group of nutballs will blossom into full grown ass-kickery in short order. So take a second and subscribe, your enjoyment is a 100% Guarantee or your money back!


There is some Carp Slam coverage in the mag, so check that out. But if that isn't enough, here is some more DTU Carp Slam Pro-Am photographic loving!

-Alex who feels this is the end of the beginning.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Redington Predator Rods - don't judge a book by its length. (updated 12/12/10)

Redington Predator Rods are short, and stiff as a board and are recommended with heavy lines for a reason. They throw big bugs very well, but I immediately found the decreased length lends itself to more chuck-and-ducking as large double-hauled streamers and poppers whiz past your head. A slight side-arm cast kept my melon in the safe zone.

“Delicate” is not a word I would use to describe the action, but when setting the hook on a feisty largemouth, these rods move quickly and with authority, the unyielding butt-section like a crowbar in your hands ready to pry stubborn fish out of the weeds, but that same attribute can definitely wreak havoc on knots and tippet if one were to get a over-zealous in their fish retrieval. I think the same can be said about any fast rod, though.

On the Predator 6wt I threw streamers and bait fish patterns with sinking line. After some fuddling I found that my RIO Lake Deep 7wt line threw very well and loaded the rod nicely, flinging big bluegill patterns as far as one would could need. The heavier line helped turn over the largest streamers I had in my box.

Nuts and Bolts:
The little nub of fighting butt, the gunmetal aluminum reel seat, and the rust-colored wraps are pleasing to the eye. The length and line weight designation is written on each ferrule, which would fall into the “nifty" category more than anything else, I think. But I suppose if you owned a pair and were prone to bouts of absentmindedness it may come in handy.

The ferrules have those little alignment dots, but I have always found looking down the rod the fastest and most effective way to guarantee your guides are in proper position.

New are the “hidden hook-keepers” – a small half circle hole milled into the base of the handle where it meets the reel seat - and are pretty self explanatory in their purpose. Hiding the business end of your large-pointy help keep wandering fingers and sliding hand out of harm’s way whilst the rod is not in operation.

The logo on one of the reel seats had a little defect that looked like a glob of white epoxy or maybe paint, I couldn’t tell. I scratched it off with my knife and didn’t think twice about it. Some glue is visible on the bottom of the cork where it meets the seat, but I would rather see glue than have the cork come unstuck.

These rods are akin to your uncle’s Gremlin drag car. It looks good from a distance, but if you get under the hood you may find some primer and when you look down the side you may see a ripple of two where the body guy failed to block sand the filler perfect.

But that stuff don’t matter because when you turn the key and that that big 4-barrel dumps a half-gallon of gas and that MSD distributor throws a big nasty spark and that 427ci big block roars and tires squeal as the positraction locks and you fly down the road in a hot-rubber fury - you don’t care about primer or orange peel. You’re just hauling ass and it feels good and there is nothing “delicate” about it.

Other things
When broken down the rods four-pieces are just shy of 25” long which will fit nicely in just about any pack.

In the pontoon the rod’s 7’10” length is not cumbersome, and it stays out of its own way when you are flopping around trying to grab that empty beer can that fell out of your cooler. Little flies don’t fit into the hook-keeper, but the cork of the handle or a guide takes care of that just fine.

When wandering around in the bushes, the shorter length also helps keep the tip out of tree branches and other path-choking foliage.

The rod is compact power that can be very accurate with a little practice. Stepping up a line size might not hurt, and you might even like the feel a little better. They are good in a tube, pontoon or other small watercraft where space is a consideration, and they pack well. Keep ducking in mind while casting.

The rod will catch any kind of fish you have the right fly for, but in a brute-force fashion that may turn some anglers off, especially if they like noodle rods. But for $200, they are definitely worth a look.

UPDATE 12/12/2010: After throwing these rods for another year, I have grown to like them more and they have definitely found a place in my arsenal. Like any new equipment or technology they can take a little time to get acquainted with. I don't own a rod that can laser a heavy deer-hair bug under an overhanging tree better than the Predator. I would recommend a heavy weight-forward line, like a RIO Clouser, or Sage largemouth to help load these rods.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Time to get your glasses

I see many people are thinking of my giant bow, they are thinking its 23" possibly 4 or 5 lbs.... This is not the case. The photo I posted earlier and the on on Moldy Chum, I could see how people think it looks bigger than it really is due to the angle I am holding it. Honestly the fish looks smaller than it really was. I posted this photo of it this time so you can see the size, and please keep in mind I am a large guy... quite large. My shoulders are 24" across, and this fish makes me look like a midget, oh how do I love midgets. Many think the fish is dead as well, once again I assure you it is not. it is alive and well I do make a visit to him every now and then. he has the Whirling disease so he really does not leave his hole. As you can see his bent back. Again I know this photo is out of focus but this fish really is huge, and not a little 4 pounder.... and I say that with no hesitation!

-Kyle, who thanks all of you for checking this out, but realize I am fat and this fish is too

I always knew he was a stinky bastard.

Kyle on chum:

Click the image, and go tell the Chum Nation how much Kyle kicks-ass.

Friday, September 04, 2009

A preview of things to come, v6.0

Tonight as Aaron mentioned, we are off to the mountains, but next week it's back to work. So stay tuned for the trip write-up.

Also coming next week:

Fat Guy's and their stiff shorties:
Redington Predator 6wt and 8wt review.

-Alex who has 2 inch balls on his hitch.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Space Fail

Alex and I are packing up the Jeep for another trip north to Arizona's white mountains. The space issue is not quite this bad, but I can relate.
No use in bitching, You just gotta keep on keepin on and kick some ass!

-Aaron, who is glad he didn't opt for a mid size car.