Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sleeping in the Dirt Mag

I figured with his lack of recent posting that Mr. Otto was just taking an extended nap somewhere out in the Gila wilderness, but apparently he has been putting together a pretty kick-ass online magazine that is busting with eye-candy and definitely worth a click:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Colorado These "Ice Guys" don't mess around

When Ice fishing, (something I am not very good at), everyone has a hidden spot to drill. Chris and his buddy Andy have found an area that is virtually untouched, and holds the big pike. I have been out 2 times on the Ice with my buddy Nate at Eleven Mile Reservoir, and only pulled up a nice Bow, No complaints it was a fun adventure walking on water, hearing the ice crack below you, and watching my buddy fall on his ass almost breaking it!!!

I haven't really seen too much fish through the ice bit Nate saw himself a beast of a pike as I was pulling in my good 14 inch bow, and a fat little fart he was. Normally I do not go for "Bait Dunkers", "Bait Chuckers" or what ever the hell you want to call them. Obvious fact is you can't throw a fly on a frozen lake when there is 20" of ice.

Chris on Saturday comes into the royal tavern after sending me these photos on my cell phone about the 9lb. pike he caught and thought he was the man.
After tossing a 10 inch mud dog on his tip up in his new secrete hole I would agree.

So Chris and I are sitting at our friends house, Jake and Sina, The German couple as I like to call them, Watching the Vikings and Saints game. I thought Farve was going to make his last trip to the Super Bowl instead the last pass he throws had to be a damn interception. Anyway enough of that rambling, Chris and I go outside of a smoke when his phone rings. After all day of bragging about his 9lb. pike his head drops, his voice has a bit of a stutter, and his skin turns pale. His Ice fishing buddy, Andy, just tells him that he pulled a 20lb pike out of the same hole! Chris, I can tell is kicking himself in the ass a bit for watching the football game instead of fishing this hole again. But what are you gonna do? who would think over 30 lbs of pike would be sitting in the same hole? So a total of 7 pike caught in the same hole in 2 days, I think that is a good way to start 2010........

Kyle - who needs to do some ice fishing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

When someone gives you wood, it's polite to say thank you

Tom inherited a grip of bamboo and graphite rods from his father, and he decided that yours truly should share in the wealth, so he sent me this:

His letter said it is a Montague, which Google told me manufactured bamboo rods in mass from ~1900-1955. That is the extent of my knowledge about this piece, as there are no markings whatsoever on the rod, and you can see whats left of the sticker on the sock.

The model and line weight is unknown to me. The butt section is salmon-rod stiff but when put together it is nine feet of overcooked noodle. I assume this is about par for the course, but I have absolutely no experience with bamboo.Are there any big wood brainiacs out there who knows anything else about this rod?

I suppose the only thing to do is slap a four weight line on it, turn on the juice and see what shakes loose and try not to break the damn thing. I just have to remember to look over my shoulder when I get to the water, I don't think I would want to get branded a 'bamboo guy' this early in my career.

-Alex who is trying very hard to refrain from adding a nine-feet-of-wood joke.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

When things get strange at the fly shop

He just wanted an olive beadhead, but the box had had enough and decided to fail at the most inopportune moment as the chenille-wrapped force gained momentum and stormed the gates. But the battle was over before it begun leaving both sides unaware what the next move might be. May I suggest it be a subtle one.

War is hell, but you can't have too many buggers, can you?

- Alex who reminds you that forewarned is forearmed.

Post Script -I am driving to Vegas today for the SHOT show... if anyone wants join a solo fat guy for a drink drop me a line.

Monday, January 11, 2010

When the hatchery man cometh.

Nothing will ruin a good day of lazy-nothing-doing fishing like the damn hatchery truck.

I wanted to kick around the lake. I wanted to drink schnapps out of my plastic flask in the cool breeze and maybe catch a fish or two. No pressure. No cares. No three thousand stupid confused fresh-out-of-elementary-school stockers roaming around by the boat ramp.

The people on the shore, the people on the dock, the people parking cars, and the people thinking about leaving are now running balls-out towards the water, grabbing poles out of children's hands and pushing them crying to the ground as powerbait is slobbed onto treble hooks and bobbers are cast into the swimming mob around my feet.

As I start to back towards the shore the fish bounce into my legs, swimming in all directions and I have to try not to step on the little bastards as the casting and yelling from the nearby dock continues as the truck shakes out the last few stragglers and rumbles off to places unknown.

I want no part of this. I want to get back in the pontoon and row away. I want to pack everything up and drive back to the cabin and drink something strong followed by something stronger. But as I walk to my pontoon something goes wrong. Instead of packing up or pushing off I grab my dry rod.

What going on here? 

I am walking down to the water and pulling line through my guides.

No, we are not doing this.

I am wading out into the throbbing horde, dodging castmasters and skewered worms like rabid flying demons, cutting the lines as they flew to the angry screams and shouts of the bait-chuckers.

Whats happening to me?

I drown the caddis on the end of my leader and throw out about a rods length worth of line, let it sink into the 10-inch-frenzy and give it a twitch and watch it get eaten. I yank the infant out of the water and toss him back. Again and again, I stand knee-deep in some kind of trance while molesting the recently plated population. Dumb confused fish after dumb confused fish I trick into eating my bug to the scowls and under-breathed comments from the peanut gallery planted on the dock. This is wrong, and I know it.

I just wanted to be lazy. I just wanted to have a drink and sunburn myself in a laid back afternoon. But I also wanted to fish, and now I felt dirty and ashamed. But why? Was this not fishing? Was catching fish not the goal? Is it more prestigious to catch this fish tomorrow? Next week? When I don't know where the damn thing went and I have to kick all over the lake looking for his slimy little butt? Is this too easy? Is it because there is something inside my fly fisherman's mind that thinks this process should be hard? Maybe. But there I was, in the middle of it all. I guess at the end of the day a fisherman is a fisherman and just wants to catch fish.

-Alex who drank that night.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Salt River - Big on scenery, small on fish.

It was like those Southwest Airlines commercials, where the dude does something stupid like call his girlfriend the wrong name in bed... you know - "Wanna Get Away?" Yea, that's how it felt around here, minus the mid-coitus faux pas (you need to have a girlfriend for that to happen). As Aaron put it during one of our where-the-hell-should-we-go-fish phone conversations, "If I don't get out somewhere soon I think I might kick a baby into the sun." Which would be totally impressive, but very out of character for the guy.

After some thought we decided to take a drive up to Phoenix to play in the lower Salt River, where during the hot summer high-flow months bored teenagers and sun-baked alcoholics alike pay a small fee to float the few mile stretch on old inner tubes and try not to pass out and sunburn their nipples.

(This bridge is about 1/3 the way down - you wouldn't notice your nipples roasting till later)

I can't say for sure what the flow was, but I would guess it was somewhere in the 300 range as Aaron and I arrived on the sunny Monday afternoon. After yanking on a pair of waders and a quick head scratching session over the contents of my fly box, I picked the 2 least abused-looking things I saw and jumped in feet first. Aaron quickly hooked a small rainbow on a copper john, and I decided to take a little stroll across the river where upon arrival at the far bank realized that that funny feeling in my boot was water pouring into my sock. Lovely.

A few hours and as many hook-ups later we decided the action was about over for the afternoon and so Aaron, I, and my soggy toes decided to head to the hotel. A hour later with a stomach bursting with Golden Corral and a bottle of 92 proof rum we retired to rest up for the next day. And by rest up, I mean get stupid. (See video in previous post)

The next morning after sleeping through the incessant beeping of my phone telling me that it was time to fish, we checked out of the hotel with minutes to spare and headed back to the river, this time to a place stop named Water Users, where a few months from now buss loads of relatively sober half naked thrill seekers with "Show Yer Boobs" sloppily written on old beer boxes would begin their slow trek downriver.

I have only been to this spot in the summertime, and it is a completely different beast during the winter months; the colors are somehow both calm and vibrant, the situation as a whole seemed  muted but full of potential.

The afternoon fly fishermen stacked in the quick shallows, eavesdropping on one another, being privy to a apparent midge hatch, drifting zebras and what-have-yous under caddis flies and other floaties, doing just alright.

I decided to stick to my nymphing... and struck out. Some days this would ave bothered me, because I, like other fishermen will occasionally admit in a drunken state, think going fishing and not catching fish is basically a failure. But when the beauty of the location outweighs the lack of success, one must just be happy to be there, and I was.

As the evening pushed the afternoon under the horizon, it was just about time to head home and we packed the rods and wet gear into the truck bed. It was a pleasure to meet Dan and Ron (I apologize if I messed up on the names), I am sorry we didn't get to meet up with Greg from AZ Fly and Tie, and I missed the guys from Goodyear, but we will be back soon. You can bet on that, and hopefully before the first wave of drunken reprebates of the new year contaminate the shrinking shores with old socks and empty beer cans.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I can't take him anywhere.

"It will be funny," he said. 'Take me a video of me jumping on the bed at the Super 8." he said.

Salt River update coming soon.... I promise there will be fishing stuff.


P.S. Don't use the sink in room 130.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

yeah, it was that kinda party...

Burning socks, absinthe, brats on the grill and Vince with his 62 caliber British Light Dragoon pistol. I'm just sayin'.