Tuesday, December 29, 2015

When we get together again, this time next year

"...we go to awesome places with our friends, and make friends with places that are awesome..."

Steve Duda is the editor over at Flyfish Journal. He's done me the favor of publishing a few of my essays and always had a deft editor's hand massaging my meanderings when they needed it.

He shows his own talents with a pen in this essay on that fundamental question: Why do we do it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

No fish for you

I haven't been fishing much lately. Weekends seemed to be filled with unpacking from the last business trip, doing laundry, reacquainting myself with my wife and sons, packing for the next business trip and heading to the airport. I have been fishless for at least a month. Maybe more. Maybe lots more.

The bummer is that local fishing has been good. Smallmouth are hot on the Housy. The Farmington has settled into its summer mood: miniscule flies to sipping trout in the slow water, euros to aggressive fish in the fast water. Streamers and mice at night have also been reported to be good sport. I've been hanging out at LGA, RDU, ATL, BOS. No sport to be had in the land of tarmacs and jet fumes.

Fortunately, some folks are getting out and writing about it. Singlebarbed has posted a fine piece about not taking the fishless fishing trip. Not only does he tell a good tale of not fishing but provides some valuable tips for recognizing the fishless trip well before you get sucked into driving a thousand miles to not catch carp (or any other species on any duration trip).

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Water, Water, no where

Thomas Buschatzke
I was reading an article in the New York Times this morning about How the West Overcounts Its Water Supplies and I came upon this little gem.
Thomas Buschatzke, the director of Arizona’s Department of Water Resources, acknowledged that pumping from wells could dry up streams, but said the current law kept the two resources separate, and “it would be a huge upset to the economy to do away with that.”
Thomas Buschatzke is the poster child for water idiocy in the west. Let me rephrase his statement so you, gentle reader, can understand it.
Thomas Buschatzke, the director of Arizona’s Department of Water Resources, acknowledged that pumping from wells could dry up streams, but said the current law kept the two resources separate, and [“we'd rather avoid a huge upset to today's economy due to our blatant disregard for the obvious and instead drive full speed at a catastrophic future that won't be my problem because I'll be spending my state retirement benefits in a place that has plenty of water”]
 To be honest, little surprises me about Arizona politics. And I'm not at all surprised that politicians pass real problems on to the future while solving imaginary problems (see: immigration) today. I don't live in the west. Part of that is due to the fact that there is a stunning disregard for water reality. Americans need to get serious about the use of water resources or they're not going to need their guns to protect themselves from the federal government. They're going to need them to guard their aquifers.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Got Grip?

I'm not very good at gear maintenance. I've never washed my waders or cleaned a fishing vest. I think that their general funk and dingy exterior are as important as the sweat stains on a favorite fishing hat. There's likely mojo in all that and I'm not going to mess with it. I have been known to clean and grease a reel that has gotten too gritty but that's the extent of the time I've spent worrying about gear condition. Thankfully, most gear is constructed worry free.

Last weekend I fished the Housatonic River. The river has been abnormally low and warm this spring on account of sparse rainfall and the growth on the river's bottom is the slick greens and browns that one doesn't normally find until early summer. And that means I was slipping and sliding like crazy. My wading staff, usually a high water accessory, was put to good use.

It wasn't until I was tossing my boots on the milk crate in the garage that I wondered about the condition of the cleats on the bottom of my Simms G3s. I've been using a combination of Simms AlumiBite™ Star Cleats and ice screws for the past few years and usually only get a new set when I get new boots. That regimen seems to be far too infrequent based upon the use I've been giving the boots over the past year. Both the ice screws and the Star Cleats had been worn flush with the tread of the boot.

So, off to the Simms store I went for two more sets of cleats. This morning I installed the shiny new cleats and put in a few ice screws from my lifetime supply for good measure. I'll test the arrangement out this evening on what I'm hoping will be a solid spinner fall. My casting may not look elegant, but at least I won't be horizontal. Check your boots. Get grip.