Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Can Feel It Coming In The Air Tonight...

80mph Winds

Sideways Snow

Ice-coated Beards

These are all things that I can feel falling behind us as we walk steadily towards spring. The other day... well... I fished olives for the first time this year. Every reservoir around seems to have it's ice melting quickly away. So I have been throwing big streamers into the open water in hopes of a hungry pike coming up to take advantage of his new bounty. The rivers will soon be filled with mayflies and I will shed my waders in exchange for wet wading. 

I am so excited that I could piss myself.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

So, you want to be an artist?

Then you should seriously consider visiting the Bristol Bay Lodge this summer for their second annual Artist-in-Residence program. This group is headlined by no other than Bob White, but I think many of you will find my good friend Scott Wells to be an exciting new addition as well. He will be the featured print maker at Bristol Bay Lodge’s second annual Artist-in-Residence program during the week of July 28 to August 4, 2012.  He specialized in Gyotaku style printing, and seats will sell out quickly.

Originally from San Diego, Scott Wells now calls Littleton, CO home. An extremely avid fly fisher since his teens, Scott, now 35, splits his fishing time between the clear mountain streams above the Front Range and the slightly more opaque waters of the Denver South Platte River. His ink press art is a reflection of his catches, with the latter locale (and the hungry carp within) weighing heavily in his method of creativity and fly fishing. When Scott is not enveloped in the catch, he spends time with his wife Janet and five year-old son Patrick, preferably on a family rafting trip. Scott is conveniently employed by Downriver Equipment.

If you would like to join Bob White or Scott Wells, contact the Original Jedi Master at bob@bobwhitestudio.com


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Opening Day

I'm sitting at my house watching another spring snow shower and planning my weekend fishing trip. I started making a mental list of the things I needed to pick up from the shop like leaders and some new hemostats (mine..uhm... got destroyed), and what flies I need to wrap up before heading out. The whole process got me thinking about what it was like to live in a state with a closed trout season. Here in Colorado, our trout fishing is open all year, but growing up I had to leave my precious trout honey holes alone from September through April. This gave the fishery time to heal and gave the trout peace as they procreated.

My first thought was, "man, I am lucky to be able to fish my trout streams all year", but maybe that isn't the case. When I had an off-season, it gave me time to restock my fly boxes and do the necessary maintenance on my gear. There would be ample time to spend with family and friends doing non fishing related things like tapping maples and searching for morels. Believe it or not, fishing is like everything else in life, it is good to step away from it every once in a while. If you occasionally separate yourself from something, when you get back to it you can appreciate the little things again.

Then there is the anticipation. It starts when you put away the cross country skis or you start your end of season maintenance on your snowmobile. You can feel it in the air. The ice and snow melts and you feel the life of spring coming back. This is when you stash away your spey gear and start tying dry flies. I would start taking the long way home from work so I could drive by my local stream to see how it looked. Then the day would finally arrive. After a night of restless sleep, I would wake up at 4am and make a gut bomb breakfast. Mostly an egg scramble with sausage and jalapenos. The coffee and maple syrup (the real stuff, mind) would settle it down nicely and I would head out.

My spot was a small blue ribbon trout stream in southwest Michigan. No... I wont name it for you, but it wasn't a spot that everybody thought of. Most people would migrate to the more popular streams and fish with the masses. I chose to fish in solitude on a special creek under a canopy of huge maples. On the opener, I would always fish dry flies. Not because the fish were stupid after months of not seeing fisherman, but because opening day deserved to be fished in a certain way. That first sip would be the official start to the trout season, so I always made sure that it was a good one.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Back To The Start

Back to the Start from Comodín de la Helvetica on Vimeo.

WARNING - NON FISHING POST: Anybody that knows me knows how I feel about factory farming. It's why I don't eat fast food. It's why I eventually want to get back to my roots and live on a working, sustainable farm. Killing animals is how food gets on the table and I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is keeping 100 chickens in a small cage, stuffed together with all of their beaks cut so they don't kill each other. Beef is wonderful, but I don't want to participate in pumping cattle so filled with hormones that they become zombies. These are both examples of how your chicken McNuggets or Big Mac get onto your plate.

What I am getting at is this; I want to eat meat, but that doesn't mean that I want to torture animals. That is exactly what is happening in factory farms across the country. So one day, I would like to get back to where I know that the food I eat comes from animals that lived quality lives and were treated with dignity. If this still doesn't make sense, watch the video above (or just watch it if you like Willie Nelson) to see the difference between sustainable farming and the commercial slaughterhouses. Don't forget to turn off the playlist on the right, so you don't have two songs going at once.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Last Day of My 20's

Tomorrow, I will be 30 years old.... sobering.

It seems like yesterday I was a 20 year old kid running up and down river banks looking for risers, scraping my knees on rocks and smoking cigarettes. Now I rarely do either, choosing to fish more from boats and laying off the tobacky. I've seen a lot of stuff since then. At 20, I had yet to fish a lot of amazing places. Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming and the Keys were all places that were far off fantasy lands. Now I have experienced them all. I have even managed to catch a few fish along the way.

So what now? Is this the part of my life where I settle down? Is this the beginning of the end?

I like to think the opposite. My 30's are going to be the best years of my life. I am going to fish more exotic places like Kamchatka and Argentina. Hopefully I will be able to afford nicer things, so I plan on getting more into bamboo, nicer spey gear and classic glass rods. I am going to spend more time looking for mushrooms and identifying birds instead of watching a bobber bounce. Instead of resorting to nymphs, I will fish dries or streamers even more than I do now. I will fish less crowded places than are harder to get to. Not because I want to catch more or bigger fish, but simply because if I don't do it now, who knows when I will. My thirties will be my best years of my life filled with love, excitement and adventure.

Carpe Diem, my friends.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sometimes We Need A Hero

Asian Carp are the biggest threat to the Great Lakes fishery there is. In these dire times, we need some heroes to step up and save humanity... The Peoria Carp Hunters may just be those heroes. Eradicating Asian Carp, one sword swipe at a time. We owe you a debt of gratitude, gentleman.

For those of you lacking in sword fighting ability, num-chuck skills, or just cant stay up on water skis, do your part by visiting freshwaterfuture.org to learn what you can do to stop these bastage fish.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm Sorry New Mejico

I'm sorry New Mejico. Those were harsh words I said about you yesterday. After talking all day with the magistrate in Aztec, I finally got everything settled. All I had to do was sign a plea sheet and pay my fine online. So rational minds prevailed, and by no means was I looking to get out of my pfd ticket, I just didn't want to have to drive 14 hours round trip to do so.

So consider this my apology New Mejico. Thank you for all of your healthy trout, thank you for your enormous pike and most of all... thank you for the good friends that always end up fishing with me. All despite my blatant disregard of your pfd rules.



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Mejico Can Kiss My...

Ask anybody, New Mexico has some pretty cool fishing. There is a lot more to the place other than the San Juan, but right now, I am hating them. I got a ticket for not wearing my pfd in the boat (I had it in the boat, just not on) and now they want me to come back down from Denver to go to court. Aztec, NM is over 7 hours away from me. Are these people insane?

Furthermore, they have their priorities completely effed up. Here are the possible fines differences between my ticket and RECKLESS DRIVING!

No PFD = $500 and/or 180 days in jail. 


Reckless Driving = $300 and/or 90 days in jail. 

Something is soooo messed up about that. I'm not trying to belittle the importance of water safety, but for crying out loud,is wearing a pfd more important than stopping people from endangering others with reckless driving? 

But They do have this....

So they have that going for them... which is nice. 

I may be bringing my next post from a jail cell in Aztec. I hope they treat me well. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012


It's great when a plan comes together. After tying ridiculous amount of pike flies, driving 7 hours, and freezing my ass off, we found some pike willing to chase. Congrats to my homie Andy, he caught this New Mexico pike on his third cast of the day. It was a kick ass time.

PS - Wear your pfd in New Mexico, I got a ticket for it on my trip. I had mine in the boat, but I didn't have it on.  They are trying to tell me that I have to drive down to Aztec, NM to appear in court because of it. Stay tuned.