Archive for January, 2013


Transporting Your Gear…New Concept

Creepy, weird, certainly annoying as hell! But, the Boston Dynamic’s Big Dog might someday be just the ticket for that trek into the canyon or some remote area with all your gear ‘safely’ (I use that word cautiously). It doesn’t require food or water (well there is a need for energy) and my only concern with this thing is I wouldn’t want it to get ahold of a gun after all the abuse it has been put through. Be nice to your Big Dog. And, don’t except any downgrades!



Sink holes…Sometimes Too Close!

sinkhole guat

Not just your ordinary hole in the floor!

There was a recent video released of a sink hole in a Chinese town. Not of the best quality, but you get the idea of how eery our surroundings could be.

But, as spooky as that one may or may not be, a sink hole from a few years back in Guatemala seems even more spooky. Imagine sleepy right above this narrow rabbit hole into the abyss? Well, kind of like an abyss. 



Fly Tying: Moto’s Minnow

I was researching Winter Fly Fishing Patterns, when I happened upon a piece by Tom Rosenbauer with his suggestions for Winter patterns. Amongst the patterns was the Moto’s Minnow. I hadn’t heard of the pattern (not that I know all the patterns) so I checked into it and found a slew of recent pieces re the minnow pattern. 

It is a pattern that is easily adaptable to different color combo’s to cover the minnow/sculpin colors. Here is a decent video on tying the Moto’s Minnow.

Moto's MinnowSB

I at least once a year extol the virtues of streamer patterns for sculpins and minnows. But truth be told, I do not fish them, with the regularity they deserve, on rivers and streams. Lakes yes, rivers no. This is a regular presentation for browns and ‘bows for many anglers and I am missing opportunities….if you are not frequently using the streamer patterns as a primary search pattern then maybe you too are missing out. Consider the Moto’s Minnow (originated by Moto Nakamura) as one option in your arsenal of streamers. Even simple Woolly Buggers would be a starting point. 


Cemetery History & Taverns, Motels and KMart

Pioneer cemeteries and photography combine, for me, into a series of unanswered questions each time I stroll through the almost always empty cemeteries.

Today, I visited three such cemeteries in the Portland area. All the designated ‘pioneer’ cemeteries were primarily recipients of folks born in the early to mid 1800’s and then their children born around WWI.  

I was struck by a few observations for these three cemeteries: they were now surrounded by industrial, commercial enterprises…the designation of ‘pioneer’ seemed lost amid the flow of semi-trucks, transients, strewn beer cans…the trees were old, gnarly and offered privacy to the noisy traffic within a few feet of the Oregon Pioneer headstones. 

old markers tavern SB

These old pioneer grave markers are adjacent to this billious yellow tavern and a seedy motel behind it.

As I have noted before, these are not old graves compared to other parts of the country or world. But, for the Oregon Territory these were the early settlers and most names today were unknown to me excepting a very few: Wilkes, Zimmerman, Reynolds. A good outing with a few finds that were poignant or provided images of tragedy.

Dunbar Kids Pass SB

Here three children pass within a few days of each other. An epidemic, some other tragedy? Apparently someone else researching the same family wondered the same thing.

Zimmerman Pioneer SB Motel

True pioneers that settled east of Portland (I photographed their home back around Thanksgiving and posted on SwittersB) buried next to a different motel and busy intersection off I-205. Alloy rims and pioneers.

BigK Pioneer

Ann Powell, a Pioneer woman, with view of KMart (Big K) and buses that meet in the parking lot to transport seniors to coastal casinos.

Ella Last One SB

The last remaining child, Ella the middle child of twelve, appears to be the last one of the original pioneer’s offspring.

These cemetery outings are interesting indeed. I found the usual minimally marked graves (a number) and the unnamed baby’s grave. All these combine, for some reason, to make me marvel and wonder and take the focus away from the cold East wind blowing across these small parcels of  history.

45 Marker SB

The County, in the old days, buried the unidentified in these now Pioneer cemeteries with a number on the marker. It is nice the number stays uncovered and visible. I wonder beyond a ledger with a plot of where each stone is would lead to any details of where did ’45’ die. I doubt there is little more left of that blink of time on earth.

Baby 1880 Sb I visited the Powell Grove Cem. (est. 1848), Columbia Pioneer Cem. (est. 1877) and the Columbia Cem. (est. 1857)



Portland’s “Repurposing” of Furniture

People are so generous in Portland. I mean where else can one pack up the ‘old lady’ and drive about the nicer parts of town furniture ‘shopping’. On any given day, rain or shine, one can find upholstered couches, ottomans, chairs and mattresses on the corner or sidewalk. Even boxes or piles of old clothes can be found laying about. Today was a beautiful, sunny day in the low 30’s…a perfect day to see what could be found.

Portland Repur 1 SB

This floral print chair, minus the cushion, has been setting on this corner for four days. Optimum location and yet no one has grabbed this one up. It is right next to a bus stop, so imagine the convenience.

PortlandRepur 2 Sb

Now this rocker is a real find. It too has been on display for days. I am not sure if the pallet comes with it, but at least it has the cushion.

These are the types of finds that bode well for the spirit of giving in my area. Given I noticed grocery items were on whole twice as expensive as they were a year ago, even at a discount store, I maybe shouldn’t make light of such repurposing during these ‘forward’ leaning times. 



Bedbugs: City Rankings (Now I itch!)

I’ve written about this in the past and each time, as I am reading the article, I develop an itch…like a pin prick somewhere on my body. Psychosomatic disorders is another topic for later perhaps?

“It is said that bedbugs are not a health hazard and they can’t transmit disease. But I believe they are talking about a bedbug transmitting disease from injecting saliva into your skin during the initial stages of feeding on your blood.

After a bedbug has finished feeding (about fifteen minutes), it is engorged with human blood. The slightest pressure will cause the bug to burst open and spray blood in all directions. Picture of a bedbug that popped and was partially filled with blood can be found at

Here is a list of the top, frequent U.S. cities with bedbug treatments. Now I’m itching again! Nasty little critters, but beyond itching and the mental imagery of blood bloated crawlies around your face at night, they allegedly do not pose a disease hazard, just that bite/itching thing. Damn, now I’m itching again! Consider this a non-flyfishing entomological lesson, of sorts. Dust mites, bed bugs, spiders, fleas….it’s a wonder we get any sleep.

Bed Bug Getty IMages ABC News

Bigger than a flea, but more pesky to humans. Image: Getty/ABC News


Trout: “I feel your vibes….”

blush cheek bow swittersb

The wary fisher knows the fish often see the approach, the waving fly rod, the ripples on the water from the splatting fly line or leader. And, we even have an awareness to wade slowly and quietly because the fish can ‘hear’ us?

Much like our own senses can combine to alert us to subtle changes, the above trout can detect changes about it that alert the fish not just to food but to predators….in particular us.

The lateral line is such a sense that allows fish to feel a presence than could be a food source or a threat, as well it aids the fish in navigation.

About the Lateral Line
Trout have inner ears, which allow them to hear sounds as we do. They also have lateral lines, special sense organs used to “feel” sounds. Lateral lines allow trout to hear sounds that are too low for humans to hear. Every trout has two lateral lines, one on each side of its body. A lateral line is made of a series of U-shaped tubes. Every time the water outside the U vibrates because of a sound, a tiny hair at the base of the U wiggles, which sends a nerve signal to the brain. The trout’s brain translates the wiggle into information about where the vibration came from. Trout use lateral lines to find food, escape predators and keep away from obstacles.’


April Vokey Interview @ Westfly

This is a recent (12/23/12) interview by Scott Richmond of Westfly with April Vokey. I enjoyed this interview because Ms. Vokey provides a lot of solid, valid how to info in fifteen minutes. Give it a listen and you’ll learn a little bit…I think about the steelhead fly presentation. Westfly has a lot of excellent information going back several years.

april tony

A few years back, Ms. Vokey and my son, Tony, at the Portland Sportsman Show. Very gracious lady for certain.


Fly Fishing & Tier: John Goddard passes on…..

So many notable fly anglers have passed on this past few years. Another, John Goddard passed the day after Christmas (2012). I admit I knew little of the man save a pattern the Goddard Caddis. But, upon a bit of reading in a recent news article, it is evident he was a true student of why trout ate the fly and we have benefited from his efforts.

John Goddard, born August 27 1923, died December 26 2012


Fly: Larry Medina, Photograph: Hans Weilenmann (Danica Site)

 “…in the late 1950s, that Goddard began to develop his interest in entomology. Realising that if he were to catch more fish on this difficult river it would be helpful to invent more realistic patterns, he and a friend, Cliff Henry, decided to take life-size close-up photographs of the species of insect life on the river.

They brought the insects home, and in order to keep them still and arrange them in the correct position to be photographed, sedated them by holding them in a test-tube against a lit electric light bulb. “That winter we slaved away at the fly-tying bench,” Goddard later wrote, “trying to develop more imitative patterns with the help of these photographs.” (more)


Photo from Wandel Piscators (Also, a nice piece about Goddard)


Photography & Life’s Progressions (Empty Space)

Empty Space

Our daughter just left, heading back to college. There is an empty space now. With that special energy and humor she swirled in and lifted all spirits…then she left…again. Such is life. Many are not so fortunate to have their children visit anymore for all manner of reasons. 

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

January 2013

Please visit MUNCY DESIGNS (click)

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