Posts Tagged ‘gear

20
Oct
14

Wet Rocks & Precision

During the downpours on an Oregon coastal stream, I had occasions to set my rod down and re-rig. When I would look down at the Hatch reel, I would note the contrast of a beautifully machined implement, the brilliance of the fly line and backing against the wet greens, browns, and grays. To my mind, it was rich looking in textures and colors.

The rod, a 10 wt. Winston Boron rod, once belonged to John Hagan…a dear friend and avid fly fisher, shop owner, who passed on not long ago. I was honored to receive the rod from his son, Jack Hagan and this past weekend the rod (and reel) performed flawlessly against big fish, even if I didn’t always match up to the moments. Power vs. power, a beautiful thing to feel and behold.

rod-reel-Hatch Reel-fly fishing-photography-Oregon-SwittersB

 

rod-reel-Hatch Reel-Hagan rod-fly fishing-SwittersB-Oregon

24
Mar
13

Snow Peak Opens in Portland, Oregon (Lapel Torch)

Snow Peak opened there first USA store in Portland, Oregon and offers exceptional camping gear in their store located at 410 NW 14th. (503.697.3330), in the Pearl District. I saw this nifty little light over on This Is Fly and thought I would share the gizmo (Lapel Torch) here.

Lapel Torch SNow Peak

Lapel Torch by Snow Peak

28
Feb
13

Fishing: Early Season Anxiety & Hoarding

The temps are creeping upward. The mornings are a bit warmer if not drier here. All the tying, organizing fly boxes, staring at the gear, double checking the layers of clothing etc, etc leads to that burgeoning need to pack the gear in the rig, load up the ‘toon and head somewhere…anywhere to wet a line.

Rig w Toon SBTruth be told, I haven’t tied a lot this Winter. I tied a lot last year and seem well stocked on the basics. I have a few patterns that I will be tying this month (a chunk of a baitfish pattern for some large mouth bass & some mini-leech patterns…just  because). Like years past, I may well have that on the water revelation…”I didn’t tie any (pick the pattern here).” I have a faint recollection of wanting to tie up sculpin patterns for the rivers. That didn’t get done this past Winter. Such is life lately. 

Lake Box SBxAs some of you may know, my life…my family’s life, has been consumed with the cleanup of two massive hoarding homes and hospice care for two the past several years. The cleanup of a hoarding home makes one consider one’s own habits of acquiring and retaining this and that.

Such is the case with gear…especially fly boxes. My mind seems to flit from hyper readiness and over planning and always settles upon the ‘I might need it someday’. The exact mantra of a OCD Hoarder is it not? Hmmm? Well, I am not likely to remove, for long, many of the dozen or more fly boxes I pack into my pontoon’s cargo bags. For some reason, I can confine myself to a couple boxes on a river (odd as rivers, for me, seem to be a bigger puzzle than a lake). 

Blushing Bow 2 SBAs in life, things evolve and change. I struggle for simplicity but I am realizing this endeavor (fly fishing and tying) personifies my good tendencies and my not so good tendencies. It is often a joke in the family on how many fly rods I have…I mean I have outfitted the entire extended family in the event they might fish someday!

The reflection I see in the mirror is someone that must do a little self-assessment on just when is enough, enough. I will get to that someday (procrastination is another trait of the hoarder).

11
Nov
12

Cold Weather Gloves for Fly Fishing

This is such a trial and error area for me. I cannot really make a recommendation. Once the temp dips below freezing and the finger tips get wet it is like a combination of bee stings and hammer strikes on my fingertips. Dexterity suffers on tying on flies, using tools, line management with a spey rod especially. I can withstand most things outdoor until my fingertips lose the battle often followed by the toes. I carry different gloves and trade them off as a pair gets overly saturated. Only advice I can give…couple pair of gloves, maybe those hand warmer packets and make the most of those hours you can take it.

Commenter Sk8flyrod pointed the way to the Kast Steelhead Gloves. Positive reviews at MidCurrent and Deneki.

01
Nov
12

Fish Tails (Tales) Requires Planning………

If are a fly fisher for Trout and other Spring through Fall species, you may have hung your gear up and won’t give it another thought until Spring looms near. Maybe you will pursue Winter Trout on a few year around waters or Salmon and Steelhead. A few hardy souls fish year around. But, a couple things, as my annual reminders, to consider.

~Did you organize your gear before you stuck it away? Did you put any part of it away wet or damaged? Did you clean up your fly lines and do a tune up on your reels? Is there anything you stuck away in a hurry, at the time, saying to yourself ‘I take care of it later…remember to take care of this later’. Did you?

~You considered learning to tie flies. Have you explored classes/lessons from a fly shop, community college, private lessons, fly fishing club etc. Maybe none of those options are available in your area. There are excellent on-line (S-B-S…Step By Step) tutorials on how to tie that are better than not trying it at all. Also, they are excellent to visit after you take person to person instructions. 

~If you do tie, now is the perfect time, while this past season’s fly selections/losses are fresh in your memory to inventory and make lists of what flies need to me replenished via tying (or purchased, if you don’t tie). This is best done while anticipating a timeline of when and where you will fish this coming year. What are the hatch sequences or subsurface life forms available in the waters you plan on fishing this coming year. Keep a plan pinned up and look at it, especially if you are a new tier so you don’t flit around tying this and that and never really tie all you needed.

This will help you in planning and enjoying your fishing outings and of course having plenty of ‘fishtails’ to expand upon for years to come. Now go check on that gear bag you filled with wet, stinky clothing and then zipped up last month.

12
Oct
12

Trout Remain…Back to Layers

Today, in Portland, the weather has turned. It has rained the better part of the day. A much needed rain to slowly reduce the critically high fire dangers in the forests and raise some of the very low rivers a tad to flush up Silvers, Steelhead and Chinook. 

But, I just have not had enough of a fill fishing for Trout. Time seems to be dwindling away with the change in the weather; certain waters closing soon for the season; and attention turning to Winter Steelhead (for the hardy ones) or just tying away and fantasizing for next year.

Just a few short weeks ago, this nice trout took a Caddis pattern on a warm afternoon, with the sun starting to set.

For some there are waters open year round and if you can brave the temps and winds, they can be a nice escape. Preparation is in order from your gear, what flies to use and making sure someone knows where you are. If you are not accustomed to being outdoors in the Winter (hunting, snowmobiling, skiing, fishing, photography) make sure you do consider more than where you are going to find fish and what flies to use. Think survival and preparedness.

I might soon get out and toss a few October Caddis, olives and midges for surface activity. And, there is that whole world beneath the surface to probe.

16
Sep
12

Gear Bag: Simple Attention & Prevention

A few years back, I received a beautiful gear bag from my family. It is a Fish Pond bag, that set  them back a fair amount. This is a reminder to immediately take care of your gear after an outing if: you have been infrequently getting out; subject your gear to the elements; don’t recognize the assault upon your gear and put it away sopping wet!

Last Fall, about eleven months ago, I went on a trip up the Sandy River chasing some late running coho. I was wanting to get some fishing in because I was due for surgery on my neck. That late afternoon, the pain was too much to wave a spey rod, the elements intervened and I stripped off my gear, threw it in back and headed home. The gear was off loaded into the garage and forgotten.

An unfrozen zipper revealing the white corrosion that held the zipper. (SwittersB)

The results have been unfriendly to the gear bag that I value and cherish. Corrosion had seized up every one of the 16 zippers! All exhibited that white, crusty crud that had frozen the zippers. I tried silicone sprays, unstick sprays for stuck nuts/bolts…it worked on 3 of the 16 zippers. Research lead to those obvious home remedies…vinegar & lemon juice. Obvious because they work! Actually, I did much better with the lemon juice than with the vinegar. Vinegar is a pretty good resource also, but today the lemon juice was wonderful. Thank goodness.

The gear bag with some of the many zippers unstuck. The zippers have that rusty sheen, but that is more a reflection of some light source as they are not rusted or corroded on the surface, especially not after all the lemon juice and vinegar I poured down their gullet! (SwittersB)

The obvious remedy is not to put anything away wet that can’t stand the mold, mildew, corrosion and rust villains. But, I imagine there are other home remedies or over the counter resources to conquer the stuck zipper/corrosion problem. Prevention being first and foremost.

This type of gear bag probably should not get so wet, and if it does it should be immediately dried out and attention given to the zippers.

18
Jul
12

TSA & The Really Big…well….. Carry On Gear?

Have you sensed the extra tension brought to your life while passing through airport security these days? Maybe it is just me. I was always excited to travel before. Now, I just have this elevated sense of anxiety and resentment to get past some bozo’s with an inflated sense of duty. Yes, yes….’just trying to protect you’….whatever. So speaking of inflated, imagine this ‘problem’ as Johan Falcon attempts to pass through airport security with his super schwantz taped to his thigh…apparently a record breaking appendage that freaked airport security. They can never be too careful or embarrassed.

JONAH FALCON’S ROD INTIMIDATES SECURITY

So, this remotely segways into when you attempt to pass through airport security do you have a clear idea if reels, lines, flies, rods are acceptable for carry on? I would be interested if anyone has access to a definitive statement on the transporting, as carry on, of fly fishing’s basic implements. I have read varied opinions re this and have had varied responses at airports. Flies ‘yes’…flies ‘no’ for example.

21
Jun
12

Surviving Chaos: What’s on your bookshelf or bookmarked?

Walk into the typical bookstore and there is a now a significant presentation of survival books. A few years ago there were maybe a half dozen. Recently, I found 13 survival books ranging from preparation for urban, suburban warfare in the coming collapse to let’s all get together and start a community garden ignore those guys with guns to how to skin a Newt and stay warm in wet hemp clothing.

It is not unusual to find recommended lists of survival books (practical how to information). Then there are the fictional/non-fictional accounts of chaos and doom that incorporate the mental aspects along with the mechanical how to’s. I have several that I recently bought to review and study. They are mix of the urban collapse…where’s my ammo to stranded overnight in the wilds and did you adequately prepare your pack or car before heading out. Maybe you have a favorite survival book or link, and could summarize the worth of your favorite(s).                            

19
Feb
12

Fly Fishing: Waiting but Planning

Spring time looms. Time to assess the gear, the fly boxes, the agenda for the coming season. The put off trip may happen this year. That spot you wanted to try but passed on last Fall beckons. That favorite place you first go each season. Are you ready?

I have been sorting through fly boxes galore. Actually a bit crazy how many I have. Some have had the same 20-40 flies in them for years and I bet I have set that box aside for as many years. No matter. But, I do assess those certain patterns that I am very low on and plan to tie accordingly. Hence, my recent decision to tie a bunch of unweighted Woolly Buggers because last year all I seemed to have were bead heads or heavier and I was sinking into the water column too quickly with the Intermediate line on lakes.

Penny the Cat is always studying her options. She is always planning and calculating.

So, a tying plan, on paper is emerging. Make one, tape it up and keep it simple. Are you tying enough for a season, envisioning the losses, the give aways, the wear and tear of certain successful patterns? Now is a good time to tie more than a handful of good patterns. Now is when you can knock out a couple dozen (a probable couple years worth) of the primary patterns.

The gear. Seems fairly elementary to check the bags, the reels, the rods. Oh,  the slow leak you were going to remember to fix last Fall. Well, the time allows for it now. The gear may have been put away dirty, wet, scattered because of life’s realities and interruptions. This might be a good time to start over assessing all your gear and use this season as a new beginning to unwind from the pressures of life. Better to start off with something organized and together like your gear, if not your life.

Probably a good time to make a gear checklist at least once to make sure all the necessities you assume are shoved in that bag, vest or pack are actually there and serviceable. The small stuff: nippers, pliers, the right size tippet spools, floatant, split shot, strike indicators, working batteries in the headlamp are all there and ready. No nippers is like a fine cigar without a lighter.

There is little doubt that Penny the Cat is well prepared!

 Now last June, on a windy day, Penny was high in a tree and less skilled in planning. (Penny the Cat came into the household).




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