Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rest Easy, Friday Night: Vol 12. Saturday Night Edition

That's right, I acknowledge that it is not Friday, but I just stumbled upon such an awesome video that I had to make an exception.

I give you "Three White Horses" by Andrew Bird.

Reasons I like this video/song:

1. Andrew Bird has a cool voice.
2. Andrew Brid can play the violin and sing at the same time. That takes coordination.
3. The change in tempo at 2:15 is nifty.
4. Andrew Bird has a nice scarf.
5. Bald bass player has a nice sweatshirt.
6. Guitarist has a nice plaid shirt like the one I got for Christmas.
7. I like songs that express melancholy in a fast-paced manner.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fly Shop Highlight: Wild River Outfitters, Virginia Beach, Va

Wild River Outfitters.
I am happy to announce, Virginia Beach has a fly shop. Wild River Outfitters. This may pretty much be a technicality. 
Fine, affordable rods.
They have a few TFO rods and reels and some Free Fly gear and that is about it, but, the word is it will expand in the future.  They asked what I think they need. I said you can never have enough buck tails when it comes to tying saltwater flies. 

so comfy
The shop has great staff: a ton of kayaking, camping, and general outdoor gear. Cory Routh is a local guide who is playing a big role in getting their fishing inventory (both fly and kayak) up and running.  I'm sure he has some neat things in store for the future. 

They gave me a free hat!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Now that is some talent.

I knew my uncle enjoyed wood carving. I even knew he was pretty good at it. It wasn't until my mom sent me these photos that I realized he isn't just good at it, he is flabbergastingly outstanding. 

I know these are just pictures of pictures, but it still gets the point across. If you happen to have a subscription to the Park Rapids, Mn newspaper (I'll bet all of my wife's Christmas presents that none of you do :) you can read about him here. The link at least shows a picture. 

Anyway, I just thought I'd share. Enjoy!

Wood carving prior to painting.

finished product.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

As the year comes to a close, reflecting comes more naturally. I think of the trips, people and fish. I also look forward to the beginning of a new way to enjoy this passion for trout. With the first brush stroke last night, I took a step towards tackling James Prosek's book "Trout: An Illustrated History." This year is quickly walking out the doorway, but the next one looks mighty promising.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Feeling Lucky? Excerpt from Eat, Sleep, Fish (Online Magazine)

This is what it's all about. There you stand, wading boots creeping to the water. That big, murky pool is plunging right in front of you, and you are certain there is a fat (and phat) fish hiding under that log. You have the right fly. You have the perfect angle. The sky is overcast. All you need is your lucky ______.

When it comes to superstitions, I'd like say we all have them, but I'm guessing that isn't completely true....

Read the rest HERE in the latest issue of Eat, Sleep Fish Online Magazine

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fly Shop Highlight: Urban Angler Ltd., Manhattan, NY

Last weekend, while visiting New York City with some family, I couldn't help but search for a fly shop. Just as I used to love going to pet shops as a kid, I love going to fly shops as a dude.... :)  that was an impulse decision to call myself a "dude." I should have said "as a fly fisherman." Moving on.

Using the handy map function on my phone I was able to locate the Urban Angler fly shop (online at If you were going to ask me how to find it, I'd probably say, "go to that really skinny building people like to take pictures of in Manhattan, stand with your back to it, and look for the big yellow flag. It's right there."

The fly shop is actually on the 3rd floor of a building. You enter as if walking into someone's apartment and press floor 3 when you get into the elevator. When the doors open on floor 3, you are looking not as a dark hallway, but a display of fly rods, river bags, and a wall of books, DVDs, and paintings. Having an elevator open right into the shop is a nice effect for the first timer.

I think what was really neat about this fly shop was their collection of art. From paintings, to photographs, to metal works, it made browsing the shop a more enjoyable experience.

After poking around on my own for a bit, I started talking with the man behind the desk, Ron Swegman. Ron was great. We talked about our respective fisheries, he helped me pick out some tying materials for a crayfish pattern I want to tie, showed me some of the amazing new rods from Sage and Hardy, and showed me a book that, like it or not, may have added another dimension to my infatuation with trout.

I left the shop with a few free magazines, some tying materials, and James Prosek's Trout: An Illustrated History. That afternoon, I read the introduction out loud to my wife and mother-in-law. They promptly became unconscious, but I believe that was more the combination of the long day and my soothing voice than the content of Prosek's introduction :) His book examines the variety of North America's trout through watercolor and a little bit of text. The paintings are simple, delicate, and beautiful. I was never able to master watercolor in my college art classes, but it would be fun to try a hand at  painting these fish with oil. Maybe in another life.  Maybe....

A Prosek watercolor.

Ron Swegman is the writer behind the blog, Tenkara Takes Manhattan. Urban Angler also has a shop in Alexandria, Va.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trip Recap: Turkey Day in NYC

I may have failed to do daily posts of our recent trip to New York City, but that is simply because we had too much fun and I had so little energy at the end of the day.

The single thing that made this trip so much easier was the gracious offer of housing at my friend's apartment. Not only did we save big time bucks but we also benefitted from his convenient location and thoughtful suggestions on sights and restaurants. 

First let me hit the highlights of the trip and then bombard you with some sample photos from the weekend. 

On day one we rode the train to the Museum of Natural History and got to see the baloons for the Macy's Day Parade all blown up and pinned to the streets by big nets and sandbags. We walked home and stopped at Eataly, and Italian market/restaurant for a light snack. This would be one of several trips to Eataly. It was a bit pricy, but phenomanally delicisous. 

On Thursday, we woke early and got to 49th and 6th to grab our spot in line for the big parade. Our spot was so close I feel like I am now friends with Carly Ray Jepsen, Chet Atkins, Whoopi Goldberg, and The Elf on the Shelf. 

Immediately after the play finished, we took the short stroll to NBC studios and watched a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Rashida Jones and Jimmy did a rocking medley of contemporary hits with a holiday-themed twist. Man-o-man, I wish you could have seen it.... but wait, you can. Click HERE. keep an eye out for the guy in the top right of the crowd high clapping in a red plaid shirt... yeah, that is me. The wife and mom-in-law are to my left. I also got to shake Jimmy's hands. They are surpisingly soft.

Wi did manage to have a Thanksgiving Meal. I went to a nice grocery store near the apartment where they had some pre-made goodies. Stuffing, turkey breast, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Yum.

On Friday we spent time down at the 9/11 memorial. It is really a beautiful site. There is a lot of construction going on down there as they raise other buildings and complete a visitors center, but you can tell, once it is complete, it will be gorgeous.

Let's see, what else. We grabbed a cheap burger and beer at a place called Corner Bistro that was really cool. It was great to see some reasonably priced foods. Nothing special. Just a good burger with good beer.

On Saturday, I finally made it to the local Manahattan Fly Shop: The Urban Angler. That deserves an entire post in itself, so I'll just stop for now by saying, it is a great shop with knowledgable staff and some very sweet rods, art, clothes, and equipment.

Saturday afternoon we used our turkey leftovers to make a turkey white sauce pasta. That induced a deep coma in the girls only to be woken by me when it time to head to see our only show we paid for: A Prairie Home Companion. It was a great show with a new favorite musician: Aoife o'Donovan (pronounced Eee-fa). Also, some awesome jokes and, as always, Lake Wobegon. The show is archived here.

Other noteable thigns included the Union Square Market, Peels for brunch, buying Starbucks coffee in exchange for toilet usage, and weather that couldn't have been much better.

Okay, time for the photos.

Prime spots at the parade.

The Parade Begins.

That's not Jimmy Fallon, but he let us into the show.

9/11 Memorial.

Delicious bread from Eataly.

Thangsgiving Leftovers go Italian.

a famous skinny building.

The Urban Angler - Manhattan.

The Union Square Market.

Public Transportation. 

3 Shades of Beer.

Brunch at Peels. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rest Easy, Friday Night: Vol. 11: New Video Edition

Breaking the rules a bit for the Rest Easy, Friday Night post, but I hope you'll excuse me. Tonight, instead of group of songs from a selected artist you'll find just one video with one song. This is the video I put together from the recent trip to Harkers Island in search of False Albacore. How'd it go? Play the video and find out.

Have a great weekend!

"Harkers Island 101"

The folks who fish from the shore of Harkers Island, North Carolina are lovingly referred to as the "Sand People." Just like the Tusken Raiders from those movies that one guy (George Loomis or something?) made, little is known about the Sand People and their lifestyle. I present to you a short expose about the elusive fly fisherman and their obsessive quest to hook up with a False Albacore from the banks of Harkers Island. Was this trip a success? You'll just have to watch and see for yourself.

Filmed with my iphone and goproHD
Music by me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Harker's Island: The Preview

While I shuffle through video and wait for Kevin  (photos are courtesy of him) to write a great report and Andy to share all his awesome photos, I'll give you the main details.

1. It was gorgeous.

2. I got sleepy waiting for the elusive False Albacore.

3. And I had an awesome time and caught an amazing puffer fish.

4. Please give me a few days or so get some sort of video together that both solidifies the memory (or the way I want to remember it), and come up with something that is, at least, mildly interesting.

Have a great week!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


The path before you
Winding, Is only as long
As it needs to be


Camping gear? Check.
Fishing gear? Check.
False Albacore? ...... Pending.....

Stay Tuned.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Video: Fishing The Valleys

In efforts to resurrect a local Trout Unlimited Chapter, we undertook a coordinated effort to gather old and new members and journey to western Virginia. There were trout. There were chubs. There was food. There was beer. There were pretty leaves. There was tenkara and non-tenkara.

Filmed with my GoproHD and iphone 4

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Trip Summary: Go to Kevin's Page....

Well, the way this week is going and knowing what is coming this weekend, I won't be able to get much done with the video and photos I've stored up from last weekend's trip.

Right when I was beginning to feel quite guilty about it, Kevin posted a perfect summary of the weekend and some outstanding photos. I hope you get a chance to swing through and see how gorgeous George Washington National Forest is.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In the Meantime

The trip to George Washington National Forest was awesome. As I feared, I'm left now with much on my plate as far as work is concerned, but, alas, work will always be there. Hopefully, the streams will too.

I'll be slowly sifting through video clips and sharing some photos from the trip.

In the meantime, enjoy some of the awesomeness of Simms new fall line. If I had endless resources and wanted more clothes, I don't need, I'd go for the River Tek Top and follows by a Fall Run Jacket. But that's just me.... mom.....

Go forth and salivate...  or be reminded of how much you like your current clothes :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Big Weekend

It has taken quite a bit of planning and preparation, tying and talking, dreaming and scheming, but it is finally here. This weekend, our newly revitalized local TU club is making our first group trip. We are heading to the Jackson and Laurel Fork in Western Virginia.

Hoping to catch some fish and get some good photos and filming. Maybe try a different approach to the filming. We will see. I'm pretty sure I've gotten enough work done this week to slack on the weekend. I guess Monday will tell me if in right.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Good Fortune

Weather can surprise. Sun can shine.
Friends can call. Plans materialize.
Work postponed. Play prioritized.
Sandwiches and sardines. Celery sticks and seltzer.
Picnic on a boat with a motor that won't turn.
Anchored to a spot often overlooked.
Poorly tied flies and good fortune.
Eager fish to sun burnt hands,
and smiling eyes.

My catch of the day. What? Oysters are alive.
Action shot.

Look at all those spots.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

If I build it, I will surf.

Flipping through one of my wife's magazines led me on a tangent that lasted all summer. I read a one-liner about Jack Johnson's brother making traditional Hawaiian surf boards from reclaimed wood. This turned into a few online articles, followed by one misleadingly simple youtube video, which turned into a garage full of sawdust and polyurethane crusted fingernails. (I was a bit stubborn about doing most things by hand, initially. That made it a much slower, albeit enjoyable, process).

Finally, it has led to a day on the water learning how to surf. Having never done so before, I think I am blessed to not know how easy a foam board would be. Somehow, it makes the goal of standing on my heavy, wooden board seem more attainable.

Here are the photos from the summer.
Wood: Bass planks. Initially 1" x 6-8" x 8', Cedar strips also 8'
Bought from Yukon Lumber Company.
All tools provided by B. Murray, cousin of The Man in the Striped Pajamas
My board's final dimensions: 7'8" in length, 1" deep, 21.5" wide, finless
Anthony's board is more conventional with his last name spelled in Hieroglyphs. He added a fin and a leash. It is very nice.

On my first outing surfing, I crouched on one wave for about 3 seconds. I body boarded a bunch in, but then the waves became a "kiddy pool," so I was told.  I'll have to go back when there is enough power to lift me.
Picking it up.
bring it home.

ready for wood glue

sanded and shaped with the design burned in


anthony playing catchup

looking pretty nifty
dead man walking

waxed and ready

I learned that shirts aren't just to protect from the sun and cold water,
but also from serious chafing... my nippys hurt.

It was so awesome. Can't wait to go back.
Maybe someday soon I'll talk like this guy...... and get soooo pitted.