Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In with the Old...and New

So I've reverted back to the old blog theme with some shiny new stuff too. There will be more changes in the next few weeks as I squeeze in a few things here and there between the skiing and the fishing.

Oh yeah, walking to work when it's -24 is pretty much the worst thing ever.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cabin Fever?

So Paddy called yesterday to tell me this great idea... There's supposedly this super secret spot in Idaho where you can sight fish sturgeon. So his idea is to go down there in May (carping season) and paddle board (see Jennifer Aniston above participating in this new "extreme" sport), and catch sturgeon on the fly (also see photo of sturgeon above).

I think he's got some cabin fever. Fish and watercraft that are the same size do not mix.

Photos from and

Friday, January 23, 2009

Costa Rica

Everyone seems to be talking about Costa Rica. My cousin Kassi went last summer, my sister's going in May, my cousin Jill is getting married there next January...and I was just invited to go next month!

Jess, Alaskan guide, recent graduate, and a fishing buddy of ours from NC invited Paddy and me down for some serious Rooster Fish action. You are probably most familiar with Rooster Fish from Running Down the Man, an excellent film about fly-fishing for Roosters in Baja. They're huge, have stripes and combs, and fight like hell. I first read about them in a fishing magazine years and years ago and was pretty intrigued. Paddy's caught them in Baja and LOVES them. Costa Rica is known for huge Roosters as well as sailfish.

Now the dilemma is whether we should drop the cash or not. I'm rooting for it.

The fish photo is from

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My First Pilgrimage

Some people may enjoy visiting Chimayo on Good Friday, or going to other religiously appropriate sites, but I've never made a pilgrimage to the most important place in my religion (beside Silver Creek, where I live)...the Winston factory.

Next month Paddy and I are going to tear it up on the spring creeks in Paradise Valley. We made it there two February's ago and dominated so hard the fish begged for mercy. Last year we were too poor, but since gas is cheap and the guiding bidness is getting better, we're heading back.

The last time, we went to 13 fly shops--all that were open between Last Chance and Livingston. I spent about 8 billion dollars on flies I thought were pretty, but I ended up catching all of my fish on flies I had in my boxes from home.

So anyways, I started planning our trip and the most important part is the route to maximize fly shop opportunities. I figured we should really try to hit up Slide Inn since Paddy's dream is to be Kelly Galloup's life partner. I offered this as an option and also expressed interest in touring the Winston factory in Twin Bridges. The daily tours are at 11.00 a.m., but we can only go on the day we drive up. I figured Paddy wouldn't want to leave too early, but I asked him anyways. I think he said something about his willingness to cut off his casting arm in order to take the tour--I took it as a yes.

What I'm trying to say is that Paddy and I will be leaving at 4.00 a.m., on Wednesday, February 25 to take the tour at the Winston factory in Twin Bridges, Montana. My first pilgrimage. I guess it's not that unusual since I have 5 Winstons, Paddy has 6, and the Jack Russell to be born in March will be named Winston. I just hope they're sympathetic enough to custom embroider some bandannas for the puppy.

After we wipe up the drool, we'll head down to Sweetgrass to harass Glen Bracket and crew.

And then to all the fly shops we can find.

And then to some more.

And then to dominate some stupid spring creek fish.

and then...I'm running out of breath, but it should be fun. (one of my favorite fly shops)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Quail Hunting

Spending the holidays in Texas was pretty quiet, which is definitely what I wanted. Besides all of the regular holiday activities, we got to go quail hunting one day. It was the hottest I've been in years, I think. There was a record high of 83 and the humidity was through the roof. We shot some quail, though, and got to watch some awesome dogs work.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The River Why

It's been a while since I've been to the ole blog--moving, stomach virus, Christmas, all that good stuff. I was inspired to write this morning, though. I was wasting time and having a delicious breakfast at Java (I passed on the Bowl of Soul because of the post-holiday tight pants) and started reading The River Why (David James Duncan, 1983) for the second time--I remembered immediately that this was one of the best novels I'd ever read.

Why read Why again when there are so many other books on my list to read? This coming of age novel is set in steelhead country in the Pacific Northwest. There's fishing and fighting and finding yourself (not too far from reality). I dusted it off because of a recent controversy, though.

There was quite a storm brewing in 2008 when a film about the novel was being made. It tuns out that the movie rights were illegally sold and Duncan wasn't too stoked about the movie. So Duncan and Sherman Alexie (another great author from the Northwest) started making their own film. We'll see which one comes to the theaters, or both, or none. I'd prefer Duncan and Alexie's mainly because they're not from Hollywood, but I'll take anything I can get.

If you'll remember, A River Runs through It came out in 1993 starring the youthful Brad Pitt and it pretty much the reason I have a job. The fly-fishing business boomed--especially in the West. The business is stronger than ever, but we'd love to guide more so we can play more. Paddy pointed out that the film needs a Brad Pitt to get the job done--I don't even know who that'd be these days, but I really hope they hired him.

The novel is pretty much required reading in the Northwest--everyone has a story about how they relate to the book, but I heard the best one recently. I met a man from rural Oregon on a cloudy day in November who was selling things made out of antlers. He showed me photos of his family and started telling me about them. In rural Oregon, as in Idaho, there aren't many single women. He was new in town and heard about the pretty librarian--so he went to the library to check her out. He walked in and there she was--just as pretty as he had heard. She approached him to ask if he needed help. He was dumbfounded because he'd really just gone there to see her. The first book he could think of was The River Why. He asked her for it and she was blown away. It was her favorite book and she had always told herself if anyone asked for it, she'd date them. They now have a nine-year-old son.

That's a pretty powerful book.