Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Last Minute Gift: The Redington Form Game Rod

The last few months have been a blur. Fishing has been replaced by the changing of careers, and as the holidays close fast, my standard deviation swings violently between a sure thing and skeptical at best. But that's the norm, so I'm told.

Last minute shopping has never been something I've embraced as practice, but rather, I've embodied a December procrastination through action. Choosing to shop on my terms, and on my time. So as I fall farther into the grips of study and week long training vacations, proactive gift giving will have to wait until 2013.

But as all good gifts are purchased under the gun, and nothing says I forgot your birthday like a small blue box from Tiffany's, Redington's Form Game Rod fits the bill as a perfect last minute "buy", to sneak under the tree.

Having squandered a few afternoons with the 4'2" practice rod, Redington has delivered the perfect excuse to get out in the back yard, to throw 30 feet of RIO at the target of your choice (two bulldogs were my moving targets). And as orange yarn unfolds out of perfect loops, you might forget that this rod was meant for practice.

At $39.95, the Redington Form Game Rod is well worth the fun, and if you're like me, the perfect excuse to do a little last minute shopping.

Be careful out there. I'll see you on the other side.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


We dream in colors, seeing things in distorted truths, breaking open a world of which we experience in flashes, waiting only for the buzzer to pull us back into a mundane reality. Like clouds rolling in and out of frame, time lapsed for the impatient, with forcing storms bringing rain and life to landscape. The summer blurred in ashen smoke, a canyon closed, and with one strike, the river turned black.


For the rest of the story, please check it out over at The River Damsel.

Thanks Emily for letting me share.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Yukon goes Colorado...

The indicator swam downstream, chasing a twelve inch rainbow that was now running scared. My leader had cut as I extended the rubber basket toward the head I had just turned. And now, the small trout that controlled his pursuer, was fighting hard to escape. I watched as the white bobber stopped mid-stream, the fish turning to catch his breath, finding respite in a pocket of slack water behind a small chunk of unpolished granite. Maybe this is why I don’t use indicators.

It was still dark when I turned into the Denver neighborhood, and to Ivan’s credit, the fact that I was late played little into the conversation as we headed south towards Deckers.

Change comes to us all differently. For Ivan, it’s learning the difference between the familiar of Montana, to the new of Colorado. For me it could be the changing of a career, trading copiers for something else. Anything else. Or it could be the stubborn refusal to use indicators, not wanting to change something that may or may not be working. But regardless of when change happens, it’s there to humble you. And more often than not, it’s there to help you grow, if only, to get you over your fear of bobbers.

Tying a new double surgeons knot into the leader, I rolled out a few feet of 6X fluorocarbon, attaching an unnatural dry fly above a dropped halo midge.

Walking downstream, I ripped some line from my reel, watching the water for the indicator that remained attached to the resident rainbow. The plastic ball was found swaying in the current, as my newly tied flies swung downstream. And as the line crossed the bridge of the trouts nose, I pulled tight.

Lifting the rod, the indicator danced midair, and the weight of the fish fought purposefully against the pressure he now felt. The fish was quickly turned, presumably still tired from the last fight. Ivan met him easily, scooping him quickly into the rubber mesh.

And as we looked into the net, we both found something to smile about. Ivan found a new river entertaining, enjoying each step in pursuit of something he knows well.

I found a trout, four flies, and an indicator. I had found some change.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Week In The Life...A Fantasy Football Edition

Sunday, September 30th:

Ray Rice failed to get into the endzone on a two yard draw play that cost my fantasy team what would have been a fourth straight victory. Don’t even get me started on Steve Smith or Brandon Pettigrew. Trade bait? Maybe. The day had started out so promising, but like the fire in the fireplace, it spit to an end, leaving some good wood charred but not fully burnt.

Monday, October 1st:

Ray Rice weighed heavy on my mind over a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. The hot dark roast failed to comfort the sting of the loss, as I double checked the scores to make sure they hadn’t changed. The dry toast went half eaten, before it was tossed angrily into the trash.

Tuesday, October 2nd:

Ray Rice better score this weekend. His production is good, but that’s only if you look at the numbers. Three happy meals were passed through the window into the waiting white SUV in front of me. I wonder if they still get toys in the box. I hope the kids don’t choke. Goddamned Ray Rice.

Wednesday, October 3rd:

Ray Rice didn’t participate fully in practice today. What the fuck does that mean? Is he hurt? I do not want to start Cedric Benson. CiCi is looking at me like I’m crazy. I don’t think I swore out loud.

Thursday, October 4th:

Ray Rice is probable. Relief.

Friday, October 5th:

Ray Rice is projected to score 14 points this weekend against KC. I took one last look at my phone to make sure he was in the line-up for Sunday. Bridget glared at me. I put the phone back in my pocket before grabbing the bourbon that was three fingers deep, wrapped around some ice cubes shaped like canoes.

Saturday, October 6th:

Ray Rice, I assume, made it to Kansas City without getting hurt. I turned on the computer, reaching for the Advil on the nightstand.  The beginnings of a headache pressed tightly at the bridge of my nose. No news on the Ravens flight.

Sunday, October 7th:

Ray Rice is in the starting line-up. Rex takes his position on the chaise lounge, already snoring before the pregame show ended, oblivious to the tense shoulders on the other side of the couch. The bottle twisted open with a crisp snap. Vortex bottles and vested interest. Let's go Ray Rice...

Ray Rice...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Blue Lines: A Book Review

“...And it is here that I realize we had the same thread in our lives-that of land and wild country and wild trout. He may never have carried a shotgun or a rifle or a fly rod just for the fun of it out into that land, but the land was there and that was enough. The common bond of Western towns, open country not far away, the land. That is the thread that runs through our shared blood like a thin tight fly line thrown out over the water into a river of wild fish.” - Tom Reed, "Blue Lines"

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I pulled the book “Blue Lines” from the shelf and dusted it off. Somewhere between the move, changing jobs, trying to spend time on the water, work, and just about anything else that would occupy ones time, I finally sat down and read.

Tom Reed is a sportsman. A man so driven by spending time in the outdoors, that it is hard to distinguish whether or not his work is his play, or vise versa. Whether it’s the pull of the trigger over a twelve o’clock point, the release of a native trout high in the “Winds”, or a trip into the back country on pack horses, Tom is living his life exactly as he should, saddled to nothing other than the work that he loves and the life that he has chosen. We could all be so lucky.

“Blue Lines” is Tom’s story. A story that started in the Colorado high country learning to fly fish for trout in waters close to my home, and follows his path to becoming the sportsman he is today. There is no bullshit prose that masks his love for the places he seeks and the places he returns to, just damn fine writing that defines who he is. He writes of experience, and his essays should be consumed for what they are. “Blue Lines” is an escape into being the fly fisherman you wish you were, the outdoorsman you aspire to be, and the conservationist we seek to find within ourselves.

“Blue Lines” in my opinion, is what outdoor writing should be; honest, engaging, fast paced, and full of room for the reader to escape into the wild places in print, far from the “real world” from which they read. Tom has given himself to these stories, and thankfully, this book to us.

I just wish I would have dusted it off sooner.

*Tom Reed works for TU from Pony, Montana, and is the author of four books. For more information or to purchase a copy for yourself, check out his site at www.tomreedbooks.com. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Becoming a Ghost: A Letter to Myself

Kirk Werner once stated that he didn’t want to introduce anybody to steelheading, because he didn’t want to be responsible for the emotional and financial ruin that may follow. It wasn’t until this past weekend that I understood his warning.

Granted, I wasn’t in the Pacific Northwest. Nor was I anywhere near a river with a run of fall chrome. Rather I was up on “The Mile”, swinging hookless Scandi lines, learning to throw a two-handed rod for the first time. A transformative experience that has consumed me since breaking down the borrowed rod, opening up something I was afraid to admit was inside of me. Hooks or not, broken D-Loops and all.

The rip of line off of the water is on an endless loop in my mind, as perfect casts roll effortlessly out into the abyss of unknown water and spirit. The tug of shadowed shoulders can be felt in workless daydreams, as two more steps have been taken in search. And it’s no wonder why fiercely bearded men reappear in small town diners for bowls of soup and smuggled whiskey. But as quickly as the appear, they return to the river, where they wade stoically as ghosts. These men and women are far gone to the drug, swinging on a pendulum between sane and permanently out there.

I haven’t even thrown a fly.

And as I watch social media’s unpatchable drip from my computer screen, I write this as my first admission of guilt. An admission that may or may not lead to emotional or financial instability, but rather an admission to myself, that I recognize a problem.

Thanks Grant and Jin, I’ll be sending you the bill. For all of it…

I’m all in.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Quickfire

Since joining the Outdoor Blogger Network a year or so ago, I have been reading the "Quickfire Interviews" of others and have been impressed with all of the new blogs and people that these interviews have introduced me to.

A few weeks back, I was contacted by Rebecca and was asked if I would like to take part in an "Up the Poudre" version, and I was happy to take the chair.

I hope you enjoy.

Thanks Rebecca!

Quickfire Interview: "Up the Poudre"