Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Must be the doldrums

Gal dang gum it all to heck!  What have we got to say for ourselves?!?  Have we lapsed into a veritable crevasse of work, responsibility, familial duties and shoveling snow so deep that we've forgotten our creed, we've forsaken our very nature, the irresponsibility, frivolity and immaturity that distinguishes us as THE UNGUIDED?  Heaven Forbid!

Why just a few short months ago there we ran, naked through the wilds of the mother land, in our tweaked out IK,s slurping down snickers bars and slogging our bagels with globs of Nutella to our hearts desire.  Surfing Mr Hankeys, carving the red tailed waking wounded, worshipping at the alter of the dolly llama and waiving our genitals at your aunties with abandon!  Good gosh man, snap out of it!  Awake and arise from the dust you pathetic domesticated welps of a whore I curse your eyes!!

As you lie in that hospital bed of your future with tubes up every orifice surrounded by your offspring  who's names you can't recall as the cataracts blur your vision and the smell of our own bodily fluids stings their dainty nostrils and the last breathes of your mortal body rattle from your bony concave chest.  With your big butted hospice nurse as my witness, you will crave with all your being to be standing in the (Unnamed River) sucking the marrow from its millennial flow and to scream at the topic of your lungs with your last mortal breath, BLONDIE!

Radio Silence killed the Video Star

NOTHING. Nothing for MONTHS. What have we become?? the MULE?
I will at least post a pic from 2015's EPIC trip. Can it get any better?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thirty days out plan

The thirty day prep:

By June 30:
✅Order flies
Inspect fishing gear:
 ✅  Fly lines (make sink tip)
 ✅Reels lubed, lines cleaned and wound
 ✅ Flourocarbon leader material (15-20 lb)
   Decide on how to stow flies. Thinking about slim box with hook stow
✅Inspect waders (purchase new glue thing)
✅Test boots, know how to lace and changs soles
✅Buy a cool new shirt for better pictures
Decide on new camera. ( tell the wife its for shooting kids on wakeboard).  Leaning toward Olympus 860 
✅Compulsively obsess

July 1-10
Pre stage
   Stack gear and clothes on staging table
   Make final clothes decisions
   Review toiletries and meds, refresh as needed
   ✅Buy line crockies
   ✅Test IK and pump transportation method.  Using old wheeled luggage, not bringing pump, put other gear in there to slimline carry ons.
   Order more flies (floating egg, small mouse, something strange)
    Designs for Rod caddie finished and approved, built? NOT DONE YET
Review last two years packing list
Buy something else you don't need: new reel, crocs
Compulsively obsess. (Reread journals, watch film, act insane (great at that )

July 11-19
Final Stage
Prepack, make sure everything fits
Buy license ( print and stow)
Pack ( Hondo film packing, pretend your les stroud)
Print boarding passes

July 20  board plane,



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Count Down

For generations fisherman and maybe some more enlightened hunters, have debated the count down.  Not the need for one, sheesh, every kid waiting for Christmas universally embraced the count down as a mandatory part of all anxiously anticipated events.  No, the debate is focused on how long, when is it too soon to start marking the calendar?  My vast analysis of this topic (was considering it for my PHD thesis) has lead me to two simple principles to guide the countdown to your countdown.

1.  The bigger the event, the sooner you start.  I vaguely remember a wee little Pablo once mention only 364 days till Christmas.
2.  The more psychotic and desperate the participant, the sooner the tally begins.  If you just stepped off your second most favorite river after an epic day, who cares when the next trip is.  If you've been confined in some office somewhere and you can't remember the last time cold water circled your waders, get out the calendar, you need to know how much longer you have to survive!  

So, AK 2015, the count down begins.  50 days for Hondo, cause #2 above surely applies most to him.  40 for me, Pablo and our two or four, new com padres!   So, below is the thought meant to take your mind for a brief moment today to the river of your future and dreams and give you a quick jolt of endorphins usually saved for the real moment.
I'd never caught a Dolly Varden (excepting bull trout on big creek) till AK 2008. That year I took a couple of small Varden, but it wasn't until Vinuk 2009 and again in 11 that I really grew to love these fish.  Why are they so decked out?  I'm sure there is a scientific reason probably related to spawning etc, but to me the artistry of these fish (and many others) is just a gift from God, a sign of his love and joy in his creation and I am grateful that I am one of the few people on the planet who recognize that and have been blessed to experience this untouched part of his handiwork.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pay the Price

6:45 am MST, boop-beep. That's the sound of my phone receiving a text. It's the Gov. He's gone off the deep end. Stayed up all night watching "The Return" parts 1 and 2. Now he's messed up good. Got the AK Fever something hard. After exchanging texts for the better part of an hour, I'm messed up good. Spiraling down, headed for rock bottom, wishing I was standing on that rock bottom, feeling the cold current press against the back of my knees. Waiting for the tug. But no, not today, not for another 100 days. Technology... HA! That's the price I pay. Next time I'll not look at my phone till 9 am, maybe.

Friday, November 21, 2014

What the Crap?!

It's as common as mosquitoes, Hondo hogging your run and bows behind the king in the land of the midnight sun.  But on Wilson's creek and just a couple weeks after season ended?  Really?  I could just see the little dude (compared to his cousins) sitting on this rock river left, nice view from the throne, pondering the meaning of life.

Hail to the Chief

Reunited with my old Kvichak buddy Steve (big Chief).  He graciously put us on to some private water on the famed Davidson River outside of Brevard, NC.  Interesting water, reminded me of the Smith River in VA, which Pablo and I fished (so called) on January 1st about 20 years ago as naive eastern newbies.  Wide with good depth in rock and sandy runs.  The depth made spotting fish difficult but the run below the "island" was gorgeous and produced nice bow's ranging 12-14 with good girth.  Amazingly the sandy run above the island yielded bows as well.  A cold weather start yielded to sun and although breezy, cool and pleasant.  Big Chief's day wasn't as productive as his first outing on this water, but with his typical class, he took it all in stride.

Feeling full of vim and vigor, basking in new water, as Steve headed back to the grind stone, figuring I wouldn't get back this way for some time, I determined to explore the North Mills River.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn there are 5 road-less miles of DH.  A beautiful stream, definitely not a river , a stream about 20 feet wide with long stretches of shallow water over slabs of exposed bed rock.  Much like the Jacob's fork, you walk between runs likely to hold fish.  With such sallow water I wanted to hunt and peck in secondary runs with a caddis, employing my surfing the current technique.  I was pretty much done after 30 minutes, just finding the little water not as appealing on that day after enjoying big (for me) water.  Walking fast, flipping infrequently, I came to a promising run, couldn't see anything do to dimming light but got in position and started dragging the elk hair caddis across the current.  Just before I was going to pack it in and head home, an unseen strike brought a fat red stripe in the 14 range.  Good fish to end the day with (although I admit I fished more when I saw another great run and took another bow - though much smaller).

Will Big Chief ever make a return to the great north?  I've become a bogart, all vacation plans revolve around the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.  But some men are less selfish than I am, and can live peacefully, if not wistfully, knowing it was truly a once in a life-time trip.  Hail to the Chief, a gentleman piscator with his priorities in tact.