Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Articulated Shank Trout Fly

Hook: TMC 8086
Tail: SF Blend and Grizzly Olive Hackle
Body: Palmer Chenile Pearl Med
2nd Section
Fish Skull Articulated Shanks 35mm
Body: Palmer Chenile Pearl Med. tied about halfway
Fins: Olive Hungarian Partridge
Head: Cascade Crest Tools CCT Body Fur
Eyes: 3D Stick On Eyes
Markers: Waterproof Red and Olive

Game Sliders for Lunch

They might be farmed but I thought I'd try it. One is Venison the other Antelope. They are not nearly as gamy as the real deal but nonetheless they weren't bad. I added Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Herbes de Provence, ground star anise, fresh garlic and onions before I formed the patties. The sliders are topped with sriracha, Japanese mayo and tempura flakes on a potato bun. Baby arugula and tomato make sure I get my veggies.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CDC Caddis

FLYMAGE. FLY TYING 3 from Flymage Magazine.

An interesting caddis emerger pattern from España. You better not be one of those who hates subtitles cause that's what you're going to get.

Fly Fishers Inc. Online Magazine

For those of you daydreamers, I found another great online magazine.
This one is New Zealand based and from what I've seen is just as good as our Catch Magazine. The fish porn is almost just as good as our Brian O'Keefe's.

Some months ago I found another New Zealand based periodical, FlyLife, that I found at a local Barnes & Noble. It looks to me that the Kiwis have a higher standard when it comes to their fishing magazines. As I've mentioned before, with the exception of a few, notably Catch Magazine, our American fly fishing magazines suck.

Fly Fishers Inc can be found here. Enjoy the porn. If it catches your fancy you can subscribe for free.

Aigle Boot Bag

My Aigle boots now have a proper home, they have been in my Barbour boot bags up until now. Aigle boots in Dallas has finally started importing these Aigle boot bags even though they do not have them on their website as of yet. A few weeks ago I emailed them to see if they would ever start carrying them and they let me know they are now in stock. It's about time, I had long considered buying them from Europe like I did with both my Barbour boot bags but never got around to it. With international shipping and a poor dollar to euro exchange rate, I just made due with my Barbour wellington bag. I purchase one for my dad as well for his Nemrods. The Le Chameau boot bags have been available in the US for a long time and at one point I even considered buying one of those for my Aigles but that would be like putting BMW gear on a Mercedes. It's just not right. The boot bags are $49.00 plus one time shipping of $6.00, so they are not exactly cheap.

Now both my Aigle and Barbour wellies have proper homes.

Fish Skull Articulated Shank Flies

Saturday I stopped by Marriott's to pick up some leaders for our outing on Sunday. I was cruising down the aisles and noticed these Fish Skull articulated shanks. Since last summer I've been on abit of an articulated fly craze so I decided to pick up a couple. One in 20mm and one in 35mm. They had one size larger but I decided to try these ones first before I go bigger.

I was playing around with them and tied three flies. One using the 20mm and two using the 35mm. For the smaller of the two I tied a small trout baitfish pattern. I didn't quite like how the 20mm came out and will have to rework it but I did like how the 35mm came out. One is a squid pattern and the other is a leech pattern. I've always liked my buddy, Kyung Kim's squid pattern but its just too big, too heavy when wet, and too complicated to tie. I wanted something easier. We'll see if mine is anywhere close to as successful as Kyung's.

Hook: TMC 777SP #6
Head: Pearl estaz
Legs: Handful of white saddle hackle with white polar fibers in the middle
Eyes: 3D Stick on eyes
2nd section
Fish Skull Shank 35mm
Body: Palmer chenile med pearl
Collar: Wrapped White marabou

Hook: TMC 777SP #6
Tail: Artic Fox
Body: Mohair yarn
Hackle: Saddle hackle
2nd section
Fish Skull Shank 35mm
Collar: Bunny strip
Eyes: Dumbell

I'm not quite sure how I feel about these shanks. It might be easier to just use two hooks attached by heavy mono. Tying with the shank is somewhat problematic as it does not have a bend that the vice can grab hold of easily. I'm still working out all the kinks, so we'll see if I decide to continue using them after the pack runs out.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

San Bernardino National Forest Fly Fishing

This fish came out of our local waters. I'm amazed. That is one healthy well proportioned colorful rainbow out of super skinny water. Chul's first fish of the day. DAMN!

Today I was fortunate to fish with some great guys, blog reader Chul and his fishing buddy Tuck. Its nice to have some fishing buddies again. All mine have moved on or are too consumed with domestic life to ever get out and play. Chul let me tag along in his fishing adventure and showed me some water that although I have long known about, I have always avoided.
Chul with one of his many "good" fish. Chul definitely pick out all the "hogs" out of this water.

Tuck and Chul look over a pool.

Man, there were ladybugs everywhere. Maybe its time to start tying ladybug flies.

Lunchtime. Leftover Taiwanese sticky rice.

After looking at some pics in Chul's I-phone, I'm shocked of the type of fish he pulls out of our local wild trout waters. I'm the first to admit that I have done a poor job of exploring these waters. Partially because I'm lazy and like to hit the same spots and the other is, to be honest, I've never really respected these waters as I do waters elsewhere. But I have a new found respect of them now. If Chul would have asked me where I thought those fish pictured were caught, I would have guessed somewhere in the Sierras. If he had told me they were local, I would have called him a liar. I guess I better start exploring, it will save me the multi hour drives up the 395.
Both guys outfished me for sure. Chul managed all the large (SoCal standards) fish the biggest was at least 14 inches possibly more. He said he lost one at least 16. I managed one of decent size thanks to Tuck giving me the hole. The others were mostly dinks. Tuck only managed "wiener-sized" (his words) fish all day but at least caught a lot of them.

I did manage to both ass plant and face plant myself so I'll be feeling that in the morning. On the face plant I narrowly escaped landing on my precious NAC Micro FY49 fly rod. Had I, both Tuck and Chul would have seen me crying all the way home. I don't care about breaking my bones, I do, though, care about breaking a rod that is almost impossible to replace.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Will Not Cooperate

I decided to head out this morning to try my luck at some suburban carp. The waters, as with my last outing, are still dark and dirty. Sight casting is tough unless they are in the shallows.

Several opportunities were blown as I either lined the fish or simply made poor casts. Its odd though, one fish that I casted to for about 20 minutes refused everything I offered him. He'd take a look but would not pull the trigger. I was incredibly frustrated the whole day.

Tules and vegetation is starting to grow back. The last time I fished this water the tules were ankle high, this time, in some areas, they were waist high. With this warm weather, I expect the tule forest to be back in no time. The carp illustrated probably had a better day than I...okay maybe not. This is the second time in a row that I've seen dead carp on the banks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NAC Micro FY49 #2/3 Weight Fly Rod

A few years ago I found a little gem while in a Tokyo fly shop. It was the NAC Micro FY49 #2/3 fly rod. This is a 4'9" 6 piece 2/3 weight. I was told that it was made in Japan although nowhere on the rod does it says so. It's an absolute niche product and I don't even think its popular in it's home country of Japan. I use it almost exclusively now for our local wild trout waters. The action is soft and slow. Glass rod slow. I haven't tried it with a 2 weight as of yet but I think its best with a 3. All that I have had cast it, they all seem to really like the little rod. If I ever break it, I can almost guarantee that you'll see me crying as its almost irreplaceable. I can not even find them in Japanese websites. I'm not sure if they even make them anymore.

The blank is a deep gloss green.

The rod separates into 6 pieces making this rod a very convenient pack rod.

The handle and reel seat insert are made of the same wood material. I'm not quite sure what wood it is but it appears to be a hardwood that has some nice figure. The reel seat is uplocking which would make one think given its small size to be off balanced but when I put a Galvan OB1 on it, the rod balances right toward the tip of the handle.

Wraps are the green and blend nicely into the blanks. The components are double footed appear to be TiCH gunsmoke.

The entire package is quite small and I have in the past placed it in the rear pocket of my Simms fishing vest as I hiked into the San Gabriel river.

In the Blood DVD

In the Blood is a hunting documentary that should be in every hunter's DVD library. If you can find it I'd suggest you buy it. I bought mine several years ago and at that time it was reasonably priced. I was just checking out Amazon and this DVD is selling for over $100 and in some cases much more.

The film follows a modern day (1986) safari and uses the Teddy Roosevelt 1909 safari as a backdrop. Some Roosevelt's descendants are also on the hunt, as well as Teddy's famed Holland and Holland he'd carried on his safari.

This movie is not a hunting film in the traditional sense. There are hunting scenes and some game is taken but the film is also explores hunting as a conservation tool. For poor African nations who do not have the economic resources to combat poachers, hunting provides an economic incentive to keep poachers at bay.

In the Blood is also a coming of age film centering around 13 year old Tyssen Butler on his first big game hunt. PH Robin Hurt acts as a mentor to Butler and the younger Roosevelt. At the end of the safari, Robin takes Tyssen on his first Cape Buffalo hunt armed with Teddy's H&H. After taking his first buff, as the emotions overcome the young man, Robin encourages Tyssen to cry and says "Let those tears come."

This film is the quintessential hunting film and it should be in any hunter's library if you can find it at a reasonable price.

As the website does not allow me to embed it, the trailer can be found here:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Off Season Reads

With hunting season long over, its time to take up a different hobby or to do some reading. In my library I have three interesting books that I believe would make a welcomed addition in yours. All three books have been translated from their original language. So some of the reading can be difficult to say the least. But from a "gun porn" perspective they are excellent as they are filled with photos of guns that generally don't get too much "airtime."

Norbert Klup's The Drilling Gun and Double Barrel were translated from German and I'll admit poorly done. Thereby making this book, in my opinion, much more a coffee table book than a late night reader. That said the photos alone are worth buying the book.

Next is Eric Joly's Legendary Sporting Guns: Shotguns and Rifles which is translated from French. The translation is fine and did not distract me from reading it. As with the two books, the photography alone would make me want to buy this book. In addition to firearm history, the author also writes about gunmaker's history, and art though most of the discussion is on hunting.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Aigle Nemrod

I picked up a pair of Aigle Nemrods for the old man awhile back and never posted pictures. Like my pair, I bought these at JCrew when they were on sale. I felt odd buying wellies from such a company. In fact I was a little pissed about it. But the price was too good to resist. I hate it when fashion comes into the "hunting/country" wear. I couldn't believe wellies became a fashion trend. It is so lame to see urban schmucks wear things they have no idea about. I guess that's life.

These Nemrods have the same treads as my Benylsports and are self cleaning.

The difference between the two are that the Nemrods have a lace up top to tighten it around the calf.

The toes are also reinforced to take abuse as this is the most common place for wear.

Ankles are fitted. The natural rubber is supple and tear resistant. These also are still made in France and are quality boots.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blaser R93 TakeDown Ulrich

I just looking through my Frankonia catalog I saw something that never caught my eye until just now. I guess I never looked at that particular page for some reason. I was shocked to see the Blaser R93 TakeDown Ulrich. Its a Blaser R93 converted by Swiss master gunsmith Marcus Ulrich to be able to be taken down even further than the original.

This is definitely an interesting concept. The gun is built so that it can be easily transported in a backpack so you can have freedom of moment with your hands when moving uphill. From what I understand the takedown can be done without any tools. The R93 is somewhat a takedown as the barrels can be removed so I'm not sure having the ability to remove the foreend is so much more advantageous. In any case it is interesting and thought I'd share it.

If your interested, more info can be found here.

Slinging a Shotgun

If you're an Anglophile, I suppose, slinging a shotgun is blasphemous. I wouldn't disagree with you if we are talking classic British style shotguns but for continental guns a sling makes a lot of sense. It is not uncommon to see shotguns slung in Germany, France, Spain, Italy among others. Since the Alps or other high mountain ranges dominate much of the terrain in some these parts it makes perfect sense to sling the gun. Of course it deters from the aesthetics but its a function over form thing. My Merkel Model 8 is without a doubt the complete opposite of what would be considered appealing to the English form. It has a pistol grip, cheekpiece, its over engineered with locking lugs and a Greener crossbolt lock and a sling. By British definitions its gaudy, by German definitions its practical. I have climbed mountains and rocks, freeing my hands to support myself when moving. I have marched through marshes and muck so when I fell my gun didn't get buried in the mud. When hiking toward a duck blind, I can sling the gun and use my hands to carry decoys, dog stands, blind material, etc. With a break barrel, I can break the gun and hang it on a tree, branch or anything else and keep it from the mud. I don't sling all my shotguns but on some I do. The slings I use for my Merkels are from Akah. Akah is the German equivalent to our Cabela's except they don't sell crap. They sell quality hunting goods and fine guns. I wouldn't add sling mounts to an existing shotgun if it didn't come already attached but if your gun comes with them I'd suggest putting sling on it. Even if it seems wrong.

Baron Travel Gun Bag

I have noticed that Baron of Sweden has made its way onto the shores of the US. Back in 2007, before they were imported here, I ordered a very unique gun bag from shop in Scotland. This Travel Gun Bag still isn't available here. It's made to hold your broken down gun discreetly. Unless someone is familiar with this bag no one would be the wiser that you are transporting you shotgun. To me, particularly in California, that was the main reason I bought he bag.

The bag has two compartments that allow you to easily store a broken down shotgun like this Merkel 47e. If you have received a Merkel catalog in the past few years you'll notice in one of the photos a woman hunter pulling a Merkel KR1 out of this same bag.

The lower compartment holds the barrels it comes with a removable pad so that your firearm does not get damaged if someone drops the bag down. I have traveled with my prized Merkel 147 Sidelock in it without fear of damage.

Each side has a main compartment to store clothes, gear, ammo, etc. They expand and the middle buckle keeps all your gear from falling out.

Also in one main compartment there is a small zippered pocket to store your point and shoot camera, passport, wallet, bandaid, knife etc.

Each compartment also has another zip away storage section. One is made of the same cotton plaid material and the other is made of vinyl. The latter is use to carry your shoes or dirty boots.

They can be taken off so you can keep clean clothes away from your soiled clothes and boots.

The bag comes with a removable padded shoulder sling if you so chose to carry it that way.

I aways liked this Baron ad for obvious reasons. I actually thought about naming my dog Baron but went with Kaiser instead. My next drahthaar will most likely be named Baron.