Archive for December 2011

Video: Stephen Lands a Brule Steelhead   1 comment

It’s not a monster, but it’s purdy. The release is fairly epic as well. Enjoy!

 

 

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New Waders Soon   2 comments

I’m looking to get some new waders. Here’s my wader story.

My first year of trout fishing I bought a pair of waders from Farm and Fleet. These hip waders were made of rubber and had big floppy boots. They worked OK and kept the water out, and they were tough as nails, and affordable. The downside was that they were hip waders, so water sometimes came in over the top.

 

Winchester stream rubber hip waders

Winchester stream rubber hip waders

 

Late that season I bought a pair of neoprene waders from Farm and Fleet. These were great for keeping water out, but they were hot, smelly, and sprung some leaks. The boots were also floppy and the soles were thin, so walking over streambed stones was not real comfortable, and by the end of the day I had a blister or two from my feet sliding around inside the boots.

 

Winchester neoprene bib waders

Winchester neoprene bib waders

 

After using the neoprenes for a full year I decided to spend some hard-earned money on expensive waders and wading boots. I bought some Simms Headwater waders. These babies, along with wading boots, were a world apart from the hot, smelly, sweaty, moist, floppy waders I’d been using. Boy was I happy! The downside, the waders cost me $300. But I figured they’d get used hard for 3 or 4 years, maybe even 5, before I needed to shell out more dough.

 

Simms Headwaters Wader

Simms Headwaters Wader

 

Well, they lasted exactly two years. Seam failures in the crotch and inner knees after the first year killed my initial feelings of love for these handsome waders. Patch job after patch job was followed by leak after leak. Each leg has a seam running vertically along the inseam that intersects like a “T” with a seam running laterally around the “Knee-pit”, and it is at this juncture that holes were worn through the material due to abrasion from walking. On top of that, the material was so breathable it started to allow water to wick in.

I’m not sure how any serious fisherman could justify spending the money on these waders. They were a big disappointment.

So now what?

As you may know, a trip was had to the Brule River. Fly By Night Guide Tim showed me and Stephen how to catch steelhead. He also sported a pair of Redington waders that he’d used as a guide in Alaska for a few years. They looked used, but definitely not broken. Guides in Alaska live in their waders for months straight. These waders also had a nice pocket system built into them that allowed Tim to go without a vest or backpack. Bonus!

So, late this winter I’ll be shelling out $350 to get what some are calling the best waders around. Let’s hope this time I’m happy with my purchase.

 

Redington Sonic Pro Zip Waders

Redington Sonic Pro Zip Waders

Driftless Monologue   1 comment

Here’s some video of me talking about a trip I was on this summer in Crawford County.

Commercial Flies   2 comments

Fly Rod and Reel Magazine has an interesting article online discussing the world of commercially tied flies. Many of the flies you buy at a fly shop are made in Thai “factories” like the one seen below. The jobs in these factories pay relatively well and the job is considered a good profession by those employed to do it.

“We have one lady in Sri Lanka,” says Umpqua’s Bruce Olson with obvious pride, “who is the world expert on the Copper John. She is the best the world has ever known at tying that fly. John Barr [the inventor and namesake of the Copper John] isn’t even in her league.”

Thai Tyer

Thai Tyer

A Connection to a Wild Thing   2 comments

Check out this cool video.

One of the things I love about fishing is that you have the choice to let the animal go after catching it. There is a period of connection with a fish, from the time you hook it to the time you get it into your hands. This connection is a rare thing in the world of outdoor sports. When hunting, this connection really doesn’t exist. The animal is alive, and then it is dead. The choice of releasing the animal doesn’t exist.

But when you go fishing, you can choose to keep the fish or let it go. This is not meant to be a negative judgement toward hunting. I’m working to be more and more of a hunter and relish the thought of harvesting an animal, just like I harvest some of the fish I catch. But this attribute of catch and release is, to me, unique to the sport of fishing.