Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy whatever...




I don't know where I put my motivation, and I can't for the life of me find it. Maybe it is hiding somewhere in the new year, or in the bottom of that Ten High bottle... Anyways, I was going to write something profound, but I will just say don't end up like this guy tonight and pre-fill your Bedside Hydration Unit. And remember to take your shoes off before you pass out, or it's game on, dude.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

As if you weren't enough of a jerk already...

It's bad enough watching your friend beat the local piscatorial population like a red headed stepchild while you are picking weeds from your hook and tying the next crap thing on your tippet, but now when you splash your way back to the bank you know he will bring some brand of proof of how much of your ass he actually kicked.

It is probably bullshit, as most likely any number you have ever come up with when asked, but there is just something about seeing the lie as an actual number that might be just enough to push you over the edge toward uncontrolled strangulation.

I think I might just mount a ten-foot long ticker above my pontoon to make sure that everyone within an eighth of a mile knows how much of a douche I am.



-Alex who counts fish and lies about it in the traditional way.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bordem can drive you to make a "Worst List"

I am VERY bored, I just got off the phone with Alex awaiting my arrival in Tucson on Wednesday, and due to my phone being dead I decided to post. These are the lists of shit that comes to the top of my head all the sudden, if you disagree with anything well I don't care because this is my opinion.

Worst Movies I have seen:

5. The Matrix
4. Jason X
3. The Village
2. Dude Where's my Car
1. Batman and Robin

Bands I have heard:

5. Europe
4. Yanni
3. Metallica
2. Journey
1. ICP

Actors:

[Addition by Alex: 6. Nicholas Cage]
5. Ashton Kutcher
4. Keanu Reeves
3. Steven Seagal
2. Pauly Shore
1. Andy Dick

Songs:

5. Separate Ways- Journey
4. Country Music, all songs
3. The Final Countdown- Europe
2. St. Anger- Metallica
1. Everything else from Metallica

Places to live:

5. Congo
4. Afghanistan
3. The ocean
2. Antarctica (unless GWAR is there)
1. France

Kyle- Who will make a "Good List" soon enough

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It happens sometimes



It might be sad to see, but you have to understand that it occasionally cannot be helped. An indulgence of epic proportions:  shitty awesome beer drunk, food that doesn't fit in a pyramid, the flatulence flows in the heater fan and a never ending stream of B rating netflix sustain a life more ordinary than anyone would want to admit....

But then the ghost of Bruce Lee showed up and we kicked ass, and Matt Damon came over, but not like the regular Matt Damon, the Bourne Identity Matt Damon and it was awesome and we went all tactical on some bad guys. Then we all drank a handle of Black Velvet and watched Step Brothers in the man cave while boxing with hulk hands.

We might go fishing tomorrow.

-Alex and Aaron

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This is what happens, Larry!

When you go three weeks without fishing, sometimes things can get a little stupid.



-Alex "Kitchen-Hero" Landeen

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm a trendy kinda guy, so I think I will....



Right? Yea, bro. That's totally legit, bro. Totally legit. I mean, if it doesn't look like someone ate it, shat it out and ran it over with show chains it would be totally less legit... Bro.

-Alex who is covered in grungy legitness and might be mentally breaking down because of it...
.
.
.
bro.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It is happening all over the place and it's driving me insane.

I know some of the waters. I have stood in the same spot, on the same bank. Things are happening right now, maybe someplace I know and maybe not but it doesn't really matter when one is not there. Big, nasty hungry fish that know the solid water well and rebel against it and I am no part of it.

Time is against us now and all I want for Christmas is poundage on the end of my line and at this point I don't really care who's lap I have to sit on.

Is there still time? I think so. Five hours there and five hours back but the clouds are looming and the ice is starting to crickle-crackle its way into the still water between the rocks, under the boat docks and into my head. Is this really the end of the season for me? Are the White Mountains really so close and yet so far? Can my shitty truck muster the mechanical fortitude to make it to the pines? Maybe, but probably not. I fear I may have procrastinated too long, and my wallet is a little light and there is no one to blame but myself.

This is the eleventh hour, people, and if you are there make the best of it, great, but don't call me to tell me how awesome it is because if I should perish in a vain attempt to locate and cast a line while strangling you, the blood will be on your hands.

-Alex who should shut the hell up and go to bed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fishy Kid has established itself as an ass-kicker.

FishyKid.orgAfter what I can only assume involved a good amount of blood, sweat and tears (not necessarily in that order), Fishy Kid wrapped up their first coloring contest, with fantastic turnout.

200 kids and 40 grown-up-kids wielding their crayons and freshly sharpened colored pencils, making a valiant effort to send in their best make-mama-proud-and-hang-it-on-the-fridgeness. Mr. Gracie even took the time to show off his coloring in the lines skillz-and with a bodacious booty to be had, I am sure that the youngsters as well as the adults (ahem) are biting their nails in anticipation.

I, on the other hand, will be lurking around in the background, behind the crowd, in the shadows with my hat pulled low and aviators sported, waiting with camera ready in attempt to document a grown man cry.

-Alex

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A good deal I found.



Sportsman's Warehouse Wading Jacket:

Usually $74.99, now marked as $39.99 with a red tag.... and red tagged items are an extra 30% off, making this pretty sweet breathable waterproof shell $30-something after tax. I think the deal lasts through next week, but I am not sure. If you live near a Sportsman's, it is probably worth checking out.












-Alex who will be burning his old piece of dog turd "waterproof" jacket.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble gobble.... whatever.

I have never been crazy about turkey. As I reflect upon holidays past my most fond face-stuffing memories revolve around a centerpiece of spiral cut ham dripping with honey peppercorn deliciousness, or maybe a torso-sized prime rib sweating spice all over my potatoes, mashed or scalloped, never mattered much to me, but I do have a thing for scalloped potatoes. Don't even get me started on Duck confit... my god the deliciousness! But being thanksgiving American standardly, this year turkey we had.

So the deed is done-a carcass on the cutting block, a sink full of dishes and fridge waiting to be filled with right and left overs. The stripped bones fill a pot to simmer for broth and soup. A ziploc or ten filled for late-night snackery:  bare feet standing in a pair of boxers in the warm glow of of the refrigerator bulb a bottle of squeeze-mayo in one hand and a turkey leg in the other- But these days only a dream that comes true if you remember to take your goodie bag back to your lonely bachelor pad.

It could have been a ham sandwich, but not this year. Turkey soup is alright, I guess. Pot pies are tasty, but I can't seem to convince my father the importance of filling the bottom of the bowl with the crust as well as molding it over top. I can handle a mix of wheat and white flour, but c'mon people, don't get all crust-skimpy on a guy.

I would say that a dark meat burrito is my favorite, fresh salsa with extra diced jalapenos, cilantro, sauteed onions and bell peppers, melted cheddar and jack cheese and some stuffing or mashed potatoes for filler. A big 14 inch hand-made-with-lard tortilla, warmed and wrapped tight with one leak-resistant folded end. Damn good. Would it be better with prime? Yea, probably.

So, another turkey day done and gone. Beer drank, stuffing unstuffed and football watched. Thanksgiving is about family and leftovers, and I am thankful for both. I just think turkey is overrated.

-Alex who is already drooling over the turkey-crushing Christmas dinner spread.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Healing Waters musters at Rose Canyon



I stood on the bank, rod under my arm and a handful of mono beginning to resemble a knot. He needed a dropper, and I was there to help. His fly box opened with a click, and he withdrew a neat looking parachute something-or-other and held it out near my face, "I tied this," the soldier said through a proud smile. It was a good looking fly, and I told him so.

Later that evening the sun had fallen down and the lines had dried and the men assembled near the vehicles at the top of Bitch Hill. Warmed from the mighty ascent we sipped drinks and talked about the day. "I have always liked fishing," one of the men from Ft. Huachuca was saying, "but there is just something about fly fishing. It's different. I don't care if I catch a fish all day, I just love doing it."

How perfect is that?



 -Alex

If you are unfamiliar: Project Healing Waters

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

As MG says "An Offering To The Fish Gods"


They may not be pretty
They may not be normal
They may not be fish, wait yeah they are
The Kokanee salmon from Eleven Mile Canyon in Colorado
I got these bastards while fishing with my buddy Nate


Kyle- Who loves lipstick fish

Monday, November 16, 2009

Big Ol' Numero Deuce!


From Pike to Paris Hilton: the November Issue of FCR.
(Note: to you have to grab and turn an edge of the right-hand page to get to the TOC.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Always lick the bait.

A few clips of the man who inspired me to pick up a bass over 10 years ago, Les Claypool, from Fly Fishing the World, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure:





The full episodes can be found in the extras of Les's DVD 5 Gallons of Diesel, which kicks super amounts of ass, by the way.

-Alex

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Arivaca Improvement Information-for the 10 people who care.

For those in the southern part of the state, Arizona Game and Fish Biologist Jason Kline sheds some light on what is going on at the lake.

Just the facts, ma'am-
Improvements:
Arivaca is getting improvements, but not quite what you heard. The boat ramp is being reconstructed, not moved. It will have a new wider and straighter ramp and a floating dock with a light to make launching much easier. This will also get an ADA compliant walkway from the parking lot. If the permits from the Corps of Engineers allow, we will also put in a low water ramp as an extension of the new one. There is already a new restroom in place; it is not open yet, as we are waiting on a handicap parking spot and ADA sidewalk to be poured to it. The parking lot currently has drainage issues and is washing out the old ramp. To fix this, the lot will be re-graded and the bottom third of the lot will be paved. This will include a swale to direct water to drain to the lake, not the ramp. The road will NOT BE PAVED; this rumor has perpetuated for years, and is not true.

Motors:
Arivaca has had gas motors allowed (10hp or less) since January of 2008; this was done to open a funding stream from the excise tax on gasoline for these and other improvements.

Fish Kill:
The lake will not have a fish kill just because it is low. I suppose this rumor is because the kill of 1999 occurred after it dropped to a very low level. What occurred was a chain on events that ended a kill:
1) The extremely low water level allowed terrestrial vegetation to grow, the lake refilled and the vegetation died and began to decompose-consuming oxygen in the lake
2) At the same time an algae bloom was occurring which normally puts oxygen back in the water, except at night or cloudy days when it consumes oxygen
3) We had a week of cloudy weather- so the bloom was consuming oxygen
4) The oxygen levels dropped to a lethal level and fish died.
Will all of this occur again? Possibly, but there is no way to predict these events. Arivaca is a hyper eutrophic lake, meaning it is super productive, so much so, that it can be to its own detriment. This is due to the high nutrient load in the water. It is not a bad thing, it is also the reason the fish grow so fast in Arivaca, it is just how the lake is.

Thanks for the information, Mr. Kline.

-Alex

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A new product reveiw not about fishing at all

If you are like me, you suffer from extreme body hair. I thought it was just the curse of being Irish, or possibly a freak mutation. Well i figure now it has nothing to do with being Irish or a genetic mutation. None the less I have fooled myself into believing that I am the product of the Baboon cage at the zoo. I guess there were no sheep around at the time.

Many of years I have fought with this curse that has been laid upon me, Bald on the top of my head, the ability to grow a full beard since I was 15, ankle hair from 13, the chest hair growing in at 15, and the back....... So why the hell is my ass bald? damn monkeys!

I have found a product that I would love to share with you, "Nair For Men!"


So I went to Walgreen's and picked up a bottle of this stuff, I was a bit skeptical about this product due to using the ladies version of it on my head many years ago. To be Honest it smells like a chemical burn and when you wipe it off it looks the same. My hairs looked as it they were passed over a 16 burner stove on high heat. But the result was amazing! Never have I felt such comfort in hair removal before. I am yet to try this product on my head, I fear that and I don't need it on my face, Because I am a man I have a beard. and as I was looking on line for some reviews most had been about the "Nair on Balls" subject. If you are looking at this to, "Manscape", I ask you to look at some things others have said about this product, some funny, some good, and some that make you want to vomit.

Its so easy to use, smells funny, hard to get the rest off in the shower, but hey Its beats my old method of rope, a bunch of hair wax, a bed sheet, some good friends, and a car.
That was the worst Idea I have ever had.

Kyle- who's back is sexier than ever!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Whiteyville 2009

I think his driver's license says John, but I can't say for sure and I have always called him Whitey. He is retired, but occasionally fills in behind the counter at the local Orvis store, where I met him a few years ago.

Every year he balls his trailer and burns gas to a campsite north of 260 on Country Road 1325. The trailer-lined dirt circle with its industrially stocked chow tent and monstrous fire pit is base camp for dirty smelly fishy men, and is just another excuse to go to the mountains and drink and act retarded. After you wake up late and slap off a headache and eat a breakfast that would make a Waffle House line cook jealous, you might even have time to go wet a line.

Sticking with our usual modus operandi, Aaron and I set off for the mountains well after dark and arrived clanking and groaning around 3am, raising the pop up camper with as little hammering and pounding as possible. It was kinda cold, not like freeze-your-eye-lids-shut-and-your-fingers-to-your-man-parts-while-trying-to-pee-in-the-dark-without-falling-over cold, but a welcome 26° as we climb into sleep for a few hours, The travel over, and now on mountain time. Participants we are for the second year.

The Camp - photographic evidence:


The Starcraft, as far as I can tell, was manufactured in the late 70's. Re-canvased once after my father bought it, she is a fat assed with a broken leaf spring and stops the wind about as well as a chain link fence but the beds are damn comfortable, and the most of the stuff works just fine for the likes of us.




An evening in Whiteyville, I believe this was post cornbread cassaroll and seafood paella dinner, but I can't remember to well. You understand.








One thing required of the participants of Whiteyville is meal preparation. If you ain't cookin', you washin' dishes, and every man is assigned a night to cook dinner. If you happen to be in camp on nights where dinner has already been assigned, you cook breakfast.

For our breakfast, Aaron and I scrambled up some eggs, and made some kick-ass sauteed potatoes with jalapeno-smoked bacon, diced and blackened chicken breast and bell pepper topped with a cheese sauce and a tortilla on the side. We don't fuck around when it comes to grub, and neither does anyone else in camp if you haven't gotten the drift.







Good dumps are just as important as good eats, and this little creation was made by pimp master chef and Whiteyville veteran Phil. The Meditator 550LE is equipped with waterproof TP dispenser and hand pump bidet, and even has a journal for one to log their experience.  Aaron and I stuck to our Crapmaster 350, which does not have the upgrade options the 550LE has, but gets the job done.










The Fishy Stuff - photographic evidence:


This fatty Silver Creek rainbow ate a beadhead emerger that was slowly rolling along below some parachute what-have-you that Tom Teasdale gave me while I was in Colorado.

Silver Creek is a few mile long stretch of skinny, slow moving water that comes down from Silver Creek Hatchery, where the Native Apache trout are bread to be stocked in White Mountain Lakes.




Aaron standing on the bank of Silver Creek. Does this image look a little strange to you? 10 points and a gold star if you can figure out why.
















Becker lake is located north of Springerville and is a weedy bastard, but holds some nice fish.






Aaron's Becker Rainbow.












Another Becker resident.













At Big Lake I found this brave little traveler battling with the native mud monsters. I saved his life, and now he belongs to me.

The person who comes up with the best name for him will win something sweet.




-Alex

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yea, No..... this fish!


The exhaust on the truck is still pinging from the drive back from Whiteyville, and I am going to bed. Report to follow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It could happen to you...

It is not quite the evening yet, and night has hours yet to be born from twilights womb. The summer sun still lingers annoyingly high, but the nine-to-fivers have parked the car and are looking for the remote, adding ice to their second scotch and water.

The temperature matches the colors as grays become reds and the landscape seems to deepen.

Someone, somewhere, has cracked their first beer. If you listen carefully, to can hear the kacheeeesk and the slurp that inevitably follows.

They may be partying, they may be just hanging out, or they may be sitting on the couch watching Forensic Files. Whatever they may be doing now, 3 hours and ~8 beers later they will be at the computer.

A bookmark click here, a Google search there, winding their way closer... They might even have a blog, and on this blog a blogroll, and on this blogroll, your site may be listed.

“Oh, lookey,” they say, “a new post,” slurp, “let’s go take a peek."

Their fingers follow along as their eyes are forced open wide enough to keep the words from smashing together. They laugh, they cry, they have an idea, a thought that must be voiced in type, tick, click, tick goes the keys as their intoxicatedness spills onto the keyboard.

They giggle at their cleverness as their hand moves the cursor toward the “Submit Comment” button and engages. Convex becomes concave as their inebriated mental state is forced into textual existence.

The deed has been done, you have been drunk-commented, and even with spelling errors and keyboard-topography mistakes, you may not even know it.

On the phone, it’s easy:

Ring....
“Hello?”
“Drrrrrrr”
“Dave… your drunk, aren’t you?”
“Maybe… hehe.”


Problem Solved.

But in this electronic age there are many more forums for the inebriated communicator. Drunk texts, drunk emails, drunk tweets…. And with proper grammar often flying out the window even in states of complete sobriety, how is one to know?

Has your blog been subject to drunken commenting? Has someone left their skewed mark on your page? Do you even care? Does it matter? Is it better that way? They do say that ones true feelings come out in times of intoxication....

-Alex who knows how easy it is to get in trouble with the click of a mouse.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Top Secret Communiqué



I could tell you what Simon Graham and I were talking about here, but if I did I would have to send a ninja to your house to explain to you that your time on earth was short. G-14 Classified.... you understand. But don't worry, all (or most) will soon be revealed.

-Alex who is more a Jagërmeister ninja than a fighty ninja.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Prefer............

I prefer a glass of whiskey over a mug of coffee on a cold winters morning.

I prefer Old Crow and Jim Beam over Bushmills or Jamensons

I prefer my 7 1/2' #4 over my 9' #4 fly rods

I prefer the floor rather than a bed

I prefer tying San Juan worms over buying them, C'mon who the hell cant tie one of those?

I prefer graphite over bamboo

I prefer vacationing in Colorado rather than living here, Its much more of a treat to come here on occasion rather than being spoiled by living here

I prefer standard transmission over automatic

I prefer ponds and rivers over large lakes

I prefer shitty beer over high priced crap that tastes like shit other than beer

I prefer beer over water

I prefer women who like to fish rather than women who like to bitch alot

I prefer dead animal over that hippie shrubbery shit (no point of being a vegetarian)

I prefer, on a hung over morning, to pee outside or pee like a woman instead of standing and aiming

-Kyle who hates to stand and pee on a hung over morning

Friday, October 9, 2009

Want to look like a pro? Lose some weight fat boy.

I like my fishing shirts to be made of lightweight, breathable, water repellent material with neatly zippered pockets in all the right places… but I also would like it not to pop a button if I eat that extra peanut butter powerbar and forget to suck-it-in when crawling out of the boat.

I like my fishing pants to dry quickly and magically transform into shorts in a zip, but “a partial stretch waist for exceptional fit and comfort” does me no good if the only time it is ever partially stretched is when it’s folded in my dresser drawer.

Dickies gives the fat man some love.... Their double knee work pant is available up to a 60-inch waist because they understand that even the fattest of America’s work force should be able to do so in comfort and style, and still have room to go to the bar after work and eat nachos and drink two or three or ten beers.

While fishing might not fall into the same category of labor as rotating tires or fixing milf’s leaky sinks, it still requires a level of comfort for movement and dexterity - for being able to breathe while tying the laces of your wading boots.

Some good manufacturers run small so I don’t mind paying a fat tax*, I just want to have the sizes available. And I know that there is a more-to-love fly fishing fringe watching from the shore wondering when their pants will dry as fast as the undernourished Patagonia advertisement standing next to them.

-Alex who knows it ain’t pretty when one combines gluttony and vanity.

*Fat Tax is the extra $3-$10 you have to pay for sixes over XXL, and has more do to with punishing you for not working out than charging for the extra material.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shillelagh fly fishing

Drinking in Manitou Springs and the dedication to Fly Fishing. So I was having a few drinks with some friends and decided to fish the creek, I am going to make this very short and very simple. I found a Prince Nymph and some mono in my car and knew I had my Shillelagh (Irish beat your head in stick) in there.


I met this fella, Chris Kohne, and we decided to try to catch a fish out of the creek. Well the plan worked. After seeing 4 or 5 fish 14 inch plus I pulled out that little fella, and you can see my rig I was using. So to put it simply and if you want to drink and catch small fish go out to Manitou Spring drink at the Royal Tavern, drink get bored and walk out the door to catch a fish. Obviously you dont need to bring all your gear with you, in fact bring almost nothing at all you will still catch them.


-Kyle

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Slow Days



Sometimes the days are slow when the flies fly true and the loops are un-tailing and mother nature herself is impressed by your presentation.
Sometimes you don't catch fish when the hatch is matched and the wind goes easy and the fish are starved for attention.
Sometimes you get skunked when your drifts are drag-less and the banks are cut and the smile of the day stretches wide.
When your box is stacked and your flush is royal and your bet is sure and your shoes are stealth and your face is determined, sometimes you still can't win.

 Sometimes you don't care.

-Alex

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the Landeen Photography blog



In doing my little part to keep the internet from running out of stuff, and partially because I am two weeks into an alcohol-free month causing restlessness and boredom, I have created the Landeen Photography blog.

I have found to my delightment (that should be a word) that over the last year or so the FGFF site has been a great way to connect and stay in touch with the fly fishing community, and even make some good friends. I can only hope that myself and others will be able to get the same enjoyment from a photography blog.

You can expect tips, tricks, stories, DIY articles, incessant rambling, and even a photograph from time to time. So head on over and say hello.

-Alex

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Colorado early snow , Bordem as a Chef


I am very bored, so I will share with you all some things happening in Colorado right now.

For those of you who do not live in Colorado, and many of you live in the heat, We have been seeing some unsightly early snow. I am not too sure what to think about 4 days in the high 70's and suddenly we hit snow. The mornings here in Deckers have been between 32 and 37, I do love the cold but not this early. I am sure the leaves will change from green to dead, instead of the spangled orange yellow and red on the Aspens.
Please be careful driving, the weather on the moutains is starting to kill off a bit of vegitation so the Deer and elk have been lowering into the canyons and roads. Trust me its no fun to hit an elk as I did last November and almost lost my car. The bastard even walked away from the hit as I sat there with a busted ass front end.

Yet good news, I have been throwing BWO's along the South Platte sizes 24-28 with a Zebra Midge dropper, the midge has been doing well and a few hits on my BWO. Don't be a pansy and get your ass out on the river, the fishing is getting nice with the cold.

OK This morning I woke at 4a.m., that is normal for me, and decided on my fruit plates this morning I wanted to make flies. I have not been tying much so I thought I would make a golden stone out of strawberries cantaloupe, pineapple, and blue berries. If you could not tell I am quite bored. Stupidity or creativity you tell me.

-Kyle, Damn the cold sometimes

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Top-Water Bass - This post goes to eleven.


In the last week of August, one can get the first sense of summer’s oppressive heat losing its sweaty grip on the desert. Sure, it is still ball-sizzling hot but a little breeze here or a cooler-than-normal evening is enough to give hope. Two hours south and a few feet higher you can step out of the truck into a noisy afternoon sun at Arivaca Lake and feel the change. The lake is low, the weeds are slimy and the bass are agitated.

Violence of Action

You remember that angry little short-haired blond kid from middle school that always punched everyone? His step-dad was an auto mechanic or a construction worker, and his mom smoked like a pack a day and watched Court TV? In my opinion, largemouth bass with their constant scowl and tough skin are like that kid. Just plain mad at the world.

“I don’t give a damn that it’s bigger than my head,” he says to himself. “I am totally going to eat the crap out of whatever the hell that thing is 'cause it's pissin' me off!”

Sometimes you feel like using your hemos to tie tiny midges to 8X tippet, and then sometimes you just want to tie half a deer carcass to a 20lb leader and make Neanderthal noises while you swing your 8wt around like some sex-nuts-retard-strong barbarian.

This kind of behavior also helps keep those damn I'm-not-here-to-fish-I-just-want-to-row-my-canoe-through-your-cast people out of your way.

Dog Will Hunt

The other day before a trip to Arivaca, I met with my friend Mike Leed Jr., and he gave me a tube fly frog to try out. After throwing it for a few minutes, I nicknamed it “the shoe”, (that Aaron hand-modeled for us in the image here) cause that’s what it felt like on the end of my 320 grain Sage Bass line. A big wet shoe. But with that 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook shoved up its rear point-up it walked across the weeds with authority. I threw that damn thing all day, and all I got was a sore shoulder. I blame something else.

There are those that tie flies, and then there are those who tie flies, and my friend Mr. Leed Jr. falls into the latter category. He is a fishing madman, and he can tie the crap out of just about anything you might need, or he will instruct you in tying it yourself if you are so inclined. Recently at the local shop, he had a class on tying the grass frogs he loves to dearly. I attended and took part in the hour-long process of creating such a masterpiece. (Mike says it takes him 30min when not showing all us tards how its done)

Under his expert tutelage, I tied the below sum-bitch. He looked at it and nodded, “That dog will hunt.”

It is so on.

The Goods.


-Alex who knows that you can't just make ten louder.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This is my serious face.

The woosh was followed by a sloppy slap as the frog disappeared into the green cottage-cheese lumps. Lead wrap, 3-dollars-worth of deer hair with a side of rabbit: It was like throwing a wet shoe.

From “nine-o-clock” to “three-o-clock” across the top of the bubbly goo, unevenly-spaced trails converged and I was the center point. Bass are down there; I know they are down there. I have seen them eating, swimming around; a weed wiggling here and a splash there. Not nearly as active as last week, but this week I brought a bazooka to a knife fight, and I left the “messing around” at home.

I take up some slack and give a little tug. The wind apparently has something very important to show me on the other side of the lake, but I stick my fins deeper into the mud and tighten the chin strap on my hat.

There is a little disturbance out in front as the frog shows itself and crawls to the top of the muck. I give a second little tug and it hops back toward me. There is a little shiny puddle of open water showing and a little voice tells me that is where he wants to go. Tug, wait. Tug, wait. Tug, wait, as the frog drags another spoke of the wheel in which I am the hub.

Almost there, right on the edge and clean he sits ready to take a little dip. One more tug and he plops into the openness: Exposed and alone, his hind legs flair out as his little rubber front legs dangle limply, at the mercy of the wind under a painfully blue sky.

My eyes are stare daggers at the water as my fingers tense and settle around the rod waiting for the action. There is wind but I can’t feel it. I think there is something crawling on my face but I don’t care. Time slows and the frog sits and I wait for the explosion. I am sure it will come. It has to come because there must be a fish there; hungry and mad and stupid and powerful. I sit and wait.

But there is no fish. Not this time, and I “tug, wait” the frog back to my feet and repeat. This is the sine-wave-excitement of walking frogs across September weed beds.

-Alex who feels upon reflection that fishing and not catching fish is suspiciously similar to messing around, no matter how serious you act.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Carp Slam and Fish Can't Read Podcast on Fish Explorer

My cell rang at 12:30 sharp and I knew who it was. "You ready to do this?" It was Tim Emery, the Carp Slam Tournament Director and Field Editor for FishExplorer.com. We were going to do a Podcast about the new e-mag Fish Can't Read, its coverage of the Slam, and some other randomness. So I said I was, and we began.

Up until this point in my life I was a podcast virgin, and I think Tim did a good job of breaking me in gently, and besides my nonsensical ramblings I think it went pretty well.


You Can Hear It Here.

-Alex who is glad he remembered to set his alarm.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If you are so inclined.

THINGS FOR YOUR FACE:
The debut issue of Fish Can't Read.



Plenty of blood, sweat and tears went into the creation of this online magazine. There were some other fluids in the process as well, but there was this lawsuit thing, and, you know... so I can't really talk about that.

Nine month in the making and pushed from the loins of the Dry Fly Media crew up in Bozeman this baby is still in its ass-kicking infancy, but backed by this group of nutballs will blossom into full grown ass-kickery in short order. So take a second and subscribe, your enjoyment is a 100% Guarantee or your money back!

GET MORE SLAM:

There is some Carp Slam coverage in the mag, so check that out. But if that isn't enough, here is some more DTU Carp Slam Pro-Am photographic loving!

-Alex who feels this is the end of the beginning.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Redington Predator Rods - don't judge a book by its length. (updated 12/12/10)

Performance:
Redington Predator Rods are short, and stiff as a board and are recommended with heavy lines for a reason. They throw big bugs very well, but I immediately found the decreased length lends itself to more chuck-and-ducking as large double-hauled streamers and poppers whiz past your head. A slight side-arm cast kept my melon in the safe zone.

“Delicate” is not a word I would use to describe the action, but when setting the hook on a feisty largemouth, these rods move quickly and with authority, the unyielding butt-section like a crowbar in your hands ready to pry stubborn fish out of the weeds, but that same attribute can definitely wreak havoc on knots and tippet if one were to get a over-zealous in their fish retrieval. I think the same can be said about any fast rod, though.

On the Predator 6wt I threw streamers and bait fish patterns with sinking line. After some fuddling I found that my RIO Lake Deep 7wt line threw very well and loaded the rod nicely, flinging big bluegill patterns as far as one would could need. The heavier line helped turn over the largest streamers I had in my box.

Nuts and Bolts:
The little nub of fighting butt, the gunmetal aluminum reel seat, and the rust-colored wraps are pleasing to the eye. The length and line weight designation is written on each ferrule, which would fall into the “nifty" category more than anything else, I think. But I suppose if you owned a pair and were prone to bouts of absentmindedness it may come in handy.

The ferrules have those little alignment dots, but I have always found looking down the rod the fastest and most effective way to guarantee your guides are in proper position.

New are the “hidden hook-keepers” – a small half circle hole milled into the base of the handle where it meets the reel seat - and are pretty self explanatory in their purpose. Hiding the business end of your large-pointy help keep wandering fingers and sliding hand out of harm’s way whilst the rod is not in operation.

The logo on one of the reel seats had a little defect that looked like a glob of white epoxy or maybe paint, I couldn’t tell. I scratched it off with my knife and didn’t think twice about it. Some glue is visible on the bottom of the cork where it meets the seat, but I would rather see glue than have the cork come unstuck.

These rods are akin to your uncle’s Gremlin drag car. It looks good from a distance, but if you get under the hood you may find some primer and when you look down the side you may see a ripple of two where the body guy failed to block sand the filler perfect.

But that stuff don’t matter because when you turn the key and that that big 4-barrel dumps a half-gallon of gas and that MSD distributor throws a big nasty spark and that 427ci big block roars and tires squeal as the positraction locks and you fly down the road in a hot-rubber fury - you don’t care about primer or orange peel. You’re just hauling ass and it feels good and there is nothing “delicate” about it.

Other things
:
When broken down the rods four-pieces are just shy of 25” long which will fit nicely in just about any pack.

In the pontoon the rod’s 7’10” length is not cumbersome, and it stays out of its own way when you are flopping around trying to grab that empty beer can that fell out of your cooler. Little flies don’t fit into the hook-keeper, but the cork of the handle or a guide takes care of that just fine.

When wandering around in the bushes, the shorter length also helps keep the tip out of tree branches and other path-choking foliage.

Conclusion:
The rod is compact power that can be very accurate with a little practice. Stepping up a line size might not hurt, and you might even like the feel a little better. They are good in a tube, pontoon or other small watercraft where space is a consideration, and they pack well. Keep ducking in mind while casting.


The rod will catch any kind of fish you have the right fly for, but in a brute-force fashion that may turn some anglers off, especially if they like noodle rods. But for $200, they are definitely worth a look.


UPDATE 12/12/2010: After throwing these rods for another year, I have grown to like them more and they have definitely found a place in my arsenal. Like any new equipment or technology they can take a little time to get acquainted with. I don't own a rod that can laser a heavy deer-hair bug under an overhanging tree better than the Predator. I would recommend a heavy weight-forward line, like a RIO Clouser, or Sage largemouth to help load these rods.