Sunday, February 26, 2012

I gotta lotta

things to say
but it will have to wait until tomorrow cuz I'm lit

Thursday, February 23, 2012

someone somewhere is smiling over me....

even if it's only the moon
I'll take it

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

rules are made to be broken

I made some rules when I started this journey a hundred years ago
the blog yer reading I mean

and I've pretty much followed them all 
I have gone ahead and embedded some youtubes
and I've even linked an article or two

but I pretty much remain true to my all original content
(with the help of accompanying buddy photographers of course
and occasional ganked photos from the tubes)

I also think I've done a good job not bad mouthing any other fishing sites
though I'm sure after all these typestrokes
you can read between the lines at least

I tempted to pitch a bitch...
tempted mind you
I'm not gonna do it just yet but I sure do wanna

those of you who have known me a while 
know my history as a "web personality" if you will
that shit has come to a screeching halt
not entirely by my own hand

I heard a couple very interesting things today
while sitting in congress
HAHAHA I love that

a guy I know needs a rod dipped
and has asked some pretty reasonable guys if anyone would do it for him

I've washed my hands of this clown for any number of reasons
and he can say the same about me

no one seems willing to help from what I hear
key words those last

y'know what?
even though I can't stand the guy
I'd do it tomorrow
I don't know why but I would
maybe because I can?
I do enjoy it
nothing like watching that rod come out of the varnish the first time
all that work finally getting finished

the guy who told me this said I should tell him
and perhaps I just did
I responded 
I don't talk to that asshole

after all, I am a dick

Monday, February 20, 2012

zinger sleeves

these seem like they'll work well

oh yeah this worked well too...

even when the beer was freshly opened
american ingenuity right there
what a lovely day at the ferry it was

Sunday, February 19, 2012

at the vise - some recent flies...

more puttering...

I just call this winged wet an emergent olive

this one is a soft hackled peacock flash

chartreuse and blue midge
crazy good in it's debut

 a soft hackled peacock stuck this lovely rainbow

wherein we stop puttering around

and get some work done

well not really, but we're getting there
why do I have so many of these damn things?

Friday, February 17, 2012

first steps - fagbag by design

so I kinda outlined below how I'm gonna go about this...
a bit of customization here and there
then a full on job w/ bare bones generic cheap fagbag
then I need to figure out how to do as nice a job as those movers in the industry
or do well enough to compete...

today I came up w/ my first feature
magnetic anchors
all these new bags have magnetic anchors
apparently it'll keep yer shit from clanking around as you wade or wander
I like this idea cuz my shit clanks

so I came up w/ this....

these were the first prototypes I came up with
not bad - they work

next couple had an additional pocket
which won't carry much - hell two fingers can barely fit in it
but it is a damn fine place to stash a spare key
or yer stash if yer still carrying that in gram bottles
leatherman mini fits in there great as does a spare set of nippers

I used to think that those tool pockets were kinda overkill
especially if it requires a velcro closure strap to cinch it in place
well this kills two (three) birds w/ one stone
magnetic anchor?  check
tool sleeve?  check
reflection eliminators?  check

important to me because I like to wear my clamps and cutters on wader straps or bag straps
or pinned to my shirt pockets
because that way they're always at working level

plus the fabric I'm using (at least until it's gone)
is semi-historically significant
it comes from the very first issue of bdu fatigues
none of that rinky dink short cut shit they came out w/ later
this is the initial issue bulletproof edition
the kind w/ triple reinforced knees and ass

this individual pair of pants is about thirty years old
we like that

plus some of you fuckers will be getting these to field test

taking the next step

or reinventing the fishing fagbag
can it be done?  should it?

why mess w/ something so good to begin with?

it all began (well this particular ill-conceived notion) when I read about someone 
asking for fagbag recommendations...
as I looked at the major players' offerings
I realized two things...

-these bags are expensive
-these bags are very well made

two additional things...

-ingenious features (though often superflous)
-many lack sufficient capacity

I thought I should design and craft my own
w/out having any idea how to do it or what I wanted

I found the pack I'm currently using or the recent model
mine is slightly different though essentially the same...

I had no idea that bag was so pricey ($160)

I obtained mine in a trade
filson chest pack sharkskin line various odds and ends
(very generous offer)
for a 9ft 4/5wt steffen bros graphite blank
thanks cholly!

though you get a lotta bang for your buck
w/ a whopping 1408 c.i. (est) total capacity
that blows away the rest of the players...

so I start w/ this...
can I improve the chassis?  not likely 
though it would be nice to have a d-ring on each suspender strap
w/ maybe some magnetic anchors

I've already removed that fleece fly patch piece of shit
I'd like to see another d-ring there in its place
so far all of this shit is easy meat

there should be a dedicated water bottle sleeve
or some clever insulated way to incorporate it
again should be easy enough

 two final touches would be...
a small sturdy handle for each main compartment
and incorporating some lumbar support into the bag itself

why start here instead of from scratch?  simple.  filson quality
made in america
this shit lasts forever
that's why

plus it looks better than anything else out there

what bells and whistles would you like to see in a pack?
which features are superflous redundant or overkill?
finally is it worth all the money?
why not start w/ a $10-$20 bare bones fagbag from target or somewhere
and customize it yerself?
(another project I'm considering and I can't find a reason no to try)

this is what we call marketing and research here at the a.f.a. labs
angling tools by design

I should also add that my regular and favorite fishing buddy has been tinkering w/
and customizing his shit as long as I've known him
and I'll happily incorporate (or steal) any of his fine ideas

Thursday, February 16, 2012

a necessary evil

the unfortunate reality is that the fishing bag or pack or purse
or whatever you wanna call it
around here, we'll refer to it as a fagbag

let's start again...the unfortunate reality is that the fagbag is a necessary evil
if yer serious about fishing that is
or ya can carry a daypack but we tend to overload those
simply because we can

there is absolutely nothing better than hiking into a mountain or canyon stream
with a fishing rod in yer hand
it is the finest our fine sport has to offer

often such fishing can carry us miles from the fishin' truck
parked  back at the traillhead
you get a sense where this is going...

years and years back an old timer gave me a wise bit of advise
everytime you go fishing carry yer raingear

the other thing yer gonna need to have is water
and maybe a bit or two pieces to stay warm

enough fuel to keep the machine functioning
plus we like to have enough carry room for at least two
but preferably three beers for lunch

let's take a look at this filson pack
loaded as is pack weighs in at a smidgen over 3lbs
a little over 5lbs w/ raingear
not much at all especially considering the effectiveness
of the elastic sling suspension employed
simply put, I've never felt such a comfortable set of shoulder straps

let's have a look inside...

I pulled the whistle floatant and stream thermometer out of the pocket for this shot
whistle can be a pretty important tool should you take a fall break a leg or the like

main pocket displayed
extra nippers and clamps on zinger tuck into sleeve
of which there are eight
two too small to fit my hand into but they will hold spare specs
you can see the size of the sleeves from the flybox (emergency nimps) 
and smallstream kit shown

customized w/ c&f design flypatch (GENIUS!)
and simms retractor to which I strap the camera
which sits in here
lonesome save for the company of a little flashlight
still lotsa room in here for whatever

backside pack

inside here I've got glove/mitts and water filter bottle

water bottle will hang from sling or on wader belt

I'm really pretty happy w/ this thing so far
then again I've only fished a long morning w/ it

oh yeah it's waterproof... hmmm?
I did dunk it a time or two nothing got wet or even damp

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

tackle done well

there's a fatal flaw in outdoor wear design
and that is...pockets that are too small to get my hand into
maybe one's acceptable for like a lighter or some shades
but really I'd rather not bother w/ yer stoo-pit little pockets
a couple of companies have gotten wise
I don't venture much into the high dollar players in the clothing game
but columbia figured it out and their fishing shirts are the best available
and a bargain (relatively) to boot

another one is that filson pack I was yammering about earlier
my hand fits into every sleeve hidden inside that pack
save one for the shades - we can live with that

orvis takes care of yer tackle right
I can't remember how long ago it was I bought this bag
still going strong and looks like new

I'm not even gonna bother telling you how much shit is stuffed into there
dynamite bag

speaking of bags
sometimes well used to be I liked to carry tying stuff on fishing trips
I kinda stopped since I'm not tying flies on a fishing trip
I'm fishin' or I'm jrinkin'
anyways, when I did everything fit right nicely into this bag

that was about ten bucks at target a hundred years ago

no telling how old this one is...

that's my grandfather's camera bag

another look...

that stool in the tying den that some of those bags sit upon?
it's a giant spring

and it's pretty damned comfy

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the problem of the pack

like a lot of guys out there
I've been trying to solve the tackle carrying dilemma
eventually, it seems, many give up on their vests...
they're capable of carrying way too much stuff
much of which you carry, but never need or use
no point in that...

so we try any number of the packs out there
day packs, fag bags (fanny or lumbar packs), or dedicated fishing packs

about twenty years back I bought a fag bag for hiking the western forests
mountains and waterways
worked great for that and fishing for a long damn time
nevertheless, I'd still find myself carrying too much

fagbag pictured above
iconic photo by matt schliske 

I opted to use my pockets and a tiny altoids tin full of dry flies
now we're getting somewhere

why leave good enough alone then?
good question inadequately answered

I guess because we are never satisfied w/ the status quo...

I had a cabelas gift certificate
I used it on a humongo river guide lumbar pack
complete w/ rainfly and detachable chest pack

oh did I mention I tried one of those too?
I like to be able to see my feet and where I place them while wading
no go...

that cabelas pack when loaded up and hitched around my hips 
weighed about as much as a suitcase
another no go

after reading for recommendations for fishing packs
on an internet fishing board
I did a little quick and dirty analysis of the offerings
from some industry leaders
(you know who they are)
and found that most are remarkably over-priced
despite being extremely well made
best value came from cabelas - always first choice for the angler on a tight budget
surprisingly, the next two were a bit shocking...
orvis' sling pack and the filson waist pack
really?  filson is cheaper than fishpond?
at least if yer wearing a filson, you look like yer headed to do battle w/ fish
and not a battalion of aliens...

actually that's  just a matter of personal preference...

sure took me a long time to get to the point I've been trying to make...
I had an old filson chest/backpack that I'd traded for
simple and attractive and actually pretty damned comfortable
sling/suspension system

chestpack shown above
photo shot by josh smith
"fishin' not fashion"

I've decided to give it a shot this summer
first time out - saturday at the the ferry
bag holds a surprising amount of shit
as a matter of fact - far too much
and while it never got uncomfortable or even in the way
it was still overkill
f'r instance I had four  or five flyboxes 
when nearly everything I used came from one small one
which included weight and strike indicators
put together specifically to fish here
I had spares of everything I could have needed
well, except for floatant (partner forgot his)
and a lighter (mine fell into the drink at some point)

and well, I dumped it at lunchtime and resorted to my pockets for the rest of the day

now I'm going to continue to field test this pack,
the question remains...why?  when I can fit most everything in my pockets...
and there is an answer

Monday, February 13, 2012

new stick

why yes
yes it is a johnson rod
made in china no less

go get some

Sunday, February 12, 2012

fishing in the cathedral

my fishing buddy likens it to fishing in a phone booth
I disagree
granted the cathedral grows in grandeur upstream to the dam
(damned impressive)
and grows ever grander downstream over countless rapids
the walk in fished as fine as I've seen it

look at that beautiful wild rainbow
lovely colors healthy and strong fish
typical of the fish we saw yesterday

josh didn't take long getting started
(a pattern to be repeated throughout the course of the day - he was en fuego)
sticking a nice fish early on a custom tied egg pattern of his own design

this is my favorite of the numerous underwater shots he took
he gets photo credit on both bentrod shots below and several here

my weapon of  choice for the day
and the first ever bamboo rod I made
chile colorado
7ft2in 5wt driggs river special

I've gotta a lotta pics just like this one
again - look at that fi

this rock right here is the throne 
perfectly scooped and smoothed and pitched 
for yer work
a perfect place to sit and rest too

why would you wanna fish here?
beats me

got bent

more to follow
or not...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

believe it or not

once again
or luckily
once again

I'll be...

ya saw that "gone fishin" sign right?

I like to think I can see the honey hole right up there inside her scanty skirt
you see it too I know it
the only good thing about that pic
yeah right - there's plenty right about that

with this clown...

does anyone else besides me even think of jrinking a beer upside down
at about 8am?

well he did it and I've missed him

shortly all that changes

anyways I've got a treat for ya when I get back...
codeword to remind me...tom petty
so fucking 80s hunh
70s for me kid

well..we talk some more shit and photo dump

because tomorrow evening we drive to flag 
en route to the ferry sat
and visit an old and dear friend

so it looks like I got the tool(s)
and my golf game still sucks for the same reasons
chipped worse than last time putted better
still pounding the driver and fairy woods
but can't hit a decent iron shot

a hundred years ago anita and I took the train
from durango to silverton
I suspect it was a skiing trip
and I tore it up over at wolf creek
in the interest of love and togetherness or bonding or somesuch
we rode the narrow gauge railroad

I've got a photo of anita noshing on something inside the train
that I'll put up maybe later

anyways, she looks exactly the same after all these years
and I guess I do too
but we feel like we're getting old

because we are

and here we have a nice shot of the best fucking dog I've ever known
we were fortunate enough to spend fifteen years together and my eyes teared up writing that
I love you mr. t forever and always and miss you every day
anita agrees

rip my faithful loving friend

talking shit

my golf game sucks these daze
I'm smoking it off the tee better than ever
but can't hit an iron shot to save my life

that's what happens when you go from three or four rounds a week
to playing once a week
it sucks plain and simple

I'm totally stymied on the bench
I mean, I guess I could glue up some ferrules and turn a handle or two
but why?

it's not that I'm lazy 
(I am) 
but I did spend two daze cleaning up/rearranging our shit in the garage
that counts for something right?
I mean it wore me out and I was sweating like a pig when I finished yesterday

then I went and played golf
or something
it sure didn't seem like I hit any golf shots
or if I managed to hit a decent shot
I'd three putt

some asshole visitor from back east started yelling and cussing at me
after I told him "you shouldn't do that"
he drove off in his cart in a tizzy
fine by me

then I had to follow the two biggest assclowns I've ever encountered anywhere
for the remaining fifteen holes
uncharacteristically I barked at them at one point
fucking guy played three balls trying to make one shot
none of which were in play btw
he dropped yet another
I yelled "c'mon man!"

they responded as if I were some kind of asshole

anyways, I won't be playing there again soon
the conditions sucked
and that ain't even the problem

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

what can I say?

when I don't have a pot to piss in?
yesterday I passed on about a 15 - 20 cent on the dollar buy
shoulda just bit my shit and bought

no I listen to she who must be obeyed (and pays the bills)
and say no

well, innit funny how things can change in hours?
I wannit but it could be gone cuz I say 
"selll it I can't make it happen."

sometimes funny things happen at funny times
and a day later I can afford it but it may not be available to me
 because I listened to my honey
(if you've spent time w/ me that's a code word ya know)

this shit just doesn't really or ever work

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

happy birthday brother

happy birthday to you happy birthday to you 
happy birthday judgmental asshole
happy birthday to you

these gals think you wrock

see ya on the golf course amigo

Monday, February 6, 2012

bamboo bonfire

i've been planning this for years
just never really gotten around to it
today after preparing tomatoes for roasting
washing about 1/3 of the windows
mopping and vacuuming the floors
I went to work on the garage/shoppe

tonight we ignite!

that's about five years worth of scrapped sticks and cut off ends
one bag of curls (of four filled in this half season)

after about thirty seconds we had this...

shortly thereafter we peaked at about twelve feet

dying down

just about done

anyways it was hotter than a fresh fucked fox in a forest fire

is it any wonder that rod shoppes burn?

Sunday, February 5, 2012


just that
I'm fucking stymied
by a leader in the industry
and it fucking sucks

Saturday, February 4, 2012

on the eve of the superbowl or greenout day at the open

today's the greenout at the phoenix open golf tourney
I'm not there in person...
in spirit though?  you betcha

the past few years my brother has hosted a small super bowl/birthday party
this year chili and cornbread is on the menu
I was drafted to make the cornbread

jalapeno cornbread

oh yeah...giants over pats 24 - 17
though personally, I'd like to see both teams lose