Monday, July 28, 2014

Glass vs carbon

 If you aren't interested in fly fishing then close this now, it'll be boring.

Since I started following The Fiberglass Manifesto I've been wanting to try a fiberglass fly rod. Coming from a cycling background I figured it might be similar in difference to a graphite/ carbon rod as a steel frame is to a carbon frame. I wasn't far off. I have two steel bikes, two titanium bikes and exactly zero carbon because I don't like carbon. This is because I've ridden all types and never felt that carbon had a life. Steel and Ti have personality and feel while carbon is just a dead feeling frame. And yes, I fully understand the importance of performance concerns. See my last paragraph. A similar idea can be applied to casting a fly rod and I noticed this literally the second I picked up my new glass rod.
 This happened by accident when my mom called me one day and said she was at a garage sale and an elderly man had a bunch of fishing gear for sale. He had a fly rod for $15.00, no details, so I told her to get it. Turns out it was a Gladding/ South Bend fiberglass rod. Not valuable by any means. Not like a Winston vintage bamboo that can sell for ~$7000. It's a usable rod that I can toss in my trunk or charge through a stand of brush and not panic if it gets a scratch. It was made in 1971 which is when I was born so that makes it sort of cool to me.

42 year old wraps still perfect. 
 It's heavy. It's fiberglass after-all. Like steel the liveliness of the material comes with a cost. It's 8'6" and felt like a noodle when I first lifted it. Any movement caused it to whip and bend where a carbon rod is far stiffer and requires that you make it move. This simple aspect is why I enjoyed the glass so much when I finally got to cast it. A carbon rod has a certain "margin for error" in my opinion, meaning that if your arm isn't moving perfectly straight in the fore/ aft plane... that's OK, the carbon will compensate. But with the glass rod I could immediately see the flaws in my cast. Any, and I mean even an inch or less, lateral movement caused the tip to whip laterally which is a cast killer. It took concentration to keep the tip in the plane.
 With the compliance of the rod I also found that my forward cast needed to stop at 12 o'clock rather than the 10-11 that I usually use. I literally have to stop the rod straight up in order to get a smooth and full roll of the line. The back cast didn't feel too much different.
 The thing I like most about the rod however is that it is a throwback to older times. It isn't cutting edge and I have a deep appreciation for that. Fly fishing at it's heart is not about catching fish. It's about the act of fishing and because of that I don't feel that expensive or cutting edge gear will enhance that... and in fact I could argue that it actually hurts it. I can already see that this $15.00 rod will become my primary rod. I have 3 other carbon and the only advantage I see with (two of) them is there packability. They're 4 and 5 piece respectively so they are much more portable. Until I get to try a bamboo rod though... I'm sold on the glass.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Leadville camp

Great weekend with my boys up in one of my favorite places in the World, maybe even the whole county... Leadville and specifically Twin Lakes. We found a new site right on the Mt Elbert Forebay. The only downside was that the view of Hope Pass was blocked by trees. Interesting little reservoir in that the water levels vary ~10ft from evening to morning. Tons of fish too.


Ben with a fish on. 

Nice laker. 

Liv sleeping quite elegantly. 


Warm (tan) feet

Family sunset

Alarm clocks. 

Onesie fishing. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday night

Got up in to Golden Gate State Park tonight which is ~4 miles from home. Had the pond to myself.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday night

I need a water proof camera. I wanted to get out in the water but was held back by the simple idea that if I slipped I would ruin my camera. Similar thing that happened in Florida. I should leave it at home really. I spent 12 hours with my boys and then hit the river behind our house. It's flowing well so you need to get wet. No bites.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sanibel in pictures

Still sleepy

Fly fishing for snook. Greatest thing ever. 

Netting bait

Kayaking with Ben

tying on a fly

looking for snook

3am fishing selfie

Florida IPAs... great stuff! 

Hung out with John Fox (head coach for the Denver Broncos) for a couple of hours. Great guy. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sanibel fly fishing.

  I've been on the ocean maybe five to six hours a day for the past six days and have met many great people with many great stories. I've caught ten times more fish on my spinning rig but the fly rod is where I find my peace. I walked about four miles this morning (after I fished Blind Pass) of shoreline sight casting snook... perfectly sublime. I'm a different race after so much sun. We leave tomorrow and I'm considering fishing all night.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Update. Fly fishing.

I realized it's been a bit since I posted here.

 I've been in the weight room very consistently and am really happy to feel bomb proof again. I'm getting strong. Running a bit. Biking a bit.

 I'm fishing and camping mostly (it's Thursday and I'm camping and fishing with my boys tonight) and am gearing up for a trip to Florida to fly fish for 7 days off Sanibel Island. We have a condo on the water and the area is considered some of the best snook (out of season now), tarpon, and permit fishing in the World.
 Having just fly fished Colorado rivers I needed to completely re-outfit for the ocean which I was more than excited to do. Below I've posted pics and prices of my gear. Remember that I'm the thriftiest guy on the planet... maybe even the whole county.
A typical Colorado fly is on the left. It's microscopic. The flies I'll use in the Gulf, on the right, are monsters!

Hand for reference. Those wounds are from a hammer deflecting off a chisel. I'm re-doing our fire place.

Typical of my life's luck... my mom was at a garage sale in Kansas of all land locked places and bought this vintage fly wallet for $1.00. It was full of exactly the saltwater flies I need for the Gulf.  

I also bought, used on e-bay for $5.00, a heavy saltwater spinning reel for some more relaxing fishing. It's an older model Shimano reel but is in excellent condition and will work well. The thing is HUGE. 

And my baby. 9'4", 9 weight fly rod with an Okuma reel. I got the rod for $35.00 new from a small company and the reel for $10.00 used and already lined. The line/ leader alone are worth $50.00. The rod blank is the same that many ~$300.00 rods are based on. I got a ~$450.00 set up for  $45.00.

The Okuma 8/9 weight reel. Titanium reel seat. That's "art" to me. 

 All told I'm spending less than $50.00 on a more than completely adequate fly set-up for Florida that would normally cost ~$500 or so.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day three fishing.

4 fish today. Call it ~40 inches. 72" total for the contest. Brian Latham has the winning guess at 72". Shoot me your address and I'll ship the glasses!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fish Day Two

Just one today but it was a beauty (released). Right at 12" so the two day total is 32". Temps in the 40's and very windy again. It snowed again last night and we're expected to get more snow tomorrow, which is fine with me as it keeps most of the fisher people away.
Tomorrow is planned as a two lake day and hitting it early.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fishing/ sunglasses contest Day 1

Day one of three. Liv and I got out for ~2 hours this morning. He was a trooper lasting nearly two hours in spitting snow, strong winds, and ~30-35 degrees. We were up at ~9000ft on a small mountain lake. So day one total I'm calling 20 inches? I released both of these.