Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014 International Fly Tying Symposium

This is a quick heads up the 2014 International Fly Tying Symposium will be taking place on November 22nd and 23rd, 2014 at the Golden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, New Jersey.

Not only will there be over 100 featured fly tiers in attendance, various presentations, and fly shops selling fly tying materials of all sorts, but there will also be both a fiberglass and bamboo fly rod casting competitions on both days as well.  The fiberglass fly rod casting competition will be held on Saturday and the bamboo fly rod casting competition will be held on Sunday.

I will be making the trip up to Somerset for this event (It's a great excuse for a husband/wife trip to NYC) and will be assisting with the fiberglass fly rod casting competition with Michael Mauri of Seele Fly Rods.  I will not be giving any presentations at this event but do plan on bringing a rod case filled with various demos for those who would like to cast a few fly rods.

Please check out the International Fly Tying Symposium website for details and the rules for the fiberglass/bamboo casting competition have been posted as well.

If you have any questions or requests for the demos that I bring along please send an email to


There are creatures, plants, and other organisms that are used to gauge a healthy ecosystem and the Hellbender salamander's need for clean streams is a good example of this even if you never know they are there.

I will certainly be a lot more mindful while wading the streams of Western North Carolina and hope to come across one of these dragons peeping out from underneath a rock.

The Freshwaters Illustrated website is a great resource to spend some time looking around on too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Waffle Iron Waffles

It is finally starting to cool down around here and this weekend we spent a lot of time around our backyard fire pit.  Sunday morning the children got excited about the idea of making waffles on our Rome Waffle Iron and Melissa made up a batch of homemade waffle mix while I prepped the fire.

A few people on Instagram and Facebook asked for our waffle batter recipe, and even though it's a little different each time depending on what's on hand, here's the basic list of ingredients and recipe to try. 

Mix the following dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

1 3/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Sprinkle To Taste Apple or Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix the following ingredients into a second bowl.
2 Eggs
2 Cups Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Teaspoons Butter Nut Flavor

After the ingredients of both bowls have been mixed, add the wet ingredients to the large mixing bowl.  Stir and mix together until moist or until all lumps are gone.  Now the batter is ready for the Waffle Iron.

A few notes on using the Rome Waffle Iron...
  • If this is the first time you're using the Waffle Iron then be sure to prep the cast iron as directed in the instructions.  Even then expect to lose the first couple waffle to imperfections or sticking a bit on both sides.  The cast iron is still in the seasoning phase and getting right.  Be patient.
  • I used a couple shots of spray oil on both sides before pouring the batter into the Waffle Iron and by the third waffle made, they were coming out of the Waffle Iron pretty easily.
  • Cast iron works best if it's hot but not to hot that it will just burn whatever you are trying to cook.  A grate over the fire is a good way to control how much heat your Waffle Iron gets and you can move it over or away from the coals as needed.
  • It's a good idea to have an old pair of leather work gloves around for handling the Waffle Iron and keeping yourself from getting burnt while you're making waffles.
  • Realize that by the time you get the fire right and then start making waffles that this is easily going to turn into a couple hour process to make a stack of waffles for breakfast.  This is slow cooking at some of it's finest.  Enjoy it but know you're making brunch and not breakfast unless you get started really early.
What are some of your favorite campfire foods?

Kast: Epic Swing

The boys from the Kast crew made a trip to the Pacific Northwest on a steelhead and chinook junket and put together this cool film shortie.

Check out the Kast website and take special note on the Outerwear and Layering pages as the weather is cooling down and you just might need some upgrades to stay warm this fall and winter. The Steelhead Gloves and Raptor Trigger Gloves are money.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Over the weekend my wife and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary and the journey has been kind of amazing so far on how we've grown together and changed over the years.  From college kids in love, to newly married living out west, to settling in South Carolina near family and taking on new careers, to the births and raising of our two children, to figuring out what this adult life is supposed to be all about.  We're still figuring it out daily and we're having a heck of a good time along the way.  Damn, ain't love grand?

A rare selfie and proof that I married up.

I don't profess to know anything about marriage but the things that have been important for us are communication, Christian values, family, understanding, time in the outdoors, and a heavy dose of adventuring.  Where are we off to next is a frequent conversation and traveling has been the spark that's kept our relationship fire burning bright over the years.

Cheers to the first fifteen years and I love you, Melissa.  I'm ready for the next fifteen and all the places that it'll take us.  Let's Run...

Hank Patterson's Reel Montana Adventure

Hank digs Montana and there's better place to debut his first full length feature film, Hank Patterson's Reel Montana Adventure, than at the Wilma Theater in Missoula on Friday, November 7th, 2014.

You're going to want to be there. 

This is going to be a fun night out and tickets can be purchased in advance at The Missoulian Angler and the Grizzly Hackle Fly Shop.

Need more Hank Patterson in your day?

Hank gets the Montana Public Radio treatment HERE.

Gink & Gasoline go one on one with Hank HERE.

Visit Hank Patterson Your Fly Fishing Guide website and the YouTube page for more as well.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Couple Of Good Tools You Need

I've been on a real bender for the past year or so on outdoor and edged tools of all sorts.  Maybe it's because I never really went through that "knife phase" as a boy growing up and playing with a pocket folders, machetes, or hatchets.  I guess I'm making up for it now with a mostly healthy tool fetish and it's been a lot of fun coming across different knife, axe, and outdoor tool makers doing things the old way and many of these companies, like many small shop fly rod builders, are doing their work in the U.S.A. which I always commend.

Here are two companies that have graciously offered the T.F.M. readership discounts when ordering online and there may be a couple upcoming giveaways that these companies will be supporting as well to be on the look out for too.

I recently turned 40 and spent some squirreled away money on The Woodman's Pal since it's just the perfect tool for what I do a lot of during the winter here in South Carolina with clearing the vines and brush that continuously grows up in the woods around our home.  This is a very heavy duty tool with a sharp machete type edge on the front side and then a second edge on the backside hook for cutting through vines and branches. 

The Woodsman's Tool has been made since the early 1940's and was standard issue to the military, used by public safety, and I see this a the perfect tool for those in the outdoors that need of a multi use tool.  I know a couple fly fishing guides that would find one of these handy to have in the drift boat to clear dangerous obstructions and downed trees on the streams that they float.

Pro Tool Industries has created a 20% off discount code of "FM1014" on all online orders from their website.

I highlighted the Popsqtool in the "10 For Summer" and the grilling season continues with weekends tailgating and dinners on camping trips.  These handy grill tools have been getting a lot of use and an essential do all since the Pops Q Tool is six tools in one.  It's part spatula, fork, knife, bottle opener, grill scraper, and when used together works as a pair of tongs.

The Pops Q Tool is Made In The U.S.A. and offered in two sizes with several different handle colors.  They can also be engraved with custom logos or personalized for free.

Use discount code "TFM25" for 25% off your online purchase on the Pops Q Tool website.

One for the woods and one for the grill and both worth having.