Friday, February 27, 2015

H&H Outfitters - 3 Cool Things

I've mentioned it before, but it's been really neat watching the Hudjohn brothers create and grow H&H Outfitters from an idea to working in their garage to moving to a small shop to the opening of a bonafide work space with their recently opened Base Camp located on Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove, Washington.

This is a fly fishing company success story and you were a big part of it.


The boys from H&H Outfitters put together an online flip mag highlighting their brand, their ambassadors, and whatever else they think is cool.  Issue #6 went live this week so check it out.

As always, remember to use code "TFMRAD" for 10% off your online orders on the H&H Outfitters website.

Flood Tide Co. - Couple Of Beers #1

While at OGR last week, the Flood Tide Co. crew sat down with Shawn Combs of Orvis for an in depth interview covering rod design, next generation dog beds (of course), and prick size. Sorry Paul...

I am really stoked for the film credit on this S@*% show...  Thanks fellas.

Check out the Flood Tide Co. website as they have a bunch of new products that just went live.  The handy Stono River Apparatus is a must have for good lowcountry living.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Slikkers Custom Leather Fly Reel Case

I can be kind of dangerous when there is money burning a hole in my PayPal account and after the leather fly reel case arrived from Lee Slikkers (which was highlighted HERE and HERE), I decided that I had to have another.  On most trips I carry a couple fly reels and many of the vintage fly reels don't always come with a case of any sort.  I needed to fix that.

I guess I was also thinking that hopefully decades and decades (and maybe a couple more decades) down the road that there now will be two leather fly reel cases to pass along to my children as heirlooms.  Or maybe it was just a good excuse to have Lee get all artsy on another leather masterpiece.  Either way, I have another and it turned out perfect.

The first leather fly reel case chronicled the beginnings of my angling experiences with brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout all caught in northern Michigan.  On this second case I asked Lee to come up with a design that would speak to the backcountry west where I've had some of my most cherished times on the water with friends.

The finished leather fly reel case features a cutthroat trout, brook trout, and a grayling (NOT a whitefish...) and the fly on the inside panel of the case is a bushy Yellow Wulff, which was the fly that caught a twenty plus inch Bonneville Cutthroat in Wyoming years ago, and an experience that I'll never forget.

If you would like to see more of Lee's work, please visit the Slikkers Split Cane website and follow along on his Instagram page as he's photography more of his work there as well.

Lee can be contacted by email if you'd like to discuss a leather fly reel case of your own.

James Deloria's Custom Featherlight

Leave it to James Deloria to not leave well enough alone (in his defense that's how there is trout inspired canoe art and maybe the best dry fly for brook trout ever) so it's certainly no surprise that he has his own take on the Eagle Claw Featherlight as well.

This custom painted and re-wrapped with single foot Tich guides 7' 5/6 weight Featherlight was built as part of a benefit dinner and raffle for the Hall family in Gaylord, Michigan who lost their home, and nearly their lives, to a house fire earlier this year.  Along with medical bills and surgeries, they are trying to rebuild what was lost.

Interested in James making or customizing your fly rod, painting up a canoe, or tying you some flies?  Please contact him by email.

For more information on the spaghetti dinner benefit for the Hall family, please visit the Facebook page for detail.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

10 For Winter

A "wintery mix" (think light snow, sleet, and freezing rain) is moving through our area this morning and I figured this to be a good time to highlight essential gear items for the season.  We don't get a lot of weather like this so it'll be good for a mess of cancellations and delays this morning.  This might be our last cold snap before things start turning around so I'm going to enjoy it.

(Click Image To View Larger)

My momma always told me that if your head (and feet) stay warm, then your whole body stays warm too and I can't tell you how many times my Polar Reversible Bug Slinger Buff has saved me from the cold while fly fishing, skiing, working, and just spending time outdoors. 

Over the last several years Buff has increased the offerings in this category to include the Neckwarmer Knitted Polar Buff for the ladies and this is a winter essential for the whole family now.

If it's cold outside then one of these is around my neck and typically snugged up over my face. 

I don't know if there has been more interest and excitement over the upcoming release of a fly rod series more than the ECHO Glass Switch and Spey rods.  Now, ECHO Fly Fishing did do a good job of teasing us along the way but these fly rods hit the sweet spot for a several reasons.  First, they are offered in all the right lengths and line weights that someone looking for a glass two hander fix would want and second, priced from $279.99 to $299.99 they don't break the piggy pank.

Tim Rajeff, along with the ECHO Fly Fishing crew, spent a lot of time developing these series of two handers and the response I've heard has been nothing but positive for those that have gotten their hands on them early.

I have a couple demos and looking forward to carrying the 11' seven weight Glass Switch with me to Pyramid Lake at the end of next month.

Plastic fly boxes might be handy but there really isn't anything as cool as a fly wallet made of fabric, leather, and thick shearling, especially for streamers and steelhead flies.

The Streamer Wallet from Finn is made from heavyweight materials that will last for decades of hard use and will certainly be something to pass along to the next generation hopefully stuffed full of flies with stories to tell.

Our day starts early (typically around 4:30 a.m. or so) and the first thing that my wife or I do is make a pot of coffee.  It fuels the T.F.M. stoke... 

Lately we've been trying the coffee beans from Fox Coffee Roasters out of Denver, Colorado and found that they make a very tasty pot of coffee.  What is also a neat plus from ordering coffee from Fox Coffee Roasters is that they give a portion of their profits to Colorado Trout Unlimited.  How cool is that, eh?

As a side note, good coffee deserves a good mug and I've gotten a lot of miles out of my Western Rise enamelware mug.  Check out the website and sign up for updates as they have some very cool gear items in the mix for the coming season.

Bluntly put, these sole spikes saved my ass last winter at work during a couple days storm that laid down hard ice everywhere.  I've also found they have come in handy on the water as well. 

For work, for the water, for the trail, Goat Head Spikes are invaluable to have in your soles.

If Kast Gear decided to sell nothing else, then my suggestion would be to put all the effort behind their Steelhead Gloves and Raptor Trigger Gloves.  These gloves are the standard that a lot of other companies are trying to match and they still have a long way to go. 

The Steelhead Glove is the ultimate for keeping hands dry and warm even after you've put your hands under the water.  The OutDry technology incorporated into these gloves makes them breathable, waterproof, and submersible.

The Raptor Trigger Glove are not waterproof but are still a great choice for a windproof technical glove.  I like the exposed point finger and thumb for holding fly line, picking out flies, and when not on the water working my iPhone with hands staying warm.

If there is one thing that you can bet on during the winter, it's that you (and your gear) is going to get wet by rain or snow.  The Stormfront Sling is the perfect choice for loading all your fly fishing and camera gear in a completely waterproof pack with zero worry that water is going to seep in.  The TIZIP zipper is money and this is a comfortable pack to wear all day long.  I've also found that it works great in the boat sitting on it's side with easy access to the main compartment and exterior (not waterproof) pocket.

This sling pack is just one part of an impressive Patagonia Stormfront line up.  If you are looking for a pack that is truly waterproof then these are the standard that many others are trying to buid to.

Everyone has a favorite winter cap and mine is from Stormy Kormer.  I give this company bonus points for making a warm cap in the U.S.A. (Ironwood, Michigan in fact) with unique styling that is functional as well as looking good.

I've been wearing the limited edition Carhartt X SK cap all winter though you can't go wrong with the Original Stormy Kromer Cap either.  There are some Women Cap choices for you as well so that the whole family can wear Stormy Kromer if they wish.

I know that this year is supposed to be all about click and pawl fly reels but I've been using the Arx for several years now and this is just a badass fly reel for the two hander fly rod in your life.

This spey/switch specific full cage fly reel is available in three sizes and made from 6061 aluminum and stainless steel with hard alox finish.  Large arbor spools can handle all the backing, running line, and various heads with ease.

Everything in the design and construction of this fly reel bleeds "Made In U.S.A." quality and it's a great choice for that glass two hander you've been thinking about.

I've mentioned it before but winter is when a few weekends of mine are spent in the woods that surround our property tearing down and removing vines and brush that grows endlessly.  I've used a lot of different tools but the Woodman's Pal and Utility Axe may be the ultimate tools for this type of work.

From a fly fishing perspective these tools can come in handy for the downed tree crossing a stream or trail.  I could see quite a few guides, along with those that spend a lot of time on the water, finding these tools essential and easy to carry along in the pack or gear box in a boat.

Well, that's my "10 For Winter".  What's yours? 

Portraits Of A Predator

Bulltrout are so damn badass and Eric Malone's latest film ia a neat glimpse of these predators in their element.

Check out the Blue Blood Vimeo and Instagram pages to see the latest projects in the works.

Monday, February 23, 2015

6 Cool Things To Read

It's Monday and I am still catching up at home from a few days away and now back in the office for a busy week.  Here's a sixer from around the fly fishing internet to ease you into your week.

Copi Vojta of The FlyFish Journal has posted a mashup of images from living in the PNW for the last six months on the Tailgate.  Enjoy.

Some dudes know computers, the internet, and coding A LOT more than others and photographer Matt Jones sure knows how to make his work look spectacular on the screen or in print.

Without a doubt, winter is for sitting behind the vise and filling the fly boxes.  Al Brown wrote up a great review of two essential fly tying books that should be in everyone's library if you dig midges and terrestrials.

Christian Hörgren, of Fine Tackle fame, goes question by question with the Tippets and Tackle blog for an excellent interview.

Ever wanted to work in a fly shop or be a fly fishing guide?  Trouts Fly Fishing is adding to their team both in the shop and with their guide staff as well.  

Click HERE and HERE for more information.

Rohan Anderson gets away to the Australian high country for a few days and on the water with a friend.  Read this and work your way backwards through this stellar blog.

Here's to a great week.  Cheers...