Jun 15

What we knew already

Fast Company had a story about how spending money on experiences is better than spending money on things. To this I say “Duh.”

Any fly fisherman will tell you that (or most, if they think about it long enough… sure, some will never get to that conclusion, but some people are idiots and this cannot be helped).

Experience < Things

Experience > Things

The purpose of the rod is to enable you to take the trip, to be out there, on the water, near the water, in the water, doing the thing the rod was built for. The purpose of the rod is not to sit in your garage, unused, unseen, un-bothered. The rod is to be held, gripped, dipped in water (fresh or salt) and flung around a bit. A rod is built to be thrown, in excitement or in frustration because of the power wrapped up in the experience. The purpose of the rod is not to be owned, not to be counted as a thing, but to be counted as an extension of your arm, of your will, to reach out with it across the distances to connect you intimately to the experience.

It is the experience we seek, that we crave, and the thing becomes a tool, a means to an end, or, sometimes, a substitute for the thing until we can be out there again.

The vice is not something we have to have a vice, but to connect us to the experience of creating. I think the experience is more valuable than the sum of all the flies I’ve tied, of all the materials I’ve bought (and man, I sure do burn through materials when I’m on a fly tying kick). The act of wrapping the thread around the hook, the act of creation, of art, that is what it is really about.

Of course the experience > the thing. The thing has no purpose without the experience. It is the experience I crave and dream of, not owning more rods, unless the new rod or reel opens up some new experience.

Yes, this is a thing we anglers know and know well. So, we’re ahead of the game on that front at least.

May 15


A new member to the family… my new Peak Vice.

Peak vice

It was time for a new vice and while I like nice things, I don’t like paying a lot of money. There are a lot of very nice vices out the and some come with eye watering prices. I’m never going to own one of those. The Peak was a decent compromise. It isn’t a $30 vice, but it isn’t a $500 vice. The cost, $149, seems like a pretty good value. “Made in the USA,” the vice seems well made and solid. I’m looking forward to it.

The c-clamp this came with was too bulky to work with the fly tying desk I have, which has doors I can close to keep all the hooks and goodies safe from our toddler. I simply used the other c-clamp I had, which has a nice skinny profile and works better with the doors.

I’ve tied a few flies on this so far and it takes a 1/0 pretty well. Maybe it will work on a #22 and I will do everything I can never to find out.

Welcome to the family Peak.

Dec 14

Basically, I was good this year

I, once again, made out like a bandit on Xmas. Thanks the the wife (the new COSTA shades) and my dad (the new GoPro).

The shades are in a tint more suited to cloudy days, which is something I have found I could really use. The gray lens COSTAs I had got lifted from my car while parked in front of our house a couple weeks back, so I don’t have the dilemma of having to choose between the two.

The GoPro is a fun toy I’m still very much trying to figure out, but I’m having fun with it so far.

Anyone get anything particularly awesome? Or did you give anything particularly awesome?

Yup, it was a good Xmas.

Yup, it was a good Xmas.

Dec 14

Thinking about lens color

When I was down in the Keys we had a pretty cool thing happen when some dolphin started riding our wake. It was memorable, but I was surprised when Dan showed me video and I could see the dolphin right next to the boat. I hadn’t seen them clearly in the glare of the water when they were just 4 feet away. Got me thinking my polarized lenses might not be so awesome (I was wearing Revos, not COSTAs, as my COSTAs are both broken at the moment).

Revo shades on our handsome model.

Revo shades on our handsome model.

I also was thinking the lens color I have, kind of gray, might not be the best. I mentioned this to my wife, especially that I might want a lighter color for what I hope is my next trip, to Water Cay, in February.

My wife is a good listener and I will not say I didn’t notice a small-ish box get delivered to the house from COSTA. Yes… she listens very well.

I found this lens color selector on the COSTA site.

It seems not everyone is on board with the multiple lens theory.

What say you? Get different lenses/glasses for different conditions, or get something that works, more or less, everywhere?


I still need, and need is really the key word here, 5 intrepid souls who want to go look for big bones Feb. 7-14 on Water Cay. If you are interested, email me at “bonefishonthebrain @ gmail.com.”


Dec 14

Nothing left to get

At a certain point, you get all the gear you really are going to need. I’m approaching 100% geared up status. Trying to give my wife gift idea for Christmas is getting harder. I’m starting to fill out on the stuff that is on the margins… the boat bag, the line scale, the pants and shirts and sun protection. I’m squared away on rods and reels and lines. I’m fairly set and could go out to the garage and grab the right gear to head 8/10 places in the world to go fishing.

The quiver for Spring Break 2013

The quiver for Spring Break 2013

It can only mean one thing.

I’m damn lucky.

What’s on your wishlist for Christmas?


(PS – I do think there might be a new pair of Costas under the tree though, as soon as we get the tree)

(PPS – Feb. 7-14, Water Cay Hosted Trip, with MOI as your host. Sounds good, no?)

Oct 14

Nautilus Reels and BTT

The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust got a great ally recently in Nautilus Reels. Sounds like they’ll donate 5% to BTT for their award-winning NV-Monster reel and will sign the purchaser up for a year of BTT membership.


I interviewed Kristen Mustad a few years back and got a chance to fish a Nautilus reel back in 2010 on a trip to Belize. Loved it.

Great to see Nautilus partnering up with BTT.

Aug 14

My first trip to a Bass Pro Shop

I understand for some places in the country the BPS where the action is. I’ve just never had one close and I haven’t gone out of my way to visit one, so I’ve never visited one, until today.

My first time

My first time

I had a business trip to Fresno today and on the way, my boss and I stopped by my first Bass Pro Shop.

Good God Man. That place was HUGE. The size of the place was just amazing and the interior was as impressive as the exterior.

I got by boss (he is my boss, but he’s also my friend) set up with a rig so he can go catch sharks with his son in the SF Bay like I do with my daughter. Then I got some hopper flies I can throw at little trout in Montana next week. There were boats and guns and bows and atv’s and more and more and more and more. There was a fly shop inside the BPS, small but serviceable. They had the hoppers I needed.

So much goodness

So much goodness


It was Man/Redneck Disneyland.

It was fun.

So, now I’ve been to a Bass Pro Shop.

I’ll go back, but I’ll also still try to support smaller, local shops when I can. I value the little shops too much.

Aug 14

The winners from the big show

I didn’t go to the IFTD show this year. Hard to break away when the day job is kicking like it is. I made it to one of the shows a few years back and it was a good time.

Some other bloggers did go and they posted some write-ups you can check out.

Gink and Gasoline had a write up. Written by Johnny Spillane, no less.

Hatch Magazine has a write up as well.

Sage’s SALT rod won best in show. That’s a rod I haven’t cast, but might like to.

Nautilus picked up honors for their reels for both salt and fresh water. The Silver King Black is the saltwater reel.

Nautilus Silver King Reel

RIO got the nod for top saltwater fly line with a line for Permit. If permit weren’t such jerks, I might be interested in this line.

Another year, another lineup of good stuff. Of course, the old stuff wasn’t so bad either.

Jun 14

Choosing your RIO Bonefish Line

I have fished a lot of the RIO lines for bonefishing. I’ve done that for two reasons… 1. They are a quality company making quality lines, and 2. They tend to send them to me.

Recently, they sent this video clip with Simon from RIO talking about how to select your Rio bonefishing line. This is a question I get asked from time to time and I agree with everything said here. I have not fished the general purpose cold water saltwater line, but I have fished the standard and quick shooter bonefishing lines.

The only other thing I’d add is that the quick shooter is not an ideal line for fishing from a boat. The shorter head means more running line and that running line has a way of not behaving really well when the wind comes up and it is laying there on the deck. So, if you are going to wade a lot, like, primarily wade, the quick shooter is a good option. You see those fish in closer and need to load your rod more quickly. Today’s rods tend to be very fast and it can sometimes be hard to load a rod with only 10 feet of line out. The quickshooter makes that a bit easier.

The standard line doesn’t tangle on the deck so easy, making it better for boat fishing, but it also can be harder to load a rod with if you see the fish in tight.

So, here’s the video. Hope it helps.

Jun 14

Skinny Water Father’s Day

Did you know the good folks over at Skinny Water Culture are having a Father’s Day Sale?

Well… they are.

I love these guys. They really are the real deal, folks who love to fish and love their bit of skinny water. They are Florida, the good part, and while I am not Florida, I can look at what they’ve done and how they’ve done it and give them loads of respect.

My favorite SWC design.

My favorite SWC design.