Jul 17



Now… let me show you my new gear.

We are full of contradictions and inconsistencies and that proves one thing. We are human.

When I read about a $1,100 trout rod I was incredulous. “Stupid” I thought. No trout (OK, almost no trout) is going to really, really test your tackle. You don’t need space-age materials to land a 14″ rainbow. Man, we fly fishermen are a gullible lot.


But… I really did want a back-up 8 wt. and when I cast the newly re-launched Predator rod from Redington, I kind of wanted it. I have an 8 wt. A really good one. I also have two other 8’s that work in a pinch. I didn’t NEED a new 8 wt, but I did WANT a new 8 wt. and I, in fact, got a new 8 wt.

And… ya know… what’s a new rod without a new reel? So, I picked up a Behemoth as well (cheap and powerful, a good combo).

Had to get a new line too, of course… so I added another RIO Bonefish line to the arsenal.

I could have fished a week without any of these things. I could have gone on with exactly what I have and I would have been fine. But… ya know… I wanted that stuff.

I also picked up a new hooded sun shirt from Patagonia which I hope will keep me from burning anything important in my on-going quest to appease my wife and not die prematurely. I should add it would NOT appease my wife for me to die prematurely.

So, I got a new shirt. I have a lot of shirts. I have favorite shirts and lucky shirts and shirts that are jinxed or hexed and shirts with no known ability to attract or repel fish of any kind. I didn’t need a new shirt. But I did want a new shirt. I wanted two, actually, and so I also got a new Redington bonefish shirt.

Flyfishing attracts gear-heads, it seems, and while it sometimes seems outright dumb to buy and buy and buy there is also something entirely enjoyable about sliding a new rod out of a rod tube and putting backing on a new reel, just as there is something deeply fulfilling about adding the 304th fly into the fly box.

So… YOU DON’T NEED NEW GEAR! But, that’s not really why we buy the gear in the first place.

Jul 14

Patagonia has a fly fishing blog

Did you know Patagonia has a fly fishing blog? I think I saw something like that, but forgot about it just as quickly (I have a 7 month old and I forget LOTS of things rather quickly these days).

I’m a fan of Patagonia. I like the ethic of the company, if not the price of the gear. I know you pay for quality and they certainly stand behind their products to the nth degree. Money plopped down on Patagonia gear is usually worth the investment, but it is still painful.

I’ve long been a fan of Yvon Chouinard and I’ve met a few other Patagonians over the years, good folks all.

Glad to see a little love directed toward fly fishing specifically. I know the roots of the company are in climbing, but sometimes it seems all I see from them is climbing and some form of extreme winter sport. I ski, infrequently and not to an extreme. I don’t climb, except to climb over a rock in a river or down a steep bank. I don’t consider fly fishing extreme, but I’m glad Patagonia is giving it the love it deserves anyway.

I would like to work for Patagonia... just say'n.

I would like to work for Patagonia… just say’n.

Oct 12

A little Patagonia clip

I like this clip. I also happens I like Patagonia too. While fishing I wear pants from Patagonia and wading boots from Patagonia and every once in a while some other piece of apparel from them as well. I have jackets and shoes from them and am inclined to give most anything they make a shot. I’m a fan of Yvon Chouinard (I did an interview with him which you can read here) and the environmental business ethic I see coming from those guys. Solid work guys. Solid.


Oct 11

Why I love Patagonia

I recently sent in a pair of beat down, worn out flats boots.  I asked for repair or credit or exchange.

Yesterday, in the mail, I got these.

Much fast that I could have hoped and brand spanking new.

Patagonia is pricy, but you appear to have the right to exchange them forever.  Which justifies the premium price by a fair bit, I’d say.

Jan 11

Patagonia Sling Pack – A Review

When I went down to Belize in November I got to bring along a new sling pack from Patagonia.  The pack isn’t out yet, but it will be in Patagonia’s offerings for 2011, so it should be available soon.

The loaner pack, a little battle worn.

Previously, I’d used a waist pack to hold all my “stuff” for flats fishing.  That had been a good option, but after using the sling pack, I’ll likely be looking to buy one when they become available.  Here’s why… the sling pack could be shifted to your back with ease, which kept it out of the way when you didn’t need it.  When you need it, just slide it in front and there is all your gear.  Because it is higher, you don’t have to worry about drying out all your flies if you happen to wade up to your waist.

When down in Mexico in December I was back to my waist pack (I had to send the sling pack back) and routinely I was up to my waist, which meant airing out flies every night.  The sling pack solves this issue.

There was a fair amount of room in the pack, although the compartment for the fly boxes was just a tad short to hold two of the longer Cliff boxes, which is what I use.

Basically, I’m a fan of the pack and I’m a fan of Patagonia, a company that keeps walking the walk (read the interview with Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder and Pirate of the Flat and Buccaneer).

The pack in action.

Nov 10

This trip brought to you by…

The whole blogging thing is interesting, for sure.  I don’t have ads and don’t cash a Bonefish on the Brain paycheck.  This started as a hobby and largely remains that (just one I am kind of ridiculously dedicated to).  However, the distance the blog has come in the last year is pretty obvious to me when I think about all the folks who have helped put some shape to this upcoming trip to Belize.

Thanks to El Pescador for hosting me for this trip.  We are still paying for guides and I’m still paying for a couple of flights, but the lodging… that was huge.

Thanks to Sage for the loaner Xi3 Seven and Ten weights.  Good sticks for Belize, me thinks.  Lori-Ann’s go to is the 7 wt. Xi3, so I’ll be in good company.

Double my pleasure... a 7 and 10 Sage Xi3

Thanks to Orvis for the loaner 8 wt. Helios and the line for the 10 weight. Steve offered and I couldn’t turn down a chance to see exactly how good these new Orvis rods are.

Orvis... nice stick.

Thanks to Nautilus for the loaner NV Ten-Eleven.  This is actually something anyone can do…  you can test drive a Nautilus, just check out the website.

Mr. and Mrs. Tarpon... I'm ready to see you now.

Thanks to Skinny Water Culture for two replacement sun masks (I somehow lost three in the last 6 months), a microfiber shirt and a new hat.

Skin cancer is bad... SWC is good.

Thanks to Patagonia for a sling pack for alllllll those flies I’ll be sporting, plus a sun mask and hat.

Flies go here.

Thanks to Off the Hook Fly Shop, where I bought most of the materials used in the flies I’ll be throwing.

That’s a lot of help… and if you look at my FFSI, you’ll see that I think the help you get has a lot to do with reducing suckiness… so, I have that going for me.

As someone recently wrote to me, “This is the most exciting bonefishing trip I’m not going on.”  I hope to have some good stories to share and hope to be posting from Belize and El Pescador, assuming I have the strength left after milking each day for every ounce of fishing possible.

May 10

Interview with Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard has led a pretty interesting life.  He founded Patagonia, sure.  But he’s also lived the life that Patagonia has supported… he climbs, he surfs and he fishes.  He fishes for  Atlantic Salmon in remote reaches of Russia, he fishes for Steelhead on the Babine River in British Columbia, has been seen at Three Dollar Bridge on the Madison and he’s been seen wading the muck in the Marls of Abaco on the series Pirates of the Flats.

I would like to work for Patagonia... just say'n.

Yvon co-founded  1% for the Planet with Craig Matthews and is a committed supporter of wild places and the wild things that live in those places.

Is there an aspect of bonefishing that stands out for you when contrasted with the other species pursued with a fly rod?

Both Lefty Kreh and I think it’s our favorite fish because it’s like a  combination of hunting and fishing. It uses up all the senses especially if you don’t fish with guides, which I have stopped doing. The working out of tides and spotting them on your own is one of the most satisfying parts of the experience.

With bonefish habitat spanning the globe along predictable latitudes, do you find yourself drawn to the same waters and the same flats again and again, or do you seek to explore?

I like to fish different places. My favorite is to go to the Tuamotos in Tahiti with my surfboard and fly rod, and fish the flats near the lagoon entrance. Trouble is these flats small and the fish are big and even with 30lb tippet they break you off on the coral.

Great anglers have great teachers.  Have you had any particularly influential bonefishing mentors?

Yeah, Lefty. He is the best teacher there is. Also, Moana on Christmas Island, who has only one eye, but is unbelievable at spotting fish. He just says “fish coming over there” and nothing else and looks for the next one while you deal on your own with it. Why can’t there be more guides like this?

While one might be able to catch bonefish along the popular beaches of Los Roques, most bonefishing is done in a wilderness setting.  In the wilderness things are, well, wild.  Is there anything you’ve seen out on the flats that stands out as remarkably wild, interesting or unusual?

Some of the flats in the South Pacific are so full of sharks that sometimes I’ve been driven off the flats because they are so aggressive. I have to carry a long pole to fend them off.

Pirates of the Flats was a great series.  What do you hope viewers take away from it?

The most important thing is to get the fish in quickly and leave it in the water. Forget the hero pose.

Pirates Casting

When I think of bonefish I also tend to think of Kalik and Cracked Conch.  Are there other associations you make when thinking about bonefish?

I just love walking the flats and observing all the life around.

Thanks Yvon.  Appreciate your thoughts.

Apr 10

Mikey Wier and Adam Barker – Belize

I was checking in on fishing friend and Patagonia Fly Fishing Ambassador Mikey Wier’s blog, Burl Fish, and was happy to see some pics from his recent trip to Belize.  He was down there with a group of anglers doing a mother ship trip.  One of those anglers was Adam Barker, a photographer from Salt Lake City.  Some gooooood looking shots.

Nice shot Adam!

You can see more of the shots on Mikey’s blog here. You can read more about his trip here.

You can find more photos by Adam Barker at his website.  He does a lot of skiing/outdoors type photography, but has a gallery devoted to fly fishing as well.

Mar 10

Stuff I Like – Guidewater Pants

Before I went to Grand Bahama inn January I picked up a couple pairs of Patagonia Guidewater Pants.  People of my Nordic heritage don’t wear shorts in sunny places unless they are going swimming.

I like these pants.  They dry quickly, they are comfortable and they stand up to several days of saltwater without a trip through the wash.  I’m a fan.  I’m also a fan of Patagonia in general and of Yvon Chouinard specifically.  Everyone I’ve met with that organization has been top shelf.

Good Stuff

In action in Grand Bahama

Jan 10


Soulfish isn’t all bonefish, but it not only has a few, but it also has a few of my favorite fishing folks in it.  The guy behind the camera (and sometime in front of it) is Mikey Wier.  Mikey guides, produces videos and is a Patagonia Fly Fishing Ambassador (see his favorite gear here).  I’ve been lucky enough to fish with Mikey a couple of times up here on the Little Truckee and the East Walker.  He’s a passionate conservationist in addition to being one  hell of an angler.

One of the featured anglers in Soulfish is Rachel Andras.  I met Rachel when she was working in Redding and she will likely be the #1 role model I’ll point to when my daughter gets old enough to start asking if girls fish too.

You can buy  Soulfish here.

On a side note, Happy Birthday to my little girl, who turns three today.