Monday, February 28, 2011

I stole the photo below from Curiak's blog (hope you don't mind Mike). The guy's done it all. Lately he's been doing a lot of touring and he's up in Alaska right now traveling the Iditarod Trail. The Ultrasport Race is going on right now as well. He'll probably be gone for several weeks but check his blog after he's back and warmed up for some incredible pictures that I know will follow. I think he's also bringing some stuff to shoot video for a promo flick for the race. You can also follow along with the race here. It looks like Pete Basinger and Jay P are battling it out right now. Jay has several screws lose. That's all there is to say. He's doing this, then RAAM, then he's finishing the summer with an individual time trial of the Tour Divide route and I don't expect him to be thinking of anything but new records when he does a race. Be safe everyone.

The B bike

This bike's been around for a while because I think it's a cool frame, it's made from Columbus tubing and you don't see a ton of production steel bikes anymore, and it belonged to my good friend Adam but I essentially stole it from him when I moved out here since I no longer had any bikes. The fork is an absolute nightmare. I keep no less than 200psi in the thing. It's positively bone jarring. It's like a really heavy rigid fork. I've been on the hunt for a nicer cro-mo fork for it for a long time but the steer tube is almost 9". Tim also sent me a new Salsa Pro Moto bar so that went on to replace the ones I bent from a bar end mishap since I'm off bar ends right now. I also threw on some Ergons that I've had laying around for a while. The jury is still out on whether or not the suspension seatpost will go on or not.

There's a 115 mile race in Durango next month that's part of the Colorado Endurance Series. I was planning on doing as much of the series as possible. I don't want to build the Orbea back up and I don't think I wanna go 115 on one gear so the green bike will get the nod. There is an option for 160 but...that's just wrong. The course is all gravel roads and it's supposed to be fast because they use magnesium chloride on the roads in the winter. I have no clue what this means but if it will make me travel at supersonic speeds then I hope they dump liberal amounts of it on the roads. I'm also hoping there isn't much snow because...that could be wrong too.

Artsy fartsy

This showed up on my doorstep today. My buddy Tim sent it to me. I had an idear for an art project but now I'm not sure. We have a wall. Well...we have quite a few walls in the house but...we have one spot in particular and I thought it would look cool to have a bike sort of coming out of it. If you look at this picture you can see 2 options to make this happen. I can either cut the frame where the left side of the support beam would pass through or back further where the right side of the beam passes through. What I would like to do is cut it closer to the head tube so that the front wheel actually gets a small portion of the rim cut out as well. My buddy Adam has a road bike done this way but it doesn't have a tire on it and the spokes that attach to the removed section of the rim are gone too. I wanted to keep the tire on and I wanted the spokes to appear as if they were coming out of the wall too. I also wanted to have the front brakes functional. Doing it this way would be more of a challenge but it would also make the whole thing lighter. The Giant Yukon is not a spring chicken. I would also love to find an obnoxious set of really long bar ends. Now...after staring at this in the garage for a while...I don't know what to do. Feel free to comment.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Honey Stinger

Honey Stinger is a company based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They've been in business for about 9 years now and they make really good, honey-based energy foods. They have gels, bars, chews, and now some incredible waffles. You can find their products in most outdoor stores, bike shops, and natural foods stores. You can read more about their stuff or check out their website here.

Back in December I submitted an application for a sponsorship with Honey Stinger. I kept it on the down low because I didn't think it was going to happen. I posted something here about it back then but I didn't get specific. I think I said something about writing down a goal for 2011 and truly realizing how big it was after seeing it in writing. I was pretty hesitant to send it in but then decided to do it after all. Today I spoke with the company and they informed me that I made their grassroots team. I am super thrilled to represent them and am very inspired to throw out all the stops and absolutely smash myself for that goal.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Once again...

a Seinfeld theme finds it's way into my life. No...not George's baldness. There was an episode where Kramer started using mousse in his hair. He said it changed his life. He said he felt like he had lived two lives. His pre-mousse and then...his post-mousse. If you know me, you know that I tend to change my facial hair frequently. Since I don't have much up top, it's all I got. I like the goatee but my chin hair has this really weird cowlick kinda thing going on and it seems to sweep one way and always ends up looking off when it gets too long. I've always wanted to grow a long beard but...again...there's the whole cowlick thing not to mention that I'm so OCD that I'd never get done trimming it. Now...I've experimented with a mustache before but it never lasts long. This is the longest one has ever lasted and I'm getting rather used to it. I feel almost like I've lived two lives. There was my pre-mustache and now there's my post mustache.

In other news...I have put on a whopping 10 pounds this winter and I'm now tipping the scales at a solid 175. Not much of that weight is in the mustache. It seems to be concentrated in my butt, lower back, legs, thighs, and abs. My core feels very strong and even on my SS bike, my back is never sore after even 6 hours of riding. My dressier pants for work are actually getting a little toit in the ass. I bought some new Carharts several months back and had not worn them yet. I put them on the other day and...they didn't fit any more. So...I got another pair over the weekend and now I'm up to a 34" waist and I honestly haven't even been drinking all that much beer the last month and a half. No seriously.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I'm on a bit of a roll this morning.

A few weeks ago I was fishing with my buddy Scott. We took a break at one point and sat down. Scott can really pull through at just the right times. He reaches in his pack and pulls out 2 Belgian beers that were a whoooping 10% ABV. He also pulls out a bag of chips and tells me to try one. That's all he says. I reach in and grab one. I think my look said it all becaue I didn't say anything and he said, "I know." I grabbed the bag. These were pretzel chips flavored like buffalo chicken wings. Now the pretzels were really flat and each one contained just enough spice. You close your eyes and you think you're eating chicken wings.

The next day I go to both grocery stores in our fair town. None. I actually drove around the Springs looking for these chips. None. Yesterday we were running errands and we passed a grocery store and I pulled in. At first we came up trumps. Then...I spotted them. They were not in the chip section but in their very own section. It was a bit of scavenger hunt really. I grabbed Heather (somewhat aggressively). Then I ran. Completely prepared to take out anyone even in the vicinity of these chips. Literally. I bought all they had. I got some strange looks when I high fived Heather but then I bolted to the self-checkout and immediately ripped open a bag.

I wish I could go into further details but I'm afraid I can't. I will say that I only have 3 bags of them left and they are all going to work with me tomorrow. They will be locked up in my classroom and booby trapped. Maybe I'll do a photoshoot later on today for ya but don't hold your breath.

You know what's outta control??

The price of razor blades! For years I have used Gilette Sensor Excel razors. A few years ago, Gilette came out with a new razor with 4 blades and it began to get a little hard to find the older 3 blade model that I use. What's the big deal you ask? Well...when I'm shaving, I know exactly where the blade is going to hit when I'm working around facial hair. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to shaving. I don't have much hair up top so I take pride in what's on my face. Hair that is. I will spend up to half an hour in the bathroom making sure that everything is lined up correctly. Then I usually go back in after a break and check on things again. I always ask Heather to evaluate things as well. The drawer of tools that I have is quite impressive. I even have a straight edge. Heather always laughs when we're out in public and I comment about some dude's crooked ass goatee or poorly trimmed beard. Take some pride!! I also know precisely how much pressure I can put on that blade on my bald head and not end up killing myself.

Anyways...I had to run to Safeway last night for some Coke and, while there, I remembered I needed shaving gel and razors. Well...Safeway doesn't carry the Sensor Excel. They only carry the 4 blade model. So there I am in the shaving aisle weighing my options. Do I go with something new? Hell no!! I started getting mad and a co-worker walked up behind me and asked what was up. I think he was alarmed at how serious I take my facial grooming as well as my loyalty to the Sensor Excel. I should mention that my favorite razor comes in packs of 5 and 10. I prefer the 5 pack b/c it's damn hard to shell out 20 dollars for the 10 pack. That is completely out of control!! I also lied. Safeway does have the Sensor Excel but only in the 10 pack. I may grow a beard just to protest Gilette.

This truly reminds of the Seinfeld episode where George attempts to steal something from the drug store for Jerry because the price is inflated and he's doesn't agree. For a second I actually considered stealing the 10 pack but...that's just wrong.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My gas tank bag was missing something so I added these this morning.

Firkin report

I had planned on doing a 5 hour ride on my mountain bike Saturday but free tickets to a beer tasting threw a wrench in that plan. I got out for a little road ride and then, after some lunch, Heather and I headed down to Bristol Brewing. We entered through the front door and then proceeded straight to the back VIP style. We were given our mugs and wristbands and then ushered passed the rather large guys working security. What a scene. If there's a heaven it probably smells, looks and sounds like the back of Bristol did yesterday. The place was PACKED. I grabbed Heather's mug and made a beeline to the casks. I stood there in awe for a few minutes as I read the descriptions. Feeling confident...I made my selections. Then we shuffled even further back to where the fermenting tanks are and savored our firkin beers.
I think this was number 9 and 10. With Heather not being a beer drinker, my strategy was to fill up both mugs with different brews and then I double timed it. It was a technique that served me well.

The list of brewers on hand was quite impressive. New Belgium, Trinity, Pagosa, Great Divide, Wynkoop, Boulder, Bristol, etc. The list went on. It was all Colorado brewers. Most of the beers were simply heavenly. The nectar of the Gods. Only a few of them were brews that I didn't care for (surprisingly enough...New Belgium's beer was extremely sour and Denver brewer Wynkoop who has a fabulous restaurant in the LoDo area and makes delicious beer bread had a brew there that was very after taste reminiscent of grapefruit). Still though, I soldiered on and had my way with both of them.

This was taken back in the back by all the fermentation tanks. Notice the guy on the far right. Yes...the one wearing a Dark Side of the Moon patch on his fleece. That's one smooth son of a bitch.

This was the scene at the cask area. Initially my strategy was to hand pick brews each time I went back for more. But then I began having trouble remembering which ones I had already had. So in my infinite wisdom, I then decided to work my from the top right and then to the left. In this photo, the very important gentlemen in the picture was actually getting me a glass of a brew (there's simply no way I can remember what brewery it came from) of green chili beer. It was fantastic. I have had jalapeno beer before it was tough to get through and punishing the next day. This was very drinkable. It smelled delicious. I spent a lot of time with my nose buried in the glass in between sips. I wanted another glass of it but....alas....I had work to do damnit.

Who the hell knows what this was but it was damn good.

This was the scene back up front. You can see all the casks on the left and the tanks are all in that back room. At this point, I was actually considering trying to steal a cask and making a run for it. Then I was reminded of the larger guys working security. This was a really good time. I'll definitely be going back next year. I am so thankful that the person that actually paid for the tickets was not able to attend. At one point I did send him a text indicating my love for him. Worry not my dedicated readers, for I had a highly skilled designated driver in my lovely wife. She only sampled beers every once in a while and was more content to go with the water.

I also had a very serious discussion with Heather after who knows how many beers were consumed. The subject centered around mustaches and wax. I'm going to leave it at that for now.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Firkin' A

Today I happened upon two free tickets to the 7th annual Firkin Rendezvous that is to be held tomorrow at Bristol Brewery in Colorado Springs. I am very excited. From what I know, Firkin beers are unpasteurized, unfiltered, and naturally carbonated in a cask (sometimes oak I think) while the yeast turns sugars into glorious alcohol. There will be 20 brewers there with their beers and I get to drink as many of it as I can responsibly do.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My neck

I went to the Chiropractor on Monday. I was a nervous wreck. I had visions of things being worse or coming out paralyzed. Everyone I talked to about this had a different opinion. I decided to check out one guy in town that was highly recommended. I went over to talk to him and hear what he had to say. He wanted to do x-rays before touching anything which I thought was good. So after shooting some film, he explained what he saw. There are 2 spots where the area between vertebrae has decreased. I guess vertebrae are also squared off in shape mostly but the three in that area have developed some significant edges and points on them. All of this indicated some decent trauma that, if left untreated, would likely (he said) manifest into some type of arthritis. My range of motion is decreased and obviously I'm in pain. I felt marginally comfortable with him working on me but I did tell him that I would probably take a swing if he hurt me. He put me on a table and gently worked my neck and explained what he was doing and then......CRACK! I was stunned. It didn't hurt but it definitely startled me. Then he did the same thing the other way. It did not seem like my neck should have moved that way. Then he worked my upper back a bit. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes. I'm icing it pretty regularly now and doing some stretches. He did all this again on Wednesday and I've gotta see him twice next week. Things do feel better but it's still real tight when I go to look to my right if I'm gonna change lanes. It has been an interesting experience. The next time a 5 year old bets that I can't do something I'll probably pass on it.

In other news...a co-worker told me today that some female students mentioned that they thought I was good looking when I interrupted their class. Well...a group of them did. Apparently there was one female student though that said, "No he's not. He's like....40 and....bald." This comment made the teacher spit water on her computer and it provided many teachers with a laugh. By the end of the day I had random staff members telling me to remember to take my vitamins or have my Metamucil. Pretty damn funny. My wife even laughed at me when I told her the story. Kids these days.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


It's been a while since I've made a bigger fishing puchase. My waders still leak a tiny bit but I suspect it's coming in from the neoprene booties and you can't fix that. I've had the same Chota boots for probably 6 or 7 years now. I love them but lately I've been looking at these boots from Simms. I'm a huge Simms fan but I absolutely hate laces on wading boots. This year they are using a Boa lace system on some boots and that makes me randy. I need to go try on a pair and then I've gotta sweet talk my CFO into things but as of yesterday she was completely on board. She's the best. These could put me into an entirely different class of elite anglers.

Today's sewing project

For a while now I have struggled with a good location for this SPOT device. I used to keep it on my stem but now I have my GPS unit there. I can't stand for my h-bar area to be non-symmetrical so it can't go up there. My OCD is BAD. I can't even put a heart rate monitor up there because things will be all lopsided. Last year I sewed a pocket to the front of my h-bar bag but got mediocre transmissions out of the unit since it wasn't facing towards the sky. This year I was going to sew a strap to my shoulder pad and mount it there but I just wasn't happy with that solution either. I usually keep my knife on my shoulder strap and I don't want much more there or else I'm afraid it will start to get uncomfortable. I kind of have a fear of not being able to see the SPOT since it costs so much and this is my second unit. This morning I decided to take the pocket off the h-bar bag and see about sewing it to the top of the seat bag right behind the saddle. I tacked it on to the bag (yes I actually know some sewing language but I am ALL MAN) and was pretty happy with it so I decided to run with it. It takes a while to hand baste this on and I used some really nice upholstery thread I scored at my favorite sewing supply store. Here's the finished product.

I'm real happy with how it came out. I should be able to do a reach around (get your mind out of the gutter) and make sure it's still there. I also just transmitted an OK message and it went threw wonderfully and fast. Hopefully this will allow everyone to see me slogging along without any major issues this year as things have been so hit and miss with it. I guess if I lose it...I would have lost it no matter how it was secured. The fabric itself isn't really all that strong but I doubled it up and made it pretty tight. Another bonus is that it was so nice outside today that I got to sew on the deck. I even got a little sunburn on my bald head. I really wanted to go ride but everything is a sloppy mess right now.

If you need your pants adjusted just let me know.

NEVER a good idear

Yesterday we were down running errands and, completely on a whim as we were driving by the Humane Society, we both said, "Let's go look at puppies." There were several really nice looking ones. I was smitten with this one. I like his big ears and his markings were classy.

This was probably Heather's favorite. Beautiful coloring. He looked like he was going to be a big dog. I think both were right at a year old. This one was pretty malnourished but we could fatten him up.

I don't know why we do this to ourselves. If I could, I'd have a house with 5 acres of land and have tons of puppies. Heather thinks that we could be hoarders pretty easily. This guy is available on Monday. I told Heather I could go pick him up as a Valentine's Day present. She didn't say anything. Does that mean she wants me to do it or not?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dark Side of the Rainbow

Without question, my favorite band is Pink Floyd. Yesterday at school we had a power outage in more than half the building. If the entire building had gone out, the generators would have kicked on and we would have at least had some light but since there was power in parts of the building, the generators wouldn't kick on so we were in complete darkness. This change in routine and given the fact that my World Class Paraprofessional (we always called them teacher assistants back home) was out and had a substitute (as if anyone could replace her) did not bode well for my students. In order to gain control we started talking about music. I had several students with me that period who take a Music Appreciation class and it just so happens that they are currently talking about Pink Floyd and also Black Sabbath. I had some battery life on my iPod so I cued it up to perhaps the greatest album of all time, Dark Side of the Moon which just happened to be released the year that I was brought into this world. Coincidence? I think not.

It's hard to talk about that album without hitting on the magnitude of the coincidences that occur between it and The Wizard of Oz. It didn't surprise me that they didn't know what I was talking about and, once again, I had to marvel them with my intellect and shear genius. Needless to say they were impressed and had lot's of questions. Maybe 40 minutes later, the power kicked back on and I decided to seize the opportunity and quickly came up with a little lesson to learn these impressionable minds that sat before me like unmolested clay. I provided them with a list of resources (which happened to be in my favorites on my computer) where they could find some of the similarities between the two and had them decide on 10 things that they wanted to see for themselves from Dark Side of the Rainbow (a combination of both pieces). Having marveled at this many times myself, I did provide some guidance as to what things they should pay particular attention and, to make things easier, we just focused on the first 15 minutes or so of the movie. Then...we watched and paused before each of their similarities presented themselves.

Two words can describe the scene: captive audience.

One of the coolest parts of my job is that my administration team allows me huge amounts of freedom and they understand that sometimes I have to go outside the box for what can be difficult students so they buy into the bigger picture. My building Principal's are the biggest reason why I work in the school that I do.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pain in the neck

Normally it is my policy to avoid acrobatics but about 2 years ago in St. Louis I was dared by a 5 year old to attempt a front flip on a trampoline. It seemed like a good idea. I took the action. I paid dearly. Observers said I looked like an airborne 2x4 and barely made half a rotation but that I did incorporate a mean twist into it for extra points and style. I landed on the back of my neck and was immediately down for the count for the remainder of the trip. Onlookers said I hit the trampoline like a sack of rocks and then came to a halt as I moaned. I remember crawling off said trampoline and making my way to the house as said 5 year old screamed, "Do it again!!!!" I also recall her father (who happens to be my good friend saying), "Dude...that looked pretty cool." The drive back to Colorado was not a good time.

When we got home I did the ice/heat routine for a week and it finally loosened up but it's reared it's ugly head every now and again since. A friend of mine named Dan used to rave about his Chiropractor and was encouraging me to go see one but I have always been skeptical. About 2 days ago I was washing my face and pulled something again and have been wincing since. Yesterday I asked if anyone at work knew of a good Chiropractor. While I did get a lot of smart ass comments from my co-workers I also got a lot of referrals to one particular knuckle cracker. I spoke with said guy today and have an appointment for Monday morning. I am somewhat worried. The spine is not an area of the body that I take lightly and cracking of it is a stress producer.

I kid you not...a guy at work today came up to me and grabbed me (quite literally) by the shoulder and asked what I had done to injure myself. I told him the story as I pulled away. He then told me that he would render his services (free of charge) after school on the floor of my classroom. I promptly gave him the stink eye. He was serious. He wanted to show me what he was talking about. I told him to get the F%*k away from me. His next question was, "Haven't you ever been in traction?" Ummmmm....seriously....get the F%*k away from me dude. As I explained to him...I don't even know that I want someone who cracks bones for a living to touch me. I'm going in for an appointment to feel things out. I may tell him the same thing as it concerns me that he informed me that I would need to sign a waiver.

Today I spoke to 2 Chiropractors and what I've learned is that there appears to be 2 different schools of thought here. One approach is a bit aggressive and the other uses more massage. The guy I'm going to is more aggressive. This concerns me as well. I'm really hoping to not get arrested on Monday morning. But...I am a bit scared about what the heck happened to my neck during my little escapade. I could have really injured myself. That's probably the last time I'll ever listen to another 5 year old.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

RIP Simon

My dear friend's Adam and Mary went to the Humane Society 12 years ago strictly to look at what kinds of dog's were there. They quickly found Simon. Simon was a mut and the only details they could find out about him was that he was picked up as a stray and he was probably about 6 months old. They took him back to their new house over in St. Charles and he settled right in. Soon...Adam, Mary and Simon welcomed two beautiful girls into their lives. First there was Maya and then came Morgan. Eventually they moved to a new house and continued to experience all that life had to offer them.

Simon looked like he had a lot of Yellow Lab in him but his body was that of a Corgi. He was real low to the ground and aerodynamic. He liked playing fetch and barking. He had an ear piercing bark. When he sat down, he would do this thing where he leaned and his right leg would always stick out just like a kickstand. It always made us all laugh. Simon was fearless. The first time he met Dharma, he put her right in check. When he met Bodhi, he was unsure of him but he didn't ever try a full on attack. Simon liked bacon. And chicken. And turkey. And hot dogs. And anything else that found the floor.

About 6 weeks ago, Simon was slowing down and not looking his normal self. They loaded him up and took him back to the same Humane Society so the doctor's could look at him. He was diagnosed with cancer. Simon and his family have been in our thoughts more than normal ever since. This morning I was out in the garage cleaning up and I was thinking about him. I meant to call Adam to check on him and just didn't. Tonight the phone rang and I knew the news before Adam even said anything. Everyone had taken half the day off to go home and spend some final hours with Simon before taking him back to the Humane Society. Simon lived a better life than many dog's will ever know is possible. I know he gave more to my friends than most dog's will ever provide. You will be missed dearly Simon. May you forever relax in fields of green. You were loved.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday morning

Pikes Peak looked pretty amazing this morning when I went to take the dogs outside. It looked the same as I was leaving for work so I snapped a photo of it. It's not the greatest picture but it's not the worst either. The wind was blowing hard above treeline. It was actually a really nice day today here in town but we are supposed to get hammered tonight with anywhere from 5" to a bagillion feet of snow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Peace in the Middle East

This is a sight that will never get old for me.

Bottle this form and you got somethin' sweeter than Yoohoo.

Good to get out

Saturday morning the flows at Spinney Ranch were approaching 50 and that's not much water. I met Scott at the Gill Trail at about 10:30 under overcast skies and temps in the mid-30's. There was only about 6 other vehicles in the lot and we started in at about 11. Once you get down into the canyon, you can walk downstream for a few hundred yards until you come to a fence that runs all the way across the river to keep mortals like me out of a very private place called the Wig Wam Club. Every once in a while you'll get some of the bigger German Browns from that club that will wander up or down stream to get away from the snobs but not often. We don't usually go down that far but we decided to today. I think Scott was actually thinking about climbing the fence. I stayed a bit upstream and waded in.

The flows were 152 when I left the house. If you can catch trout in Cheeseman, you can catch them anywhere in the world. It's tough but in the winter time, it's really tough. Snow was on the way and visibility was making it like trying to spot fish in a muddy river. Scott got into one pretty quickly but couldn't seal the deal. I am a bit of a snob when it comes to trout in that I don't like to waste time throwing flies to water that just looks fishy. I gotta have a target. So I tend to cover ground quickly. I also tend to not want to leave when I do find a decent fish. It wasn't long before I found a really nice deeper pool that held half a dozen rainbow's. I watched for a while but they just didn't look like they were eating at all. I decided to try anyways. After an hour and probably a dozen different flies, changes in the depth, a fuzz more weight, a sip of Jim Beam, I finally hooked one. It didn't last long though before she threw the hook. I still say it was a foul hook cuz I never saw a flash or the white of her mouth so I wasn't disappointed. We eventually decided to move further upstream. We actually saw quite a few nice fish throughout the day but they just didn't look to be feeding. When a trout stays in the exact same spot (doesn't move 6-8" up in depth or 6-8" either way periodically) they've got lockjaw. It seemed that being able to spot fish was just a win for the day. At one point, I was on top of a rock looking down into a deeper hole. I swear I had scanned the area for a full 2 minutes before I saw a rainbow right in front of me that taped at 16-18". I reached to unhook my fly from a guide and glanced that way for a fraction of a second and...she was gone. I never even saw her leave.

Here Scott is wondering why he's not just wet wading what with all the holes in his waders.

Right as the real snow started to move, we hunkered down in some large rocks and drank a beer and had lunch.

It was good to get out but it was a frustrating day in terms of fishing. There's not much a guy can do when a trout is set up in a slow moving run. In these conditions, they get all day long to check out your junk so it better be good. If the fly is a size too big or small, if they see your leader, if the color is wrong, you're busted. Normally we run a rig that is sub-surface out here. Once you get your depth set up, you run a weight about 14" up from a fly. Then we run another fly about 14" down from the lead fly. On some rivers (like the Taylor) the trout know that weight = false food. When they see weight, they slide out of the way and then go right back into their feeding lane. As frustrating as that can be, you know it's gonna a tough day when the trout just up and leave when they see your weight. That's how things went for us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tying up some stuff

I've been completely focused on fishing this week. I don't know what's going on but I gotta get a fix. I'm like a crack head lookin' for a rock. The new issue of Catch Magazine is out and there is a blond gal who lives up in Alaska and she knows how to throw a spey rod like no one's business and I have been wearing that video OUT!!! She makes multiple double digit Steelhead write bad checks. I was planning on going up to Spinney Ranch and seeing what was up tomorrow. I've been watching the flows. For about a week straight it was right at 150 cubic feet per second. This isn't great but I'll take it for this time of year. A few days ago it dropped to 100cfs. Last night it dropped to 58cfs. I'm bitter about this. The water will be gin clear under these conditions. A blind man should be able to sight big fish but...they are going to be very spooky. Sometimes under these conditions you can be walking upstream and see a nice fish and then get down and crawl to it but they can dart off when you go to backcast. That's the worst.

We're also supposed to get snow tomorrow and that can make sighting fish a little harder too. My buddy Scott is coming down from Denver and we're gonna meet up and hike down into Cheeseman Canyon. This afternoon it was flowing at 170ish which is ok but the canyon can be brutal this time of year. Anyway's...since I had planned on going to Spinney Ranch, I tied up some flies for that location. It's been a while since I've tied anything. I love tying flies. Scott texted me after I had already started working and we changed locations but that's ok. These are #22 hooks. Here's how things started out.

I tried desperately to get more pics of the process but for some reason, I couldn't do it. Don't know why the camera cooperated so much for the first one. These are some of the finished ones. This fly is called Pearl Jam. It imitates a stage in the life of a natural fly (deer flies, gnats, skeeters, etc.). Natural flies make up close to half of all the food in the trout's diet in the South Platte River. These little guys have tubed bodies and kind of resemble worms at this stage. 22's are very small. These are sitting on a laminated business card so the size of those letters gives you an idea.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The good news is that we had the day off today because of the wind chills and just got the call for another day off tomorrow. Tonight the temps are supposed to be -20 to -40. It was about -10 today before the windchill. Ya know it's cold when Bodhi has to get carried back in the house and has no interest at all in playing ball. I spent a little time outside swinging an axe extra hard and even that was cold.

The bad news is that today I discovered that I lost one of my favorite knives. It was a Gerber folding blade. It was the first gift that Heather bought for me. I lost it on my ride the other day. I hope the person that finds it doesn't cut their finger off with it. I suppose I'll have to replace it though and that's not all bad.