Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Best Laid Plans & Good Intentions

Goin' with the flow on the Wakulla River in 2012
It's a bit late to make a bold proclamation that another year has arrived.  I spent most of the first 6 weeks of the year just... existing.  Perhaps the Walrus was right and "the time has come" for other things, like planning.  Part of me has always hated planning, and I've never really understood why.  The best I can come up with is that plans create structure, and structure removes freedom.  I like having my options open.

Options aside, the clock is ticking and I'm hopeful that a little structure will yield some results.  It turns out that I'm failing miserably as my own motivational speaker...

I wanted to jot down some blogging plans and fishing plans.  For some reason I need to remind myself that there are things I want to do, and yes, I actually want to do them.  Even so, I feel a little dread when I think about some of this stuff.  I'm also hoping that all 3 of you who read this stuff might hold me accountable.

Blogging ToDo List
  • Finish the "Opportunity Knocks Twice" series.  I'm having a hard time with this one.  It feels like there's something ominous waiting for me at the end of that tunnel.  Or perhaps I'm afraid that I won't be able to create the capstone the series deserves.  DONE!!! Read it here.
  • Do a full comparison and write up for all the wonderful Sage 5-weight rods we own.  I know why I'm paralyzed with this one:  Pure perfectionism.  I know how I want to do this, and it will require a good investment of time.  I see a few hours of prep work, probably four hours of rod waving and note taking, and 20 to 30 hours of writing
  • Try to publish something every week, definitely publish something every other week.

Fly Angling ToDo List
There's no dread here.  This is spectacular.
  • March - 1 day on the Yakima River - Washington State.  My first fishing trip to these waters. (Didn't happen.  Rainfall preceding the day I planned to fish stained the water, so I bravely ran away to fish another day.)
  • April  - 2 days on the Missouri River - Craig, Montana.  The midge and BWO hatches of April 2015 were quite a sight.  Trying to convince my wife to accompany me this year.
  • Weekends in May and June - "The Driftless" in Southeast Minnesota.  The wife's Mobile Hotel® (aka fifth-wheel RV, see The Amoury) gets parked and we spend 6 weekends camping 20 yards from a trout creek, part of the Root River watershed.
  • August - Mobile Hotel® Road Trip with the family
    • 1 day on the Flathead River - Columbia Falls, Montana
    • 1 day on Rock Creek - Just east of Missoula, Montana
    • 3 days around Yellowstone National Park - hoping for 1 day of fishing
    • 2 days camping on the Tongue River forks - Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming.  Really looking forward to finding some cutthroats and brook trout.
  • September - More Minnesota Driftless weekends 

Other Stuff
Notes to self...

If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, it appears I'm constructing my own private ten-lane superhighway.  Drive it like you stole it.

But pull off occasionally to wet a line.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Epic Spirits: A Tale of Two Gins

From my liquor cabinet...
The Fading Angler is an avid fan of adult beverages.

I've travelled around the country for work on a near-weekly basis for 14 of the last 18 years.  This has provided me with excellent opportunities to sample a variety of beer, wine, and spirits.  I savor these opportunities because many of these beverages are not available outside of the borders of their home state, due to arcane and archaic federal laws and rules controlling the interstate distribution of the evil that is alcohol.

I believe, but am not certain, that this is the case for both of the spirits feature herein.  One is a product of the State of New York (upstate!) and the other is produced in the Puget Sound of the State of Washington.  I have visited both distilleries once and look forward to doing so again.

I am not an aficionado of any sort, gin least of all.  I've sipped gin martinis.  I've enjoyed the occasional gin & tonic with Bombay.  I have also endured a few others made with the cheap gin (and lots of lime) that are now stocked as the "complimentary" bottle in the lounge of the airline to which I have sworn fealty. (Correction, 3/24/2016 - It seems that Delta has recently replaced the rotgut with a decent Bombay in their Skyclubs.  Surprising and welcome.)  However, I sample new things when I can, and I've found both of the items up for review to be exceptional.  If you are also a traveler with a wandering palette, I offer these for your consideration.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Not Going Steelhead Fishing This Spring...

My generous Wife and I had been contemplating a trip to the Olympic peninsula to try our luck at fishing for steelhead.  It's a bucket list item for me.  Instead, we made a last-minute decision to cross a different item off the list...

In case it isn't obvious, I'm a Broncos fan.

Looks like Parkinson's Disease has given me permission to live a slightly wild and crazy life.