Fish never cease to amaze me. When The New Scientific Angling – Trout and Ultraviolet Vision by Reed F. Curry first came out, I was immediately intrigued. As the title suggests the book focuses on the what trout see and how we as fly fisherman can do to make our flies more attracting to fish. As you can see from the chapter titles, Curry goes to great lengths to talk about what ultraviolet light is and how it fits into nature.
Now, by no means am I a biologist or have any scientific background, but I found the whole discussion of trout vision and ultraviolet reflection fascinating. Curry goes through great length to photograph and document his findings while applying its impact on fly tying materials and fly fishing. Much of what I read here in The New Scientific Angling – Trout and Ultraviolet Vision was reminiscent of whatLafontaine investigated in his book The Dry Fly: New Angles. Both authors strive to understand what triggers fish to take our flies, and ultimately, why some flies seem to have such great success.
If you are interested in the nitty-gritty of fly tying and fly fishing, I think Curry’s book is worth the read. As an angler, I found the discussion of what trout see to be extremely interesting and enlightening.
The sun was just starting to go down as we packed up the last of the gear in the back of the truck on Wednesday evening. We turned on to the 93 and set our sites first on Vegas and then to Reno. The conversation was entertaining to say the least, but around 1am things got quiet and passengers started drifting off to sleep. We made good time and we positioned our ladders deep in the lake sand and were ready when the sun started to come up again.
Then we spent three days fishing in the howling wind and cold water of Pyramid Lake. The fishing ebbed and flowed as it normally does. We bounced around to different beaches, and ultimately found a couple spots that gave up some nice fish. No true 15 or 20 pound monsters came to the net, but overall we were pretty happy. Most of our fish came on heavy sinking line and beetles being stripped along the barren bottom of the lake.
What stands out more to me about this trip was the atmosphere. We had good food and laughed to the point of exhaustion. Couldn’t ask for much more than that. Here are a couple of pictures from my camera.
My work is a block down from one of the local urban ponds, and everyday as I drive by, I see a few anglers working the water from lawn chairs. My wife and daughter have started the wonderful tradition of coming down for a picnic once a week, and after my wife’s prompting (it truly was not my idea), I brought along the fly rod. Not much is happening at mid day on these cement bottomed ponds, but here the little girl and I talked about fly selection and she critiqued my cast. There was time for a little midday siesta before I gave them each a kiss and headed back to work. If only every day was picnic day.
Green Holoshimmer tinsel thread (available at your local craft store)
Haretron Dubbing (Brown or Black)
India Hen soft hackle
Finding myself at home this winter with our new baby, I’ve been spending some more time at the vise and filling a few fly boxes. While working on some caddis patterns, I found myself wanting to tie something a bit flashier, and after pawing through materials I found some Holoshimmer tinsel from a while back. I give you the “Shimmy Caddis.”
Rambling Review – Wright & McGill Grindstone Reel Bag
I don’t know how it happened, but all of the sudden I found that I had a bunch of different reels for my different weight lines and fly rods. I’m not what you would call an organized person (ask my wife), and I often found myself frantically searching for a specific reel the night before a fishing trip. I started storing them all in the same shoe box and that worked for a bit, but I took several road trips where I was going to fish different waters. I was going to bring multiple rigs and really wanted a way to keep my reels organized and protected in the bed of the truck. After a bit of searching, I found the Wright & McGill Grindstone Reel Bag which met my needs on several levels.
Size – The Wright & McGill Grindstone Reel Bag measures out at 10.5″ Wide x 5″ High x 13.5″ Deep and is designed to hold up to 9 reels.
Construction – The reel bag is constructed of a heavy duty nylon exterior with a molded bottom. A foam handle and removable shoulder strap give you a couple of options of how you can carry the bag. The interior boasts heavy padding with adjustable Velcro dividers for different size reels while the top flag has a clear plastic zipper pocket for tippets, tools, or any other odds and ends you might want to keep in there.
Price – Compared to it’s competitors, the Wright & McGill Grindstone Reel Bag is arguably the best bang for your buck on the market.
As stated before, the Wright & McGill Grindstone Reel Bag serves two main purposes for me. The first is organization. I have my 2 weight reel all the way up to my beefier 8 weight Galvan Rush. The adjustable inserts allow me to get a snug fit for each reel so they don’t bounce around. I do like the clear plastic pocket on the top panel. I found this to be the perfect spot for, leaders, receipts, and warranty cards for my nicer reels.
The second purpose of the Wright & McGill Grindstone Reel Bag is for protection. On a couple of different occasions, my journey was a bit open ended and I didn’t know exactly what fly rods I would be using. Since I had the room in the truck, it was easy and hassle free just to grab the whole reel bag and give myself some options for when I arrived at the water. I never gave a second thought to the reels in the bag, as I knew the foam padding would keep them safe and secure.
One thing I will add. When comparing the Wright & McGill Grindstone Reel Bag to some of the big name companies’ reel bags, like Orvis or Fishpond, there is some differences in quality. In my opinion, if you are using the bag for the purposes that I described above, I don’t think the extra cash for the big name is worth it. I can justify putting money on equipment that get’s beat up in the field (waders, fishing packs, etc), but reel bags rarely see that kind of treatment, and it is tough for me to let that extra money go.
Holds up to 9 reels
Great protection and organization for reels
Excellent price point
Overall not as nice quality as some of the competitors
The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review. My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.
The sunlight filters through the east facing windows and warms the tile in the kitchen. The baby swayed rhythmically in her swing next to me as I spend the morning attempting to refill a few different boxes. She’d gurgle, and occasionally squawk, when I would show her a finished fly, which of course I took as her approval of my technique. I certainly didn’t maintain my usual speed at churning out flies, but having a cute partner at the table was worth the decrease in output.
Terry and Wendy Gunn are household names here in Arizona. The Gunns own and operate Lees Ferry Anglers Fly Shop and Guide Service in Marble Canyon, Arizona. In conjunction with their extensive personal knowledge, Terry and Wendy have worked diligently with local experts and guides from around the country, to put together an amazing lineup of rivers to fish called 50 Best Tailwater to Fly Fish.
This 250 page anthology is broken down into four categories – East, West, South, and the Rockies. Each section highlights multiple tailwaters in that region and details the nitty gritty on each river. Important information such as access, hatches, regulations, gear/tackle, fly shops, guide services, and even where to wet your whistle are organized for quick reference. Each page is complimented with quality, high resolution photos and maps to be sure to whet your appetite for slipping into a pair of waders and getting to the water.
I’ve really enjoyed thumbing through the pages of the 50 Best Tailwater to Fly Fish,and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had fished several of these well known waters. Rest assured though, I marked several pages for reference, and it is my intention to try and steer a family vacation to a couple of new areas in order to try my luck on one of these beautiful tailwaters.
This Arizona quail season ended way too fast. Truth be told, with my wife being pregnant for the bulk of the season, I did more quail hunting than fishing this fall because hunting quail keeps me closer to town. I explored a bunch of new area though, hunted with some different buddies, and even though the numbers weren’t spectacular, I had a great season overall.
I hunted the last Saturday of the season in a relatively new area, and after loading up and and cinching the vest buckle tight, the desert erupted with the sounds of three distinct coyote packs. I don’t know if the desert dogs had anything to do with it, but it took me a while to find birds. When the covey scattered, I was able to knock down one male and put him in the bag.
In wanderings around looking for quail, I was able to kick up a half dozen cottontails and connected on two of them. I had stopped shooting rabbits in the past, because I wan’t too fond of the meat. That was the case until this season when I came across an amazing recipe. My friend Rohan writes a blog called Whole Larder Love and has written a book by the same name. Rohan Anderson is an artist when it comes to cooking and lives his dream of gardening, hunting, and living off the land. I tried his “Finger Lickin’ Rabbit” recipe and loved it. My wife, who is not the biggest fan of wild game, especially small furry creatures, loved it too.
At the end of the day, it’s always tough to see the season fade away. You’re left alone with a few pictures and the fleeting memories of wild birds flushing, and the promise of a new season only 8 months away. Until next time.