It’s been a while since I picked up a fly rod, as hunting, teaching, and tying flies have been keeping me busy. I headed north with my good friend, Antonio on Saturday to see how the Rim country was looking. After checking some of the local forums, it appeared that everyone was going to be headed north to fish the creeks, so instead of rushing to be the first there, we did a bit of scouting in the morning and looked at a couple of different spots that we both had been interested to see. Around noon, we finally made it to some fishable water, but the bite was pretty slow by then. Antonio brought a couple of fish to hand, while I had a couple come unbuttoned at the net.
Although the weather was beautiful for February, it was a little bit disheartening to see absolutely no snow on the ground. Without some snow and water in the highcountry, I have some concerns about the summer and fall flows for this year, but I guess we still have a little bit of time for some precipitation. At the end of it all, it was a beautiful day in Arizona.
I have cussed out my net more times than I would like to remember when it was clipped onto my vest and bouncing around on my back. Having the net get hung up in a load of branches is a common occurrence when it dangled from my vest or pack. I found that I really enjoyed just having that net tucked into my belt, but often from all the acrobatic moves I made on a small stream (read: “slipping on slimy rocks”), the net would tilt and have to be readjusted. The Smith Creek Net Holster is a simple lightweight piece of equipment that keeps the net secure and handy for a day of fishing.
Material – The Smith Creek Net Holster is handmade and the material is extremely strong and durable.
Adjustable size - It doesn’t matter what type of net you are using. Big, Small, Long Handled or Short, Wood or Metal. The Net Holster is fully adjustable to whatever type of net you carry.
I found the Smith Creek Net Holder an extremely comfortable way to carry a net and keep it close to hand. With no net bouncing around or trailing in the water, the net holder allows for freedom of movement on the small stream or a big river. The Smith Creek Net Holster comes with a belt that works out perfect when wearing a pair of waders or if I choose to wet wade I can take the holster off and put it on my pant’s belt.
The nice thing about the net holster is that the holster itself is adjustable. Whether or not I’m using a small stream net or a bigger one for the river, the holster can be tightened to fit either.
The last thing I noticed when using the Smith Creek Net Holster was that it was extremely easy to put the net back after netting a fish. With a magnet clip, I’m always doing the “no-look-fumbling around” move trying to find the magnet that is hanging somewhere on my back. The net holster is always right where I left it and allows for my net to be quickly stored.
Simple and Comfortable way to carry a net
Handmade from quality material
No more bouncing net
Easy access to the net
I’m stretching here, but they are only sold in certain shops and online.
Prognosis: I absolutely love the Smith Creek Net Holster. For me, it is the ideal way to carry a net when I am looking to lighten my load on a small stream or pond.
The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. The Smith Creek Net Holster was provided for the purpose of this review. 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.
I heard my wife scream and as I walked into the house I could see the destruction from the kitchen. We have two dogs, Budder and Wiley. Budder is the older of the two and has spent his last 5 years out of his cage and free to roam the house while my wife and I are at work. We have only had Wiley for about a year and a half and although he is the sweetest, mellowest pup you’ve ever met, we’ve never really trusted him out of his cage while we are out of the house. The few times we have allowed him to hang out while we ran some errands, he destroyed a shoe and the other time he ripped the sheets off our bed. So for the last several months he’s been spending time in solitary confinement while my wife and I teach during the day. We have slowly started leaving him out of his cage while we ran to the store and then for a little longer one time when we went out for dinner. We thought we had turned a corner and Wiley has been spending his days out of the cage for the past two weeks. Until today. Who knew there were so many feathers in a couch pillow.
I had the great opportunity to get down south and see a unique side of Arizona with my good friend Dave Brown. Dave run Dave Brown Outfitters and spends his summers in Canada guiding fly fishing and upland hunting trips for Hungarian patridges while in the winter he beelines it for Arizona and guides for Mearns quail in Southern Arizona. (I look forward to doing a full writeup on his operation in a few weeks but his official site can be found here with many of his photos also posted here.)
Last year was an extremely tough year for Mearns in Arizona and this year was only slightly better, but having spent all of my time in the field chasing Gambel’s, Dave’s offer to come hunt Mearns was very enticing. We met early and hunted late and as hard as we worked, the dogs worked even harder. We moved a couple of birds first thing in the morning, but they gave us the slip and left us empty handed. In the eleventh hour, good ol’ Sammy boy slammed on point with his tail as up, straight as an arrow. As we walked up to cover, a bird jumped up and both of us fired as one more flushed and scurried over the ridge. You know you’re dealing with a good guy when he tells you that the bird was all yours. I know better and realize we both probably put lead into him, but I was very happy to be holding a beautiful Mearns rooster. Dave Brown is a class act and his love and pride in his pups is evident with how hard they work for him.
Shooting a stickbow requires a great many things like practice and patience. One of the greatest requirements for being successful while hunting with traditional archery equipment is stealth. Stalking through the desert in a pair of hard-soled boots can be a loud and crunchy ordeal when trying to get close to the prey. My hunting partner introduced me Crooked Horn Outfitters Safari Sneakers on our javelina hunt last year, and these Safari Sneakers will always be in my pack.
Well Constructed – The Crooked Horn Outfitters Safari Sneakers are made with a very soft fuzzy sole on the bottom and of a soft fleece upper that is ultimately tightened with a velcro. I know several hunters who have been wearing theirs for years, none the worse for wear.
Made in America - Tough to find much of anything made in America anymore, but the Safari Sneakers are built right here in U.S.A.
The Crooked Horn Safari Sneakers have a special place in my pack and I have used them extensively during javelina season. Slipping the Safari Sneaker on allows the hunter to move very quietly over crunching rocks and snapping twigs. The soft padded bottoms are similar to the fur padded feet of a bear or mountain line and the wideness of the pad allows for weight to be distributed. The Safari Sneakers helped me to get in real close on a couple of herds of javelina and last year I was successful at taking at pig at 13 yards. A couple of my hunting buddies swear by these booties and have closed the distance on deer and antelope alike.
One thing I noticed about the Safari Sneakers is they pick up just about everything in the desert. As annoying as this is, I don’t think that it impacts how quiet they are in any serious way. As a precautionary measure, I only where them on a stalk, and at the end of the season, I take an hour or two and try and clean them up as best as I can before storing them for the next hunting season.
I have also heard and read of other hunters using their Safari Sneakers as a layer over their boots for warmth while on stand. Although never having personally done this, I imagine if it was cold enough, these might help out a bit.
The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. The Crooked Horn Outfitter Safari Sneakers were provided to Arizona Wanderings for the purpose of this review. 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.
In early August, I posted a review on the Swarovski Binocular Tripod Adapter which I had believed was the only quick clip bino-tripod adapter on the market. A couple of my good friends owned the Swarovski Adapter, and having used it for a couple of seasons, I swore by it, with the only complaint being that the binoculars would work loose and fall off the tripod if I was not being attentive. In the comments on that post, someone mentioned that a superior tripod adapter was created and sold right here in Arizona at the Outdoorsman. The folks over at the Outdoorsman have a full lineup of essential gear for the western hunter and their Outdoorsman Binocular Adapter is the perfect example of their dedication to functional quality products.
Simple - To release the binoculars from the Outdoorsman Bino-Tripod Adapter, simply depress the top button and pull the binoculars free.
Strong fit- I hooked the adapter up to my tripod and fit the adapter together. Once I had the binoculars all set up, I then tried to wiggle them apart. Typically on my Swarovski model, the binoculars could be worked free which usually resulted in my nice optics falling on the ground, but the Outdoorsman adapter held the binoculars firmly in place. The reason for the strong connection is the small groove seen in the above picture. When the button on top is depressed, it allows for the stud to fit right into the tripod adapter.
Then when the button is released, it allows a small piece of metal to slide up into that groove, thereby locking the binoculars firmly into place.
Once the binoculars are fitted into the adapter, the top button (shown above) can actually be screwed down so there is no chance of bumping the adapter and the binoculars slipping out.
Price - The Outdoorsman Binocular Adapter is priced around $90 dollars which, in comparison to $130 for the Swarovski Adapter, is a pretty decent deal.
I carried the Outdoorsman Binocular Adapter on several scouting trips and hunts. It truly is a functional tool, and it is obvious that it was built by a western hunter. The adapter provides a rock solid connection for my optics, which is vital for glassing on those long days in the field.
The quick release button is easy to use with no hassle when I needed to get things packed up quick. The one feature that I did like is that I could tighten the button down and it would lock the binoculars in place. From there I could pack the tripod in my pack with the binoculars still attached, something I would never do with the Swarovski adapter.
One quick note, make sure that when you are first installing the stud on to your binoculars that you take the time to really tighten the little screw with an Allen wrench. It was my own fault, but when I got back to the truck I realized that the binocular stud was gone and had fallen out as I was walking. The instant I made it home I ordered another stud for $16 and remedied my problem by firmly securing that small but vital screw.
Well thought out design
Rock solid connection
Ability to lock the binoculars in place by screwing down the top button
Price in comparison to competitors
Price (although I think its well spent money)
Make sure to firmly Allen wrench down the screw that holds the binocular stud to your binoculars
Prognosis: For the western hunter, the Outdoorsman Binocular Adapter is a must have. Compare them for yourself, but I am a believer that the Outdoorsman far outshines the Swarovski Binocular Adapter
The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. The Outdoorsman Binocular Adapter was provided to Arizona Wanderings for the purpose of this review. 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 new Blood Knot issue is out, and if you flip your way towards the center, you will see my contribution there about smack dab in the middle of the magazine. I want to say a very warm thank you to the kind folks over at Blood Knot for picking up my article on Arizona fly fishing titled “The Plight of a Desert Fly Fisherman.” Check out this fantastic e-zine and my brief contribution by clicking the picture below.